The Second Greenhouse – 2003 Season


glass1Within the glass greenhouse at my parents house, we are growing other plants which we have found to like this environment (ie. hot and bright), These currently consist of Watercress, Peppers, Tomatoes and Lettuces.

For young plants we usually hang some old sheets on the greenhouse to give them some shade from the sun, Also usually the vent is left open on this greenhouse.

On this page you can see details of this glass greenhouse and the different types of hydroponics systems we are using within it.

glasslThe main NFT system here is slightly different than the other greenhouse.

Here we have three NFT channels in place, One main one which you can see here on the left hand side and two smaller ones on the right hand side, A photo of these channels is shown below.

 

glassrThe right two channels in the greenhouse are shown in the photo to the right, Both these channels are made from strips of square guttering bought from a DIY store.

In the NFT setup we have in this greenhouse we pump the nutrient solution from the holding tank at the far end of the greenhouse to all three NFT channels via a small T piece, The solution then simply flows back into the holding tank as before. You can see the holding tank in the photo above, It’s the green tank at the far end.

Having the channels all flowing downhill the same allows us to place the channels slightly lower giving the plants more room to grow upwards, A lack of headroom is a problem were having in the other plastic greenhouse.

Some small pieces of guttering are located at the end of the channels to facilitate the flow of solution back to the holding tank. Plants also seem to thrive when grown in these small pieces of guttering especially lettuces and watercress as you can see in the photo’s below.This is presumably because of the increased water flow down these small pieces as it’s on the run back to the holding tank.

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timerThe pump used in the NFT system is timed to turn on for most of the daylight hours by a simply electrical timer as you can see here.

 

As you can see in some of the pictures on this page we currently have growing.

  • 3 pepper plants in the left hand NFT channel.
  • 2 tomato plants in the left hand NFT channel.
  • Watercress in the guttering at the end of the left hand channel.
  • 3 tomato plants in the right hand NFT channel.
  • Water cress in the far right hand channel.
  • Lettuces in the guttering at the end of the right hand channels and in the water culture system outside.

All these plants seem to prefer living in the glass greenhouse rather than the plastic equivalent, Although time will tell if it stays that way.

As well as the NFT system I have also been trialling a water culture system I have created.This is quite simple and involves placing plants through holes in floating styrofoam boards so their roots dangle into a nutrient solution. The solution located in the tank is then oxygenated and moved around by air bubbles, To create the bubbles we push air from an old aquarium air pump through perforated plastic rods located at the bottom of the tank.

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This system seems to work fairly well and we are using it to grow batches of 10 lettuces at a time.

 

The system is located in a coldframe outside the greenhouse due to limited room inside. When we next have a batch growing I will take photo’s of the system in action. The air pump used in the water culture system is run 24 hours a day so no timer is needed.

To end the tour of this greenhouse here are some photo’s I have taken of the first fruits and plants from this season, I will add to this as the season progresses.

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The tomatoes to the left and thriving watercress to the right.

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The happy peppers

 

 

 

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