What equipment is needed for commercial hydroponics – is there a benefit?

As a commercial farmer, you know that choosing the right hydroponic system is vital to your success. Let’s take a look at some of the best hydroponic systems currently available. We’ll also give you tips on choosing the right system for your farm.

What types of crops can be grown in a commercial hydroponic system

Various crops can be grown in a commercial hydroponic system. A hydroponic co2 controller can help produce a variety of plants that would otherwise be susceptible to pests and diseases. For example, crops like lettuce are prone to several problems when grown in open fields, and growers have to take extra precautions to protect their harvest.

On the other hand, in a commercial hydroponic system, such a plant won’t only thrive, but you can have a full yield in as little as thirty days. Some of the other crops that can be grown in a commercial hydroponic system are as follows:

– Strawberries. This plant does just as well as lettuce in a commercial hydroponic system. If the soil pH is between 5.8 and 6.6, strawberry plants can produce an excellent crop within sixty days.

– Cucumbers. These plants prefer a warm environment throughout the growing season. It’s easier to maintain this in a smart grow controller.

– Spinach. Farmers often prefer to grow spinach in an environment where they can control the atmosphere.

– Beans. These are low-maintenance crops for a hydroponic garden, but they do particularly well in such an environment. If you grow beans in a hydroponic system, you can be sure of an excellent harvest. In a hydroponic system, you can expect an excellent harvest of beans.

– Bell peppers. Whether you are a commercial farmer or an amateur gardener, you need to be aware that growing peppers can be quite a challenge. These plants are prone to diseases, and getting a good harvest can be difficult. That’s why you need a hydroponic system where you can control the pH, light, and nutrient levels to get a good harvest.

In a commercial hydroponic system, you can grow various plants, from fruits to vegetables to lettuce leaves. The goal of the commercial hydroponic system is to increase yield and reduce crop loss. It creates optimal conditions in enclosures and sometimes even without soil. When you think about seasonal crops like strawberries and cucumbers, growers are often forced to produce them only during a specific season. However, you can grow these crops year-round with a hydroponic system. If you want to invest in fruits and vegetables to increase your profit margin, you can easily do so with the help of a hydroponic system. You can also expand your existing crops and find that the plants you grow in the controlled environment won’t suffer any losses.

Advantages of using a commercial hydroponic system for cultivation

The most significant advantage of the commercial hydroponic system for agricultural purposes is that it helps increase the harvest. A hydroponic system is considered a significant investment by most farmers. Initially, it is an investment, but it yields excellent returns. For example, the growth rates of all your plants are increased because you have complete control over the environment. You’re no longer dependent on the climate to provide your plants with enough sunlight and nutrients to thrive. This way, you can greatly increase the productivity of your plants.

Often, crops get swallowed up by weeds and pests. This can reduce overall production and expected profitability. However, a hydroponic system means no pests and no weeds. You won’t lose a single plant to weeds, problems, or disease, and all of your plants will produce the amount of crop you need. The plants are in ideal conditions, and there’s no plant loss and no crop failure. Some other advantages of the commercial hydroponic system for agriculture are:

– Plants aren’t susceptible to pests such as rats, mice, and groundhogs.

– You have complete control over the nutrients supplied to the plants. This makes for healthy plants and higher productivity.

– Fewer amounts of pesticides and insecticides are required, as you can produce naturally healthy and robust plants.

– It’s time-saving because you can increase the amount you harvest. In a commercial hydroponic system, plants start producing fruits or vegetables in lesser time.

So you see, if you use a fully automated hydroponic system, you can be sure that you’ll increase the productivity and profitability of your crops. It would help if you opted for a hydroponic system because it provides complete control over your production. In the field, plants can die due to drought, flooding, or other natural causes beyond our control. But in a commercial hydroponic system, the first thing you have is complete control over the environment. Then you can control the setting and create an environment conducive to the growth of your plants.

Hydroponics plant cultivation

If you have robust plants, you can be sure that there will be no crop failures, and you can get maximum production from a single crop. This is what a commercial hydroponic system guarantees. It reduces losses and gets the most out of production. This is the biggest advantage for growers.

What are the different hydroponic systems available on the market

If you look online at the hydroponic systems available on the market, you’ll find several. Each of them offers you different features for the environmental controller. But few provide an automated system and Greenhouse environment controller like GrowDirector. The objective of our hydroponic system is to give you complete control over your Greenhouse or grow room and let you do so even with the help of your smartphone. You do not have to worry about the system at all, and you do not have to keep adjusting the system, unlike the other hydroponic methods. That’s because we believe in reducing human intervention, and we do it by ensuring that once the information is incorporated, the system works as it should.

Here are some of the other systems on the market:

– Get Niwa. This hydroponic system is available to control the pump, humidity, light, and temperature. This is ideal for amateur gardeners. GrowDirector is suitable not just for amateur gardeners but also for commercial farmers. Our system is designed to work for everyone.

– Smartbee. This is ideal for grow room controlling. If you are looking for something that needs an automated grow room, not at a large scale, it is the perfect solution for you. Smartbee will send you automated messages to ensure that your grow room is perfectly controlled for the optimum growth of your plants.

– TrolMaster. It offers different hydroponic systems. They offer to grow room control systems, Greenhouse, and even large-scale solutions. However, their solutions can be pretty expensive and require maintenance.

There are several hydroponic solutions on the market that you can choose from. But why should you choose GrowDirector? The first reason behind your choice is that we offer a complete solution. Whether it’s a commercial hydroponic solution or one you are looking for in your home. We will provide it for you. You’ll find that all you require for the GrowDirector hydroponic solution is a WiFi connection. Once you are connected, the hydroponic system will work by itself. Once you have provided the commands, the system will function, providing the necessary conditions for your plants to thrive.

