Types of greenhouses in terms of technology level
Today, technology has come to help businesses in all fields to improve performance and efficiency, and greenhouses are no exception to this rule. Let's learn more about technology in greenhouses.
Today, technology has come to help businesses in all fields to improve performance and efficiency, and greenhouses are no exception to this rule. Therefore, if you are curious about how to use these technologies in a greenhouse, you should familiarize yourself with the types of technologies that can be used in this agricultural environment before building a greenhouse in order to make the best choice for your greenhouse.
At the end of this article, you will get to know the types of technology for setting up a greenhouse so that you can realize your dream of building a cheap and optimal greenhouse.
Low-tech or traditional greenhouses are the most common type of greenhouse that you can set up at a much lower cost than other types of greenhouses. Setting up these greenhouses is cost-effective because they have cheap structures and can be built easily. But if you are thinking about better performance for your crops, it is better to consider other options that we will explore below.
These greenhouses, which are also known as tunnel greenhouses, have many limitations due to their low technology. Among the most common limitations of low-tech greenhouses, we can mention the following:
The height is less than 3 meters, which is accompanied by planting restrictions.
They do not have vertical walls.
They use poor ventilation.
The possibility of using automatic devices and technologies is limited or impossible.
Due to the limitation of the environment, it has limited agricultural potential.
The production power of the greenhouse is low.
The efficiency of the environment is low.
Pests and plant diseases are more likely to occur in these greenhouses.
Greenhouse with medium technology
Medium-tech greenhouses, which we also know as semi-smart, are similar to low-tech greenhouses in terms of cost and utilization. But what makes these greenhouses a more economical and environmentally sound option for starting a greenhouse than the other types of greenhouses we've looked at?
These greenhouses have a better structural design than traditional greenhouses. The overall height of semi-smart greenhouses is about 5.5 meters, and the height of its vertical walls is between 2 and 4 meters.
Completing the semi-smart greenhouse structure is its cover. Usually, in these greenhouses, they use glass or colored films with one or two layers of glass.
The ventilation of semi-smart greenhouses is from the roof or the walls, and in some cases it is possible to use both types of ventilation in the greenhouse. The cost of building a greenhouse, which you have already considered, is influential in choosing the type of ventilation.
In semi-smart greenhouses, it is possible to use different types of smart devices. If you are thinking of building a cheap greenhouse, the number of automatic devices you can use will be reduced.
Smart management in medium-level greenhouses has made these greenhouses reach a balance between cost and production. For this reason, these greenhouses are a better choice than other types of crop planting and traditional greenhouses.
Plant breeding system
One of the systems used in the semi-advanced greenhouse is the hydroponic system. This system reduces the efficiency of water use in greenhouses and thus makes the greenhouse more economically efficient. But what is a hydroponic system?
The hydroponic system allows the growth of crops and plants in water. To build a home hydroponic greenhouse, you need to provide the right environment for plants and vegetables to grow using clay pellets, rock wool, recycled foam, peat, sawdust, sand or coconut fiber.
The type of management and operation of these greenhouses are similar to traditional greenhouses, so you can manage and control your greenhouse environment.
Many people may not use the hydroponic system to build a cheap greenhouse and reduce their costs. But increasing the productivity of the greenhouse with the help of pest management solutions makes the use of this system economically justified.
The superiority of the hydroponic system over other greenhouse cultivation methods is in providing the possibility of faster plant growth. The reason for this is that plants and vegetables do not need to spend a lot of energy to find oxygen, water and nutrients needed in the soil for root growth. This helps to increase the quality of crops cultivated with this method in addition to faster growth.
Another thing that makes the hydroponic system suitable for setting up a greenhouse is the increase in production of this system compared to other soil and traditional systems. For example, tomato production in low-level greenhouses with soil systems is between 5 and 10 tons per hectare. This amount in greenhouses that use the hydroponic system is between 60 and 300 tons per hectare.
Advantages of the hydroponic system
Building a semi-intelligent greenhouse with a hydroponic cultivation system has several advantages that we mention:
There is no possibility of pest, disease or soil fungus growth.
Plants without the need for pesticides are larger than plants exposed to pesticides.
They can grow all year round.
The maintenance of products in this system requires little time due to no need for weeding or watering.
The use of water in this system is optimal.
This system allows better use of greenhouse space without occupying much space for cultivation.
