EasyGrow Blog

Thanks for stopping by the EasyGrow blog. We try to accomplish 3 things here.

  1. Share our successes and failures in our aquaponics greenhouse.
  2. Provide detailed product reviews and videos.
  3. Research and write informative posts about topics you care about.
aquaponics greenhouse

inside our test greenhouse

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Portable Greenhouses

easy to move and takedown greenhouse

easy to move and takedown greenhouse

It seems like there is a little bit of confusion when it comes to what exactly is a portable greenhouse. I see quite a few greenhouses advertise as portable greenhouses, and I guess technically they are if you consider picking it up and now putting in a trailer and moving it with 4 to 8 people is truly portable.

For example, I moved a 6×8 wooden greenhouse from one home to another, so technically it was portable – but it took a very large bribe of pizza and sodas and all of my kid’s high school friends and any of our staff that I could coerce to pick that sucker up and lifted up over a fence, tie it down on a trailer and haul it down the road and do the reverse of that once we got there.

So for this discussion I don’t think we’ll consider the fact that you can move greenhouse makes it truly portable. When I think of portable, I think of something that you can pick up by yourself, carry it out to where you want to build it and easily do so. It should also be easy to take down and store whenever you don’t need it.

Now that cuts down the amount of truly portable greenhouses by a very large factor. In fact out of all of the greenhouses that we carry I believe that the flower house portable greenhouse line is our only true portable greenhouse.

The bigger question might be, why use a portable greenhouse. Portable greenhouses are usually not well insulated, if you think about it is pretty easy to see why since they have to be folded up and put away when you’re not using them.

This limits when we can use the greenhouse; basically we can use it for early starts or keeping the frost off a late crop. Most portable greenhouses are 4 to 8 foot wide and 6 to 8 foot long so you’d need a fairly small area that you want to set up a portable greenhouse. If you had a small flower bed you can set the greenhouse up the spring for an early start.

Just think about how warm it gets in your vehicle when the sun is shining and you can see how it will warm up a bit during the day but of course once the sun goes down it only function will be keeping the frost off of your plants. Of course that alone can make all the difference in the world to your plants.

Come summertime these greenhouses could still be used since some even have ventilation, the flower house does. But for the shading and ventilation that you would need to truly use the greenhouse in the summer you may find a portable greenhouse is not the right choice if that’s what you require.

The same goes for winter. A portable greenhouse is basically going to be worthless in the winter. It’s lack of insulation and structural stability means it won’t give your plants much protection and may not survive the winter. Most of our customers find using its truly portable capabilities and just packing it away for the winter is the best choice.

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Heating soil in your greenhouse

 

Warming the soil in your greenhouse has some serious advantages. The warmth will hasten the rooting of cuttings and speed up the germination process. The most convenient way to do this is by electricity. Alternatives are to use a low-voltage current that goes through bare wires or a full mains voltage that can be passed through soil warming cables. Either wire or cable should be buried at least 4-6 inches in the soil.

Before laying the wires, you first need to dig the soil to the required depth and put down a layer of sand at the bottom and rake level. Next, lay the wire in the required length in lines parallel from each other and as equi-distant from each other as possible. Bent, galvanized wire can be useful in holding the wire in place.

Low voltage wire doesn’t require any special precautions to protect the wire but mains cable can be hazardous if accidentally sliced by a shovel or other gardening tools. Lay down a netting of galvanized wire to avoid this problem. Add additional sand on top and then replace the soil. Be sure to plug the cable into a waterproof outlet. Ideally, the outlet will be above the soil and far enough away so as to avoid accidental splashing.

Warming cables with built in thermostats are available for your convenience. This way, the thermostats will turn off the current when the soil temperature rises above a certain point. This of course is convenient and economical but not essential because the cables will never get too high. The highest they will generally go is 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

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What You Should Be Looking For In Your Greenhouse Kit

inside an essence greenhouse kit

inside an essence greenhouse kit

Many people love getting greenhouse kits for their backyard to help grow plants, flowers, and vegetables during the colder months of the year.  It’s to your advantage to get a kit for your greenhouse since you are able to easily put it together in your yard and don’t have to create the design and come up with all the materials on your own.  Whenever you buy greenhouse kits, there are a few things that you should be looking for.

Start off by finding a greenhouse that has insulation that is sufficient for your climate.  Some areas are not that cold and only need mild help from the cool temperatures.  Other areas need thicker plastics and glass to help keep out the cooler air.  Make sure you understand what growing zone you are in and what type of insulation will work best for you.

Be sure that the plastics will let in the type of light that your plants are going to need.  Various types of plastic might block out or filter a certain spectrum of light that your plant might really need.  Research this a bit before making your final decision so you can be sure your plants get the right type of lighting.

The size of greenhouse kits will have to be accounted for whenever you get getting one for your yard.  There might not be much space and your greenhouse will need to fit into the area that you have for it.

Determine how much work you really want to put together into your kit.  Some kits come with everything you need and are mostly put together while others require a bit more work.  It’s important that you read reviews and notice what kind of time you might have to put into the project.

Look into what materials are used to support the structure of the greenhouse.  Many use wood since it’s a cheap material that will last for a number of years.  The issue with wood is that it might rot in rainy climates and are prone to pest problems.  Steel is a strong material that will stand up to most weather conditions although it will need to be treated for rusting problems.  Aluminum is also a common structure that you can have in your kit.  It’s very light and easy to work with.  It will hold up pretty well although might not be suitable for very windy climates.

