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Hydroponic Fodder Podcast

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This podcast was done by Greenhouse Management through their Grower Radio Network Podcast. In this episode, our commercial sales representative and horticulturalist Maxwell Salinger talks about hydroponic fodder. He goes over what fodder is and how we grow it hydroponically. For more information on CropKing’s Fodder systems give us a call at 330-302-4203.

High Tunnel Growing Podcast

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This podcast was done by Greenhouse Management through their Grower Radio Network Podcast. In this episode, our commercial sales representative and horticulturalist Maxwell Salinger talks about the benefits of using a high tunnel greenhouse for seasonal extension. Maxwell also talks about different crops that you can grow in a high tunnel, as well as the different growing systems used. For more information on a CropKing High Tunnel package give us a call at 330-302-4203.

Growing Hydroponic Fodder

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CropKing Admin
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Hydroponic Fodder

Growing animal feedstock hydroponically is a relatively new trend even though the process has been around since the 1930s. There are several advantages to growing fodder hydroponically and some disadvantages which we will discuss later. The main advantage is that animals get feedstock that has no pesticides or herbicides, is of high quality, and uses very little water. The most common sprouting crop is barley, although alfalfa, clover, corn, cow peas, oats, sorghum, and wheat are possible grains to grow fodder. Sprouting increases fiber and breaks the grain down into more consumable parts.

Winter is Coming Make Sure Your Greenhouse Is Ready

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CropKing Admin
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over winter greenhouse

As the splash of tree color fades, leaves fall, and nature prepares for winter sleep, it is once again time to give consideration to the health of your greenhouse. With diminishing day length and declining daily temperatures checking greenhouse equipment can save you money and avoid potential losses. The following are considerations as the winter season approaches.

Blossom End Rot in Hydroponic Tomatoes and Peppers

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CropKing Admin
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blossom end rot

One of the more interesting problems that can occur in Tomato production is Blossom End Rot (BER). Neither a disease or pest issue, BER is a Calcium related disorder caused by environmental factors. Blossom end rot comprises of two main symptoms tip burn of the youngest leaves, and fruit tissue which looks water soaked and can become black and rotten as the fruit ripens over time. This is caused by a deficiency with Calcium uptake from the nutrient solution leading to the plant pulling the Calcium it needs from new tissue (younger leaves and new fruit).

Dutch Bucket Hydroponics

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CropKing Admin
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Dutch Buckets

NFT channels are designed for growing small leaf crops such as lettuce and small herbs, but growing larger plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and peppers in NFT channels is difficult, if not impossible. Large plants are usually more of a “long term” plant and need more root area than an NFT channels offers (they can also capsize the channels), so hydroponics (a lot of very large growers use hanging gutters and rockwool slabs. However for a smaller grower without all of the monitors and alarms, those rockwool slabs could dry out if the injection system failed in any way or was just not feeding enough to a growing plant. It is very difficult to “re-wet” it completely. Even if you flood it with water the water will tend to just wet area right around the roots. The water is looking for the easiest path and just flow along and around the roots. That is bad because as the plants continue to grow the roots will not branch out into the dry areas.

Seed Storage and Germination Recommendations

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CropKing Admin
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seed storage

Two common questions we have gotten at Crop King in the past from growers has been the life expectancy of various seeds and average germination time. There are three things you need to know:
How to properly store seeds.
Life expectancy of different properly stored seed.
Different crops can have very different germination times.

NFT Hydroponics

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CropKing Admin
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NFT Lettuce

CropKing offers channel with a slightly raised middle to help the film spread widely rather than concentrate plant roots into the middle of the channel. The CropKing channels have removable top caps to keep dirt from contaminating the nutrient film and to make it easier to clean the channels. These caps are punched with specially sized holes to enable a grower to precisely space crops for best growth. In addition, the covers prevent evaporation loses.

Cultivate15

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CropKing
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CropKing Booth at Cultivate15

Cultivate’15 is in the books and what a great show it was. This convention was aimed at growers, breeders and florists for edible and ornamental plants. With sessions providing information on the latest trends and tools available on the horticulture industry it was a great opportunity to network, search for new suppliers and gain valuable information.

What is Hydroponics?

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CropKing Admin
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Hydroponics is the art and science of growing without soil. The term was first coined by William F. Gericke around 1940 who took the word from the Greek. Gericke was among the first to grow plants on what he called "litter" suspended above a tank of water containing a nutrient solution.Since Gericke's time hydroponics has come a long way. Instead of Gericke's leaky wooden tanks, we now have leak-proof plastic tanks. Instead of Gericke's "litter," hydroponic growers use expanded clay balls, rockwool, perlite, sand or other support medium. In Gericke's day, he made his nutrient solution from manure with chemical additives, but today we can buy a concentrated nutrient solution optimized to suit the plants being grown.

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