This weekend, snowfall is expected in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. This, in combination with permafrost temperatures, could easily result in massive snow pressure damage in greenhouses. The horticultural insurance companies in the different countries therefore urgently advise their members to keep a watchful eye on the weather situation on site and to take precautions in good time.
Growers can do a lot themselves to prevent or limit problems caused by snow and frost. Dutch insurer Interpolis shares tips, just as Gartenbau Versicherung does for northeastern Germany. In a wide area stretching from Lower Saxony and Münsterland to Brandenburg and Saxony a lot of snow is expected.
Greenhouses– Melt the snow on a greenhouse
The weight of a pack of snow can be considerable. Especially if the snow stays on the ground, or if it snows in combination with rain. The result can be that windows break, the greenhouse construction is damaged or sometimes even the entire greenhouse collapses.
A German grower installed snow supports (250 in total) in his greenhouse, according to the Gartenbau Versicherung.
Melt the snow immediately. The German insurance company also mention this as a tip, whereby heating up the greenhouse too late can make it more difficult to raise the temperature in as the a too thick layer of snow is covering the greenhouse.
Leave your screen cloth open. Do not close the screen completely until the snow has melted from the greenhouse surface.
Avoid excessive tube temperatures and set your ‘maximum tube’ so that no damage can occur to your plants.
Do not open the vents if they are frozen solid.
If the capacity of the boilers and or CHP is on the tight side for achieving the desired indoor temperature with the screen closed (on package) or partially closed, make sure that the heat storage tank is sufficiently ‘filled’.
Click here for more tips from Interpolis (in Dutch).
Click here for more tips from Gartenbau Versicherung (in German)