Environmental control and automation

When gardening indoors or in a greenhouse, you will certainly want to take advantage of the benefits a controlled environment can deliver. By maintaining your crops favorite growing conditions, you will realize larger harvests, faster growth and ultimately, better quality produce whether it be tomatoes, flowers or herbs and spices. Assuming that you have either natural sunlight in a greenhouse or HID light available indoors, the remaining considerations are temperature, humidity and air quality. In order to control temperature in a greenhouse, you will need to install circulation fans which will vent hot air outside the greenhouse while drawing in cooler air from close to the ground. This exchange of air is usually controlled with a thermostat connected directly to a vent fan. Indoors, you would perform the same function in a similar manner. Some indoor gardeners prefer to leave a vent fan running continously as the heat build-up under HID lights can happen very rapidly and usually warrants continuous ventilation. A temperature of 65-75 degrees F. is usually accepted as best for most popular crops. Too high a temperature willl force your plants to transpire a disproportionate amount of water to nutrient, resulting in rising nutrient concentrations and possible problems with pH and nutrient lock-out. Too low a temperature will slow growth significantly as many plants will become dormant. There are many commercially available temperature controllers on the market such as the NFT and ART series shown at top right. This adjustable cycle timer allows the user to preset a particular length of time for the switch to provide power and then a particular length of time for the switch to turn off. The "cycle" can be adjusted to operate ventilation fans, CO2 generators and pumps.

Growing Soilless

Growing Soilless

This is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to growing organic, healthy vegetable, herbs and house plants without soil. Clearly illustrated with black and white line drawings, the book covers every aspect of home hydroponic gardening.

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