We ensure that human intervention is reduced, but the health of the plants is not compromised. Our objective is to make it easier to grow your crops and increase production.

We also ensure that all our services come at a reasonable price. When you evaluate the cost of the other hydroponic systems on the market, most of them come at a significantly high rate. We’ll provide you with all our devices at competitive rates and with maintenance services. If you face any issues, you can be assured that we’ll resolve them for you. Our objective is to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

What are the different Grow Director devices

We understand that no one hydroponic system can work for everyone. For example, if you are a commercial farmer, you will require a particular hydroponic system, which will differ from an amateur gardener’s. Therefore at GrowDirector, we offer six different devices. Now, these devices are not used separately; sometimes, they are used together to improve the performance of a single device. These devices are:

– HydroDirector. This is primarily a set of three pumps used to control the water, fertilizers, and the nutrients supplied to the plants. This is used both in commercial hydroponic systems and in the ones used in greenhouses. These pumps have sensors that can be purchased separately and control the number of nutrients you supply to the plants.

– SocketDirector. The SocketDirector must connect all the hydroponic system equipment to a single device. For instance, the pump, fan, and electrical appliances to control temperature, humidity, and soil moisture need to be handled with the help of sensors. These are connected to the SocketDirector, which contains all the devices and has WiFi connectivity.

– DryContactDirector. This is necessary for the commercial hydroponic system as it is required for the larger loads. Farmers who need to produce a significant amount of harvest prefer both the SocketDirector and the DryContactDirector as this gives them more control over their crops and the harvest. The DryContactDirector too can be managed with the help of a WiFi connection.

– DimmingDirector. As it is evident from the name, this is to control the lighting of your grow room. This too is WiFi controlled and has two channels. When you think of the optimum growing conditions for your plants, you must understand that you need to have proper light to thrive. Thus, the light needs to be controlled at all times. With the help of the DimmingDirector, you can ensure that your plants get just the correct amount of light at the right time to get the maximum harvest.

– ServerDirector. This is necessary for you to understand your grow room’s condition and evaluate the situation of your plants. If you want to ensure that your plants have the optimum condition to get the maximum harvest, you will need to monitor the state of the grow room. Thus, the condition of the grow rooms is automatically uploaded to a remote server which you can access from your smartphone. But to access the data, you will need to access it from your local network; you cannot access it from your mobile network.

– Sensors. We provide auxiliary elements, but you can complete the order as needed because you will understand what your plants need the most. For example, things like soil moisture control, flow meter, carbon dioxide control, the soil’s pH level, and soil nutrients will have to be controlled by you. Therefore, you will have to adjust the sensors for optimum control and ensure that the sensors work perfectly.

Our best product is GrowDirector, made with cutting-edge technology designed to ensure that all your fully automated grow system requirements are perfectly met. You’ll find that it comes with all the necessary sensors, pumps, and an intuitive interface to make farming easier for you.

Conclusion

If you’re thinking of buying a hydroponic system, you should select one that meets all your requirements.  If you contact us, you can be sure that we’ll offer you complete solutions. Fully automated hydroponics means that you don’t have to worry about managing the environment, nutrients, pH, humidity, and the other factors that affect the growth of your plants. We know that you as growers need to maximize productivity and often need to grow fruits and vegetables that aren’t in season. Therefore, you need to create an environment where plants can thrive even in one that’s not favorable to them. Here, there’s no alternative to a hydroponic system. At GrowDirector, we assure you that we’ll help you create this atmosphere for your plants, increase productivity, and ensure that all plants thrive with a minimum of intervention.

We’ll also help you overcome another challenge that’s an extensive investment. With our hydroponic system, the investment is also much less than the systems available on the market. We’ll review your requirements and help you choose your ideal equipment. You don’t have to worry about maintenance, which our team will take care of. We believe in innovative solutions that you can manage from your smartphone and minimal intervention. If you want to increase your profitability by offering off-season vegetables and fruits to your customers, we can help you by providing you with an excellent hydroponic system. You’ll find that it’ll help you increase your profitability in the long run and that your investment will pay off.

How to create a hydroponics system at home – types of systems and the first steps to your own garden

The world of horticulture is progressing and beaming with a lot of innovation. There isn’t a shortage of ways to grow crops for consumption or plants for ornamental function. As such, this development in plant industries paved the way to creating rising trends of hydroponics around the world.

For 2025, statistics predict a global value of around 12.1B USD from 2022’s current global market achievement of 9.5B USD. If you’re looking for the best time to gain knowledge and effective ways to raise horticulture, the time is now. Consider alternative methods such as hydroponic solution at home.

Hydroponics system

What is hydroponics

First, we need to define the term hydroponics. According to Merriam-Webster’s definition of terms, hydroponics means this:

“The growing of plants in nutrient solutions with or without an inert medium (such as soil) to provide mechanical support.”

Plants grow in many mediums. As there are thousands of locations worldwide, not all these places have the traditional soil medium to grow crops. This leads to the gradual innovation of alternatives to grow batch crops using other means.

All people are welcome to try hydroponic systems. If you’re a beginner in raising crops, you can find better and more efficient ways to grow crops. Who says you can’t start your own hydroponics system at home? Let’s discuss the ways you can grow crops in a soil-less fashion.

Different methods of setting up hydroponics at home

There are many ways for you to consider a hydroponics system at home. From the simplest setup to a more advanced method, it’s possible to grow crops at home with careful planning and maintenance.

Wick hydroponic system

The wick system is the most simple hydroponics at home for beginners. It is one of the most basic science experiments for children in school. In a wick system, the plants suspend from a growing medium on top. There is a nutrient solution and water reservoir below the growing plants. There are cotton or nylon wicks from within the reservoir leading to the suspended medium. These wicks will transport the water and nutrients towards the medium.

