This is a tale of two growers, both started in similar circumstances. However, their projects took very different trajectories.
Grower 1, after asking us for a quotation, decided to rather build his Hydroponic system. Convinced that research on the internet would guide him to his success.
Grower 2, decided to purchase one of our semi-commercial hydroponic systems. We GROW with all our clients to ensure their success and spent dedicated time guiding, advising and upskilling Grower 2. Within a few weeks, he had a successful first crop of Basil & Rocket.
The 2nd crop of snow peas was propagated soon afterward. Over the next few months, this delicious crop was harvested supplying local stores & restaurants. Now almost 9 months later, Grower 2 has such demand for his hydroponic fresh produce that they are forced to expand to two commercial 10 x 30m Greenhouses equipped with our Hydroponic systems.
Grower 1, not yet successful and called us this week for advice.
Sometimes tried & tested is the better option.
disclaimer: all variables considered
A longstanding client of NFT Hydro has experienced such a demand for his fresh produce grown on our NFT Systems, that they have decided to upscale to a commercial level of growing fresh produce in two 10 x 30 m Greenhouses.
They had been trialing our NFT Hydro Bases & NFT Hydro Systems over the past 6 months and has been increasingly impressed by the results and quality of the produce harvested from the hydroponic systems.
They shared these lovely photos with us this morning, as the grounds are leveled for the erection of the new greenhouses that will be fitted with our Hydroponic Systems.
Our client asked us to design a commercial set-up for growing microgreens. Each 1.825 meter microgreens profile may average 810 grams pf microgreen plants with a harvest potential between 5 – 10 days thus an average harvest potential 416 x 0.81kg = 336.9kg every 5-10 days.
To produce microgreens, a grower must become a master at reproducing the environment and requirements that seeds need to germinate. The optimal environment for microgreen production can be variety-specific, but favorable temperatures range between 18 to 24°C and relative humidity (RH) of 40 to 60 percent would meet the needs of most plants. Increasing the temperature and humidity may raise the risk of pest and disease issues.
Within the growing environment, good air circulation is a must. Air circulation assists in producing a uniform temperature and humidity throughout the growing area. Growers need to use horizontal airflow fans along with forced air or natural air vents to mix and exchange air within the growing space.
Hydroponics is the fastest growing sector of agriculture, and it could very well dominate food production in the future. As the worlds’ population increases and arable land declines due to poor land management, people will turn to new technologies like hydroponics and vertical farming to create additional channels of crop production. Currently, arable land comprises only around 3 percent of the Earth’s surface, and the world population is around 6 billion people, resulting in around 2,000 square meters of arable land per capita. By 2050, scientists estimate that the Earth’s population will increase to 9.2 billion, while land available for crop and food production will decline. To feed the increasing population, hydroponics will begin replacing traditional agriculture.
Already there has been a great deal of talk throughout the scientific community for the increased use of hydroponics in third world areas, where water supplies are limited. Hydroponics has the ability to feed millions in areas of Africa and Asia, where both water and crops are scarce.
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Source: How stuff works; How hydroponics work
Most of the problems we encounter in a hydroponic garden are relatively easy to diagnose. However, what frustrates many novice and experienced hydroponic gardeners alike is coming across something strange, not quite right or downright destructive in a previously healthy crop. Troubleshooting such occurrences can be difficult, as there could potentially be multiple causes for the same set of symptoms or, in particularly unlucky cases, more than one problem can exist at the same time.
Hydroponic troubleshooting skills generally improve with time and experience and while newer growers may be baffled by something as simple as a mite infestation, the more advanced hydroponic gardener can still be taken by surprise by strange and unusual plant symptoms.
We work with all our clients to ensure you grow successfully!
Here are some common problems whose cause maybe a little mysterious at first.
If there ever was a photogenic edible flower, its the rocket flower. Usually, we don’t get to see them unless the rocket plant is allowed to go to flower so it feels like you’re let in on a lovely secret. Leaving a few rocket plants to go into bud is well worth it, just look at the sheer gorgeousness! And the best bit is that if you sow rocket seeds successively you can eat their edible flowers throughout the whole season.
Rocket flower flavour is like the leaves, just not as strong, so it goes well with salads or anything that you would like to give a little peppery edge. I’m not the chef here, you can imagine where they would be good right?
With the majority of the world population growing concerned with what they consume and what are the actual constituents of the food that makes it to their plates, the debate of food safety and crop growing practices has never been more intense. Individuals are inclined to eat more healthy produce, even when they are dining out, giving rise to a host of restaurants that promise ‘organically grown’ food ingredients in their cuisine.
The similarities between organic farming and Hydroponics boil down to the fact that both farming practices aim to protect the earth’s fragile environment. However, there are some ways in which Hydroponics manages to triumph over organic agriculture in environmental protection endeavors.
It uses 90% less water than traditional agriculture hence conserving the world’s most important resource from depletion. It also manages to prevent soil from degradation, preserving valuable top soil for plants that cannot be hydroponically grown.
Given all the added benefits of Hydroponics, the bottom line when it comes to the organic farming and Hydroponics debate is the fact Hydroponics manages to better the former in numerous ways making it a considerably more attractive agricultural method of growing plants
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NFT Hydro is making this online calculator freely available for a few weeks and we ask that you please provide us with your valuable feedback if you are going to use it.
It is specifically for the application of Hygrotech Mineral Nutrients for soilless farming growing vine crops, peppers & leafy greens.
The calculator is for the ease of use and management of your EC levels for your NFT Systems.
You can access the calculator via the link below:
These stunning photos were sent to us last night from one of our container growing clients, with such a lovely message: ‘Thank you NFT Hydro for all your support & guidance.”
This absolutely emulates the essence of the NFT Hydro brand.
Great brands have experiences and values.
What you will experience with NFT Hydro, as one of our clients is that we will grow with you.
As the growers of hydroponic produce, we apply our skills & knowledge gained to work alongside our growers to ensure they flourish as hydroponic farmers. As you grow we GROW.