Controlled Environment Agriculture: Different Systems for CEA

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is the technology that allows cultivation of plants under preferred environmental conditions; within structures such as greenhouses, hydroponics, aquaculture, or aquaponics. By using CEA, we can produce high- value crops at maximum productivity in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. Moreover horticultural practices for crops can be optimized when grown under controlled conditions.

Significance: The strategy integrates science and engineering based approach to provide specific environments for plant productivity while optimizing resources including water, energy, space, capital, and labor. Well managed CEA operations can provide high- quality fresh produce, free of agriculture chemicals.

Different Systems for CEA

  1. Hydroponics: It is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, mineral wool, expanded clay pebbles or coconut husk. The environment of the plants can be efficiently controlled inside the grow room which directly impacts the productivity positively.
  2.  Greenhouses: A greenhouse is a structural building with different types of covering materials, such as a glass or plastic roof and frequently glass or plastic walls; it heats up because incoming visible solar radiation (for which the glass is transparent) from the sun is absorbed by plants, soil, and other things inside the building. Air warmed by the heat from hot interior surfaces is retained in the building by the roof and wall. In addition, the warmed structures and plants inside the greenhouse re-radiate some of their thermal energy in the infrared spectrum, to which glass is partly opaque, so some of this energy is also trapped inside the glasshouse. However, this latter process is a minor player compared with the former (convective) process. Thus, the primary heating mechanism of a greenhouse is convection. This can be demonstrated by opening a small window near the roof of a greenhouse: the temperature drops considerably. This principle is the basis of the autovent automatic cooling system. Thus, the glass used for a greenhouse works as a barrier to air flow, and its effect is to trap energy within the greenhouse. The air that is warmed near the ground is prevented from rising indefinitely and flowing away.
  3. Aquaculture: Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Freshwater and saltwater populations are cultivated under controlled conditions, on the contrary to commercial fishing, wherein wild fishes are harvested. Broadly speaking, aquaculture is akin to agriculture. According to the FAO, aquaculture is understood to mean the farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Particular kinds of aquaculture include fish farming, shrimp farming, oyster farming, algaculture (such as seaweed farming), and the cultivation of ornamental fish. Particular methods include aquaponics and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, both of which integrate fish farming and plant farming.
  4. Aquaponics: Aquaponics or pisciponics, is a sustainable food production system that combines conventional aquaculture, (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks), with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In aquaculture, effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish. This water is led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are broken down by nitrogen-fixing bacteria, then filtered out by the plants as nutrients, after which the cleaned water is re-circulated back to the animals. As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponics systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponics system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline

4. Aquaponics: Aquaponics or pisciponics, is a sustainable food production system that combines conventional aquaculture, (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks), with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In aquaculture, effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish. This water is led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are broken down by nitrogen-fixing bacteria, then filtered out by the plants as nutrients, after which the cleaned water is re-circulated back to the animals. As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponics systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponics system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline

How to grow Avocados from the Seed?

Avocado Seed, Avocado Fruit Trees

Avocado Seed, Avocado Fruit Trees
Avocados are one of the wonderful summer fruit, which is high in nutrition and flavor. Growing avocado trees is very easy and anyone can grow their own plant by planting a seed. A citrus avocado fruit trees nearly takes 10 to 15 years from seed to produce fruit and to know whether it is edible. All the fruits grown from seed will have different taste and they won’t taste like the grocery purchased avocado. It is because the grocery fruits are been grown from cloning or from grafting. Grafted fruit tree produce [Read more…]

Floating Hydroponic Vegetable Gardening

Floating Hydroponic Vegetable Gardening

Floating Hydroponic Vegetable Gardening
Have you ever heard about floating hydroponic vegetable gardening? Mostly floating vegetable garden grows on the lake or lake side. People who reside near the lake enjoy growing fresh homegrown produce all summer long as they don’t have much access for land they grow crops on the floating rack.

Building a floating garden is very easy; you need to create a special float made of logs. Get [Read more…]

Grow and care a houseplant Zebrina Pendula

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Zebrina Pendula, a wonderful houseplant to grow and care. Zebrina Pendula is a species of spiderwort and most commonly known as an inch plant or wandering jew. It is also knows as Tradescantia Zebrina. Zebrina pendula is a fast-growing plant with deep green or purple leaves and velvety purple undersides. Though it is a hardy plant, it can also be grown outdoors in warm climates.

Propagate Zebrina by its cuttings. Keep the cuttings in water and make sure you change the water [Read more…]

How to grow a Christmas tree hydroponically?

Rosemary Christmas Tree, Hydroponics Christmas Tree

Rosemary Christmas Tree
Getting ready for Christmas…? Are you confused which Christmas tree to purchase? Puzzled what should be gifted to your loved ones? Don’t worry you can just grow your own Christmas Tree in your indoor garden and enjoy decorating and gifting it to your friends.

Christmas tree is an evergreen conifer such as pine or fir which is traditionally associated with the celebration of Christmas. Setting up a Christmas tree has become a tradition now and most of them love to grow and decorate the natural trees in their home.

Fir (Abies) are most commonly used as a Christmas tree because this fir do not shed their needles even [Read more…]

How to get rid of odor in Hydroponics Systems?

Baddass Blower, Grow Gear

Baddass Blower, Grow Gear
Growing in hydroponics, growers found tastier and healthier vegetables and fruits in their hydroponics garden. Though growers enjoy growing purely organic garden, they experience an unpleasant and different kind of smell in their hydroponics garden. The bad smell is present in the hydroponics systems; since it has closed systems with controlled temperatures you cannot escape the bad smell.

Hydroponics is nothing but growing plants in organic ways using water, growing medium [Read more…]

Importance of Grow Lights in Indoor Gardening

Grow light, grow blubs

Grow lights for Indoor Gardening
Light plays an important role in plant life and it is necessary for the plant to survive as they serve as a primary energy source. No plant will survive for long without light. However, some plants still grow and flourish even without having direct sunlight on them, while some other plants thrive in artificial grow lights.

Few plants which thrive without direct sunlight are known as low light plants or shade plants.  These kind of plants can be grown under fluorescent lights. Few plants like tropical plants need lots of [Read more…]

Tips for Essential Plant Nutrients

Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrient Deficiency
Plants grow healthy and produce bigger yields when they are happy.  If your plants are not happy then they won’t turn up good.  Check and observe your plants closely, check their grow set up and their growing cycles.  You can say everything about your plant only by observing their leaves.

Watering your plants is the most important thing in gardening. There are different categories of plants and their water requirement is also different.  People misunderstand this concept and give a lot of water which leads to root rot and the plant dies.  Observe the leaves of your plant, [Read more…]

How to grow Cucumbers hydroponically?

Growing Cucumbers,

Growing Cucumbers,
Cucumber is a warm season vegetable which is a part of the gourd family. Cucumbers have many health benefits and used for skin treatment, especially for eyes! Let’s see how to grow cucumbers hydroponically.

Ideally, Cucumbers are grown during the summer but with one can grow Hydroponically anytime during an year. Growing cucumbers with hydroponics produce [Read more…]

How Hydroponic Nutrients differ from Soil Nutrients?

Hydroponic Nutrients Soil Nutrients

Hydroponic Nutrients Soil Nutrients
Plants need macro and micro nutrients to grow and thrive. These nutrients are supplied to the plants whether it is grown in soil medium or in hydroponics. Just like any other living tissue, plants also have tissues and it is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen along with 23 other elements essential for biochemical reactions and structural biomass development. Plants can obtain elements like carbon, nitrogen, and [Read more…]