By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: Farming in a greenhouse can help limit the effects of climate change and it is possible to tweak the temperature, humidity and other environmental variables. Experts have called to use greenhouses as a better option for the Kuwaiti environment. Farmer and agricultural expert Abdulrahman Mohammad told Kuwait Times these greenhouses can produce premium crops out of season, efficiently manage pests and grow crops year-round.
“Greenhouses are used in Kuwait to grow plants and vegetables in the difficult desert climate while providing a controlled environment that can help protect plants from extreme temperatures, dryness and wind, which are common in Kuwait,” he said, noting greenhouses are used by both commercial farmers and home gardeners in Kuwait.
“Some of the crops that are commonly grown in greenhouses in Kuwait include tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and herbs,” Mohammad said, revealing that building and maintaining a greenhouse in Kuwait can be challenging due to the extreme weather conditions, but with proper planning and management, it is possible to grow a variety of crops successfully. He added that many greenhouse owners in Kuwait use a combination of techniques such as proper ventilation, shading and irrigation to ensure that their crops thrive. “Greenhouses are used for many different things, such as growing crops, conducting research and experiments,” he added.
Mohammad explained the key consideration for building and operating greenhouses in Kuwait is the location should receive plenty of sunlight and is protected from strong winds, in addition to choosing a design that is appropriate for Kuwait’s climate, where the greenhouse should be well-insulated to retain heat during cooler months and have sufficient ventilation to prevent overheating during the summer.
“In Kuwait’s dry climate, irrigation is essential for greenhouse plants to thrive. A drip irrigation system is recommended, as it is efficient and conserves water. Also, the soil is generally low in organic matter and nutrients, so it is important to add compost and other organic matter to improve soil quality while controlling pests and disease and selecting the right crops that are well-suited to Kuwait’s climate and can thrive in a greenhouse environment,” Mohammad said.
Regarding maintaining greenhouses in the summer of Kuwait, the expert said: “It can be challenging due to the extreme heat and dry conditions. But proper ventilation is essential to prevent overheating, as well as shading, watering and maintaining proper humidity levels. With proper management and planning, you can successfully grow crops in a greenhouse even in the extreme summer heat.”
Mohammad noted there are some disadvantages of greenhouses — they can be expensive to build and require constant monitoring, maintenance and care, which could increase the use of electricity and water.