Also take a look at the customer reviews for the greenhouse kits that you might want to get.  This can help you get an idea if it’s a good product that you will be comfortable with using.

All in all, keeping these points in mind should help you get the right kit for your yard so that you can grow your plants and flowers all through the year.

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How to build a greenhouse hydroponic system

no soil gardening

no soil gardening

Hydroponic greenhouse systems allow you to actually double or even triple the quantity you could harvest using the same land plot through regular planting system. Constructing a small hydroponic greenhouse does not need massive spending because you have the possibility to use recycled materials or cheap building materials for it. However, if you don’t have the necessary abilities to build a hydroponic greenhouse, then you can get a hydroponic greenhouse kit as another great option.

What is the best hydroponics system for a greenhouse

Just to let you have a sense of the most common types of hydroponic systems you can choose from Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) System, The Drip System, Water Culture System, Ebb and Flow System.

While there are a number of methods that are ideal for amateurs and can be installed in a domestic greenhouse. The most popular  is probably the Flood and Drain method but the Thin Nutrient Film technique is getting more and more popularity. Nonetheless, both are ideally suited to the greenhouse.

Another alternative method is Deep Water Hydroponics. This system is less suitable for a greenhouse hydroponics system. But it may have beneficial applications when utilizes in conjunction with fish ponds. The waste excreted by the all the fish acts a source of nutrients for the greenhouse plants. This kind of hydroponics or aquaculture is probably a little too specialized for a lot of hobbyists but very well worth keeping in mind.

For the majority of greenhouses a Flood and Drain system or a Thin Nutrient Film method will work well and they are not hard to make. The necessary materials are available from greenhouse retailers most of whom have online stores. They will be happy to advise a newbie about the best equipment for their greenhouse.

Many of the necessary supplies that you will need can also be sourced from your local hardware store. Plastic pipes, water tanks and square section rainwater guttering,  are remarkably easy to find. A large variety of greenhouse hydroponic systems can be constructed by an amateur with only these supplies.

Most crops grown hydroponically are planted in greenhouses under carefully monitored conditions. Gravel is typically used as a main medium for root support, and a well balanced mixture of all the essential nutrients is periodically fed to the crops in a liquid form. In large commercial greenhouses, hydroponics has been refined to such an extent that almost all the operations are done by automation processes. Delicate sensors in the gravel detect when the plants require more solution and automatically turn on pumps which insert the correct dosage.

It is extremely vital to have an idea what you need at the very beginning. For example, a person who spends $50  a straightforward hydroponic installation may later find out that  3 times a day, every day, he must be available to put nutrients in the gravel aggregate. When you start designing your very first greenhouse hydroponic system, the following things are some of the main considerations:

– How many plants will want you grow?

– Where do you want to plant your crops, outdoor or indoor?

– How big a greenhouse hydroponic unit you need?

– How much available space do you have?

– What are the kinds of plants do you want to plant?

– How much money you can manage to spend?

How to approach the greenhouse hydroponics build

When you have finally decided on your greenhouse hydroponic system, you can manage your buying process in one of two ways:

– First, if you enjoy working on your own, building things, get terrific satisfaction from what you do, then you can construct your own unit by following the steps in many online guides, and just limit your purchases to the things you cannot build yourself or otherwise adapt from supplies at hand such like a pump.

– Secondly, if you would rather focus on the actual growing of hydroponic plants in a greenhouse using a system that is already proven, then you can purchase an entire hydroponic unit with an attached container, the aggregate and for automation, a specialized pumping device. A lot of kits also include the initial supply of nutrients.

An excellent basic guide should be able to provide a tools list, parts list and step-by-step instructions, and tips to ensure that you are able to put together a solid hydroponic system. Actuallt, nowadays, there are also guides on the Internet coming with online videos to better exemplify the building process.

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Why Using Greenhouses To Grow More Plants In Your Yard Is A Great Idea

victorian greenhouse

victorian greenhouse

Greenhouses are something that you might consider using in your own yard.  They are fairly inexpensive and easy to get set up.  Once you have greenhouses to use, you will get all the advantages that these can offer you in regards to growing and caring for your plants.

Greenhouses will help you extend the growing season making is much longer.  You can start growing your plants before the last frost as the plants will be protected inside the greenhouse in a stable temperature.  Also as the summer season turns to fall, you can continue growing for a few extra months.

These will also help you keep your plants safe from unpredictable weather conditions.  This year the weather conditions have been strange.  Some areas are much too hot while others are too dry.  Some parts of the country have had windy conditions that have ruined plants.  Greenhouses will protect everything regardless of the weather.

They also let you grow plants that are not designed for your growing zone.  The greenhouse can be kept at certain temperatures and humidity that will allow you to grow things that may be meant to grow much further north or south of where you actually live.  This allows you to grow some of your favorite flowers and edibles that might not be designed to grow where you live.

Some people have frequent problems with animal pests such as rabbits and deer or even insect pests.  A greenhouse helps protect your plants from these much better as there is a physical barrier from these to keep things safe.

You can also grow fickle plants inside your greenhouse.  Since you have control over the humidity, temperatures, water, and lighting to some extent, you can grow plants that are very particular.  This can be good for those who are growing for profit as those types of plants tend to sell for higher amounts.

As you can see, using greenhouses in your yard can help you be a much better gardener growing more varieties of plants for much longer.  Consider using a greenhouse in your yard this year so that you can take advantage of all these benefits.

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