Disadvantages of the hydroponic system
The hydroponic system, like any other system, has a series of disadvantages. Therefore, to set up your semi-intelligent greenhouse, it is better to consider its disadvantages:
Installing a hydroponic system is expensive and requires a relatively high initial budget.
It is possible to transmit plant diseases through water.
Using this system requires expertise.
It needs more supervision than soil greenhouses.
Types of hydroponic systems
If you intend to start a cheap hydroponic greenhouse, you can choose one of its types of systems to grow your plants:
- Deep Water Culture or Reservoir Method
- System based on NFT or Nutrient Film Technique
- Wicking System
- Ebb and Flow/Flood and Drain system
- Drip System
The best and most advanced greenhouses available today are single or advanced greenhouses that use high technologies. You may think that these greenhouses are not a suitable and economical option, but it is also possible to build cheap single greenhouses. But what is the difference between these greenhouses and the two types we reviewed earlier?
The height of single greenhouses is more than other types of greenhouses and is between 4 and 8 meters, for this reason its environmental performance is better than other competitors. The cover of these greenhouses varies depending on their function, but usually they use one or two layers of plastic film, polycarbonate sheet or glass.
The ventilation of greenhouses is single-roof, and according to the needs of the greenhouse, it is also possible to use side ventilation valves.
By setting up single greenhouses, you can feel the joy of being in an almost automatic environment. In these greenhouses, they use the Internet of Things in agriculture, which implements intelligence in all departments and activities of plant growth.
Advanced greenhouse intelligent management occurs with the help of Internet of Things, sensors, positioning systems (GPS), robots and artificial intelligence in the greenhouse environment. The aim of this system is to increase the quality and quantity of agricultural products while optimizing the human resources needed for it.
In advanced greenhouses, there are various advanced equipments that help in the process of smartening up the greenhouse. The data of this equipment will help you to monitor the current events in the greenhouse with a higher level of accuracy. In this way, you can learn more about the needs of plants and have a proper plan to prevent them from getting sick and increase their health.
Some of the most important equipment that will help you in this goal are:
- Sensors for soil scanning, light, water, humidity and temperature management
- Advanced communication technologies such as GPS
- A variety of hardware and software to assist in robotics and automation processes
- Data analysis tools to predict and make decisions about crop yields, soil mapping, climate change, and machinery
- Satellites and drones to collect data around the clock
Technologies used in smart greenhouses
To set up a cheap smart greenhouse, you need to get familiar with the types of technologies that are used in these environments. Therefore, you can increase the efficiency of your greenhouse production by choosing the right technologies.
Vertical cultivation technology, by simulating an ideal environment for the growth of agricultural products, manages the conditions so that the crops are not damaged by pests and climate changes. Simulated environments with this technology have the ability to grow a wide range of products, the possibility of their destruction is much lower than other cultivation systems.
The difference between the vertical farming management system and other cultivation systems is in the way of managing the space. In other systems, the focus is on managing and controlling the outer space of the greenhouse, but in this system, tech specialists manage the space inside the greenhouse. The management of light, temperature, nutrients and humidity in these greenhouses creates ideal growing conditions for plants.
For cheap and smart greenhouse setup, smart climate control stations are very popular and are among the most widely used tools for smart farming. By collecting necessary information such as mapping of weather conditions and incoming weather fronts for modern agricultural specialists, these stations provide the conditions for creating an ideal environment for agriculture.
In addition to the things we said, these stations can offer ideal products to people who want to build a cheap greenhouse. Finally, this technology can help you make decisions about every season of the year.
Apart from political purposes, drones also play a role in modern agriculture. The use of this technology to set up a smart greenhouse is spreading. The reason for this is the collection of data needed for ideal cultivation and land survey by these drones.
The use of drones in the intelligent management of the greenhouse makes the owners of these environments unnecessary and helps them in many stages of cultivation, such as the following:
- Physical examination of the state of health and growth of each plant
- Planting crops
- Pest Control
- Monitor the condition of the greenhouse
Internet of Things
The last technology that you can use to set up a cheap smart greenhouse is the Internet of Things. This farming method is similar to the management method that industrial manufacturing companies use to control their machinery problems. Internet of Things technology provides greenhouse managers with critical data for intelligent management with the help of smart sensors.
The data obtained with the help of the Internet of Things will help the modern farmers of single greenhouses to make decisions about the possible future conditions of the environment. The period of growth of crops before harvest, the possibility of diseases and pests, fertility, etc. are among these conditions that can be predicted with this technology.