Wick hydroponic system

The wick system is a very straightforward and passive way to grow small crops. However, if you want to take note of the process, automated growing systems can help keep the wick system in an ideal condition for the growing plants. It’s possible to monitor and operate the wicking system to ensure that the crops are growing well.

Here are some things you need to set up Wick hydroponic system at home:

– container or growing tray for the plant;
– plant growing medium to grow the plant;
– reservoir to contain the nutrient solution;
– wick strips to dispense nutrient solution from the reservoir.

Deep Water Culture (DWC)

Another popular hydroponic method is the Deep Water Culture (DWC) method. If the Wick System is the beginner method of growing plants without soil, the DWC is the method that requires the least maintenance. With the DWC, the plants are more directly on top of the water and nutrient solution reservoir. The roots of the crop suspend directly in the reservoir, ensuring there is a constant source of nutrients.

Deep Water Culture (DWC)

The constant water source of the reservoir means you never need to water the plants again. DWC works well with smaller crops that are lightweight to prevent growing crops from submerging and drowning in the solution.

If you don’t have enough free time to maintain a hydroponics system at home, the Deep Water Culture might be for you. To keep a successful Deep Water Culture, it’s best to have an oxygen-rich solution for the roots and a hydroponic CO2 controller to monitor condition levels indoors.

Here are some things you need to start easy hydroponics at home with the Deep Water Culture:

– plant basket with net holes for the roots of the plants;
– plant growing medium to grow the plant;
– reservoir for nutrient solution;
– air pump for an oxygen source;
– airstone.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) works on the principle of gravity to ensure that the nutrient solution drains down to the reservoir. The NFT is set up like this: the roots of the plants absorb from a shallow nutrient solution inside a growing tray with a drain at the end. There’s a reservoir below with a pump that transports the solution upwards towards the growing tray.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

Nutrient Film Technique benefits smaller crops that can grow fast and is easy to harvest. For the Wick System and the Deep Water Culture, a growing medium is necessary. In NFT, many growers can opt not to use any growing medium as there is a constant source of nutrient solution. NFT works best with small crops that take less time to grow.

While you want to ensure that conditions are ideal every day, you may not have the time to do so. The best thing you can invest in is an automated growing system to keep track of NFT hydroponics.

Get started with your first simple hydroponics at home using the NFT method. Here are some things you need:

– shallow growing tray with drainage at the end;
– growing medium for plants (optional for you);
– reservoir for the nutrient solution;
– pumping device to pump the nutrient solution from the reservoir.

Drip hydroponic system

Drip hydroponic systems are also popular due to their versatility. There is a growing tray above that contains the growing medium and the crops you want to grow, as well as the drainage.

There is a reservoir below that contains the nutrient solution. The tubes go through the growing medium, and the electric pump pushes the nutrient solution towards the tubes, dripping on the roots of the crops. Excess solution drains back to the reservoir.

Drip hydroponic system

One of the benefits of a drip hydroponic system is that it’s flexible for growing crops. You can opt to increase or decrease the growing media to retain moisture from the nutrient solution. With drip systems, small and large crops fit well in the mechanism. It’s easier to build larger systems for the drip hydroponic system than any other method.

Here are some basic things you’ll need for the drip system:

– growing tray with drainage at the end;
– growing medium and crops;
– reservoir to hold the nutrient solution;
– electric pump and tubes.

Aeroponics system

Did you know you can use mist or air to grow plants? It turns out that plants also thrive with the proper use of air. In an indoor aeroponics system, plants are housed in foam containers, exposing the roots. There is a misting system to dispense nutrient-filled droplets towards the roots of the plants.

Aeroponics system

Imagine a room with suspended plants without any growing medium, leaving the roots naked. A misting system showers through the walls, and there’s a collection container for excess droplets. Aeroponics systems work well with a broader range of crops and plants all year round.

Managing rooms of suspended plants using the Aeroponics system can sometimes take a lot of work to manage. Nutrient solutions within the misting systems should always be correct to secure the growth of the crops. The Aeroponics system works more efficiently with an environmental controller indoors. What better way to manage location conditions than having a control device to give real-time feedback on plant growth?

Here are some of the basic things you need to apply an aeroponic system as your hydroponic method at home:

– container for suspended plants;
– reservoir for nutrient solution;
– misting system and tubes to distribute the nutrient solution indoors.

Benefits of hydroponics systems

In reality, not all locations have nutrient-rich soil to grow crops. Hydroponics serves as an alternative solution to grow crops and plants. These are some of the most prominent benefits of using a hydroponics system at home.

Better growth rate than soil

As much as the soil is the traditional method of growing plants, it’s not the most efficient way all the time. Hydroponics is a more straightforward method of plant growth. As different methods focus on giving the plant direct access to nutrients and water, the plants grow faster and healthier. As you can control current location conditions, growing plants thrive better with increased oxygen levels, less environmental stress, and more nutrient sources.

No weeds

Competition is typical in soil planting. If you want to grow crops all year round, expect that other plants will compete with your growing crops. In hydroponics, there are no weeds that can ruin and obstruct the growth of your plants.

Less water consumption

The soil requires a lot of water and moisture. As lands run deeper, you’ll need more water levels to reach the deepest root systems of some crops. With hydroponics systems, directly feeding the water to your plants means that you need less water. All you need is a reservoir of nutrient solution that goes straight to the plants.

