Is a Light Deprivation Greenhouse Right for Your Business?

To determine whether the costs of implementing a light dep system are worth the reward, you might want to take a few things into account.

If you're in an industry that propagates annual plants with an emphasis on forced flowering, this particular greenhouse setup could be right for you. Many agriculturally-based crops would utilize these ideal conditions to their advantage and provide a better harvest of higher-quality fruits, vegetables, or ornamental plants ready for market, in a shorter period than required for traditional greenhouse horticulture.  

The ability to time harvest and deal with sick plants is another plus to this system. Any sick plants can be placed in a separate quarantine greenhouse and flowered out earlier to stop the spread of whatever symptom they are experiencing such as mold, aphids, mites and other conditions.  

Studies have shown that plants grown under a controlled photoperiod are in some instances more vigorous than those subject to extremes of weather and temperature. This shortened photoperiod, and thus shortened season for each plant, gives pests less time in which to invade or infest your plants. This is ideal for getting plants in pots, in the greenhouse, harvested, and sent to market as quickly as possible with no lag time.

Automated systems make care and maintenance of your new light dep greenhouse a snap. With a monitor for the temperature that also takes humidity into account, one can finetune the system as needed. A timer set inline ahead of drip irrigation turns the irrigation on for 15 minutes, off for five minutes, and on again for another five minutes to ensure adequate absorption and soaking of the root ball. Another timer set in line ahead of your dep tarp's control arm ensures uniformity in light manipulation so that plants are not experiencing too much stress.

Simply walk through your greenhouse twice a week to inspect for mold, check that there is water in your reservoirs, and assess for pests, before adjusting the fans, topping off your reservoirs, and leaving the rest up to the automation system. This task can be performed by any layperson and does not require a specialist, as the greenhouse is fully automated and simply needs intermittent supervision to stay at peak capacity. Fertilization is kept on a schedule and only ramped up when plants are showing signs that they can uptake more nutrients without developing burns on their leaves or other issues.

Only organic fertilizers should be used, as what is grown within your new light deprivation greenhouse will undoubtedly end up being consumed at some point and should do predictable things to the human body rather than being some science experiment with questionable side effects. Organically produced agricultural products are the future of the industry and are not harmful to the ecology of our planet. 

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