Let’s say you’ve just made the decision to switch your operation over to light deprivation growing.
First off: congratulations! You’ve just made a transition to the most modern, edgy, and competitive method of growing today.
Once you’ve invested in your kit and you’re ready to build, your first question may be: “what’s next?”
For a successful operation, you’ll have to do far more than just build your greenhouse. You’ll also have to make sure you’re setting it up right, and then some.
To get started right, make sure to stock up on the following tips and bits of advice to ensure that your business and operation sets sail in the right direction!
ONLY THE BEST BLACKOUT FABRIC
Choosing the highest quality blackout fabric is the first essential step for a successful light deprivation greenhouse.
These fabrics should obscure around 99% of sunlight. Many types range from 99.3% all the way up to 99.9% - allowing just a little bit to simulate natural moonlight.
Additionally, the best types have different functions for each side, facing inward or outward. A reflective outside, typically finished with aluminum, helps reflect and redirect the sun’s rays away from the structures to keep temperatures stable.
The inward-facing fabric side is, predictably, black in color to assist with obscuring the sun. Maintaining a black color only inside, as opposed to outside, helps avoid problems with excessive heat absorption.
Last but not least, blackout fabric should also be lightweight and breathable for the purpose of preventing overheating. It also ensures that the covering and uncovering is an easy process, whether manual or automated.
POSITION YOUR GREENHOUSE RIGHT
While blackout cover of your setup will be its edgiest function, you’ll still want to make sure that your greenhouse gets enough light – that is, when you permit it to receive light.
Blackout fabric should completely block it all out when you need it. But when it’s not covered, ample sun is extremely important to your plants, and you’ll want as much of it as you can get.
One of the best ways to guarantee optimal sun? Choosing the perfect location and setup for your greenhouse, even before building begins.
Factors like slope, orientation, drainage, foundation, and more are details you should take into account, along with other location and setup factors to ensure successful growing.
CHOOSE TOP-QUALITY MATERIALS
Beyond blackout fabric and setup approach, there’s a lot more to be picky about with the rest of your greenhouse as well.
More than anything, you’ll want a strong, reliable structure made of excellent material. This includes framing materials, ribs, and even plastic coverings and more, if you opt for them.
Aluminum framing and ribs are a popular and stable material, rust-resistant and hefty. However, if you want to take it up another notch, high gauge top quality steel is an option, especially useful for windier sites.
Foundation is an important question to answer, too.
Will you cover the surface underneath your structure, or leave it open straightaway for planting? Regardless, greenhouse structures with solid foundations tend to be the strongest, and last longest.
Odds and ends like trussing, perlin, and adequate end walls need considering to add just a little extra support. Blackout end walls are also a great option, and especially desirable for your setup.
Even if you’re aiming for the most simplistic, basic greenhouse setup, you can’t overlook accessories!
Trying to combine season extension capabilities with a blackout system? Then a light deprivation hybrid kit may be up your alley, as it will allow you to gauge temperature while controlling light as well.
Want less labor for covering and uncovering? Opt for automated blackout covering, so you can stay busy with other tasks.
How about ample temperature control, on top of light control? Invest in roll up sides, temperature controls, and even humidity controls to fine-tune your plants’ environment. You can also add cooling walls, or install a heater for the coldest times of the year.
For added disease and CO2 control, accessories such as fans, vents, ducts, and other ventilation can further help with humidity and ensure a completely healthy crop.
ALWAYS COVER AND UNCOVER ON TIME!
If you’ve acquainted yourself with the science behind flowering, then you’ll know just how important it is to cover and uncover in a timely manner!
Good quality blackout fabric is designed to mostly extinguish light when its covering. Leave that fabric on too long, and you could interfere with the production and quality of the plants you’re wanting to grow.
As such, if you are using a manual system, you’ll have to be on-point with your covering and uncovering times, making absolutely sure that not even an hour of excessive darkness sneaks by. Even the smallest margins can be a stressful factor to any plant.
This is a good reason why investing in an automated system is a wise choice. Covers roll and unroll electronically by timer, so you can keep your mind focused on other growing tasks – and so you also never miss a beat.
CREATE A SYSTEM THAT CAN’T BE BEAT
Whether you’re a veteran grower or a newbie to the game, there are really only a few bases to cover for the best greenhouse system.
Just make sure you remember these important tips. Soon enough, you’ll be producing higher quality plants than ever before!