How to prepare for home hydroponics

If you are a beginner in growing crops, planning your hydroponics system is necessary to grow healthy plants. Here are some steps you can take to plan out your very first hydroponic system at home:

  • Step 1: Choose the crops you will grow

The first step to take is to select the crops you want to grow. While hydroponics is viable for many locations and indoor setups, compatibility is the key to growing the plants. The different methods of hydroponics still require work like traditional soil growing. The only difference is some setups fit some crops well, and others may hinder efficient growing stages.

  • Step 2: Set a budget for the hydroponic system

It takes a bit of budget to set up your hydroponic system. You’ll need to spend on some devices, items, and plants. Remember, you are substituting the typical soil with another setup to grow crops. Depending on your budget, you need to narrow down the hydroponic system you want to use.

  • Step 3: Select the best hydroponic method

It’s time to select the best hydroponic method for your crops. Never forget, you don’t need to limit yourself to one method, as long as you can maintain growing your plants. Set up your hydroponic method and start growing the plants.

Conclusion

It’s not a requirement for plants to grow on soil. Hydroponics is thriving due to innovations and developments in finding ways to grow plants. You don’t need to own a large plot of land to start growing your own crop garden.

The best greenhouse crops for profit, that are suitable for production in automated systems

Growing greenhouse crops for profit is a great way to convert gardening skills into a serious and productive business. However, a hands-on business like growing greenhouse crops is not an easy task.

For one, the process can be daunting and intensive. Growing greenhouse crops requires a full-time commitment. Fortunately, automation is the answer for a lesser time commitment for growing your crop business in this day and age. The term may sound intimidating, but growers should consider producing crops on time and with less labor.

Importance of automated grower system for plants

Automation has achieved greater heights since its inception. Hence, growing greenhouse crops is not an exception. One way automation in gardening works is by using an automated watering system to grow plants without soil. In addition, it can also monitor environmental conditions and adjust them to achieve successful production. Thus, any crops will grow in an automated growing system.

According to NCBI, 3.5% of the world’s area has been cultivated for vegetable production under tunnels and greenhouses using a hydroponic solution. This significant figure has recognized the use of different methods of growing crops and greens available for production.

Different growing methods for greenhouse crops

There are two popular ways to cultivate green cops in an indoor or a greenhouse setting. These are soil and hydroponics. We will discuss each to know your preference when setting up your greenhouse crop business.

Soil

Soil seems the most natural choice since all crops, greens, and trees naturally grow in this medium. It’s low-cost and the most natural recipe for growing nutritious food and beautiful plants. Despite how soil is widely available, there are some setbacks before making a decision. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

– low cost;

– enhances flavor for fruits and vegetables;

– soil adjusts according to the environment;

– natural environment.

Cons:

– plants grow slower and longer;

– pests naturally exist in soil, which can affect the quality of the plants;

– requires maintenance to ensure the soil’s condition is good;

– requires large space requirement;

– small production yield.

Automated hydroponic system

Hydroponics is becoming rampant in indoor, urban, and greenhouse gardening. The reason is, it only requires an aqueous nutrient solution and proper supplement lighting for plants to thrive. Instead of utilizing mineral nutrients needed for growth from the soil, plants absorb the nutrition through a nutrient solution supplied to their roots.

Hydroponic system

Moreover, hydroponics can work from growing small herbs in the kitchen to growing numerous plants for production. The latter is the reason why it is used for greenhouse crops for profit.

While soil requires ample space for plants to grow, hydroponics is the other way around. This system is beneficial for urban residents and greenhouse croppers.

Additionally, many plants grow well hydroponically. Some of the plants that thrive well in a hydroponic system are tomatoes, strawberries, and peppers. However, plants that grow tall such as corn crops like potatoes, and have a vining nature like grapes, do not grow well in this system.

In general, a hydroponic system needs careful attention to lighting, environment and the aqueous solution applied to the roots of the plants. If you’re considering this method, use a fully automated hydroponic system for indoor plant growth.

This automated hydroponic system will allow you to receive real-time feedback and control. Whether temperature, humidity, pH, checking and tracking plant development, this system will allow you to make informed decisions.

There is no better decision for choosing the best growing method for your crops. No matter what method you use for growing crops in a greenhouse, you can use this automated growing system. It will allow you to use growing method preference – whether in soil, hydroponic, indoor, or greenhouse without requiring prior knowledge.

Profitable crops for growing in a greenhouse

Once you have decided on what growing method to use for your greenhouse crop business, you might want to consider our list to generate profits.

Garlic, onions and shallots

Growing pungent bulbs such as garlic, onions, and shallots are an excellent head start during the spring season. They can quickly grow on the greenhouse floor to maximize space for other greens and crops. They can soon grow outside if the weather gets better.

Herbs

Fast-growing herbs are basil, coriander, parsley, and mint. They also generate income since they are widely used as a garnish and added flavors in cuisine worldwide. These herbs can also be dried and sold any time of the year. Furthermore, they’re quick to grow since time means money for the business.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are your typical vegetable homegrown vegetable. Luckily, it sprouts quickly. Tomatoes are used and widely consumed by the world’s population. No doubt it is a profitable crop.

You can use heirloom, a high crop variety of tomato, to maximize profits as it ripes early. Also, add peppers and chilies since they thrive well with tomatoes. These crops, alongside tomatoes, are high in demand and easily preserved.

Тomatoes grown on hydroponics

Mushrooms

Mushrooms typically grow anywhere in the right environmental and humidity conditions. Additionally, they yield high returns per square foot. While they can produce slightly slower quantities than tomatoes and herbs, mushrooms can generate $7 per pound. Some popular gourmet mushrooms that are profitable are oysters and shiitake.

Out of the two variants, oyster grows quicker. They can grow up to 25 pounds per square foot each year. Hence, it can produce $17,500 per season if you cultivate a 10×10 patch of mushrooms.

