A new greenhouse floor or system: 5 crucial points to consider

A new greenhouse floor or system: 5 crucial points to consider

A new greenhouse floor or system: 5 crucial points to consider

Jan 18, 2023 10:47:57 AM

Suppose you are investing in a new cultivation floor or cultivation environment. In that case, you naturally want to maximize your investment return and also have an optimal fit with your business processes and future ambitions. Therefore, it is important to review several issues and make clear choices. Here are some key success factors for you. 

1. Logistics in combination with a new greenhouse (outdoor field) floor

Consider your company's logistics lines and processes if you purchase a new greenhouse floor or cultivation system. How do you keep walking distances to a minimum? And how do you ensure that you can properly perform crop protection operations? What is the proper width of paths? Review all these aspects, make clear choices, and adjust your cultivation floor or system accordingly. In this way, you will increase efficiency within your company.

2. A new greenhouse floor affects the required water storage capacity

With the purchase of a new cultivation floor or cultivation system, you usually also need to invest in a basin or silos for water storage. It is important to ensure that these have a suitable storage capacity so that you have sufficient irrigation water available at all times. 

Therefore, map out the drought period you want or need to be able to bridge and adjust the size of your basin and/or silos accordingly. It is a good idea to consider future climate developments and possible expansion plans. More detailed information on this topic can be found in our blog post or our white paper on water management.

3. Number of hours of watering per day

Also, consider the maximum number of hours in a day you want to be watering. For a lot of crops, this number of hours is limited. For example, many crops prefer to avoid being watered in the middle or late in the day and are prone to disease or growth issues. The maximum hours of watering per day help determine such things as the pump capacity, pipe size, etc.

4. Diversity of fertilizer recipes

It is a good idea to map out how many fertilizer recipes you want to use and how wide the variation is. For example, suppose you work with fertilizer recipes in which the EC and pH vary greatly. In that case, keeping the return flows separate and ensuring a separate collection of return water is important. One reason is that it is advisable to reuse returned water that contains nutrients as quickly as possible. Then the available nutrients are used optimally.

We also advise collecting return water that still contains a lot of fertilizer in a relatively small silo. If you opt for collection in a basin, there is a risk that the addition of rainwater will significantly dilute the nutrient composition of the water. There is also the danger that the EC will rise too much and incorrect salts will accumulate. Furthermore, the risk of algae growth in the basin increases significantly when return water with a high EC is added to it.

5. Future plans for your nursery

When purchasing a new greenhouse/outdoor field floor or system, think about your plans for the future: do you have plans to expand your business, and what crops do you want to grow in the future? You may want to adjust your assortment in time, for example, because of developments in the market. Factor these matters into your choices regarding the new cultivation floor or system.

Adjustment of the assortment can influence the size or location of a basin or silo, which fertilization recipes you will use, which connections should be placed where etc. In short: determine your goals on the horizon and adjust your choices accordingly. The ErfGoed Masterplan can help you clarify these matters.

Looking for a new cultivation floor/cultivation system?

Are you seriously looking into the possibilities of different substrates in the greenhouse or for your outdoor field? Then download the white paper below. In it, we compare 7 different systems based on 15 different components. Prefer direct contact? Then click here. 

Whitepaper compare surfaces