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Seed Selection

Posted by Cropking on 2/16/2008

As the seed catalogs arrive, the thoughts of starting plants for outdoor or greenhouse growing get an invigorating mind set established in any gardener looking out the window at leafless trees and possibly snow-covered ground. The anticipation of renewed plant growth is irresistible and compelling. Seed companies know when to time the arrival of their catalogs to get the highest level attention from gardeners. The sheer number of plant and seed choices, however, is often overwhelming. We shall not tackle the entire complex issue here, but we will look at some basic differences in the way some of the different cultivars were developed and what some of their features are. This way, you will be able to more readily determine what best matches your desires and expectations of the resulting plants.

Hydroponic Fertilizer Solutions

Posted by Cropking on 11/16/2007

Plants typically grow with their roots in soil and their stems and leaves in the air. They get some of the elements they require from the air (for example, most of the carbon and much of the oxygen used by the plant comes from the carbon dioxide taken in by the leaves of the plant), there are other nutrients that can be fed to them through their foliage, and there are even some aerial plants that get everything they need to thrive without any contact with soil at all. However, most plants get the bulk of what they need through their roots, usually in soil.

Cultivars for hobby Greenhouse Production

Posted by Cropking on 7/16/2007

YOU FINALLY HAVE YOUR OWN GREENHOUSE and it’s up and operational. The next decision, if you have not already determined this, is what to grow in your new greenhouse. The answer depends upon your purpose for having the greenhouse as well as some other factors. If part of your purpose for getting a greenhouse is to provide at least some of your own food, you will need to start by allocating space for those types of plants. Growers quickly find that their greenhouse is smaller than they realized once plants are in and growing.

Hydroponic and Organic Plant Production Systems

Posted by Cropking on 1/16/2007

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?

Posted by Cropking on 11/16/2006

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

Posted by Cropking on 9/16/2006

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

Posted by Cropking on 9/9/2006

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

Posted by Cropking on 9/9/2006

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

Posted by Cropking on 7/16/2006

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

Posted by Cropking on 5/9/2006

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.


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