Featured

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Learning curve

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At the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University in NSW, construction is nearing completion on the new world-class Greenhouse Research Education and Training Facility.

by CHRISTINE BROWN-PAUL

Photography by Sam Ross – Additional photos courtesy Martech Plumbing See More

All bottled up

Bottle greenhouse

Made from around 6,000 plastic
bottles, the greenhouse is Youngtown
Primary’s latest addition to a thriving
outdoor classroom.

In primary schools in Tasmania and the UK, recycled bottle greenhouses are helping students learn lessons about sustainability and how to grow fruit and vegetables.

B CHRISTINE BROWN-PAUL See More

Managing stress and depression

Stress and depression

There were 2844 deaths in Australia due to suicide in 2014.

The hydroponic and greenhouse environment can be a stressful workplace; the pressure to produce a quality product consistently, providing good customer service, dealing with complaints, working to tight timelines, financial worries, climate and rural isolation, can all impact on grower and worker wellbeing. This article looks at stress, depression and suicide in the Australian farming community.

By STEVEN CARRUTHERS See More

Top End Greening

Nearby Katherine is Nitmiluk National Park

Nearby Katherine is Nitmiluk National Park, which embraces the dramatic Katherine Gorge and its many ancient rock paintings.

In the centre of Katherine in Australia’s Northern Territory, a hydroponic greenhouse has started growing green leafy vegetables and herbs.

By Christine Brown-Paul

Lying 320 kilometres southeast of Darwin, just below the “Top End”, Katherine is the fourth largest settlement in the Northern Territory. The township began as an outpost established with the Australian Overland Telegraph Line on the North-South transport route between Darwin and Adelaide. See More

Innovative coir system

Galuku Easyfil planterbags

Galuku Easyfil planterbags

Sydney-based coir supplier, Galuku, has created a substrate production system made of organic coconut fibre that has already proven successful for major berry growers such as Driscolls. When blueberries are grown in soil, an average fruit yield of 0.5kg is good for the first year of production. With Galuku’s Australian patented Easyfil Planterbags, Driscolls has experienced first year average yields as high as 3kg per plant. See More

Hydroponic Sorghum

Sorghum

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor).

The list of crops which can be grown hydroponically is endless. Theoretically, any plant that can be grown in soil can also be grown in a soilless system. Most hobbyists and commercial growers tend to focus on practical or high-value crops that are strongly suited to hydroponics. There are of course some unconventional crops, which can also be profitably grown in a soilless set-up, however impractical they may be. While these crops might not be ideally suited to hydroponics, the applications are sometimes worth pursuing.

By CLIF DROKE See More

Back to Eden

Hydroclimaponics

‘Hydroclimaponics’ vertical hydroponics system

In South Africa, one company has taken hydroponics to a new level. Its groundbreaking new vertical hydroponic system – Hydroclimaponics – facilitates control of the micro-environment of each individual plant’s carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity to deliver enhanced productivity.

By CHRISTINE BROWN-PAUL See More

Truss tomato yields . . . limited by shoot density

Download Truss-tomato-yield-calculator-from-shoot-density

Beef tomatoes

The top of high density crop of beef tomatoes.

Growers of truss tomatoes often overlook the fact that yields are limited by shoot density. Plant density has become somewhat irrelevant now that so many growers are using grafted plants with two shoots being taken from the cotyledons. Shoot density is a more useful term that can be used to describe both single stem (where shoot density = plant density) or multi-stem plants. See More

Black beauties

Eggplant

Eggplant (solanum lemongena)

Eggplant or aubergine is a species of nightshade grown for its edible fruit. This black beauty is a good source of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and often substituted for meat.

By STEVEN CARRUTHERS See More

Cultivation in hot climates

Grodan_01A major challenge faced by glasshouse vegetable growers in warmer climates, is dealing with the hot conditions, during the day and at night. High temperatures and radiation can create problems. So, the question becomes: what can be done to prevent these conditions from creating excessive stress on the crop?

By Phil Johnson See More

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