Bamboo

Unlike other shrubs and trees, a bamboo plant grows incredibly quickly, which can bring in enormous profits for growers. In fact, bamboo can grow over two feet in 24 hours.

Aside from being used in culinary, it is also used as a landscaping plant. Bamboos also grow not just in tropical climates but also in freezing weather. Several bamboo nurseries are reportedly to sell for up to $200 per plant.

Medicinal marijuana

If you’re one to invest upfront for a greenhouse cropping business, medicinal marijuana is a very profitable one for your business, especially in the United States of America. In a 2014 article from Fast Company, it’s even published that it is the world’s most lucrative cash crop. The potential income for this controversial company is highly profitable if you want to earn fast.

Ginseng

Ginseng is a healing herb and tonic, widely used in Asia for thousands of years and in the stateside. It is dubbed as a “green gold.” Thus, this herb is profitable because of its several health benefits.

The potential of this herb is immense since George Washington recognized it and began selling it to aid the Revolutionary war’s financing against the British.

However, ginseng fully matures for up to six years. If that is too costly and time-consuming, selling the rootlets to other growers can also return investment within a reasonable time frame. Growers can make as much as $100,000 on a half-acre from seeds, mature roots, and rootlets.

Microgreens

Microgreens are profitable vegetables. They are fast-growing and can grow on a wide scale. Some microgreens to consider when starting off a greenhouse crop business are sunflower, radish, and pea shoots.

By selling these popular types of microgreens, you can already generate a hundred dollars per month by just starting cultivating 5 or 6 trays in an indoor setting. Likewise, it can only take 2 or 3 weeks to grow from seed to harvest, often selling for $15 per pound.

Similarly to mushrooms, they need to be sold fresh since they quickly lose their quality. However, it’s not entirely a concern since microgreens are high in demand for wholesalers and farmer’s markets alike. This means more demand, more profit, and a lesser lead time for selling.

Saffron

Saffron is known for being a highly profitable crop in the world and the most expensive one. This most costly culinary herb sells for around $2,500 per pound.

The reason why it costs so much? Saffron is made of stigmas – the part of a flower where the pollen germinates. This stigma takes 75,000 flowers to produce a pound of saffron. Another reason is that the harvesting process is ridiculously labor-intensive. It requires picking the flower delicately as it blooms and pulling out about three blossoms per flower.

Hydroponic saffron cultivation

While it may be expensive to grow this greenhouse crop, saffron only takes a small land area to grow, about a quarter acre. It grows best in dry with mild winters and tropical regions such as California. It is also highly possible to plant them in greenhouses using a greenhouse environment controller. In this way, the environment is easily set up where saffron thrives and matures ready for harvest.

Conclusion

There are several considerations when setting up greenhouse crops for profit. The growing method is one thing – whether it’s soil or hydroponics. It would be best to consider suitable crops for a profitable business and the environmental conditions.

Fortunately, the horticulture industry is not left behind by science. Automating the growing of the crops has been more accessible and more convenient. Since plants require minerals, nutrients, and the right environment to thrive, you don’t need intensive labor to maintain these to produce excellent crops.

If you’re keen to create a greenhouse crop business, invest in the best-automating growing system with a greenhouse CO2 controller. This new technology will accurately detect and measure carbon dioxide levels with the use of an infrared sensor.

Setting up your greenhouse crop business requires careful decision-making and research. Our list should help you decide which crops to cultivate for a more profitable business! Also, automation will help you to monitor the production that does not require much manual labor.

Basic types of automated hydroponic systems – choose the best hydroponic system

Growing mini gardens indoors using Automated Hydroponic Systems has been a trend these days. Having a green space in our homes gives us the fragrance of comfort and relaxation that we need to cope and thrive in facing this worldwide pandemic, or the COVID-19 outbreak. Hydroponics has been a helpful strategy to prevent the taxing and highly maintenance required by most plants.

Continue reading “Basic types of automated hydroponic systems – choose the best hydroponic system”

How to control the temperature in the greenhouse – ways to create an optimal microclimate for plants

Temperature influences the growth of greenhouse crops. The plant has three important temperature points (cardinal) — minimum, optimal, and maximum for the best growth.

Each plant species has an optimum temperature range. Also, the same plant has different optimum temperatures for vegetative growth and flower development.

What is the best temperature for greenhouse crops

Most crops grow better if the day is warmer than the night, given satisfactory humidity and airflow. However, if the night is too warm or too cold, it damage crops than the day temperature. Therefore, the day and night temperatures difference (DIF) is essential for horticultural ornamental and greenhouse crops for growth habit and flowering time.

If the temperature is below the minimum level, growth slows, flowering is delayed, and the color of leaves and flowers intensifies.

Seed germination, growth and development, and photosynthesis are greatly affected by temperature — above the maximum level and cause premature smaller flowers, smaller leaves, reduced stem diameters, and diminished coloring.

Typically, the optimum air is 60-70°F, and for plants, the optimum is 50-75 °F. Heating the bottom of the benches that support the plants increases the rate of germination. Each crop varies in its heat requirements for germination.

The growth rate increases until 95 °F are reached. When the maximum temperature exceeds 95 °F, the growth rate drops quickly and stops completely because enzymes are deactivated.

Many plants rely on temperature sensing to control flowering time as well. For example, winter annuals germinate in the summer, overwinter, and flower in the spring. These types of plants typically require a cold treatment (of varying lengths and intensity) before flowering.

Here are some examples. However, the greenhouse owner can maximize the operation by identifying the correct temperature for each crop.

Sources:

– State extension vegetable & small fruit crops specialist, West Virginia University.

– Vegetable crops production guide for the Atlantic provinces.

– Growing cannabis indoors: getting started.

