How To Choose Greenhouse Flooring Correctly

Newbie greenhouse gardeners must know how to choose greenhouse flooring, considering if you need specific flooring, the proper material and if you want it to be permanent or not. Starting plants in the greenhouse does not end with only choosing the plants. The construction of the greenhouse itself will also determine the success of your cultivation.

The good news is that you don’t have to feel overwhelmed with something as simple as the greenhouse flooring. By learning about each of the three factors, you can come up with the best flooring by the end of this article. Know that the gardener’s plants and location vary, so the best greenhouse flooring per se will be specific for each individual. 

How To Choose Greenhouse Flooring

How To Choose Greenhouse Flooring: 3 Factors To Consider

 

Do your greenhouse need flooring?

You might be wondering with this question, considering you are indeed looking for flooring for your greenhouse. However, those with small greenhouses can have it directly on the soil since you’re growing the crops in the ground anyway. The advantage of this construction is that you can expect the drainage’s quality by basing on your location’s soil. 

 

Good drainage

Your greenhouse may not need flooring if you live in an area with good soil with natural drainage like loam. However, flooring is almost always necessary because gardeners cannot guarantee if the ground won’t get muddy and turn into dirt. The best way to know if you can skip a flooring is by testing your soil and gauge if your plants will thrive in it. 

 

Raised beds

What if I am growing in a raised bed in the greenhouse? If this is the case, you can also skip the flooring to allow your plant roots to grow deeper. To make navigation indoors easier, you can create a pathway made of gravel instead. 

The University of Georgia also recommends crushed stone or cinders. If you want something more challenging, brick or concrete also makes an excellent path, but keep in mind that loose materials promote better humidity, aeration, and surface absorption. 

 

Flooring material

 

Organic vs. non-decomposing

When choosing a flooring material for the greenhouse, it can get overwhelming because of the many options available. If you want to go organic, you can use wood chips and sawdust at the expense of them not being long-lasting. You can also go with cement, brick, gravel, or wood if you want a more durable flooring. 

If you opt to use concrete or wood, it’s worth emphasizing that you need to provide a drainage system. Otherwise, you run the risk of developing mold in the greenhouse. On the other hand, materials like brick or flagstone will help you maintain heat during the night if you live in a cold region. 

Another consideration is if you’re working extended periods in the greenhouse, you need a textured flooring for traction to provide safety. 

 

Weed mats

You can also improve your flooring by using weed mats, especially if you have a commercial greenhouse. This will keep weeds and pests at bay to minimize the potential labor in a large-scale greenhouse. If you want a more aesthetically pleasing flooring, lava and landscape rocks are conducive, but be wary of costs and maintenance. 

 

Concrete

Overall, if you want a specific material that’s popular among greenhouses, concrete is the answer. Ensure that it is poured and insulated to get the most out of it and prevent drawbacks in drainage and heat. Still, flooring’s choice depends on you and which you think is the most practical for your greenhouse. 

 

Semi-permanent or permanent greenhouse flooring?

The article discussed earlier the option of using either organic or non-decomposing materials. This is also somewhat related to the next consideration, which is the need for permanent or semi-permanent greenhouse flooring. The organic materials are prone to decomposing over time, which meant you’ll eventually have to replace them. 

If you want a permanent greenhouse flooring, then your choice includes concrete, wood, or bricks. The initial costs compared to semi-permanent materials like pine needles or sand will be higher, but they are durable enough for extended use. It would also help to consider that you’ll need weed barriers for semi-permanent materials to prevent grasses and other organisms from growing in the greenhouse. 

 

Conclusion

It is rewarding to grow crops in the greenhouse because it helps ensure healthy plants and good yield. But you also need knowledge in the structure of the greenhouse itself, including how to choose greenhouse flooring correctly. Keeping three factors in mind, you should end with a specific material that will suit you best.

The three considerations for choosing greenhouse flooring includes whether you need one, the particular material for the flooring and if you’re looking for a permanent or semi-permanent flooring. You should also keep in mind if you want something high-maintenance, or if you want to ensure that weeds and pests will always be at bay. You might not even need a flooring itself if your soil is ideal. 

In general, concrete is the most popular and safest choice because it provides good drainage and heat retention. However, each gardener’s best greenhouse flooring varies because of the different factors that come into play. They include costs, availability, and duration of the intended usage. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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