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Hydroponic and Organic Plant Production Systems

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A question we frequently hear is whether a growing system can be both Hydroponic and “organic”. The answer can be complicated and depends upon how certain terms are defined, as well as preconceived ideas on the part of the individuals involved in the discussion.

Light in the Greenhouse: How much is Enough?

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Most of us know that green plants need light for photosynthesis, growth, and development. As important as it is, however, that is not all there is to the role of light in plant growth and development. Plants respond in various ways to the intensity and duration of light. Let’s look at each of the ways that light affects plant growth.

Relative Relative Humidity

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RELATIVE HUMIDITY is a measure of the amount of water in the air. Relative Humidity is measured on a relative scale rather than a linear scale (like measurements of temperature and distance) for example. Although this may make Relative Humidity a little harder to understand, its role in plant health is extremely important. It is possible to make the Relative Humidity a little more friendly to the plants through the use of equipment for greenhouse humidity control.

Organic Fertilizers in a Soilless Growing System

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Organic growing can be accomplished via either soil-based or lower-volume soiless systems. Soiless organic growing systems have been discussed in detail in previous articles. However, as a brief synopsis, soiless systems use materials such as perlite, pine bark, coconut core, compost and sawdust as a growing media, just to name a few, and these systems are usually found in a greenhouse growing environment. As in all growing systems, proper fertilization of the plants is key to healthy and vigorous growth and optimal production. In the case of a soiless media system, the type of media used plays a role in determining what fertilization is needed. The microorganism present in the media have the job of breaking down the various fertilizer components so that they are readily absorbed through the plant roots There are some challenges to supplying fertility in organic low-media-volume production systems.

Lettuce and Other Leafy Vegetables

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CropKing Admin
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Does knowing how your salad ingredients have been grown and what has been applied to them interest you? Does growing your own salad ingredients year round interest you? Our society is becoming increasingly more educated about health and nutrition and with this trend, many nutrition-conscious people are growing their own salad makings in small greenhouses where they are in charge of how, and with what substances, they are grown.

Hobby Dutch Bucket Plant Production System

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CropKing Admin
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THE DUTCH BUCKET plant production system offers flexibility in size and layout. The system can be configured to fit a relatively small area in your hobby greenhouse, and will easily accommodate a few to several large fruiting plants that you can grow in the greenhouse for a few months up to a year. Because the size of the plants in the buckets will be large, you will want to place the buckets so that you can get next to each plant in the system to perform the needed cultural work and pick the fruit it produces.

Nutrient Film Technique in the Hobby Greenhouse

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CropKing Admin
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Many people want to have a small production system with which to grow fresh, leafy vegetables that they can enjoy year round. The nutrition of freshly harvested plants is superior to similar plants purchased at your local market. Plus, by growing your own, you have complete control over the treatment of any pest and disease that may occur. The control program that you implement in your hobby greenhouse can be one with which you are comfortable. You will know exactly what has been used on your own crops, eliminating the concerns over what chemicals or other products might have been used on commercially purchased produce while it was grown at a foreign production location or during its transport to your market.

Paths to Success in the First Hobby Greenhouse

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CropKing Admin
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You've decided to take the plunge and purchase a hobby greenhouse. Once you’ve received and constructed it, it’s time to get it ready for plants and for making decisions on what you want to grow. It is likely that your list of plants to be grown and things to be done in the greenhouse can be unrealistically long. The information here is intended to help you take a realistic approach. There are many variables in what is realistic. These include the background and experience of the individual grower, the available time they have and what they expect from the project. The following guidelines and suggestions may help the new grower set realistic goals and expectations, which are more likely to result in a satisfying growing experience.

The Greenhouse: Growing Environment or Battleground?

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Changes in seasons bring about changes in the external and internal environments of the greenhouse. These changes compel the grower to view things inside and outside the greenhouse differently. Although the idea is to attempt to keep the environment inside the greenhouse uniform, the way to accomplish this will change from one season to the next. Things that were previously outside may suddenly want to migrate indoors. You or your friends may even want to move some outside plants into the greenhouse.

Greenhouse Plant Growing Systems

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Whatever the growing system used, plant roots need oxygen. Oxygen is used in the root for respiration of photosynthate – the process that releases the energy needed by the root to take in the water and nutrients and to send them up to the rest of the plant.
Some plants, like rice and cattails, have roots that can get enough oxygen while growing in standing water. However, most of the plants we grow in the greenhouse have higher oxygen requirements than what is available when the roots are submerged in stagnant water.

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