Tagged: growing in a greenhouse

Introduction to hydroponics

Introduction to Hydroponics

 Alternative gardening techniques have recently taken off in the garden industry and for good reason. Aquaponics and hydroponics have become extremely popular and are a fun new way to provide food for you and your family. Not only are these techniques efficient but they are pretty low maintenance. This post is meant to teach you how hydroponic systems work, provide pros and cons and give some examples of a few systems that are on the market today. I’ll be covering aquaponics in the next month as well. I hope you enjoy 🙂

“Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel.  It was introduced in the 1920s as a means of commercial plant production.

Hydroponic growing may not be for everyone. There are a variety of systems available today so do your research when deciding on a system. Most gardeners use hydro systems indoors like in a greenhouse or even in a garage/shed. But smaller systems can be placed outside. Some hydro systems come as complete kits and are designed for only a few plants or hundreds. There are many kits you can purchase and lots of DIY ideas.

The video below shows how to make your own small DIY hydro system.

With in-expensive materials and an overall small system, DIY is a great way for trial and error.

Introduction to hydroponicsIf you prefer to purchase your first hydro system I recommend something like this Garden-Of-Ease complete hydroponic system – Pictured on left. This system runs about $60. It’s smart to start slowly and with only a few plants so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Once you have the hang of it you can move to a more generous amount of plants.

Introduction to hydroponicsAnother great small system to start with is the Current Culture Solo6 system. Unlike the system above this one has 6 holes and a sleeker look. The housing is durable and all-around a much better quality than the lesser version above. It is a bit more expensive ranging around $400 but you can expand the system by attaching more modules of the same brand. It’s pretty cool! Contact us if you are interested in Current Culture products.

Once you feel comfortable with the smaller system research some larger ones. If you have a greenhouse or a specified area for growing measure the space so you can accurately find the right size hydro system to fill the growing area.

Introduction to hydroponicsSunglo carries Current culture products. They offer a good variety of sizes and are great for tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, etc., etc. Pictured on left – A Sunglo owner purchased the mid size Current Culture UC4XXL13 system to start in his 15×20 – 2100G model. This system has 4 large modules that nicely accommodate larger plants. The model #UC4XXL13 gives away a few things. The tells how many plant modules are included and the 13 tells how many gallons each module holds. Under Current hydro kits are complete systems including Introduction to hydroponics all of the PVC piping/tubing and a high quality air pump. And a year warranty gives you peace of mind. There are endless  possibilities of what you can grow but this customer chose to start with tomatoes. I myself would choose tomatoes as well! What kind of food would you grow? It’s a hard question to answer! As you can see from the pictures hydroponic growing has it’s upsides! The foliage is a rich green, abundant and lush. Compared to my tomato plant (pictured below right) that I grew almost exactly the same time as his. Introduction to hydroponicsThe difference in height is vast and his foliage puts mine to shame! The Current Culture UC4XXL13 system runs about $1000. Now think about how much food you could grow with that! You Introduction to hydroponicscould make your money back in food in a few short years. It is wise to do research not only on systems but on the plants you want to grow; what kind of nutrients they will Introduction to hydroponicsneed, how much light and even the germination time. Sunglo can help with a lot of these things. We offer full packages that include a greenhouse and the perfect size hydro system to fit. We also carry lighting and controls for your greenhouse. The full line of Current Culture nutrients is available as well. So look no further! We’ve got you covered! Garden stores that carry hydro products usually carry matching nutrients made by the same brand. Like how we carry Current Culture hydro systems and nutrient products.  Besides buying the starts or seeds there is really no other cost – These medium systems range only 50-100 watts.

Every decision we make in life has its pros and cons. So here are a few things to consider when deciding on your alternative gardening method:

PROS:

  • Weeds can’t grow
  • Most plant diseases are eliminated
  • Pests are less of a concern so pesticide usage goes down as well
  • Hydroponically grown food has been known to be more nutritional and taste better
  • Less water waste
  • Nutrients are more controlled therefore plants are more abundant & lush
  • Plants grow faster and have bigger yields
  • Plants can be placed closer together so less space is used comparatively to soil gardening

CONS:

  • There are limited varieties of plants that can be hydroponically grown
  • Setup and system costs can be very expensive
  • Hydroponics requires more technical knowledge and training than soil cultivation
  • If the watering system fails, plants will dry out and die rapidly

Current Culture has a great YouTube channel that features how-to and informational videos that are very useful. The video below shows how the Current Culture System is assembled.

 1 Current Culture UC6 System (pictured below on right) would fit great into a 10×10 – Sunglo Introduction to hydroponics1200C model (pictured on left) with room for a Introduction to hydroponicswater reservoir and a few potted or hanging plants. The current culture system and the Sunglo greenhouse can both expand. So once you have mastered hydroponic growing and you want to add to your plant collection you are able to extend your Sunglo greenhouse and purchase more modules to advance your hydro system. There are no limits!

Please call or e-mail Sunglo at 800-647-0606 or info@sunglogreenhouses.com for more information on Current Culture products or to receive a free hydro greenhouse estimate!

2014 Winter Photo Contest – Winners Announced!

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Contest Winners Announced

Sunglo’s 2014 winter photo contest was a success!

We really wanted to engage with our long time Sunglo owners and give our new greenhouse owners something to be excited about! ALL of the photo entries were beautiful and we had a lot of fun interacting with all of our contestants. Thank you for your entries and we hope you will all participate again next year!

