Creating more green for greenhouse growers

Creating optimal growing conditions in greenhouses can greatly impact production and make year-round growing possible. Twenty-four researchers from land-grant institutions are working together to develop practices and tools to help growers efficiently manage controlled-environment facilities. Growers who adopt these recommendations have seen savings of 5% to 30%, and average-sized businesses have saved $20,000 annually in operating and maintenance costs.

Charles and Matt Bauer grow hydroponics snapdragons in White Hall MD

Among the developments:

  • Guidelines for reducing fertilizer leaching by fivefold
  • Demonstrated ability to use high-sodium water to grow plants, requiring less fresh water use
  • More efficient lighting, energy-saving greenhouse designs and tools to monitor energy use
  • Prototype development for lunar greenhouses and designs for research facilities in Antarctica