Are temperature and humidity exclusive

No, they are not. Every time you adjust the temperature, you’re going to affect the humidity and vice versa.

Monitoring and managing both are crucial for managing pests and disease.

It is not just the air; plant temperature is also essential for higher yield. Plants affect how slow or fast a crop can grow. At optimum, the plant can get rid of its moisture.

Consistency throughout the Greenhouse is important to be managed equally. Otherwise, little pockets of high humid, hot air in certain parts of the greenhouse create microclimates.

How can growers maintain the temperature and humidity in their greenhouse

Heating devices will maintain the temperature within that range during periods of cold weather. However, do not undersize your heating capacity. You may not need all your heaters much of the year, but if you undersize your system, you may lose your entire crop during the coldest nights of winter.

The basic heating system

It consists of a fuel burner, heat exchanger, distribution system, and controls. Heat delivery to the crop is by convection and radiation.

– Heating by hot water or steam. Hot water or steam can be produced using boilers—then hot water or steam transported throughout the greenhouse in pipes.
– Heating by hot air. The most popular fans used in Greenhouses are the HAF (Horizontal Airflow Fans). Fuel is burned to heat air that is then distributed by fans around the greenhouse.
– Moveable night-time insulation. Cloth or film curtains can be positioned above the crop or near the roof to retain heat near the crop. The insulating material used during the night can be the same material used for shading during the day.

High temperatures can be detrimental to plant growth. It can cause such problems as thin, weak stems or, as in tomatoes, stick trusses, reduced flower size or, as in tomatoes, flower fusion and boat formation, delayed flowering, poor pollination, and fruit set. Also, flower bud and fruit abortion. Therefore, having a cooling system is also essential.

Passive cooling systems

– Shading. Shade cloth or shade paint/whitewash, besides regulating the light intensity, can also help cool the greenhouse.
– Ridge Vents. Vents in the roof of a greenhouse that allows hot, interior air to escape.
– Roll-up Side Walls. This can be used in flexible glazing (polyethylene film) single-bay greenhouses where the side walls can be rolled up several feet, allowing a natural horizontal flow of air over the plants.
– Cooling Towers. Water-cooled pads at the top part of tall towers cool the surrounding air. The cooled air then drops, displacing warmer air below.
– Removable Roof. Recent greenhouse designs can include a roof that retracts entirely for natural ventilation.

Active cooling systems

– Fan and Pad. “Evaporative cooling” where air from the outside is pulled through porous, wet pads. The heat from the incoming air evaporates water from the pads, thereby cooling the air—this helps increase the relative humidity in the greenhouse.
– Fogging Systems. This system gives better uniformity since the fog is distributed throughout the greenhouse and not just near one end, as with the fan and pad system.
– Air Conditioning. Too expensive for most greenhouses.

Future optimal microclimate Greenhouses — Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)

CEA can range from simple shade structures, growth chambers through greenhouses to full indoor or vertical farms. Using advanced technology and data, light, temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide (CO2) around the leaves can be monitored for the plants to thrive. To deliver sustainable solutions for high-value crops.

Within a crop production environment, plants can be grown using different methods. By far, the most popular method is hydroponics. An automated hydroponics system can measure water conditions: pH, electrical conductivity, temperature, level, and flow.

Indoor farming, Vertical farming, Greenhouse, Protected cropping, and Automated Plant growing system are different growing environments for CEA. Control systems can be very simple or very complex.

An automated plant growing system is a computer-controlled system that manages the environment in which plants are grown. This is done to find a solution to some of the challenges growers face, such as reducing labor needs and improving efficiency.

Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants by using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. To make sure plants grow optimally with sufficient CO2 concentration, a hydroponic CO2 controller is an ideal solution.

Hydroflow CO2 Controller is a CO2 controller for grow rooms. It regulates the CO2 level automatically and precisely.

CO₂ controller for grow room and greenhouse
CO₂ controller for grow room and greenhouse

The Best An automated hydroponic system is a closed-loop system that provides all the nutrients required for plant growth. It uses recirculating water, air pumps, and misting nozzles to provide an optimal environment for plant growth.

The Grow Room Climate Controller is an excellent way to control the climate in your grow room. The Greenhouse Environment Controller is also an excellent choice for your greenhouse environment.

Fully automated plant growth systems are the most advanced CEA environment. It continues to grow your plants for months without any further maintenance, completely self-regulating water, nutrient concentration, pH level, light. The system will also give feedback on CO2 level, humidity, and temperature with grow room climate controllers and the Internet of Things (IoT) network. This helps farmers to grow plants and vegetables in remote areas, deserts and save labor.

How to make your own hydroponic system – recommendations for beginners and professionals

Have you ever wonder if you could grow crops over winter or in a site with very limited horizontal space? Or even to areas with no arable land? Hydroponics can make all of these possible. Good news is: you can even create a hydroponic system yourself.

Hydroponics as a non-conventional method for crop production

Hydroponics is an increasingly popular method of growing plants in a liquid nutrient solution with or without using an artificial media (soilless cultivation). This system of production was seen to be viable in different vegetable crops, also works for several ornamental crops. You can create this system if you add some effort. And this be done correctly if you are following a proper guide.

This method of crop production was first created during WWII, to produce fresh food for the troops. The U.S. Army had used hydroponic culture and by 1950s, it was adopted by commercial farms in different continents including America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Nowadays, commercial farms and even small-scale growers can use this system of food production. It is commonly being established by commercial installer of hydroponics but there is also a growing demand for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) hydroponics.

