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Tips & Tricks

Get Social! Tips and Tricks for Social Media

Posted by Nick Greens, Horticulturist/Consultant on 9/23/2018

Social media is an important marketing tool to help get you in front of your potential customers. Whether you’re promoting products or services, educating your audience about why you’re the best, or simply sharing what you’re up to, social media platforms are a great outlet to help customers engage with your brand. With Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more, we’re talking about some of our best tips and tricks to help you decide what might work best for you.


Make a Plan

Post-Harvest Storage Tips

Posted by Zack Foust, Sales Representative on 9/16/2018

After hours of seeding, moving hundreds of transplants, mixing fresh batches of nutrients and managing a plant-friendly environment, you hopefully have produced a bountiful, disease-free crop that is ready for harvest. The next critical step in fresh-market hydroponic production is to follow proper harvest and storage practices to ensure that your customers receive produce of the highest quality. It is important that you don't overlook post-harvest care, since this could determine taste, texture, nutrition, safety and overall salability of your produce.

A Look Inside the Grower Workshop

Posted by Cropking on 8/6/2018

CropKing Inc. hosts its two-day Introductory Grower Workshop for current and future greenhouse produce growers in Lodi, Ohio. The workshop features classroom lectures, as well as some hands-on work in the greenhouse.

Here are some takeaways Produce Grower gathered from a visit to a recent Grower Workshop.

 

Adjusting for seasonal changes

Posted by Cropking on 3/29/2018

When the seasons change, so do growers’ environmental concerns. Even in the greenhouse, where some growers can control their surroundings, changes in the weather can greatly impact the growing process.

Changing light levels

According to Matthew Kispert, horticulturist at CropKing, growers should be cognizant of higher light levels at different points in the year. He recommends looking first at irrigation. Higher light levels can lead to some nutritional issues that proper irrigation methods can help prevent.

Greenhouse Cleaning & Sanitizing

Posted by Cropking on 12/14/2017

The 2017 growing season here in Lodi is now a wrap, but that doesn’t mean the work is finished. The time between crops can prove to be paramount to the success of the following season. Every grower should take the opportunity afforded by an empty house to perform yearly maintenance tasks, update equipment as needed, and clean and sanitize the greenhouse. 

pH Should Stand for Plant Health!

Posted by Cropking on 7/18/2017

Plants are critical in our daily lives and many people take them for granted. We feed ourselves with plants, we feed our food with plants, we breath the oxygen from plants, they “breathe” our carbon dioxide, they keep the soil strong, and they do a lot more than what I can fit in this article. Bottom line: they are critical to our survival. Shouldn’t we respect plants as much we respect ourselves? Plants deserve to be just as healthy as we do, but they need some help from us!

Growing Hydroponic Fodder

Posted by Cropking on 1/25/2016
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

Posted by Cropking on 11/9/2015
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

Posted by Cropking on 10/16/2015
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

Posted by Cropking on 10/7/2015
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.

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