Hydroponics in Greenhouses

floating raft aquaponics

floating raft aquaponics

Hydroponics literally comes from words meaning “water” and “toil”.  What it means now is growing plants without soil.  The plant roots sit in water, which is full of nutrients.  Plants don’t actually need the soil itself, but the nutrients which get absorbed with the water.

In some ways, hydroponics is simpler than traditional soil growing methods.  The soil is no longer needed, which obviously makes it much cleaner and tidier than soil growing.  Water losses are minimized, as it stays in the system, except what’s lost through evaporation.

Other advantages of using hydroponics in a greenhouse is tight control of nutrient levels, which can ensure ideal growing conditions as well as reducing costs.  The nutrients never leave the system either, which eliminates nutrient pollution concerns.  Plants grown in these tightly controlled environments will grow to higher potential, and with greater consistency.  Pests are much easier to control, since they cannot hide in the soil.

If you’re growing food in your greenhouse, the substantially higher crop yields are a definitive bonus to growing with hydroponics.

Disadvantages of hydroponics are additional complexity of watering systems, and the critical nature of the overall system.  If the water delivery or containment has a problem, the plants can die quite rapidly.  It may also require separate containers for different plant types which could otherwise coexist in a soil environment.

Hydroponic techniques.

There are two general categories of hydroponics, solution culture and medium culture.  Solution culture uses no solids for the roots, whereas medium culture will use a solid medium for the roots such as sand or gravel.

Static solution:

Static solution culture is the simplest method of hydroponic growth.  The plants are grown in containers of unmoving, non-aerated nutrient solution.  The plants are kept slightly above the nutrient solution, so that some portion of the roots is exposed to air.  This is necessary for oxygenation.

Continuous flow:

Continuous flow solution cultures, as the name suggest, involves a continuously flowing solution through the root systems of the plants.  Continuous flow systems can be quite complex, although it is easier to create a fully automated system using continuous flow.


An aeroponics system will spray or the roots of the plants with atomized nutrient solution, either continuously or periodically – often enough to maintain saturation of the solution drops on the roots.  This is obviously even more complex than continuous flow systems, and is probably beyond the scope of what most people would install in their own greenhouse.

Gravel medium:

Gravel medium hydroponics can use the same gravel as in aquariums, or any other kind, as long as it is washed.  This method requires a continuous flow system, or the plant roots may dry out.

There are many other variations of medium and solution culture hydroponics, but these are the most likely to be examined for use in a personal greenhouse.

If you’re interested in getting started with hydroponics, the basic static solution culture method is easy to try.  You can use all manner of readily available household containers, from used food containers to mason jars.  Just make sure they’re washed.  Determine the type of solution nutrients needed for the type of plants, and ensure it is kept at an adequate level for the plant not to dry or starve.

Posted in Greenhouses Tagged with: ,

Choosing the best backyard greenhouse for your home

All of us are aware of greenhouses and how beautifully it lends value and sophistication to your home and property.  The right type of greenhouses helps to produce different kinds of fruits and vegetables under specific and controlled climatic conditions and environment.  Greenhouses provide and nurture plants and vegetation and provide the right kind of water, sunlight and irrigation facilities to the plants.  Generally, people with green thumbs or gardeners would want to try out hobby greenhouses.

backyard greenhouse

backyard greenhouses

First and foremost, it is imperative that you identify the right hobby greenhouses and this can be quite a challenging proposition.  There are a number of greenhouse plans that are available in the market and you need to buy something that is simple to use and operate.  Laymen would find sophisticated plans difficult to use and implement and there is no point wasting money, if you are not able to follow instructions correctly.  Understanding how to go about with hobby greenhouses is required before you actually get it done.   You need to know what exactly you require to purchase your own greenhouse.

Tips for identifying the right hobby greenhouses kits
If the hobby greenhouses kits have a lot of specialized tools, then you first and foremost need to understand well, the use of these tools.  Secondly, choose kits that are easy to build, provided the instructions are laid down easily and in a simple manner.  If the building plan is very sophisticated and you are not able to understand it, it makes no sense absolutely.  Also, you need to have multiple copies of your greenhouses plans so that you have a spare copy if at all one set gets messy or dirty.

Hobby greenhouses also provide you that confidence of having built it all by yourself and it is a matter of pride that you have made it all by yourself. Check out for hobby greenhouses plans that provide complete details about the greenhouse system.  You need to follow the instructions as regards maintaining the plants, herbs and so on.  Try and know how to keep the grass in good shape without letting it get affected by mold and so on. These simple and easy to follow tips would surely help in identifying the right hobby greenhouse plans.

Posted in Greenhouses Tagged with:

Cold frames for gardening

cold frame greenhouse

cold frame greenhouse

There are a lot of gardeners who just can’t wait to start in the springtime, but they want to start their gardens a little bit early. This is why you will use a cold frame. You will find that you can have fresh produce all summer long and well into the fall months. You will want to make sure that you take this opportunity to use a cold frame to help you with things like fresh lettuce.

You will find that a cold frame is basically something that will heat through the solar heat. They will allow you to pamper your seeds and your fresh produce. You will want to make sure that you start getting those seedlings ready for the garden early on so that you can get a jump start on the garden. Basically, you will find that a cold fame is a mini greenhouse, but you don’t have to go through all the work of controlling the plant’s environment. You will find that this is a simple and easy way for you to get ahead on your work.

