Developing an indoor growing system has been well established as a way to grow high-value crops year-round. Many factors come into play when building a greenhouse that can support a lucrative operation and for some, the choice to expand indoors isn’t a functional one. However, there are significant benefits in choosing to grow indoors.
The most difficult factor in developing a successful greenhouse unit, is bringing nature itself into an enclosed space. When setting up a greenhouse, you must take into consideration the different factors that plants thrive upon outdoors. The right lighting conditions, air circulation, heat, watering systems, and even replicating the biology of the soil, these factors significantly affect the quality of life for your plants. The better the quality of life, the better the crop you’ll receive.
From how many hours of light they get, down to the micronutrients present in the growing media. Putting crops into a closed cycle allows you to limit any variables that could harm your grow, such as drought and temperature fluctuations. This allows you to grow high-value crops without the risk of losing them to a non-preventable factor. This type of operation will involve a setup cost to put everything together, and then some yearly overhead to account for water, power, soil amendments, and regular maintenance. Greenhouses are normally designed for smaller-scale operations (even if you have a large greenhouse), so you can justify having a higher cost-per-plant with the knowledge that you’re going to receive a high-quality crop.
There are different soil mixes that you can use to reduce the cost of amending your soil over time. When growing high-feeding crops, the biggest factor in their health is having enough nutrition in the soil. Our Purple Cow IndiCanja soil mix is rich in both nutrients and biology, and has everything your heavy-feeding plants need to grow from seedling to harvest. This soil blend allows you to grow high-feeding crops, without spending thousands on fertility inputs. Just plant and water, and you’re good to go! For starting out plants, you’ll want to grow in a lighter mix that has fertility included to encourage healthy root growth. Our Purple Cow Organics Seed Starter mix is a perfect blend of compost, fertility, and drainage, that supports plants at their most vulnerable state without overwhelming them.
Your soil will need to be rejuvenated after your plant’s life cycle has been completed, but you have different options for how to do it.
You can replace your entire growing media with fresh media, which will give you the same soil quality that you know and love, and will limit the fertility inputs you need. This option may be a bit more expensive, but you’ll have the benefit of always knowing the soil you’re using. You can also amend your current soil, which is oftentimes more cost-effective than starting with fresh material each time. Amending your current soil also allows you to control the exact inputs you’re replacing.
However, when amending a growing mix it may not be possible to return your soil to the original quality it was when you bought it. It may also take time and research to know what blend of exact nutrients you need. Our liquid biological CX-1 and our Vegetable Supercharger are a great combination of carbon, minerals, and biology that can bring life back to your soil.
Soil biology is the most important factor for nutrient uptake by plants. In the wild, soil biology is replenished naturally through seasonal changes and decomposition. In a closed system, such as a greenhouse, biology needs to be replenished manually so that plants can continue to take in nutrients. There are several ways to achieve this: Activated Compost is a great amendment to use when you want to add more organic material to your growing medium, especially because it contains added biology and fertility that will release slowly into your existing media.
However, in a greenhouse there is often limited space to add back organic material. In cases like this, our liquid biological CX-1, paired with our Vegetable Supercharger, is an easy way to feed your plants with biology and minerals. The best part? If you have an overhead watering system, you can incorporate CX-1 without going to each individual plant!
- Fill irrigation reservoir with de-chlorinated water, then add CX-1 to your water. After, add Vegetable Supercharger to activate the biology.
- If applying through drip-irrigation, do not apply simultaneously with a synthetic fertilizer or biocide. Apply through irrigation lines and then flush briefly with clean water. Apply in-line fertility/biocides separately after CX-1 has infiltrated into your growing media.
- If organic fertility (Vegetable Supercharger) is combined with CX-1 in an injection tank, apply all of CX-1 within six hours of combining.
Greenhouse growing is an incredible exploration in learning exactly what nature provides for your plants so they can thrive. Though there are several steps to complete to have a successful greenhouse, we’re here to make it easy for you.
If you want to learn more about Purple Cow Organics, our products, or how to grow in a greenhouse, contact us at our website!