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Greenhouse Vegetable Production

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Greenhouse Vegetable Production

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Greenhouse Vegetable Production

  1. 1. Greenhouse falls within an large range of definitionsfrom simple hoop house made from PVC tosophisticated automated facilities.
  2. 2.  Small family farms with 2500-10000 sq. ft. A few with multi-acre facilities ◦ Often operate off secondary energy system Industry physical sizes ◦ U.S.- 800 acres ◦ Mexico – over 450 acres ◦ Cananda – over 1600 acres  Grew at rate of 20% in the 1990’s due to innovation in greenhouse technology increasing increase yields near 100% ◦ Holland – over 11000 acres
  3. 3.  Tomatoes leading greenhouse crop ◦ European cucumbers ◦ Lettuce ◦ Peppers ◦ Herbs Leading states ◦ California ◦ Florida ◦ Colorado ◦ Arizona ◦ Ohio ◦ Texas ◦ Pennsylvania
  4. 4.  Consumer demand ◦ Greater taste ◦ Fewer pesticides ◦ Local and fresh ◦ Local community support Year-round production is key ◦ Either 1 or multiple crops Niche markets ◦ Organics ◦ Early season ◦ Out of season
  5. 5.  Over supply will drop value ◦ When your niche market becomes mainstream Must diversify prior to market inflation Energy and labor greatest expense ◦ Beside initial cost
  6. 6.  Solar greenhouse are greenhouse used capture the energy from light ◦ Popular with small-scale growers Composting greenhouses use heat from compost ◦ Generates heat and Co2 ◦ Rarely done Animal-Heated greenhouse rely on animal production for heat and humidity ◦ Plant production often secondary ◦ Heat on average of 8% increase ◦ Some Risk
  7. 7.  Same requirements as “conventional” organic crops ◦ No synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, Little difference between “convention” greenhouse technology and practices ◦ Main differences are pest control and fertility
  8. 8.  Must use several ingredients to provide full nutrition Often a protein based product for NPK and sea kelp or seaweed for trace and micronutrients With the use of tea’s and soluble products, fertigation is very labor efficient and easy to apply ◦ Generally used with low flow irrigation methods ◦ Are known to cause clogging
  9. 9.  Easier to adapt to for “conventional” organic growers ◦ Already familiar with soil-building ◦ Amendments are used to feed soil, not directly to the plant needs like hydroponics
  10. 10. Cover Crops Perfect for rest-periods to rejuvenate soil Different cover crops and help add different qualities to the soil ◦ Increase microbiology ◦ Add depleted nutrients like nitrogen ◦ Increase organic matterWeed Control Hand Mechanical Soil solarization Mulching – Fabric, plastic, organic matter PoultrySoil Disinfection Solarization Steam Electrical heat Biological control
  11. 11.  Generally higher yields then soil culture Easier control of disease and insect ◦ Most pests are soil-borne No reliance on healthy soil For a new operation it may take time to enhance soil quality Grower must provide 100% of nutritional needs ◦ Both a benefit and a liability
  12. 12.  Polyethylene bags or “slabs” Often fed with liquid fertilizers ◦ Using drip and low-flow irrigation ◦ Can pre-mix media with compost or other amendments Popular media’s include: ◦ Coco ◦ Moss ◦ Vermiculite ◦ Perlite ◦ Rockwool ◦ A mixture of any
  13. 13.  Well suited for vine crops ◦ In greenhouse production, each vine has the ability to produce large amounts of product over an extended period of time Preferred method of greenhouse vegetable growers in the U.S. Easy to establish and manage Excess fertilizer can leach out of bags and contaminate soil underneath and downstream For organic production ◦ Only certain media and potting mixes are allowed ◦ Only certain liquid fertilizers are allowed: Tea’s, fish emulsion
  14. 14.  Also known as “stackers” Many different variations ◦ Bags hung from wall ◦ Plastic and Styrofoam containers stacked on top of each other Supply liquid fertilizer from to plant site, liquid trickles down to lower plant site Popular with vine growers
  15. 15.  Similar to bag culture Set-up process ◦ Bails of hay are soaked with tea or liquid fertilizer ◦ When manure/ compost tea cools, bale is topped with compost potting mix for transplants Wheat straw bales have shown best results
  16. 16.  Usually used for sprouts 1-3” of potting mix over plastic ◦ Some micro-greens/sprouts are grown on capillary mats Generally grown on heat mats or heat tubes in rooting zone
  17. 17.  Liquid hydroponics and aggregate hydroponics Bag culture is often a form of hydroponics 3 main approaches 1. Soluble organics (hydro-organics) – relies on soluble nutrients 2. Aquaponics – Integration of fish culture 3. Bioponics – A hydroponic system which relies on micro- organisms to derive nutrients of organic fertilizers
  18. 18.  Most popular systems include: ◦ NFT ◦ Aeroponics ◦ Flood and Drain ◦ Re-circulating bags or slabs ◦ Raft Re-circulating or run to waste
  19. 19.  You must keep in mind the cost of equipment and the costs to operate the equipment If you’ve identified a high-value niche market, the more you produce the less valuable the product is. (Supply and demand) This should be considered prior to investing in the greenhouse
  20. 20.  Introduction of bee’s Seed varieties specifically for the greenhouse grower ◦ Often more compact plants New findings in biological control Greenhouse coverings Monitoring and computerized equipment
  21. 21.  Most crop production research is based on “conventional” crop production Niche markets and out-of-season crops have the most potential Easy to adapt soil-based greenhouses to organics Soilless culture can also be organic

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