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Greenhouse indoor plants have a range of advantages over plants grown in a greenhouse. For example, greenhouse-grown plants are often produced under artificial conditions where they lack some of the protective natural factors present in the outdoors. This can result in greater susceptibility to disease and pests than outdoor plants. Also, there is considerable expense involved in constructing and maintaining a greenhouse, making it difficult to grow plants outdoors in many areas. Furthermore, greenhouse-grown plants may have problems producing larger, healthier, or more uniformly sized fruits or vegetables than outdoor-grown plants. To help offset the disadvantages of greenhouse-grown plants, there is a growing movement toward plant production outside, i.e., in a so-called “greenhouse on a shelf”.
It is difficult to grow plants without using nutrients. Plants consume nutrients through their roots to facilitate their photosynthetic conversion of sunlight to food for the plants. Roots of many plants (e.g., potatoes) can extend to a considerable depth into the ground, often reaching to several feet. The need to grow plants in soils that have some nutrient content, even if it is only naturally occurring minerals or organic nutrients, is well-known to people who grow plants in the field.
To produce large quantities of healthy plants, there is a need to provide a nutrient solution to the plant roots. A well-known solution is nutrient-rich tap water, but this is often difficult to maintain during long periods of cold weather, because it freezes, or it becomes contaminated with organic nutrients and minerals from the snow, and may even be too cold for the roots to remain hydrated, especially if the plants are growing under artificial light in greenhouses.
The amount of nutrients that a plant requires depends on many factors. Often, the nutrient content of soil that is available for plant growth is not suitable for a particular plant. Therefore, to ensure that plants are growing well, it is often necessary to supplement a soil with nutrients. Nutrients are available to plants through solutions in irrigation systems.
Because it is necessary to deliver nutrients to the roots of plants, it is well-known to deliver nutrient solutions to a plant by placing the plant in a drip irrigation system. Typically, a nutrient solution is supplied to a plant through one or more inlet lines placed in the root zone of the plant, and then distributed to plant roots through a network of emitters which are positioned within or below the root zone. The liquid flow through the system is typically controlled by a metering or control valve, such as a sliding gate valve. The timing of the release of liquid through the inlet lines is synchronized with the plant's need for water, by sensing the rate of water flow through the inlet lines.
Drip irrigation systems have several advantages over systems that deliver liquid or nutrients through containers that are positioned above the root zone of the plant. In containerized delivery systems, water or liquid fertilizers are supplied to the soil, often through sprinklers, and sometimes through other types of metering or distribution devices. In such systems, it is generally necessary to position the plants so that the containers with water or liquid fertilizer are always in direct contact with the soil. The containers are often elevated above the ground level to keep the containers and their contents from becoming contaminated or wetted by precipitation. Such systems can result in some problems. First, when it is raining or snowing outside, the plants have no way of knowing whether or not they will be wetted by precipitation. Therefore, the plants may grow poorly or may not grow at all. Second, because the containers are elevated from the ground, it may be difficult to deliver nutrients or water to the roots of the plant during periods when the roots do not need moisture. Because the solution or nutrients may be delivered to the soil via a metering or distribution device, the timing of the solution or nutrient is not always the same as the timing of the watering of the plants.
One attempt to address the problems of containerized delivery systems has been to elevate the containers to an alternate level and deliver water or nutrients to the root zone via drip emitters that are connected to the tops of the containers. The emitters usually spray a narrow, fine mist of water or nutrients to the plant, which is dispersed on the plant's foliage, or to the soil surrounding the plant. However, these systems are not entirely satisfactory.Po prvé, sú systémy vo všeobecnosti nákladné na konštrukciu a údržbu, pretože zvyčajne vyžadujú inštaláciu kvapiek alebo iných typov žiaričov v každom dodávaní kontajnera. Po druhé, v takýchto systémoch sa hmla alebo sprej vo všeobecnosti dodávajú na lístie alebo do pôdy. Schopnosť optimalizovať distribúciu vody však závisí od schopnosti poľnohospodára alebo záhradníka pozorovať rastliny a podľa toho upraviť rýchlosť odkvapkávania alebo odvolací.
Existuje potreba kvapkovacieho zavlažovacieho systému, ktorý umožňuje konzistentné a optimalizované dodanie vody alebo živín do koreňovej zóny rastliny. Existuje tiež potreba kvapkovacieho zavlažovacieho systému, ktorý umožňuje dodanie vody alebo živín do pôdy obklopujúcej rastlinu. Existuje ďalšia potreba kvapkovacieho zavlažovacieho systému, ktorý dodá pôde do pôdy vodné alebo živiny, a do lístia rastliny, ktorý prekoná problémy spojené s dodávkou vody alebo živín do pôdy a ktoré dodáva Vodný alebo živinový roztok pre lístie rastliny s konzistentnou a optimalizovanou rýchlosťou. Existuje tiež potreba kvapkovacieho zavlažovacieho systému, ktorý umožňuje dodanie vodného alebo živín do koreňovej zóny rastliny, a ktorý je lacný na výstavbu a údržbu, a ktorý znižuje riziko zlyhania plodín v dôsledku nedostatku dostupnej vody. Existuje potreba systému zavlažovania odkvapkávania, ktorý je efektívny z hľadiska spotreby vody. Je potrebný systém zavlažovania kvapkania, ktorý je odolný a dlhodobý. Je potrebné, aby sa systém zavlažovania odkvapkával, ktorý sa ľahko inštaluje. Je potrebné, aby bol kvapkaný zavlažovací systém, ktorý sa ľahko obsluhuje.