The extreme heat wave in the Canadian province of British Columbia continues. Although plants can survive temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, it is not easy for growers and their plants. “The high temperature for 24 hours makes it so difficult,” says Casey Houweling of Houweling Tomatoes.
It’s been nearly 10 years since the company was named Houweling’s Group instead of Houweling’s Hot House, but right now Casey Houweling’s Delta, British Columbia greenhouse is definitely feeling very “hot” again. The province is suffering from an extreme heat wave: daytime peaks can reach 33-43 degrees, temperature records are being broken. “We’ve seen the temperature in the greenhouse rise above 34 degrees. If that’s one or two days we can handle that, but it’s the 24-hour temperature that really makes it difficult for us,” Casey says. At night the temperature drops to 18 – 21 degrees Celsius, which is very high for the region.
“The effect of the weather depends on the crop phase,” Casey continues. “The tomatoes will make it, but we have also transplanted some cucumbers. They have just come out of propagation and are now really having a hard time.”
With companies in Camarillo (California), Mona (Utah) and Delta (British Columbia), Houwelings’ team is used to growing in different climate conditions. With a timely warning about the extremely hot weather, Casey is confident that growers have provided whitewashed roofs to reduce the temperature. “In this area we are used to a high light intensity: we are more south than in the Netherlands, for example, and easily reach 1000W. Growers of sensitive crops such as sweet peppers lime their greenhouses to limit the amount of sunlight and radiant heat. Tomato growers usually do that. not, but with this weather you definitely want it.”
Temperatures are likely to drop again later this week. “If the wind turns and comes back from the ocean, we’ll go back to 23-24 degrees or less,” Casey says. “Usually it is cool 2 to 3 days earlier here than in the Upper Fraser Valley, where there are more greenhouses. We’ll see, in 2 or 3 days.”
Incidentally, a record temperature of 49.5 degrees Celsius was recorded yesterday . So sweat a lot.