Backyard Greenhouses what are they?
As much chic as it sounds, having a backyard greenhouse not only sustains your food supply but also boosts your confidence in being a self-dependent grower. Building a backyard greenhouse with adopting hydroponics or aquaponics technology can give you the much-needed flexibility in terms of space and infrastructure. It is a well-established fact that hydroponics involves growing plants in a water-based environment supplemented with the necessary nutrients for the plants to grow. It eliminates the need for a soil-based system, thereby converting your backyard or open space into a constant environment set up for growing your favourite food throughout the year.
How to begin?
If you are new to the hydroponic culture, we are here to help. With minimal space and supplies, you can start your hydroponics mini greenhouse at your home. To set up a DIY greenhouse, you can adopt Deep Water Culture (DWC) technology. It is the easiest setup and is suitable for beginners. By simply filling a tank with nutrient solution and pumping air through an air stone placed at the bottom, you can grow your plants by placing the saplings on a Styrofoam sheet floating on a nutrient solution with roots immersed into the DWC reservoir. This set up will ensure high productivity with minimum infrastructure requirements. Simply use the waste pots or trays in your garage or backyard as a reservoir to start your first hydroponic system. It is advisable to begin with small seedlings or newly germinated plants with tiny roots for better results. This method is called cloning. We sell cloners for making it easier to grow seedlings for hydroponics. Gradually, you can also move towards adopting other hydroponic systems such as Ebb and Flow, Drip, Aeroponics, and NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) to advance and diversify your growing mechanism.
Play with light and temperature in your greenhouse
Light and temperature are the primary components that govern the growth and reproductive success of plants. The beauty of hydroponics is the ability to use your light and temperature settings to grow the plants of your choice. Led growlights can be installed above the reservoirs to provide a customised light regime to the plants with suitable frequencies. Various type of lights that can be used in a hydroponic system can be found on our webpage. For example, coriander plant requires cool white led lights and to keep the plant propagating, it is suggested to keep the lights on for a long duration of time or constantly. Different plants require different light regimes, and it is possible to control the vegetative and reproductive stages by just controlling the light a plant gets. Plants can be categorised as:
Short-day plants- They require short photoperiod (8-10 hours light) for attaining optimum output. For example, strawberries and cauliflower require short days, hence LED light settings should be adjusted to a short illumination cycle.
Long-day plants- - They require long photoperiod (14-18 hours light) for producing grain or fruit. Wheat, potatoes, lettuce are some long-day plants.
Day-neutral plants- They are flexible with their light cycle and produce flowers/fruits without depending on photoperiod. Roses, tomato, corn and cucumbers are some day-neutral plants.
Similarly, the controlled temperature in your greenhouse enables growing multiple plants without waiting for a suitable season to arrive. Ideal temperature range is 18 to 25ºC and by growing your plants in controlled environments, it is possible to save your produce from the harsh effects of heat in summers or frost in winters, thereby maximising output. We supply various ducting systems, temperature sensors, humidity detectors, CO2 sensors, dehumidifiers for customising your greenhouse environment. Details can be found on our webpage.
Long term benefits of backyard greenhouse
Setting up a greenhouse will take skills, time, and patience, but it is worthwhile to note the following long-term benefits:
- Always have your vegetables available without depending on nature for turning seasons
- Flexibility in terms of how to grow if the soil is not fertile
- Long term cost benefits by obtaining 3 to 10 times more yield in a small space
- Efficient use of water
- No pest control required
- Free from chemical pesticides and weedicides
So how about grabbing that old bucket and building your first hydroponic system for growing the plants you like!