Stuppy Greenhouse Blog

The Value of Good Greenhouse Control

Posted by Phil Bishop on Aug 16, 2017 2:30:00 PM

A DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT

Greenhouse environments present unique challenges to good control. Temperature changes occur rapidly and vary widely depending on solar radiation levels, outside temperatures and humidity levels, wind speed and direction, the amount of plant material in the greenhouse, watering routines, etc. Proper control of this dynamic environment is indeed challenging, but the benefits of good control far exceed the costs.

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Topics: Greenhouse Operations

We Have Greenhouse Doors Here!

Posted by Phil Bishop on Aug 14, 2017 12:56:07 PM

Channeling my best baseball peanut salesman.

How can anyone or better yet why would anyone spend time on an article about greenhouse doors? I mean it is pretty straight forward. Right? Basically, yes but as with any accessory of a greenhouse there needs to be thought put into it for it to be useful and worthwhile.

You’re building a greenhouse and you come across the line item of doors in the design phase. You need to get in and out of the greenhouse, equipment is coming in and out, possibly vehicles need access, the point is there is the plan for now and a need to plan for the future.This is not a very in depth topic, but look out 5 years and think what will I be growing? Will your access to the greenhouse need to change? Be sure to plan around this.

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Topics: Greenhouse Operations

Greenhouse Irrigation

Posted by Phil Bishop on Jul 17, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Why is watering so important?

Crop quality is closely tied to plant irrigation. Both the amount and the timing of watering are important, and should be carefully planned and monitored. Next to light, watering is the next most critical production factor.

What are the effects of under watering?

Even mild under‐watering causes photosynthesis to shut down. When plants lack adequate water for uptake, all aspects of plant development become stunted: leaves, fruit, flowers, stem growth are all affected. Depending on the stage of plant and degree of water stress, this stunting can have a permanent effect on the plant. Severe under‐watering results in a burned appearance on the foliage and flowers.

What are the effects of overwatering?

Excessive watering can be as or more damaging to the crop as under‐watering. The soil environment which is conducive to plant growth contains both readily available water and air. When soil is over‐watered, the air is ‘driven out’ of the soil, and the roots are unable to survive very long in this condition. If persistent, the roots die, and the plants are unable to uptake the water and nutrients they need. A wet root environment also promotes many root diseases.

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Topics: Greenhouse Operations

Greenhouse Ventilation and Cooling

Posted by Phil Bishop on Jul 12, 2017 12:00:00 PM

What is ventilation?

Ventilation is the exchange of air between the inside and outside of the greenhouse. It is used to remove heat from solar radiation, to replenish carbon dioxide and to help control the levels of relative humidity.

What is a ventilation rate?

The ventilation rate refers to the amount of ventilation per unit area. It is measured as cubic feet of air‐ per‐minute per square foot of greenhouse floor area (CFM per square foot) because the heat load derives from solar radiation and is directly proportional to floor area.

What is the difference between natural and mechanical ventilation?

Natural ventilation results from the wind and stack action from ventilator sashes. Mechanical ventilation is created by electric fans and related equipment.

What does cooling refer to?

Cooling consists of reducing the air temperature by the evaporation of water into the air‐stream. The system that does this and moves the cooled air through the greenhouse and exhausts the warmed air is the cooling system.

What is circulation?

Circulation is the movement and mixing of air in a greenhouse to promote uniformity in temperature and humidity and to provide proper air motion throughout the greenhouse.

This article is brought to you by the NGMA

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Topics: Greenhouse Operations

Insect Screening for your Greenhouse

Posted by Phil Bishop on Jul 3, 2017 9:00:00 AM

What are the advantages of insect screening?

Properly installed insect screening restricts the entry of insects and pests and reduces exposure to pesticides.

What are the disadvantages of insect screening?

While manageable, the disadvantages of insect screening includes increased sizing and fastening problems, less ventilation, reduced access to the greenhouse, and added maintenance. In addition screens can keep insects in as well as out.

What are the negative effects screens have on airflow?

Screens with small holes are more effective in excluding pests but are more resistant to airflow. A screen with too much restriction of airflow can cause higher static pressure drops, inadequate air exchange, increased energy consumption by the fans, excessive wear on the fan motors, and higher greenhouse temperatures.

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Topics: Greenhouse Operations

Internal & External Greenhouse Curtain Systems

Posted by Phil Bishop on Jun 26, 2017 9:00:00 AM

What are greenhouse curtains?