Hydroponic system

Advantages and disadvantages of hydroponic culture

Advantages

– Year-round growing season. Hydroponic culture makes it possible for the regions with cold climate and extremely low winter temperature to grow crops all year-round since the system is enclosed with controlled environmental conditions particularly the temperature, nutrient and light. In building your own hydroponics, you can purchase an environment controller to have.
– Higher plant density. Hydroponically-grown crops can be sustained in higher density as compared to that of the conventional growing method in soil which has to consider limited population to prevent competition of roots for needed resources. For growers who creates their own hydroponic system, they can design the population of their crops and well as how to expand it.
– Plants can grow anywhere. It is also an advantage to create your own hydroponic culture which can be easily incorporated in buildings and houses.
– Efficient water consumption. Having your own hydroponic system can help you save more water. Crops can immediately reach and utilize water with lesser loss resulting to evaporation as compared to that of in-ground application. This constitutes to around 80-90% savings in water consumption of the plants. Furthermore, nutrient solution can also be recycled in this system until it becomes unusable and has to be disposed.

Disadvantages

– High cost to set up. In creatingyour own hydroponics, be prepared as it is generally expensive as compared to the traditional garden. Depending on the type and size of the system to be used, the cost varies.
– High dependence on electricity. To create hydroponic system, it will be highly dependent on the electricity, power outages will definitely have a huge impact in the entire system. If prolonged, it can be detrimental to the plants.
– High maintenance requirement on creating hydroponic system. As for the maintenance and monitoring of your own hydroponics, it is expected to require a lot of technical expertise. Management of the nutrient solution is also very detailed considering the need for regular flushing and replacement on top of cleaning the system parts to avoid clogging.

Different Growing Systems

In creating your hydroponics, it is important to have knowledge on the different growing systems. It encompasses the method on how nutrient solution is applied. Is it through liquid or aggregate? Open or closed? And Passive or Active?

– Wick System. This uses simple passive system where nutrient solution is drawn up to plant roots though a wick in the growing media. It is ideally used for smaller scale production.
– Deep Water Culture. This system uses simple active system where plant roots stay submerged in the nutrient solution and where plants are suspended in a platform. The oxygen for root consumption is being supplied by the air pump or air stone.
– Ebb & Flow (Flood & Drain) System. This system uses a submerged pump to have temporary flood with nutrient solution for grow tray which later on will be drained back into reservoir.
– Drip System. The peculiar element of this system is the drip lines that supplies the nutrient solution to the base of each plant. The time controls the submersed pump and the nutrient reservoir is separated. It adopts an active system of nutrient application.
– Nutrient-Film Technique (NFT) System. This system is being largely used for commercial production specially for short harvest crops. This utilizes active system with no timer required.
– Aeroponics System. It uses active system of nutrient application and is considered to be the most technologically-advanced among the different systems. In this method, the plants are suspended with roots hanging below. The mist only provides less nutrients as compared to the other system, advance timer is require to ensure the higher frequency of misting.

Nutrient solution for hydroponics

To create your hydroponics, it is also important to have a knowledge on the nutrient solution for your crops. The sole source of nutrients to the plants which can either be in concentrated form or soluble forms that comes available in different mixes.

Different Types of Nutrients needed by Hydroponically-Grown Crops

– This includes Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.
– Secondary Nutrients. This includes Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca) and Sulfur (S).
– These are essential nutrients needed by crops in smaller quantities including Zn, Fe, Cu, B, Mo, Mn, Cl and Ni.

Nutrient solution for hydroponics

Factors to consider in managing the nutrient solution

– Water quality. It must be ensured that the quality of the water is high. For hydroponics, it is safe to use tap and well water with less than 140 PPM while water with more than 300 PPM of dissolved solids should be filtered with reverse-osmosis filter.
– Most plants grown in hydroponics required a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5 since most nutrients are available on this level. pH however fluctuates from time to time hence, close monitoring should be done at least daily. Should the pH needs to be adjusted, solutions such as pH UP or pH Down that is commercially available in the market can be added to the solution.
– Electrical Conductivity (EC). The ability of the solution to conduct an electrical current indicates the nutrient concentrations. Generally, nutrient solutions should have an EC value of 500 to 2000 PPM wherein plants grow best within 800 to 1200 PPM.
– Dissolved Oxygen. The amount of oxygen content in the water is an important property to consider in hydroponics since plants also breath air through their roots.

Make your Own Substrates for Hydroponics

Generally among vegetable crops, media such as peatmoss rockwool, perlite, vermiculite, sawdust, bark, sand among others are commonly used.

– This material had already established its used in the production especially in greenhouse growing.
– Organic Substrates. It was found that incorporation of maize stem, which is a worldwide available organic material, in the medium can induce earlier fruiting in soilless production.

Commercially Available Technologies To Help in Making Your Own Hydroponics System

Fully Automated Growing System  for Crop Production by Grow Director

Building your  build hydroponic system requires a lot of details but, managing it calls for more technical know-how. Nowadays, commercially available controller for the greenhouse systems are useful in managing the components of the production site up to the smallest detail. Grow controller of GrowDirector makes it possible to have a smart automated process of controlling the needs of your automated growing system.

It is reliable and easy to use environmental controller can be all use for an indoor, greenhouse, soil or hydroponic system. It makes contolling easy as well by having direct access, monitoring and control of growing parameters using the grow room controller’s touch screen, web, or smartphone application. In making your hydroponic system, make sure to have this technology available.

Remote Controlled System

The entire system once connected with GrowDirector to the internet, it can be monitored or remotely control without the need to download a software. This can be done by two ways, either thru an application or through your browser.

Build your own hydroponic system

– – Notification. Upon connecting the GrowDirector to the internet, it can send you any kind of notification through an email or the like should any issues arise.
– Preventive maintenance. GrowDirector notifies the grower should an issue arise  and before the damage becomes irreversible. When an anomaly is detected, the monitoring system process knows and it sends a notification alert to the user in real-time.
– Lights. For the lights,  4 universal outlets (socket box, up to 2 boxes can be connected total of 8 outlets) are availble which supports up to 1,200W for US and Canada and up to 2,300W for the EU for the total outlets.

