Posts Tagged ‘Tips’
5 Feb 2014
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Light-Dep: The Future of Growing

A grower who can beat weather and market conditions and have more than a single crop in a growing season will have huge advantages in the market place. Northern climates are particularly vulnerable to adverse weather and short growing seasons; just as the crop is beginning to mature, rain, mold and other conditions can ruin a much anticipated harvest. By “fooling” the plants to mature during the height of summer these problems can be mitigated. Northern California has always been a trend setter in growing and light-dep is no exception. Light-dep techniques have been used and perfected here for many decades. Light deprivation is now fast becoming the preferred method of growing throughout most regions. Growers are finding that the intensity of mid-summer sun and the lower humidity levels are allowing them to command premium prices for a superior product that’s available before the market place is glutted by outdoor fall harvest. With the “green” movement gaining momentum and the desire to become carbon neutral, along with a more predictable high quality harvest many indoor growers are switching to light-dep and this trend will surely accelerate across the country. Overhead costs are significant with indoor and using the sun’s natural energy is an obvious way to increase profit.

In addition, we believe the drought will play a significant role in driving people into the light dep arena, as water shortages may mean a full term crop in 2014 will not be possible.

Light-dep greenhouse, Golden Arm Tarp Puller and Push Rod installed

31 Oct 2012
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Winter Greenhouse Tips

It’s nearly November and time to start thinking about preparing your greenhouse for winter. The folks over at gardenersworld.com have compiled a great list of tips that will help keep your greenhouse clean, happy and and growing!

Mind Change of seasons: Your greenhouse allows you to keep growing even in the winter but you need to make adjustments. As the seasons change you should monitor day and night temperatures to adjust venting if needed. Ventilate greenhouses on warm days but close vents at night. Rick Stevens shows us here what is like to have a successful winter greenhouse.

Bring tender plants under cover: The clocks have gone back, evenings have got darker, and the chilly weather confirms the end of the 2012 growing season. Make sure to give all of your tender plants plenty of protection while still giving them the sun they need. Your peaches and nectarines will thank you!

Sow sweet peas: Deep pots and overwinter in the greenhouse provide a perfect location. Find out how to encourage the best sweet pea crop, by following Sarah Raven’s video guide, with tips on pot selection, pinching out and which plants to choose.

Water plants sparingly and avoid splashing the water around: Always water your plants in the cool of the evening or very early in the morning, rather than during the day, when most of the water would evaporate before getting to the plant roots.

Prepare for next year with a fall Cleaning: Wash pots and trays, Clear fallen leaves from pathways. Clean staging and wash capillary matting to use next summer. Clear old plants from the greenhouse border and dig in fresh compost. Remove faded leaves and flowers from plants to prevent grey mold from spreading.

20 Oct 2012
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Light Deprivation Techniques

What Are Light Deprivation Techniques?

Light deprivation has been used in various forms of agriculture for centuries. However, over the last decade the use of light deprivation in greenhouses has increased throughout the US.

Light deprivation (or “light dep” for short) is a method of reducing the light cycle of flowering plants. The greenhouse is actually covered to block light, thereby depriving gardens of a prolonged photoperiod (the period of time each day during which an organism receives illumination).

For many different types of plant cultivation, this process is integral to ensuring that plants stay in the flowering stage – a growth phase that requires 12 hours (or less) of light. Once the photoperiod begins to exceed 12 hours, flowering plants are in danger of reverting back to their vegetative stage of growth. This makes light deprivation techniques crucial for farmers who rely on timely crops.

One added benefit of using light-dep techniques lies in the ability to squeeze in an extra harvest during the summer months, when the Sun naturally provides a prolonged light cycle. By covering the greenhouse and limiting the daylight that plants receive to 12 hours, greenhouse growers can force a crop to flower earlier in the summer and get an extra harvest in before the traditional fall harvest.