The best part about the cold frame is that you will be able to keep your seeds growing strong, even on a cloudy way. This is because the heat and sun is collected all day long. It will allow the heat to become trapped and then it will keep it warm throughout the night. You shouldn’t be surprised if your garden is clocked at 100 degrees while the outside temperature is below freezing. You will find that the glass works wonders and literally will soak up all the energy that it possibly can.

Then when the temperatures do end up cooling off, the plants will begin to slow in growth and activity. Basically, the plants will begin to nap for a bit. The best growing temperatures for the cold frame will be about 70-75 degrees. The temperature is not too cold and it is not too hot. It is the perfect condition for you to promote growth. You will want to start using the cold frame in the fall and then continue to use to promote germination. You will find that a lot of people use this to help them to grow their seeds into small plants and a lot of people also find success with the cold frame. The cold frame is often known as a hot bed, and this situation will help you to produce the maximum potential growth.

It is very important that you do your research. There are a lot of plants that cannot be placed in such a growth situation, but then there are some plants that adapt well to the environment and they work really well in the cold frames.

Posted in Greenhouses

Greenhouse Crops

greenhouse crops

greenhouse crops

Your will find that just about anything you want to grow in your hobby greenhouse can be accomplished with a little work and a lot of patience. I often find myself checking to see if my plants have started before it has been even two days! I need more patience, but making it a habit to leave your seeds and your seedlings alone while the process is working will ensure the best results.

So, what about other plants and crops that grow in your greenhouse? Let?s look a little closer. When watering your plants in the greenhouse, water at the soil level. Even when you think your plants are dusty or when the leaves look like they would like some water, water at the soil level. As you add water to your leaves and over the stem this will promote rot and fungus, which could then kill your plant. Watering at soil level keeps these problems to a minimum.

When you are transplanting from one pot to another or even when you are transplanting from the greenhouse to your outdoor garden, remember to plant the roots as deep as possible. When you plant the roots, plant them as deep as possible this will build a steady foundation to carry the weight for the plants over its growing life. Another simple reminder: when you are transplanting your plants, stick a stake in the pot. As the plants continue to grow you already have the stakes, you won?t forget to tie it up and you are saving yourself a little step in hunting stakes later as the plants grow.

When you are planting larger plants and flowers in the greenhouse, you can use toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls around the stems of the plant for extra support. The paper will dissolve away when you plant this plant outdoors and it protects your plant at the same time!

Planting in the greenhouse is easy. Many gardeners use mulch of different types to make their plants pretty and to keep dirt from moving around as much out of the plant. You need to be aware that mulch will keep the moisture in the soil and you don?t have to water these plants as much as without mulch. Just keep this in mind so that you don?t over water the plants. When you use mulch on plants that you have just brought in to the greenhouse, make sure the soil is warmed up for a few days before adding the mulch. Adding mulch to frozen or cold soil will promote diseases. Adding mulch to the soil or the plant after it has warmed up is safer.

Posted in Greenhouses Tagged with:

The benefits of hobby greenhouses

While most people know that a greenhouse is used to grow plants, many do not understand the benefits that come with the use of greenhouses. A greenhouse may help improve control over pests and maintaining a certain temperature, humidity and water distributions, however encouraging plant health and maximize production. Whether you practice gardening as a hobby and you need to plant for domestic consumption, or plan to have a big garden, a greenhouse will increase productivity.


With a greenhouse, you have the ability to control the environment in which your plants grow. The greenhouse keeps temperature at a level that tropical plants need, keeps certain humidity that many vegetables and peppers need, and keeps away pests, animals and children. In a greenhouse you can also keep constant the amount of water that plants receive, so drought or floods are no longer a problem. Another advantage of a greenhouse is that you can extend the growing season. This latter benefit is felt especially in plants that require a longer time for them to grow.


The sun enters the windows resulting in energy (or heat) which is then stored inside. Plants benefiting from light and heat in the greenhouse. Some greenhouses have windows or ventilation systems to prevent excess heat.. Since the greenhouse is a closed chamber, the heat is kept overnight, which helps plants to grow freely without having to fight the cold. Although you may want to wet your greenhouse manually, there are also other options like sprinkler irrigation, drip tape or drip tube to automatically watering plants. There are sensors that monitor the temperature and humidity and start / stop ventilation when needed. With automatic irrigation and systems for cooling the greenhouse, daily maintenance will require less time.

Types of greenhouse:

Coming in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, greenhouses can be made from many materials, everything from glass windows in PVC tubes, or metal frame with plastic or glass coverings. In case costs are an important factor to consider, there are kits that come with all necessary materials and instructions for assembling your hobby greenhouses.

The benefits of a greenhouse:

Whether you want to grow flowers, fruits or vegetables, there are many more benefits besides the beauty of plants tasting the first fruit you planted. A greenhouse keeps out pests such as insects and small or medium animals that can create problems in your garden, such as digging your plants before you harvest and enjoy them. You also have the opportunity to grow organic herbs, or at least know what chemicals were used. Another benefit is that you can start growing earlier without fear that something unexpected can happen. In addition, a greenhouse can increase property value.


When you build hobby greenhouse or rehabilitate an old ones, initial costs can be high. But most gardeners, or farmers with experience will find that over time will absorb these costs and in time their profits will be significantly higher. To minimize costs it is important to first make a list of what plants you want to grow, how much do you want to grow and how much space they need to grow properly, so you can choose the correct size and greenhouse facilities. Many start out with hobby greenhouses and up farmers in the true sense of the word.

Posted in Greenhouses Tagged with: