Archive for Keder

Harvesting Potatoes Earlier Than Expected!

 

Growing Potatoes in a Greenhouse can provide you with amazing results.

 

In New Hampshire, we grew redsen potatoes, and a few yellow potatoes, in an unheated greenhouse covered in  Polydress(R)SolaWrap greenhouse film.  The potatoes grew in soil grow beds, however we also have aquaponic grow beds in our greenhouse, as well.  We planted during a blizzard at the end of February.  The plants started off rather slowly, but quickly grew as the days got longer.  We watered them regularly, making sure they got at least an inch of water per week.  The grow beds also drain really well, so the tubers were never able to stay wet for too long, keeping them from rotting.  The foliage looked so healthy and the plants grew so straight that one visitor remarked that they looked fake.  Then the foliage started to weigh the plants down, and they fell over one by one.  By May, they were ready for harvest.  We held off a little, hoping that they would grow just a little bigger.  When we discovered aphids on the leaves, we knew it was time to harvest.

 

We cut the stalks and shook off the aphids over the fish tank.  The fish went wild!  They loved the sweet treat.  Aphids have a melon-like flavor, making them very appealing to both predatory insects and fish.  In an aquaponic system, feeding fish a natural diet can greatly enhance the flavor and nutrient level of the growing food.

 

We left the potatoes in the ground for two more days, allowing them to dry slightly before we harvested.  My toddler, preschooler, and I began to dig and pull the tubers out of the raised beds.  After we harvested 21 pounds of potatoes in our greenhouse, we were wiped out!  So we sent daddy out to dig the rest.  When the rest of the potatoes had been harvested, we had almost 60 lbs of potatoes from a 30 square foot area of raised bed space.

 

The potatoes varied in size.  Some were small “soup potatoes” that I don’t even have to cut up to put in stew.  Some are the size of softballs.  We allowed the potatoes to dry on our counter for a day, then we layered them with paper towels in a cardboard box.  We store them in our basement, which maintains a temperature between 40° and 60°.  Consulting different sources can give you vastly varying temperature ranges for the ideal potato storage.  Some say between 30° and 40°, others between 50° and 60°.  So we figure we are safe with between 40° and 60°, considering that the alternative is to have one giant party with the motherload of potato salad.

 

We are growing another round of potatoes in a different part of the grow bed in the summer.  We are using diatomaceous earth proactively on the leaves and dirt surrounding them.  Last year, in the outside garden, we dealt with colorado potato beetles.  We are hoping to avoid the same scourge of pestilence this year with DE.  Diatomaceous earth is made of crushed diatomes, which are ancient crustaceans.  It is chemically inert, and so cannot hurt your plants, or you and your children.  It’s power lies in it’s physical characteristic: spikes.  The razor spikes of the uneven edges of the diatomes cut the outer layers of soft-bodied pests such as aphids and colorado potato beetle larvae.

 

Unfortunately, we do not have any ladybugs in our greenhouse.  Ladybugs thrive on aphids, and can wipe out populations without any assistance from us.  However, ladybugs are also hurt by DE in their larval stage.  So we feel safe using DE in our greenhouse.

 

We also moved the potatoes to a new bed so we could follow the last crop up with beans.  Potatoes are heavy feeders, meaning they really deplete the soil because of the nutrients they use.  We mixed in compost about six inches deep and then planted beans.  Green beans fix nitrogen into the soil, so following potatoes with beans can help restore lost nutrients.  Our beans are already sprouting.

 

Having a greenhouse has changed the way our family looks at food.  We have learned so much about plants, and the cycles they go through and need.  I love teaching my children about food through hands-on learning.  My kids eat vegetables right off the vine, that’s just how they are being raised.

 

If you are concerned about the quality of the food you are feeding your family, perhaps building your own greenhouse in your back yard is the solution. Don’t try this alone, as for some, there can be challenges. It is more fun to build a greenhouse and grow food together with others; even if you meet online to discuss your project We are here to increase your level of success. Simply join our webinars and ask your questions, see you there!

Greenhouse Plastic Options, What Offers the Best Value?

