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Hydroponics

Construction of Hydroponic Greenhouse:

Site Selection:

Selection of proper zone with milder climate, preferably low temperatures, clear days, good quality water, rain fall occurrence, availability of skilled work force, access to transportation are some of the many important factors necessary for hydroponic farming. Ignorance of the necessary considerations prior to installation results in failure and create mistrust in the technology. For instance severe weather, poor water quality may also increase energy expenses. The most important factor that determines the site selection is the availability of quality water for irrigation.

A level field is ideal for constructing a large greenhouse than undulating soil. Light restriction into the tunnel should be eliminated at the time of construction. Pest pressure from the adjacent fields is a vital factor that determines the location of the site on the farm. Buffer zones need to be created if large number of pests are available near the hydroponic site.

Greenhouse Orientation:

Proper orientation of greenhouse is essential for capturing maximum light and to ensure uniformity for all the plants in the greenhouse. The tunnels should be oriented along North-South direction and the plant rows should also run North-South in order to capture maximum light.

Site Elevation:

The elevation of hydroponic tunnel with respect to sea level is important since the high elevation witness low temperatures and vice-versa. Thus the location of greenhouse determines the energy expenses involved in raising the crops. For monitoring temperature, alarms are arranged to manage accordingly. Automation of hydroponic houses is common as the operator can monitor and manage temperature or humidity from a distant location.

Water Quality:

Water quality is a vital consideration for hydroponics. Poor quality water can cause toxicity problems, diseases, pH problems and the blockage of drippers. Vegetables such as tomato, cucumber and capsicum require 0.8 to 1.2 liters of nutrient rich water per day during winter days and 1.2 to 1.5 liters during summer. The pH of water ranges from 5.5 to 6.5 for most of the hydroponics vegetables. It is kept slightly acidic to promote better absorption of nutrients and faster growth of the plants.

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