GrowDirector The Automated Home Growing Controller
GrowDirector The Automated Home Growing Controller

CO2 Controller for Grow Room and Greenhouse

An innovative technology in growth automation is the new CO2 controller for grow room. It is ready to be used as soon as it is unboxed. Just plug-in the lego-like plugins and watch how your plants grow at its finest.

Highly Sophisticated CO2 Sensor

In making your own hydroponics, this highly innovative tehnology helps in accurately detecting and measuring the levels of CO2 in the grow room through the use of advanced features such as an infrared source, an infrared detector and an interference filter. The sensor is ideally used for greenhouse CO2 controllers and hydroponic CO2 controllers to detect and measure.

Carbon dioxide levels

Too low or too high concentration levels of Carbon dioxide can result in adverse effects on plant’s growth, which is why GrowDirector is perfect as a CO2 meter for grow room. Notification will be sent right away by this sophisticated device if there is a problem with the conditions around your plant.

Kit Inclusion

The kit comes with 10 built-in relays which once connected, you can control numerous devices and other equipment. The relay of each device controls the external relay and this, in turn, supplies electricity to the equipment.

The Basics of GrowDirector 2.0

The easy to use controller CO2 allows you to handle your entire plant environment directly from your mobile application or desktop. 8 different sensors can be used to manage the system which allow you to make decisions from anywhere at any time.

Automated Hydroponic System- Superior Kit

For a more sophisticated hydoponic system, GrowDirector offeres this Hydroponic Superior Kit and GrowDirector software which makes a fully automated hydroponic system for indoor plant growth that gives you real-time feedback and control over your plants.

This encompasses management of temperature, humidity, pH, EC and more, or check on progress, track plant development and make informed decisions, the hydroponic environmental control system gives you all necessary updates. By responding to real-time sensor readings, you can easily take full control of your plants and hydroponic needs using the mobile application.

Environmental Controller for Greenhouse and Grow Room-Base Kit

If the plant growers would be staying far from his greenhouse during a certain period, the greenhouse environmental controller (Base Kit) with the GrowDirector software is a grow room climate controller can be the solution as it is designed to give plant growers complete control over their plants from a distance.

Real-time monitoring of your plants and managing your plants when your away can be done through automatation of your plant-care routine and make adjustments to factors like light, temperature and humidity. When you are out, greenhouse controller provides you with important details and allows you to make quick and important decisions to impact the overall health of your plants.

The Environmentally-friendly Base Kit

The GDA software, working alongside our Environmental Base Kit work, makes it possible to experiencethe best control of the system from the distance. With environmental controller, humidity and temperature in greenhouse can be controlled anytime from any distance with the specially adapted application. This allows gives the grower an opportunity to see the plants flourish.

All of these innovations can offer a lot of convenience in creating and maintaining your own greenhouse.

How to do hydroponic farming at home: a beginners guide

Hydroponics presents a method of soilless agricultural production in system where the plants have a constant nutrient supply. In the recent years, these methods became quite popular in among different groups of people, whether they are just amateurs that want to produce fresh food in their homes or agricultural professional that want to utilize this method to set up a large-scale food production in environments that are usually not suitable for growing food.

Continue reading “How to do hydroponic farming at home: a beginners guide”

GROWING INDOOR CANNABIS

The cannabis indoor grow room is where everything happens. The germination, early growth, vegetative and flowering phases of your beloved cannabis plants will all take place here. Any problems you encounter and solutions you discover will happen here. Whether your harvest will be a success or a failure will largely depend on how you build your grow space.

 

The grow rooms.

Before you take the first steps towards growing and cultivating your own marijuana, make sure you have a plan or know what you are doing.
You will want space and requirements necessary for indoor cannabis plants to grow – lighting, ventilation, nutrients, water, etc.
Remember that grow room climate controller is a bigger investment. That includes work! You will definitely want to follow the “measure twice, cut once” guideline.
The size of your grow room depends heavily on how much marijuana you want and how much space you have available. It also depends on the type of cannabis you want to cultivate.
If you do not want to set up a grow room (extension room), you can set up automated grow box sets instead.
The average consumption of many medical cannabis patients is between 1 and 2 grams per day. This means that for personal use, you need to get around 30 or 60 grams per month.

Grow Tent
Tent for growing

Place of the grow room – cultivation room

The location of your grow room is important for several reasons. First of all, because you want some discretion and privacy in your growing operations. You also want to make sure that you are in control of the place.
There is no point in trying to grow your home unless the environmental controller is assured.
Below we will list some helpful tips regarding the location and planning before we dive into a few hypothetical possibilities.

 

Construction of your indoor cultivation room

Cover all of the walls in the grow room with something that reflects light, such as white plastic wrap or paint. However, the best material for this is tight-fitting mylar.
Secure your grow lamps (plant light. To do this, connect them to the ceiling with a hook, ring, or roller. Make sure that the electrical parts are securely connected and protected from damage.
Next, install the devices for air circulation and extraction (fan & ventilation system). This could be an exhaust fan, an intake fan, or a fan exhaust.
Avoid too long windpipes that have curves; they negatively affect the performance of ventilation. Try to keep the tubes as short and straight as possible so that your air flows as efficiently as possible.
You also need to set up the controller automation, the substrate (the medium the plants will grow on), and decide whether you want to grow on soil or hydroponics. Automated hydroponics is much less susceptible to bacteria than soil, which makes them a better choice in some cases.
However, the soil is easier to regulate in terms of pH and Ec, making it a better choice for beginners.