Whether you have a small operation or a larger one or are considering vegetable greenhouse cultivation for the first time, Agra Tech, Inc. has the equipment, the tools and the knowledge to make it a successful endeavor. Within the last decade, commercial vegetable growing greenhouse operations have become more prevalent for a wide range of reasons. With more people on the planet, less farmland and fewer available resources, growing food in greenhouses will be increasingly necessary within the next 20 years.
By completely controlling the climate and growing environment, local vegetable farms are cropping up from Hawaii to New Hampshire–using modest-size greenhouses to produce high-quality vegetables. Many of these business models proudly wears the “local, organic and sustainable” badge and consumers flock to these regional artisan growers of everything from kale to peppers and all the way to exotic vegetables such as arugula and unusual culinary herbs.
People are willing to pay a little more for locally grown produce, because they value the green approach and appreciate the health advantages of fresher vegetables that don’t need to be shipped in via trucks from many miles away. As gas prices rise, local providers will become more and more popular, because their prices will trump the competition that has to truck in products from faraway. By using less water and creating less waste with a smaller carbon footprint, these local growers can turn crops more frequently and create profits more quickly than an outdoors in-ground farm. And by using sophisticated hydroponics in controlled environments, growers can produce high-quality products year round without interruption.
By partnering with the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of vegetable growing systems, Agra Tech, Inc. has the equipment, knowledge and experience to set up vegetable growers for success. This section of our website will allow you to research the different methods and systems for growing vine and leafy vegetables. By producing more products while using less energy, labor and time, an Agra Tech greenhouse coupled with one of these systems, can provide a handsome return on investment.
The types of vegetables you grow will dictate what growing systems to incorporate into your greenhouse. From sophisticated to basic, ideally growing systems should be identified prior to purchasing your greenhouse, so that you can buy one that is right for your operation.
With Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), you can produce vegetables year-round; produce vegetables that are consistently high-quality; enjoy a high level of versatility to change your crops to meet the demands of changing marketplaces; and do it green, efficiently and in a sustainable manner.
In addition to the greenhouse, ATI can also help its clients to purchase the following:
- Greenhouses of all sizes
- Energy retention equipment, including shade curtains
- Irrigation systems, including hydroponics
- Turnkey solutions
- Customized growing systems
- Heating, cooling & ventilation systems
- Grow lights
- Electrical accessories
- System integration products
Let the Water Do All the Work
By not using soil, hydroponics irrigation methods in conjunction with a greenhouse can allow you to completely control your environment and grow more vegetables than using conventional techniques. For maximum production per square foot while using a minimum of moving parts, NFT hydroponics is the optimum way to grow leafy vegetables. It also allows you to grow them literally anywhere—from rooftops to deserts and all of the way to very cold climates.
To grow leafy vegetables such as lettuce and herbs, the Nutrient Film Technique (N.F.T.) style of hydroponics is normally integrated into a greenhouse environment. It’s a closed system in which water, minerals and oxygen are re-circulated over the plant’s roots, eliminating evapo-transpiration and the unnecessary waste of precious resources. Because the plants get everything they need all the time ,the energy they would normally spend searching for minerals in the soil is used to grow bigger vegetables with NFT hydroponics. Basil, cilantro, parsley, brussel sprouts, arugula, watercress, fancy lettuce, head lettuce, bak choy and even mazuna will grow 20-30% faster using hydroponics, allowing you to turn crops more often than using conventional in-ground non-greenhouse farming. (Estimating approximately 20-26 turns annually)
Agra Tech works closely in conjunction with American Hydroponics, (www.AmHydro.com) since 1984, a company that designs and manufactures manual systems that provide top returns on investments for growers from 60 feet to two acres. Agra Tech also works with Hort Americas (www.hortamericas.com) that sells automatic systems that are ideal for two acres and more. Both companies are experts in hydroponics and know how to produce high-quality vegetables to make healthy profits.
Vine Hydroponics Greenhouse Systems
Do It Bucket-Style
By using the ageless Dutch Bucket hydroponic system, indoor or greenhouse farmers can grow high-quality vine vegetables that are larger and healthier than those grown outdoors in soil. For peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and other vine plants, recirculating vine crop systems will produce more vegetables while using fewer resources and re-using both nutrients and water.
A closed Dutch Bucket system (AmHydro’s 210 VC System) involves 10 Bato Buckets, freestanding galvanized steel table frames to hold buckets; a commercial Truncheon Conductivity Meter for measuring and monitoring nutrient levels; plumbing; growing medium; an ABS reservoir and all associated accessories. By accessing our vast knowledge and extensive experience, ATI and its vendor partners can have you up and producing vine vegetables in a very short time. And by using world-class techniques for growing, marketing and distributing your products, ATI can help you to realize profits and making growing vegetables a sideline or a full-fledged career, if you desire.
Transplant Greenhouse Growing
For Healthier, Sturdier Transplants
When compared to field-grown transplants, greenhouse transplants can be grown faster, while producing plants that are superior and more uniform. By carefully controlling their environment, transplants grown in greenhouses can be held longer and harvested when you choose. Because containerized plants are less crowded and healthier overall, greenhouse transplants will normally be stockier and stronger.
In addition, greenhouse grown containerized transplants provide an ideal method for establishing vegetable plants that possess a media-enclosed root ball, which retains moisture and root integrity at transplanting, and thereby reducing transplant shock. Transplants grown this way customarily result in enhanced stands and earlier harvests. This leads to increased profits and eliminates added production costs, because the chances of losing crops due to frosts or other factors are greatly reduced, meaning you won’t have to undertake costly re-planting.
Before deciding whether you should grow vegetable transplants, give us a call and we will advise you, based on several factors, such as the size of your overall operation; the investment of time and money; and the vegetable transplants you want to grow.
In-Ground Greenhouse Growing
Conventional Meets Innovative
Depending on your layout and space requirements, in-ground vegetable growing might be the best solution for you. You can produce exceptional vegetables faster in a CEA setup based on in-ground growing, the way nature intended to grow them. In-ground greenhouse growing requires a smaller initial investment and allows growers the flexibility to extend the growing season by manipulating the weather conditions.
Growers performing in-ground greenhouse cultivation can protect their crops against frost, wind, hail and/or excessive exposure to the sun. Greenhouses can start simply by providing cover for the crops, all the way to more complex systems offering full climate control. This technique also offers growers a high level of adaptability, because they can convert their systems to incorporate hydroponics seamlessly in the future.
By: Ed Attanasio