 

After a long deliberation the Sunglo crew has chosen the winners:

**  Congratulations!  **

 

3rd Place: Ms. Sheisl-

To view the full photo album of this project click here.

Contest winners announced

 

2nd Place: Ms. Vanmeer-

To view the full photo album of this project click here.

Contest winners announced

 

  1st Place: Ms. Madden/Jacobson-

To view the full photo album of this project click here.

And visit her blog here.

Contest winners announced

 

We had a hard time choosing through these great photos! Here is a peek at some other entries –

2014 Winter Photo Entry
1700 Lean-to model. Learn more about lean-to greenhouses here.
2014 Winter Photo Entry
Happy Sunglo owners in their 1000 model. Learn more about the 1000 series here.
1200 Sunglo greenhouse
Beautiful 1200 model in AZ. Learn about the 1200 series here.
1700 Lean-to Sunglo greenhouse
Sunglo’s can hold a ton of snow! See details about this size lean-to greenhouse here.

 

 

 

Sunglo's 1000 model greenhouse
Beautiful Christmas bows on this 1000 series. Learn more here.

Top 5 Greenhouse Gardening Books

Are you a greenhouse gardener? As most gardeners know there is always more to learn! Check out these top selling greenhouse gardening books and improve on your own gardening skills!

The Greenhouse Expert – Author: Dr. D.G. Hessayon

My personal favorite: Whether you already own a greenhouse or you’re thinking about buying or building one, greenhouse gardener hessayonhere’s the vital information in full color you need to get the most from your money, effort and time. “The Greenhouse Expert offers data on structure and equipment (including installation instructions on floors, gutters, doors, lighting, ventilators, blinds, shelving, insulation, glazing, and heating); greenhouse plants (a list covering 58 pages) and care (of both structure and plants). There is a chapter dealing with pests and diseases and a month-by-month calendar on when to do what.”

 

 

Greenhouse Gardening – Made Easy – Author: Simon Marlow

This book will lead you through the complete process of purchasing, setting up and greenhouse gardening bookmaintaining your greenhouse. Once you have a functioning greenhouse you then need to understand what makes your plants grow. Heat, soil and water are critical to your growing success. This guide describes how best to optimize these parameters so that you are able to grow the plants you want not only in spring and summer but also through fall and winter. This ebook shows you how to get the best from your greenhouse by taking the next step to great growing of all types of plants vegetables and flowers at anytime of the year.

 

 

Organic Gardening – Author: Geoff Hamilton

A classic guide to growing flowers, fruit, and vegetables the natural, chemical-free way has been fully revised and updated to reflect the latest thinking and techniques. Written by one of the UK’s best-loved gardening personalities and a keen advocate of the greenhouse gardening bookorganic approach, this book will be appreciated by the novice and the experienced gardener alike. Whether you want to grow better-tasting fruit and vegetables untainted by chemicals, find natural methods of pest and weed control, or create a garden that is safer for your children, pets and wildlife this book is your practical, easy-to-follow guide to gardening.With practical advice and instructions and step-by-step photographs and artworks, the author explains how to grow delicious, healthy produce as well as how to turn your garden into a safe haven for children, pets, and wildlife. Contents include: soil improvement; organic pest & disease control; weed control; hedges, trees & shrubs; containers; the vegetable garden and more!

 

How to Garden – Greenhouse Gardening – Author: Alan Titchmarsh

The ultimate guide to greenhouse planting—the ideal place to propagate seedlings, greenhouse gardening booknurture young plants, experiment with exotic planting, and hide from the rain. The greenhouse is one of the most useful tools a gardener can have, and this book provides all the information and advice any gardener needs to set up a greenhouse and get their planting going. The advice offered includes guidance on selecting, installing, and maintaining a greenhouse; recommended vegetables, fruit, herbs, and ornamental plants for growing under cover; practical advice on general care, harvesting, storage, propagation, and pest control; a seasonal management guide etc.

 

The Greenhouse Gardener – Author: Anne Swithinbank

A greenhouse can be a garden’s greatest asset: its nucleus and powerhouse. There are many ways of using it and a gardener can adopt one or all of them. In spring, you can greenhouse gardening bookstart young plants from seed; raise tender perennials to fill gaps in the garden; give young vegetable plants a head start; sow early lettuce while the soil is too sticky to work outdoors. During spring and summer, you can raise greenhouse crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and chillis. You’ll be able to overwinter tender plants such as bananas and cannas. And the greenhouse can be a showcase full of beautiful, unusual and exotic plants.Trained at Kew and for many years Glasshouse Supervisor at the RHS Garden at Wisley, Anne Swithinbank is the expert on greenhouse gardening.

 

All of these books can be found for sale at the Google Store.

 

 

 

Greenhouse EHow

As the cold weather approaches, the thought of having to wait till spring to start gardening again makes buying a greenhouse very attractive at this time of year. We have certainly been busy filling orders lately and I wanted to share one of my favorite sites with all our new customers.

The informative resources on Ehow are seemingly endless with articles on nearly everything a gardener could ever wish to learn about. The link below is to one such article that outlines some important things to consider when starting a new greenhouse.

How to Start Your Own Greenhouse

Most of us here are also proud Sunglo owners and would never refuse an opportunity to share our experiences with others. I implore you to give us a call toll free whether you are a past customer wishing to swap stories or a future customer seeking more information.