SolaWrap Greenhouse Plastic

SolaWrap Greenhouse Poly

Greenhouse Plastic Options for greenhouse covering materials are increasing.

 

You can find cheap 4 or 6 mil at your local home improvement store.  This will last for one season to up to four years.  4 or 6 mil plastic is polyethylene with high light transmission and low light diffusion.  It can be doubled up to increase the low insulation levels, however you must blow air through the two layers to get a higher insulation value.

 

Polycarbonate comes in many different forms.  You can find single layer, twin-wall, up to 5 wall polycarbonate.  All these options use channels to hold air, required for insulating the greenhouse.  These channels must be sealed to get the most insulation out of your polycarbonate.  You also will need to choose between high light transmission, and high light diffusion.  A clear polycarbonate will give you high transmission, but low diffusion.  A glazed polycarbonate will give you high diffusion with low transmission.  Both diffusion and transmission of sunlight are important for successful plant quality and  yield .  Light transmission shows how much light gets into the greenhouse.  Light diffusion is the soft light that plants love and thrive under.  If you deprive your plants of one or the other, they will suffer in some way.

 

SolaWrap utilizes bubbles in thick polyethylene plastic to both transmit high amounts of light, and diffuse high amounts of light.  The bubbles bend the light in all different directions so no glaze is needed to diffuse as well as block light.  The result is astounding.  The amount of light your plants receive helps them to grow quickly, while the diffused light hits all surfaces of the plant, allowing it to develop fruit faster.  Growers in the Mediterranean have reported a three week advancement in their tomato crop, as compared to tomato plants grown in greenhouses covered in other kinds of greenhouse plastic.

 

Not all plastics are created equal.  SolaWrap is made in Germany.  It was invented with through quality German engineering.  Germans are known for their skills and production of high quality products.  SolaWrap is available in the US now after 30 years of exclusivity in Europe.  The process of blowing the bubbles into SolaWrap and welding a strong keder cord onto the sides of the material is proprietary and nearly impossible to replicate.

 

SolaWrap comes in four different widths, 4’, 5’, 6’, and 2 meter.  These widths accommodate different bow spacing on greenhouses.  SolaWrap comes 100 meters long, or 328 feet.  Instead of panels or large sheets, these strips of greenhouse plastic allow for easy installation.  Not only is it easy, but it is safe too.  For those needing to re-cover greenhouses, SolaWrap offers the quickest and safest installation available.

 

We offer a new paradigm in greenhouse plastic.  Get all the benefits, with no compromises. Protect your crops from harsh weather conditions and enjoy the benefits of growing year round with less energy.

Join our webinars to learn more. Email us if you have questions. Share your success with us on Facebook!

 

 

 

Are You Frustrated When Searching for Poly Keder Greenhouse Plastic?

Greenhouse Poly Solawrap

Greenhouse Plastic Solawrap

If you have wanted to build a greenhouse in your back yard and have researched geodesic greenhouse domes, a website might appear that offers a book entitled “Eden Bio Dome Revolution”. This is an E-Book that provides information about building a greenhouse structure in a Geodesic dome design. In it the author expresses his concern about our food supply where, he indicates that the quality of commercially grown food has become questionable.

 

Raising children on our own, and believing along the same lines as the author, we decided to build a greenhouse dome in our back yard. Initially after purchasing the eBook we were overwhelmed and like many others quite confused.

However, just like so many others who purchased Bio Dome Revolution, we got excited about the thought of growing our food in a dome. Then went on a wild goose chase searching for the for a special greenhouse covering mentioned in the book that the author, Kacper, claims is the best greenhouse covering in the world, to cover a geodesic bio dome that his book tries to teache how to build.

He calls this special material Poly Keder. He then provides the contact information of a Canadian couple that sells poly keder out of their barn in Manitoba, Canada. I’m sure that everyone that reads this book tries to contact the Canadian family with hopes to get their hands on Poly keder.

We personally know the Haines family has received over 1500 phone calls in 2011.  I am sure everyone reacts the same way when they are told that it costs $3000 for 2100 square feet of the greenhouse plastic, poly keder.

The readers, just like us, realize that the information is a bit unclear, based on the fact the book states that one could build a bio dome for about $500. Then they hang up and try to catch their breath. With time they realize if they spent all the effort to build a geodesic greenhouse then it would make sense to invest the best greenhouse covering that will last longer and allow for a reduction of heating costs for year round growing.

When we did the math and understand the concept of replacing a greenhouse skin every few years, we called the Haines back ready to order a roll of the poly Keder. When we got the shipping quote of $800 + and realized that the cost is way too much to pay.

Then we went back to the web and continued our search for Poly Keder and found a company called “Made In America” that specializes in “keder” solutions. Quickly we realized that “Made In America” does not carry Poly Keder greenhouse plastic that we could use for covering our geodesic dome. What they carry is keder beading which is actually the edging piece attached to vinyl signs, providing an easier way to affix a vinyl sign to a structure.

Frustrated, we continued to search. We then came across PolyKeder.com. We got our hopes up; only to find out that JKB Distribution, who owns the site, do not have any PolyKeder in stock and you will have to pay for your order up front. We placed an order, then we found out we had to wait till JKB has enough orders to purchase a full container from Germany, which could take months. When we dug even deeper we actually found out that JKB Distribution does not actually have rights to sell Poly Keder. Please be careful, we were foolish and lost money with this company.

Then with exasperation, we actually contacted the manufactures in Germany and have since become designated as the  sole US importers through our distribution center in California.

Just so you know PolyKeder is not even called PolyKeder in the USA, it is called SolaWrap. You will see that SolaWrap will appear tagged with poly keder, because that is how it is referenced in the E book.

The one thing that was correct in the Ebook about the greenhouse plastic, is that it offers more benefits than most greenhouse plastics on the market currently being sold in the US.

Now you can order SOLAWRAP greenhouse poly and not have to wait months to cover your precious bio dome creation with the one covering that allows for year round growing. Solawrap is $3000 a roll, however we do not add any extra for shipping costs to most places in the mainland of US.

So why should you cover your greenhouse with SolaWrap? If you are serious about having a greenhouse that will provide your food year round, then you will want to build a secure durable structure that will last the longest.

When you consider the fact that you will not have to replace your greenhouse covering for about 20-25 years and Solawrap provides the maximum diffusion and light transmission and insulation for winter greenhouses more than anything on the market, you will save money in the long run.

We are fortunate and honored to be the US distributors and look forward to serving commercial and personal accounts. We stand by the product and are confident you will reap an increased harvest and many other benefits.

Please join our community and bi- weekly webinars. We know how hard it can be when you first begin searching, then building your own greenhouse kit. Growing plants in a controlled environment also has its own set of challenges, as well. We are here to help.

Greenhouse Plastic Covering Now Available in USA Proven Success 29 Years in Europe

Polydress SolaWrap Reported to Last Decades Without Yellowing or Cracking

29 years Greenhouse Plastic

Solawrap 29 years Greenhouse Plastic

SolaWrap Poly keder greenhouse covering has proven its success with the greenhouse industry through out Europe for three decades and is now being introduced to the United States. SolaWrap has many unique qualities.  Growers in the Mediterranean have reported tomato crop advancement of three weeks, during the winter months in an unheated greenhouse when compared to standard greenhouse coverings. Its durability and longevity was tested in the extreme heat of Kuwait for a period of 25 years until the outbreak of war destroyed the testing facility. In that 25-year period, the original SolaWrap covering withstood the elements and remained effective. It did not yellow or become brittle or streak.

In New Hampshire, a converse climate where they received above average snow falls this year; a snow load test was performed. 4000 lbs of an 11 ft high pile of snow was placed on top of a 6×6 piece of SolaWrap attached to a frame using the specially engineered interlocking system. No damage was sustained to either the greenhouse plastic or the interlocking system that secured it to the frame.

In Manitoba, Canada, where temperatures drop well below freezing, a trial has been in process for more than five years. The results are very promising. Strawberries are growing in this SolaWrap greenhouse in January, and the only heating occurs at night during the dead of winter.

Another testament to test of durability would be the greenhouses that currently have the original covering still in working condition after 29 years of severe weather, including winds in excess of 100 mph, hail storms, and heavy snow blown blizzards.

In Alaska, while 130mph hurricane force winds where uprooting trees, destroying homes and neighbors standard greenhouses, the Geodesic Dome greenhouse covered with SolaWrap remained damage free.

SolaWrap comprises three layers of polyethylene film that encloses thousands of air bubbles. These air bubbles give SolaWrap a remarkable R-Value of 1.7. They also allow 83% transparency of sunlight while diffusing 83% of the light. This truly is a paradigm shift for the greenhouse industry. Not until now could Americans have the benefits of high light transparency together with high light diffusion in the same greenhouse covering material. With the increased amount of light diffusion plants grow healthier and faster. Normally, in the summer, thousands of dollars are spent on shade cloths, however, in Europe, due to the high diffusion rates; only 10 percent of SolaWrap greenhouses utilize shade cloths.

The flexible nature of SolaWrap allows growers benefit from this highly insulating material year round, where they will require minimal heating from additional sources. SolaWrap can be easily attached to drop down curtain and roll up curtain mechanisms, which allows for great sidewall ventilation. Also, high tunnel or hoop house growers finally have a long term, highly insulated, solution to cover bowed greenhouses.  Because of the long term proven durability there is no more changing their covering every few years! Imagine how this will increase profits over the long term.

More about Greenhouse Dome Kit Co.

Greenhouse Dome Kit Co. manufactures Geodesic greenhouse dome kits with SolaWrap greenhouse plastic covering material Standard and custom sizes range from 10ft to 40ft in diameter. Custom turnkey Greenhouses are available as well. For more information on Polydress SolaWrap Greenhouse material or Geodesic Dome Kits, contact the director of their Greenhouse Dome Kit, Clint Ellsworth at 1-888-883-8429 info@greenhousedomekit.com or visit the website at www.greenhousedomekit.com

 

 

Solawrap: Innovative Greenhouse Covering, Best Kept Secret For 29 Years

SolaWrap Keder Greenhouse Plastic

SolaWrap Greenhouse Plastic

RKW SE located in Michelstadt Germany owns the technology of the most innovative greenhouse covering in the world. Polydress® LP Keder commonly known as “polykeder” or “keder” has been in use for 30 years in Europe, but has been hidden from the US for all that time. Keder has growers in the Mediterranean boasting a three-week crop advancement of tomatoes, in the wintertime, in an unheated greenhouse compared to all the other alternatives. Keder has everything that a commercial grower, or back yard grower would ever want in a greenhouse film.

 

First, it boasts an R-Value of 1.7 without the aid of inflation systems. 1.7 is higher than double blown poly systems and twin wall polycarbonate. This special film incorporates natures honey comb design to trap air in bubbles that create a dead air space within the film. Keder is comprised of three layers of polyethylene. However, interesting enough each layer of this film is made up of three layers that are scientifically fused into one. So in reality it is nine layers of film! Heat has a very hard time escaping this special material. The money saved in heating cost alone make this a very sought after material.

 

Second, it shatters the greenhouse film paradigm of having to choose either a transparent film for high levels of light intake or choosing a glazed material for high levels of light diffusion. Keder is 83% transparent BUT creates 83%  diffused light! In other words this product allows high levels of the type of light that plants grow under. No other greenhouse film can offer this.

 

Third, it is very strong and durable. There are greenhouses in Europe that have original keder on their greenhouses after 30 years! This German engineered film doesn’t yellow, streak, fog, or get brittle with time. It also withstands natures forces. Gale force winds, high snow loads and hail storms dont have an impact on this covering. This provides a feeling of security to the growers whose livelihood depends on the safety of their crops.

 

Finally, it is flexible so it can be implemented in roll up curtain systems. This allows for extreme ventilation in the summer time. Every grower understands the need to ventilate the heat of a greenhouse in the summer. Keder allows for that in such an easy way.

 

Polydress® LP Keder truly is the best kept secret in the greenhouse industry. Once it is known in the US our growers will reap the rewards of the special qualities of this German engineered film.

 

Commercial and backyard greenhouse owners a alike , who cover their structures with Solawrap will experience the best the industry has to offer. Do not take our word for it.  Call to request a sample 1-781-816-7811. Join our community and our bi-weekly webinars to ask questions about building greenhouse dome kits, harvesting a healthier lifestyle or growing the  most delicious food while providing security for your family. You can email us too, at info@greenhousedomekit.com and follow us.

SolaWrap Poly Keder Greenhouse Plastic 4000 lb Snow Load Test

When Clint set out to test the durability of Polydress®SolaWrap Poly Keder, he was more than surprised at his results. Solawrap is a greenhouse plastic that Clint uses in his greenhouse kits. After studying all the facts about Solawrap against other greenhouse covering materials,  he knew the plastic film was strong, however neither he nor the manufacturers realized that the poly film could hold 4000 lbs of heavy wet snow.

So, ask yourself, if you were to build a greenhouse and lived in an area where snow was an issue, would you want to feel confident that you had the best greenhouse covering your plants?

Solawrap has also proven to withstand hurricane force winds of 130 mph with out damage as well.

Before you invest in a plastic covering for your greenhouse, ask the right questions. If you have questions be sure to join in our weekly webinars or email or call us.

Poly Keder Slated to Increase Profits for CSA Farmers

Poly Keder SolaWrap

CSA Farmers Increase Profits

How can Poly keder Solawrap increase profits for CSA Farmers?

If you are seeking to grow for your community through providing a year-round CSA, you have probably found that there are many obstacles to overcome.  How do you grow year-round, especially in the northern states?  If you invest in a greenhouse, how do you get the most out of your investment?  How long before you see a return on your investment, and how long will that investment last?

If you are in a northern state, you have to think about more things than the southerners do, such as sunlight hours, sunny days vs. cloudy days, temperature lows, humidity levels, and orientation.  If your location gets fewer than 6 hours of sunlight in a winter day, you will have to have grow lights.  The locations that must deal with this are mostly in Alaska and Canada.  If you have more cloudy days than sunny days, you may also want to think about grow lights, just to ensure that your plants will grow throughout the winter months.

Your best bet is to invest in high quality materials for your greenhouse.  High quality materials will help you grow year-round because they have the properties that maximize sunlight and minimize temperature fluctuations.  Polydress® SolaWrap poly Keder is perfect for year-round growing because it resists temperature fluctuations better than any other greenhouse covering material.  In Europe, they call this “Thermal Resistivity.”  Thermal resistivity means that the material does not transfer heat, better still; it resists transferring heat, to a certain degree. Polydress® SolaWrap’s thermal resistive qualities equal 27!  Seeing that each countries measurement standards differ, rough estimations indicate that TR is 3-5 times greater than that of other materials.

You will want to maximize growing space by building as large of a greenhouse as your budget and property allows, while using as little material as possible.  You can build hoop style tunnels with poles, brackets, a small amount of wood along with SolaWrap poly keder greenhouse film and S-Lock interlocking system.  If you use larger gauge poles, your investment will be stronger and last much longer.  If you then raise your growing area with low-cost sandbags or cement blocks, you will be able to grow even more plants.  Raising your grow beds above the frost level keeps your soil warmer and less susceptible to temperature fluctuations from the outside.

SolaWrap keeps the inside of your hoop house much warmer than other greenhouse coverings do.  In Milwaukee, WI, urban farmer, Mr. Will Allen, has reported that his SolaWrap hoop house is ten degrees warmer in the winter mornings than his other hoop houses.  Just imagine how much you can grow with that kind of temperature security.

You will see your ROI quicker if you can grow and sell more produce.  With a high quality SolaWrap hoop house, you know your investment will last for a long time.  SolaWrap poly keder has been proven to last up to 30 years in Europe.  The stronger your poles, or hoops, the more they will resist the weather and stand the test of time.

If you decide to invest in lesser quality materials, how long will that investment last?  Standard polyethylene greenhouse covers may last up to 4 years, however many have reported theirs not lasting a full season.  It all depends on the weather in your area, high winds, hail, UV, etc. The main way to determine the value of your greenhouse poly is to evaluate how well your plants grow under the covering you select?  This is what we know to be true, under SolaWrap, tomatoes in the Mediterranean have been growing three weeks faster when compared to tomatoes growing under other greenhouse coverings.  This is because of the highly transmitted light and highly diffused light.  The more sunlight your plants get, the better they grow and produce fruit.  Diffused light is the best light for your plants.  Under SolaWrap, you are getting 83% light transmission and 83% light diffusion.

SolaWrap costs the same as double-wall polycarbonate, however it cannot be bent to fit on the hoops of a hoop house.

You get the best of all worlds with SolaWrap poly Keder on a greenhouse dome kit in a geodesic design.  Your year-round CSA will be a reliable source of quality food for those in your community.

All of this can be confusing; we know that there are many questions about greenhouse plastic, greenhouse designs, what to grow and how to grow in greenhouse structures.  We would love to have you join our weekly webinars. Bring your questions. We may not have all the answers, however are connected to industry experts who are very willing to share insights. You can always contact us at 1-781-816-7811 or by email info@greenhousedomekit.com with questions.

What Benefits Does Poly Keder Provide For Greenhouse Owners?

Poly Keder SolaWrap

Durable Poly Keder SolaWrap

What benefits does poly Keder provide for greenhouse owners?

 

The strength of the Keder bead on a hoop house or similar greenhouse house designs covered with Polydress®SolaWrap is unmatched.  When this uniquely engineered poly film is attached to the greenhouse frame with S-Lock, a patented channel locking system, the SolaWrap greenhouse covering can withstand 100+ mph winds.  This truly is a system built to withstand the elements.  It is more likely that a hoop house would collapse than the SolaWrap on it would rip.

 

Through a proprietary process, RKW, the manufacturer of Polydress® SolaWrap, welds a strong cord of polyethylene to the edge of the bubble film.  The SolaWrap itself is comprised of three layers of polyethylene film with air blown into pockets for insulation and light diffusion.  The resulting product gets stronger as it is pulled tighter.  The bubbles’ honeycomb design proves to strengthen the overall effect when stretched.

 

This product has only been released here in the United States in the last year.  We like to think of it as Europe’s best-kept secret, because no one had heard of it here before.  Many ask,

 

“If it’s so great, why isn’t it popular in America?”

 

Great question! Lack of Marketing!

 

RKW is a family-run, multibillion-dollar company in Europe.  Because they are family-run, they make decisions like a family would.  They gave exclusivity for Polydress® SolaWrap to a greenhouse manufacturer in Europe.  He was very loyal to them, and in turn, they are very loyal to him.  Germans are incredible at engineering, however not as interested in marketing.

 

When JC Brighton, sister company to Harvest Pathway, found the product, we were astounded.  Since no one else had rights to sell it in the US, we asked if we could.  RKW extended us the same opportunity, and we were able to bring it to the States.

 

So now Polydress® SolaWrap has come to our US shores.  If America is ready for the greatest innovation in growing, we are ready to bring it to her.  SolaWrap combines high transparency with high diffusion.  This combination cannot be found in any other product on the market.  You can get high transparency with a poly film, or high diffusion with a polycarbonate, but not above 80% with both (as you can with SolaWrap).  SolaWrap also insulates better than twin-wall polycarbonate and has been proven to last up to 30 years.  It’s also easily installed on a hoop house or greenhouse, just cut with a knife or scissors, no saws required.

 

Why is this all s important for the greenhouse growers? There are many reasons

1.     Longer lasting material will put money back into the pockets of greenhouse growers due to a reduction in replacement requirements.

2.     Plants significantly benefit from Higher diffusion and higher transparency with increased crop quality and production

3.     SolaWrap’s high insulation values increase the growing seasons providing a more plentiful harvest for commercial greenhouses and backyard growers as well.

 

Call today 1-781-816-7811 or email info@greenhousedomekit.com for your free sample of SolaWrap poly Keder, and we will let you in on the best kept secret in the greenhouse industry that Europe and the Middle East has known for years.

1-781-816-7811
info@greenhousedomekit.com