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How To Start Growing Plants In A Greenhouse

Before you venture into greenhouse farming, learn how to start growing plants in a greenhouse from seeds or transplants. We already know when to start growing crops in the greenhouse, but the specific steps and information for how to start is as crucial for success. Knowing the hardiness zone is essential for timing when to start growing plants, but starting from seeds and transplants involve other factors and considerations. 

The interest for greenhouse farming is on the rise because more people see its advantages on year-round production of high-quality plants. However, indoor gardening benefits will only be possible if you are consistent in management practices from start to harvest. This, of course, includes the proper way of starting plants in the greenhouse. 

How To Start Growing Plants In A Greenhouse

Definitive Guide For How To Start Growing Plants In A Greenhouse

 

Starting plants from seeds

 

Preparing the greenhouse

Preparation is key to the success of your seeds and transplants. You must meticulously disinfect everything in the greenhouse, including the pots, trays, benches, and shelves. In addition to sanitation and cleanliness, ensuring the greenhouse’s proper conditions should also help your seeds thrive. 

 

Choosing seeds

As mentioned by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, it’s essential to use fresh seeds when starting seeds in the greenhouse. This will guarantee that they will germinate well. Old seeds have lower quality, which can lead to poor germination and productivity due to reduced vigor. 

The next step is to sort them into different groups to create a neater set-up in the greenhouse, for example, which plants will grow best together or which crops are best started indoors. The seeds grouped as the cool season and warm season plants will also make it easier for you when planning the dates for planting. 

 

Planting seeds

The next step is to plan when to plant the seeds. This is where it’s useful to know your growing zone. Use this as a guide to identifying the average last frost date in your area. 

Did you know that you can go soilless when you’re starting seeds in pots or trays in the greenhouse? The chance of success in seed starting is higher if you use a specific mix that isn’t too heavy. This guarantees resistance against diseases and provides the ideal drainage. 

In contrast to a typical potting or garden soil, a seed starting mix would not be too heavy for the seeds. Check the directions on your seed packets, so you’ll also know how many seeds per container or pot is suitable. Usually, you can plant seeds at a depth of half an inch, but this can still vary per plant.

Cover the seeds with soil and spray with water, and then use a plastic wrap to cover the container. To prevent changes in soil temperature, you can use a heating mat. Don’t forget to label your containers so you can follow the guidelines for each plant, and you won’t get confused when the seedlings emerge and look the same.

 

Starting transplants in the greenhouse

 

Transplant production

After you sanitize and check the greenhouse conditions, you can use soil or artificial mixes to produce transplants. Overall, the best for transplants is a nutritious mix that has good drainage and moisture-holding-capacity. The typical containers for transplants in the greenhouse are polystyrene trays and plastic trays

The two factors that are especially crucial for transplant production are irrigation and fertilization. For the former, remember to only water when needed as the seedlings grow roots. Create an irrigation schedule and ensure that you are watering your plants uniformly. 

Gardeners’ common error is over-watering, assuming that it’s the same volume with the early stages of germination. This leads to pests, diseases, and poor quality crops. Instead, water the plants in the morning so that the soil dries before the evening. 

For their nutrition, using water-soluble fertilizers when watering is suitable for transplants. However, each plant differs in requirements, and you may need to adjust fertilization depending on the greenhouse conditions. Transplants also require the proper growing light in the greenhouse to encourage strong seedling growth.  

 

Hardening transplants

One of the most significant advantages of greenhouse gardening is allowing farmers to start their growing season early, which sometimes means producing transplants. However, it’s crucial that you also know how to properly harden your plants to prevent shock and stress from the sudden changes in the field. The greenhouse is also your friend in this part of the production.

To prepare your transplants, lower the greenhouse temperature by 5 to 10°F and reduce the amount of water and fertilizer you give. This way, the plants can get acclimated to the sudden changes outdoors before transplanting. On the other hand, you can also move the transplants to a lath house two weeks before transplanting. 

 

Conclusion

The beauty of the greenhouse allows farmers to have continuous production of high-quality plants without the challenges of unpredictable outdoor conditions. But knowing how to start growing plants in a greenhouse either by seeds or transplants is crucial to reap these benefits. Overall, the greenhouse is useful for starting plants or for growing plants throughout their cycle. 

If you choose to transplant your crops, later on, remember to harden them first. This way, they can withstand the unpredictable and adverse conditions outdoors and prevent transplant shock. 

 

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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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