Greenhouse curtain systems are called shades, screens, and even blankets. No matter what they are called, they consist of moveable panels of fabric or plastic film used to cover and uncover the space enclosed in a greenhouse. Curtains may cover an area as small as a single bench or as large as an acre. Small systems are often moved by hand and large systems commonly by motor drive. Internal shade systems mount to the greenhouse structure below the rigid or film covering of the house. They are used for heat retention, shade (and the cooling effect of shade), and day length control or blackouts when the covering transmits lower than 1% of the incident light.

How do the curtains provide heat retention?

Any interior curtain system can be used for heat retention at night when the heating demand is greatest. Blackout systems can serve this purpose, even when day‐length control is not a consideration. The amount of heat retained and fuel saved varies according to the type of material in the curtain. Curtain systems can save energy in three ways; they trap an insulating layer of air, reduce the volume that must be heated, and when they contain aluminum strips reflect heat back into the house. A curtain system used for heat retention traps cold air between the fabric and the roof. This cold air falls into the space below when the curtain reopens in the morning. To avoid stressing the crop, it is important to uncover the curtain gradually to allow this cold air to mix with the warm air below. Alternatively, if the crop can tolerate the shade, the curtain can be left uncovered until sunlight warms the air above the system.

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Topics: greenhouse equipment

How to Buy a Greenhouse

Posted by Phil Bishop on Jun 21, 2017 2:30:00 PM

It may take longer but for your business it is the way to go. The way is a partnership, with a company that will work through your project with you. Some may say this takes out the competition between manufacturers in turn raising the price automatically. In reality the competition is up front, before the greenhouse that your business will rely on is the chess piece between manufacturers. The price of the greenhouse doesn’t go down in bid situations, the offering is simply reduced. Vetting companies and partnering with one you trust leads to a well thought out and designed greenhouse. In the typical greenhouse bid situation we've seen time and time again where bids come back that aren't comparable. This is due to several reasons i.e. each company has different ways of doing things, in bids price is a huge deciding factor so changes are made to the bid to reduce cost etc. This creates confusion for the buyer. The bids may be ok but deciphering the differences and coming to the conclusion of which one is right for the business is difficult.

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Topics: greenhouse

Greenhouse Glazing

Posted by Phil Bishop on Jun 19, 2017 9:00:00 AM

What materials are most commonly used for glazing commercial greenhouses?

  • Type 1: Thin plastic films, generally ranging from 2 to 8 mils (.002”‐.008”), normally installed using two layers with air inflation between the layers to provide added insulation. Specific types of films: ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polycarbonate (PC), polyester, polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polyvinyl fluoride.
  • Type II: Rigid Plastic panels such as single layer corrugated polycarbonate and fiber glass‐reinforced plastic (FPR); multi‐wall acrylic, impact modified acrylic and poly carbonate
  • Type III: Rigid Glass materials including annealed, tempered and laminated.

This article is brought to you by the NGMA

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Topics: greenhouse covering

Greenhouse Grow Lights

Posted by Phil Bishop on Jun 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

A grow light is an artificial light source designed to stimulate plant growth by emitting an electromagnetic spectrum appropriate for photosynthesis. Grow lights are used in applications where there is either no naturally occurring light, or where supplemental light is required. For example, in the winter months when the available hours of daylight may be insufficient for the desired plant growth, grow lights are used to extend the amount of time the plants receive light.

 

Metal Halid (MH)

  • Produce an abundance of light in the blue spectrum
  • This color of light promotes plant growth and is excellent for green leafy growth and keeping plants compact.
  • Best type of light to be used as a primary light source (if no or little natural sunlight is available).
  • The average lifespan is about 10,000 cumulative hours. The bulb will light up beyond this time but due to the gradual decline of light, it is not worth your while to wait for the bulb to finally burn out.
  • If you compare their lumen (brightness) per unit of energy consumed, metal halides produce up to 125 lumens per watt compared to 39 lumens per watt with standard fluorescent lights and 18 lumens per watt for standard incandescent bulbs.
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Topics: greenhouse equipment

Greenhouse Environmental Control Computers

Posted by Phil Bishop on Jun 12, 2017 9:00:00 AM

How do environmental control computers benefit horticulture?

The greenhouse environment must be accurately controlled to produce optimal conditions for crop production. In addition to controlling the humidity and temperature, environmental control computers can manage shade systems and supplemental lighting, control carbon dioxide concentration, schedule and sequence irrigation valves, and control the pH, EC, and temperature of the irrigation water. Because they integrate these functions into a single control system, environmental control computers can manage the complex instructions between these elements providing the grower with a tool to optimize production.

This article is brought to you by the NGMA

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Topics: greenhouse equipment

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