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Discussion forum for the various methods and structures used for getting an early start on your growing season, extending it for several weeks or even year 'round.

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Old April 29, 2017   #1
mohanurs
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Default Proof of Concept - water management

Firstly a big thank you for accepting my membership and its great to know about this forum focused on tomato growing and discuss the nuances of it.

Let me introduce myself... Was working as cybersecurity lead in one of the largest financial institutions, quit and plunged into full time farming profession in 2012.

What made me do this? An experiment to build a self sustainable ecosystem, completely offgrid, with acute focus on water management. So I had this old farm handed over by my father, once a very rich biodiverse farm witha perennial creek, with literally wild animals living in the farm! This is how it was when I used to visit thr farm on summer vacations in the 70s and 80s. We used not venture into some areas as there were too many poisonous snakes and leeches.

2012 to 2016 - Series of severe draught since 2005, to an extent of just one 10mm rain 2016, the creek completely dried up, most of the trees all dead and gone, spiky bushy shrubs replacing the flora, all the fauna literally wiped out except for some wild bores, rodents and some snakes! Deep borewells to suck high TDS salty water for survival.

In 2017 Jan, setup my first greenhouse to grow vegetables using precision agriculture methods with a goal to use less than 10% of water when compared to traditional farming. I call this a proof of concept (PoC) and my first crops are 4 varities of tomato and 2 varities of salad cucumber.

Sown on March 15th, the cucumbers r already yielding and the tomatoes are about a foot high.

I am looking forward actively participating in this forum and exchange best practices for the benefit of all. My contributions shall be in all matters related to the farm and agriculture if allowed.

Thanks once again for accepting my membership and my best wishes to one and all.

Warm regards
MohanUrs
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Old April 30, 2017   #2
dmforcier
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Welcome, mohanurs!

It seems that you are having to deal with issues that most of us don't. I have a question. Since you are growing in greenhouses that are(?) relatively isolated from the outside environment, are you doing anything to recapture the water vapor transpired by the plants? E.g. running dehumidifiers to take the water out of the air? (Could that possibly be cost effective?)

Or has the drought eased?
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Old April 30, 2017   #3
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Welcome, MohanUrs! I don't think we have too many members from India so far, so it will be interesting to hear about your farming practices and experiments. It sounds like you are working with challenging conditions and have some good ideas on overcoming them.
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Old April 30, 2017   #4
mohanurs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
Welcome, mohanurs!

It seems that you are having to deal with issues that most of us don't. I have a question. Since you are growing in greenhouses that are(?) relatively isolated from the outside environment, are you doing anything to recapture the water vapor transpired by the plants? E.g. running dehumidifiers to take the water out of the air? (Could that possibly be cost effective?)

Or has the drought eased?
Hi, I find the RH% inside the GH when foggers r off, tend to hit the bottom and the plants suffer from excessive dehydration and start wilting. So primary concern here is humidification so that I can atleast maintain RH above 50% during the day. I recently rigged up an Aurdino microcontroller based temperature and humidity data logger. Now I am working on a controller to trigger the fogger motors on a trial and error frequency to achieve moderate RH consistently during the day.
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Old April 30, 2017   #5
mohanurs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddsack View Post
Welcome, MohanUrs! I don't think we have too many members from India so far, so it will be interesting to hear about your farming practices and experiments. It sounds like you are working with challenging conditions and have some good ideas on overcoming them.
Thanks and its indeed a challenging condition out here. The temperature these days is hitting a peak of 42 C (107F) inside the polyhouse, and the foggers consume 5 times more water than the drip system. So I redesigned my polyhouse with lot more ventilation and now planning to fix fans with humidifiers to circulate humid air within the polyhouse. Will update the results once tested
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Old April 30, 2017   #6
mohanurs
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Last edited by mohanurs; April 30, 2017 at 03:48 AM.
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Old April 30, 2017   #7
mohanurs
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Here is an interpretation slide from the data logger.



PS: there is a typo in point 4, read it as 30 to 50% RH
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Old April 30, 2017   #8
mohanurs
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Old April 30, 2017   #9
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Welcome, MohanUrs! It sounds like you are having nice success! We hope to hear more about your effort!
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Old April 30, 2017   #10
mohanurs
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Thanks philagardner, hope to succeed in 2017, so far its been just tiring years of labor... But one thing I can say is its far better world being a grower emotionally, health wise and ethically, when compared to the corporate world I was thriving in.
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Old April 30, 2017   #11
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A rodent menace! Have lost over 500 saplings due to borrowing rodents under the mulching and weed mat. Suggestions which r not health hazards r welcome.
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Old April 30, 2017   #12
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Are shotguns considered health hazards?


Rats, or have you not identified the varmints?
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Old April 30, 2017   #13
mohanurs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
Are shotguns considered health hazards?


Rats, or have you not identified the varmints?
Well the rodents are the burrowing type, they r never visible on surface ground, so shotguns r ruled out. These r the bigger bandicoots what we call them in India
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Old April 30, 2017   #14
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Hydroponics offers the most frugal use of water resources.
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Old April 30, 2017   #15
mohanurs
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Yes sir, I have borrowed some learnings from hydroponics in my project. My next experiment will go 100% soilless and later plan to dabble in aquaponics too. But all this can happen only after my commercial success as a grower
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