Posts Tagged ‘hydroponic channel’


Why do we think this is the best channel for growing Fancy lettuce?

A few facts first:

  • We have been very successful in this business for over 22 years in sub tropical Queensland

  • We have consistently been innovators, often supplying other growers with our innovations

  • We have found this the best possible choice for Salanova varieties, because of their growth habit and time in the channel.

  • We have tried most channels on the market and,

  • We know what is needed to be a successful commercial grower

It is no big secret that some of Queensland’s larger growers have been using 65mm round pipe to grow Fancy lettuce for many years, in spite of the fact that the gurus all tell us we must have a flat bottomed channel. We are amongst those growers.

However using this off the shelf product has led to some difficulty, especially for newer growers. We believe there are five main disadvantages to it’s use.

  1. Contamination. The off the shelf product is manufactured for what is called DWV or drain, waste and vent purposes. As such there is no requirement for food safety in the stabilisers used, which have included such things as lead and tin in the past. These are rarely if ever used now in developed countries, but may still be being used in some places. So there may be a risk of contamination, as has happened in the past.
  2. Fixing. Being a complete circle, the product is difficult to fix. It is quite dispiriting to come out in the morning and find the outer pipes on each bench turned upside down, when your plants are getting large and crowding each other for space. When you set up your hydroponic business you need to do it properly, once, and not spend half your day doing repairs.
  3. Nutrient flow. Damming of the nutrient is also another problem using this particular profile. While some growers learn strategies to overcome this problem, others never do. Oxygen is very important to your plant roots and some flat area will certainly assist in oxygenation of the root zone.
  4. Fittings. Being a product produced for something else, there are no specific fittings to adapt for using the profile for hydroponic growing. This means more expense and time in your setup, which you can do without.
  5. Holes. It comes without holes. This means considerable time and effort needs to be spent in drilling holes in the profile, which is quite difficult with a round channel as it naturally wants to twist all the time.

A few facts about the Simplicity channel:

  • Windage. Of all the channels we have tried 65mm round pipe seems to be the one least affected by wind, i.e. fewer plants will get blown out during high winds.

  • It is a single use channel. That is, it has been designed for one crop only, to be the best possible channel for that crop, and it does not compromise by trying to be all things to all crops.

  • It will save you money. The amount of plastic in this channel is less than others, therefore the price is lower.

  • It comes pre-drilled with holes at your specified spacings.

  • It is safe as it is manufactured from white, food grade, UV protected PVC using organic stabilisers.

  • It is simple to fix with low cost options and tools. (No special stands to buy or concreting of legs) This will also save you money.

  • No nutrient damming due to the small flat area on the bottom.

  • End caps are available for both ends of the channel, that is all you need to keep your setup costs down.

  • End or centre troughs are easily fabricated or can be supplied