Carbon dioxide is crucial to a plant’s health. Since plants grow naturally outside, it can be challenging to grow them indoors. Whether you’re up for urban gardening, hydroponics, or any indoor gardening, choosing the best CO2 controller for grow room is essential.
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 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:
– low cost;
– enhances flavor for fruits and vegetables;
– soil adjusts according to the environment;
– natural environment.
– 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
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.
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.
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.