Retractable roof houses are a fantastic tool for growers of tree seedlings since the roof can be closed to protect the crops from adverse weather conditions but retracting the roof when outdoor weather conditions are ideal ensures that the plants are properly acclimated to the outdoor environment. Exposing the plants to outdoor conditions helps:
- ensure an optimum root to shoot ratio
- develop a more compact stem with a thick caliper
- leaves develop a thick wax cuticle helping to reduce transplant shock while providing increased resistance to disease and insects
Easier to induce dormancy
Plants can be effectively induced into dormancy in a retractable roof greenhouse because average leaf and soil temperatures can be easily lowered. Growers who can retract the roof have found that they can extend active growth until later in the fall by several weeks to increase plant size and then shut down plants quickly by dropping average temperatures.
Growing plants in a retractable roof allows them to be grown hardy throughout the growing process instead of growing them “soft” and then “hardening them off” prior to shipping.