How many of you could use more space in order to produce and sell more product? Undertaking a greenhouse expansion is not trivial and is a significant capital investment. Instead of expanding the growing space, lettuce, leafy green, and culinary herb producers can look to altering their planting schedule and space allocation for crops. This article is going to cover how to use nursery channels and rafts in nutrient-film technique (NFT) and deep-water culture (DWC) hydroponic systems, respectively.
In a traditional production plan for leafy greens and culinary herbs, there are typically two phases in production: 1) propagation/transplant production; and 2) finishing. In these two phases there are also typically two different planting densities or spacings: 1) the high-density, close spacing used during propagation; and 2) a lowdensity, moderate spacing used during finishing. However, when seedlings are first transplanted into systems for finishing, they do not require all the space they are allotted at their initial planting. Nursery channels (for NFT systems) or rafts (for DWC systems) are areas with a greater planting density than the final plant spacing.
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