A greenhouse is a structure that is made up of transparent materials such as glass or polyethylene bags. The structures come in different sizes depending on the class and scale of farming. Plants are being grown in these structures under controlled conditions. Greenhouse farming can be industrial, commercial, or even domestic . The interior of the greenhouse is usually warmer compared to the outside. Resultantly, the crops are provided with enough warmth for their growth.
How it works
The aim of constructing a greenhouse is to increase the heat for the plants. Therefore, sunlight radiation passes through the roof and walls of the greenhouse. The sun’s energy is absorbed by the floor, which is usually earthen. It is then re-emitted to the greenhouse through infrared radiation. The infrared emissions cannot pass through the walls and roof; therefore, the warmth is retained in the greenhouse. The greenhouse is also closed out from the outside atmosphere so that the warmth can remain for a relatively extended period .
This type of farming is artificially controlled as crops are grown in an enclosed structure where temperatures are regulated. The structures are closed from the outside atmosphere. The aim of controlling the plants from the outside environment is to prevent them from pests and diseases, as well as to provide favorable conditions for the growth of the crops.
Type of plants
The types of plants that are mostly grown in a greenhouse are fruits and vegetables because these plants are sensitive and should be protected from pests and diseases. Crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and chilies thrive in greenhouses. Therefore, growing the monitored environment increases the plants’ productivity .
Open field farms
This is the type of farming whereby a large agricultural area is divided into small strips that are allocated to individual peasant farmers. It is a farming system that was mostly used in Europe in the 1800s . The fields would not be fenced; hence, they were referred to as an open field system. The large field was managed by one person and was only used during the growing season. The three most important components of the open fields were peasant farming, grazing, and growing crops in rotations.
How the open field system works
This system of agriculture entails having a large farm that is used by the community for agricultural activities. The large field is commonly managed by an organization or an individual. It is usually divided into small strips that are then allocated to peasant farmers . The peasant farmers do not have any ownership of the strip. The primary objective of such fields is to give farmers who do not have their farms an opportunity to practice farming. Additionally, the fields help in promoting crop rotation.
This type of farming is different from other types of farming by the virtue of being done in an open area as opposed to a fenced farm. Moreover, the strips of land that are given to individual farmers are different from the other systems where one person only owns the land, regardless of the size of the field. Finally, the open field system is only used during the growing season, meaning that the farmers cannot use the land at their convenient time.
Type of plants grown in the field
This kind of farming is best for seasonal crops because there is no permanent ownership. As a result, one cannot plant perennial crops as they would take a long time in the field. Plants such as maize, wheat, and sorghum can be planted in the open fields .
Net house farming
This is a type of farming where plants are grown in structures that are made up of net walls and roofs. The primary objective of net house farming is to control the growing conditions of the plants. The nets allow light to pass through. Crops are grown under controlled conditions such as temperature, irrigation, light intensity, humidity, fertigation, soil media, as well as disease control .
How they work
House structures that are made of nets are constructed with the inside being regulated and monitored depending on what the farmer wants to cultivate. For instance, the temperatures are warm because the walls and roof allow sunlight to pass through, and the energy is absorbed in the structure. The system works on the principle that each plant has its optimum temperature and conditions under which it performs best . In this regard, different types of nets are used for particular conditions.
The net housing system is almost similar to the greenhouse system. However, it is different as the nets are made of various materials as opposed to the greenhouse nets, which are made of one type of material only. Also, the net house farming system allows more control of growing conditions and can be customized for different plants compared to the greenhouse system.
This type of farming system is best suited for fruits and other horticultural crops like flowers and capsicum. Vegetables can also be cultivated in the system. Net housing helps increase the productivity of the plants by preventing the crops from pests and diseases .
Hydroponics farms are enhanced and highly innovative farms because crops grow in the absence of soil. It is a farming system where crops are cultivated using mineral nutrient solutions. The plants are grown in water and in the absence of soil so the plants have their roots suspended in water and mineral solutions. It is a type of farming that is very common in Abu Dhabi and Dubai .
How it works
Each plant has the unique nutrients that it requires for growth. Therefore, the particular nutrients are dissolved in water in preparation for cultivating the plant. The crops are then planted in the nutrient solution by suspending the roots in it. Soil is entirely omitted in this type of farming. Hydroponics farming is different from aquaculture as specific types of nutrients are dissolved in the water for specific plants, whereas in aquaculture there are no specific nutrients.
This kind of farming is different from other types of farming because no soil is required for growing crops. Therefore, plants grow with their roots suspended in water solutions, instead of the conventional type of agriculture where roots are under the soil surface . Also, specific nutrients that a particular crop requires are dissolved in the water. Therefore, the system is customized for each plant.
Types of plants grown in the hydroponics farming system
The types of plants that are mostly cultivated in this kind of farming are fruits and vegetables like spinach and kale, which do not grow in the soil. Extra caution should be taken when growing crops like yams and carrots, which grow beneath the ground. Hydroponics farming increases productivity because plants are managed at a high-level standard, and the crops are provided with everything they need for their growth . Additionally, crops can be grown in cities and arid areas because the soil is not required for growth.
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