What is Crop Steering?
Crop steering means to adjust your plants’ environment to maximize growth. Agriculture is one of civilization’s most ancient technologies, so this is simply an extension of these age old techniques. As new technology emerges we often forget our origin. Growbud allows you to leverage these ancient, proven techniques, but adds a direct digital connection between you and your environment. By tapping into this environmental data you augment your greenthumb intuition with digital analytics to achieve a higher level of precision.
Plants progress through several stages during their lifetime. When a plant is started from seed it starts in the germination stage. After the seed is germinated the plant enters the seedling stage, and then transitions into the vegetative stage. In this important stage the plant starts to accelerate leaf and root growth. In order to maximize crop yield, it is good to encourage this leaf and root growth. This is where steering comes into play. By optimizing air and soil conditions, it is possible to increase plant growth during this period.
Plants prefer a warm, moist environment in the vegetative stage. This can be achieved by more regularly watering your plants, ensuring the air temperature is in a warm comfortable range, and that there is high enough humidity. The table below shows these steering methods, and some example values are included. These values and the default vegetative settings in the Growbud app are a great starting point.
Certain types of plants should be given extra special care during the flowering stage. This stage comes after the vegetative stage, and it is when a plant is focused on producing flowers or vegetables. When compared to the vegetative stage, plants often prefer a lower temperature, lower humidity, higher VPD, lower soil moisture, and higher soil EC. This means it is best to irrigate less often but with a higher strength fertilizer to really churn out some beautiful flowers.
Plants’ environments, along with life, the universe, and just about everything have a number of interconnected relationships. For instance, air conditioners and heaters usually do a solid job at maintaining a certain air temperature. However humidity will be directly affected by the conditions of the air entering your HVAC unit, as well as the internal processes of your heater or A/C. This means it is good to gently adjust your temperature settings and to analyze all aspects of the environment before making targeted changes.
Often times less is more when adjusting your plants’ environment. Using the Growbud app, you will be alerted if any conditions go out of range, or are predicted to go out of range in the near future. Each sensor has a steering menu that allows you to easily adjust these ideal conditions.
In order to unlock maximum plant growth it is important to understand the needs of the specific type of plants you are growing. After researching more about your strain or plant type you may find the default vegetative or flowering settings in the Growbud app can be further refined. The Growbud app easily allows you to update these custom environmental targets using the steering menu, and save these thresholds for each sensor.
You often will not have a perfect environment for your plants. No need to worry! Sometimes this will have a negligible impact on plant growth, and you should adjust your steering settings accordingly. For example, if you live in a hot climate and do not want to waste electricity on A/C it may be totally fine to let the temperature exceed the default limit. Simply adjust the settings in the steering menu for your situation. If the temperature is the main cause of your VPD going out of range you may want to start with gentle humidity adjustments to your plants’ environment.
Growbud is your compass to understand where you are, where you are going, and politely remind you if you may be going in the wrong direction. Growing plants is amazing and at the end of the day the journey is often where the most joy originates.