Growing Fresh Produce in Namibia

Namibia’s potential for agriculture is severely limited due to climatic and soil factors. During the past five years agricultural output has been seriously constrained by recurring drought, floods, locusts, insects and worm invasions. No wonder there is such an increase in the demand for growing Hydroponically in Namibia.

Grow Fresh Hydroponic Produce in Africa

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Photo provided by NFT Hydro customer in Namibia 

Instructions for growing microgreens

As microgreens become more popular by the day and NFT Hydro get more inquiries about growing these, we thought to share some instructions on growing these on our NFT Microgreen Systems. 

Instruction for growing Microgreens

Growing Hydroponic Basil

Basil is the most popular culinary herb that is produced hydroponically. Hydroponic production not only allows basil to be produced fresh and flavorful year round, but also, the growth is much faster compared to the field production.

Propagating basil in OASIS® Horticubes® XL* ensures uniform germination and growth, without any concerns of disease-causing pathogens. Following are the salient features and benefits of OASIS® Horticubes® XL medium:
• The OASIS® foam growing media are a uniquely engineered propagation media.
• They are thermoset foam materials and are considered to be sterile because of the high temperature involved during the manufacturing process.
• The OASIS® foam growing media are inert with no buffering capacity. As a result, all the applied nutrients are readily available to the plants.
• Horticubes® is a relatively higher drainage and higher density medium and Horticubes® XL is a lower drainage and lower density medium.  The lower density and finer cells of Horticubes® XL promote faster root penetration, and also promote profuse fine secondary roots, which in turn promote faster shoot growth.

Want to know more? Growing Basil with Oasis Grower medium

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Strategies for Combating Excessive Heat in your greenhouse

1)    Reduce Nutrient Concentration
Highly recommended for hydroponic growers! This is a tried and tested commercial technique. In hot conditions your plants are transpiring more moisture than normal. This means that your plants are using a higher water : nutrient ratio. The net effect is a concentration of your nutrient solution which then places cumulative stresses on your plants. Try reducing the concentration of your nutrient solution by 25%. (E.g. If you are running an E.C. of 2.0  try reducing it to 1.5 in hot conditions.)

2)    Temporarily raise your Grow Lights
By positioning your grow lights further away from your plants, (an additional 6 – 12 inches) the canopy will be exposed to less radiant heat emitted from the lamp. Of course, if your grow lights are too far form your plants for a prolonged period of time your plants will inevitably begin to stretch in reaction to insufficient light levels, but this is a good strategy for a heat wave lasting just a few days.

3)  Dim your Grow Lights
Some models of electronic ballasts now carry a dimming or dial-a-watt feature affording growers the option of running their HID grow lights at 75% or 50% full power and thus, producing less heat. Growers should note that the spectral distribution of some lamps can change in dimming mode (i.e. some parts of the spectrum dim more than others.)

4) Power Down
It’s much, much more preferable to simulate a cloudy, overcast day than a scorched desert. Don’t be afraid to switch off half of your grow lights for a few days during a heat wave.

5) Add Air Conditioning
An A/C unit is the ultimate way to control temperatures in your indoor garden. Reasonably priced, portable, self-install units are available.

6) Keep Your Roots Cool
The optimum temperature for active metabolism in most plants’ root zones is around  (18-20°C). Ensure that your water or nutrient solution is at this temperature too. If using tap water, be sure to add just enough from the warm tap so that the water feels tepid-not warm, not cold, just silky to the touch. Better yet, invest in a nutrient thermometer or a thermostatically controlled nutrient heater

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source: Just for Growers 

Inside the NFT Hydro Manufacturing plant

Our purpose designed Hydroponic NFT Profiles are manufactured to the highest international standards and specifications to guarantee years of growing. We export around the world attesting to the high quality of our products.

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Key questions the audience asked during our presentation @ the Undercover Farming Conference

  1. Is your NFT Systems affordable? ANSWER: One of the barriers for adoption is high start-up cost. NFT Hydro have a range of NFT Systems that will suit everyone’s budget and is designed to last 10 years.
  2. What can I grow in the NFT profiles?  ANSWER: The link will give you some guidance, but we say try to grow just about anything you like. What can you GROW?
  3. Is Microgreens difficult to grow? ANSWER: Our unique Microgreen profile and growing technique allow for the ease  & optimum growth of Microgreens.
  4. How do your deal with the algae that forms in the NFT Profiles?  ANSWER: After every grow cycle you will clean your profile with a high pressure hose or ammonia, then place it back into the grow cycle.
  5. Is your system suitable for schools? ANSWER:Yes it is  and we will make recommendations in accordance with your budget.                                                                                                                                               

Hydroponics bring food security to Malawi

NFT Hydro has been privileged to be involved with an organisation that earned international recognition for their approach to bring effective change to one of the poorest and least developed countries in the entire world – Malawi. Our NFT Systems will help contribute to feeding the staff, visiting guests, and hospital patients, whilst supporting the economic sustainability of this amazing project.

ChangingLives# AfricaFoodSecurity# InnovatethewayweGROW#

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