The Advantages of a Greenhouse
First off, A greenhouse is an ideal environment for an Aquaponics system. It can give you total command over the aquaponic system grow environment. Greenhouses also give you control of day and night temperatures, regardless of seasonal conditions by adding lights, insulation, ventilation, and more.
An aquaponics greenhouse provides an optimal and consistent growing environment, protecting the plants in your aquaponics grow beds from harsh weather conditions, insect pests, and disease.
Greenhouses can be configured to increase and reduce sun exposure as needed. In contrast, an outdoor aquaponics system would require an excess of components and maintenance issues to control seasonal temperatures.
Lighting or window glazing can boost temperatures during cold winter months, while shade cloths, blinds, and other types of insulation can be implemented to stabilize temperatures during summer.
What about the frame structure? Aluminum with its lightness and strength, are the perfect material to use for framing the walls, roof, shelving, and benches. Wooden frames are an appealing option if coated with wood pre-treatment, but will be susceptible to rotting over time otherwise.
*FYI- *Regarding information about greenhouse orientation, assume we’re referring to a location in the Northern hemisphere. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, reverse the facing accordingly.
The Benefits of an Aquaponics Greenhouse System
We truly believe the marriage of an aquaponic system with a greenhouse is a perfect match for growing crops. As an alternate method for growing organic vegetables and other plant types, an aquaponic system produces healthier crops faster than conventional gardening.
Aquaponics is the future of sustainable farming. It is a system that significantly reduces the amount of water and nutrients needed. Water is recycled throughout the system, minimizing any water loss. This is a substantial improvement over conventional agriculture methods. Organic vegetables and fruits can be produced with maximum nutrition, along with another sustainable benefit- the fish that are raised along side the plants.
An Aquaponics system does not require soil, and pesticides are not needed. A greenhouse without aquaponics will require soil for the plant trays and irrigation system, and uses gallons of water that can’t be reclaimed. Without the soil, insect pests and disease are dramatically reduced.
It is a system that comes with a natural aquaponics biofilter that turns Fish poop into plant nutrients, saving you money on fertilizers and plant food.
A greenhouse providing the space needed for an aquaponic system, creates an optimum ecosystem not only for the crops, but the fish environment as well. The solar positioning of the greenhouse and glazing of the wall panels, are another powerful asset to the health and growth of the aquaponic plants. To put it bluntly, we believe this method to be the future of food production globally.
Aquaponics Info Not Often Heard
Here’s one that most aquaponics gardeners aren’t aware of, plants inhale the CO2 that the fish exhale. A very symbiotic relationship that provides a boost of carbon dioxide into the greenhouse, that it wouldn’t have without an Aquaponic System.
It has been documented through the years going back to the mid 20th century, corporate farms have been exhausting our produce of nutrition. They have not replaced the nutrients they’ve depleted from the soils, and the land is starving. This is why aquaponics systems are needed, and can save our agriculture from this carnage.(1)
Aquaponics Greenhouse Plans To Save Time and Money
Make sure you plan ahead before you decide on the size and design of your greenhouse. You need to know your climate throughout the seasons, the budget you’ve allowed, and a location that will accommodate the size of the structure.
- What kind of crops are you going to grow and what months of the year? If you want tomatoes year-round, your greenhouse needs to stay at a minimum of 50°F.
- If you are only growing leafy greens then most of the year will suffice. Then if your region goes freezing during winter, you shut it down for that period or bring in the heating devices.
- Is your goal to feed your family and friends? Take your crops to market and build a business around it? Is it a decorative addition to the backyard or an educational hobby for the kids? Are you monitoring the greenhouse daily, or is it for relaxation as an occasional interest.
There isn’t a one-size fits all method when building a greenhouse, trust me. Planing ahead is the key, period.
Plan Your Greenhouse Location
Lets say you don’t think a greenhouse is such a great idea, and you decide to make plans for your garden this spring. You live in an area that freezes in the winter, and has extreme heat in the summer. Here are your options:
- Growing your plants indoors- limited plant varieties.
- Growing warm weather veggies outdoors in the summer, and winter crops indoors using costly lighting.
- You have an Aquaponics system in your backyard- you harvest the warm weather crops and fish at the end of summer, then shut down your system in the winter. lastly, start over from scratch the next spring.
Do any of these options sound good to you? Listen to me, and listen good (John Wayne voice). Just Get a Greenhouse!
Siting Your Greenhouse Location
- Start by getting some fresh air, and have a walk through the property noting how much workable space you have available.
- What about your trees, bushes, and structures on the property? You’ll need an open area large enough for the size of your greenhouse structure.
- You’ll also need open space to the south where maximum sunlight is coming from. Generally most growers position the elongated side of the greenhouse facing south. This will ensure that the plants get roughly 6-8 hours sun exposure needed during summer months. More on this Here
- If the greenhouse is placed near deciduous trees, the shade during hot summer days will benefit the plants. The sunlight returns during winter when the leaves fall. Make sure the deciduous trees are shading the south wall no earlier then mid-afternoon so plants still get morning sun.
- Never put your greenhouse directly under a tree, you’ll wind up with bird droppings, sticky branch residue, and potential glass breakage from falling branches. They get in the way when you need to clean or replace panels and glass.
- Since evergreen tree leaves shade throughout the year, be sure the greenhouse isn’t located too close, or the plants will suffer in the winter months without sunlight all day. Another taboo is positioning the greenhouse too close to large trees that may cause problems with damage to its foundation.
- Be sure the ground is level and well drained, preventing stress on the greenhouse structure.
- How about accessibility between the house to the greenhouse. You’ll want a pathway that is stable enough to move items in and out of the greenhouse.
- Do you have access to a water and electrical power source in your house? If you desire water and electricity in your greenhouse, you’ll need to know where the source is to connect them together.
- Do you have random high winds during the year? If yes, then heat loss will be an issue. Wind breakers can help if located up wind. Options would be trees, tall hedges, high walls, and other structures.