Frequently Asked Questions
TAPKIT System Questions
How do I calibrate the EC meter?
Calibration solution for EC meter will be needed. Ideally purchase the solution from your EC meter supplier.
To make your own EC calibration solution: Mix 7.4 gr of KCl (potassium chloride) in 10 liter of distilled water. The solution's EC is 1.4 mS/cm.
Follow calibration procedure as detailed on your specific EC meter.
What is the target relative humidity (%RH) in the greenhouse?
Ideally the %RH will be 65-85%. Low %RH is preferable over high %RH. If humidity is higher than 85%, use air circulator and open side curtains (if available) to create air movement over the plants.
Can we use industrial fans for better air circulation?
It is possible to install additional fans. However, the fans should be installed properly and specifically for your greenhouse needs.
Is there a specific distance between the channels that needs to be maintained?
The distance between the channels, when seperated, should be 5 cm.
Should I occasionally replace all of the water in the systems?
The source water used for growing includes some elements which are consumed by the plants in small amounts. in this way some of the elements are building up in the system and might eventually reach critical values. Replacing the water in the system with fresh water once a month will reset the system.
When should I check the water quality?
We recommend checking the water quality for EC and Ph parameters daily. The nutrients concentration in the system should be checked once in two weeks.
How many hours a day should I run the fan?
We recommend running the fan 24 hours a day for best air circulation in the greenhouse.
How do I know the water is running properly in the chanels?
Monitoring the water flow at the watering tubes exit is a must and it should be checked daily. The water valve at the exit should be 400-500 ml/minute.
How often should the filters be cleaned?
The filters at the ends of the gutters should be checked and cleaned daily.
How often should I add fertilizer?
Fertilizer should be added every time fresh water is added to the system.
How do I add the fertilizers and where?
Dissolve fertilizers in a bucket of water and then add to the water tank.
What should the water volume measured at the exit of the tube be?
The water flow at the exit of the tubes should be at least 400 ml/min.
The water flow at each growing table stops every 3 minutes. Is that ok?
Yes. The watering intervals will help to reduce the appearance of algae and increase oxygen supply to the roots.
What should the space between the channels be?
When planting, the channels should be brought together without gaps, for more efficient work. As the plants grow, they will need more space, so then the channels should be spaced with 5 cm gaps between them.
Is it OK to mix the plant protection treatment with water and then store it for a day or two?
In many pesticides it is not good. To be on the safe side, never do it.
When should I start applying the spraying program?
Start spraying regularly from the first growing cycle. Apply the program to the nursery and to the growing channels.
What is the best way to store the seeds?
Seeds should be stored in a dry and cool place.
Can I grow root vegetables in TAPKIT?
No, the growing gullies of the NFT system are not designed for growing root vegetables.
Can the styrofoam trays be reused?
Yes, the styrofoam trays can be reused. In order to prevent potential disease contamination, clean and disinfect the trays before reusing.
Can other substances be used for seed coverage?
Other water absorbing substances such as peat, perlite, vermiculite and rice hulls can be used to cover the seeds.
Why is it important to not overwater the seedlings?
Overwatering the seedlings can create ideal conditions for disease outbreak and fungi spores.
Can I add another net for better shade?
The shading net supplied by TAP creates 40% shadowing. If crops begin to show burn signs due to the climate in the greenhouse during the hot season, adding another net may help.
Can I put more seeds in a cell for a better yield?
Increasing the number of seeds per cell is possible in order to increase the yield only if the quality of the crop is not compromised.
Can treated seeds be used for NFT?
How should I label the seedlings?
Labeling the seedlings is important to maintain order and organization in the growing process. The label should state the name of the crop, the seeding date and the number of seeds per cell.
How do I know if spraying is damaging my crops?
To insure that spraying does not damage the crops, the first application of each product should be tested on a small area (a few plants from each crop). Only 48 hours later, if no damage has occurred, can you safely spray the entire crop.
What time of day is best for spraying?
There is algae on the floor. What can be done against it?
Algae is caused by water exposed to sunlight. If possible, eliminate the source of the water, which will cause algae to dry out. Algae can be treated with chlorine or hydrogen peroxide.
Is it possible to use the same water without changing it?
Is it possible to use the same water without changing it?
Why does my rocket (arugula) look watery? Is it OK to harvest it?
The lines disappears with the rising of the temperature in the greenhouse. It is OK to harvest when it disappears.
What affects the growth rate of my watercress plants? It seems different from the previous crop that we already harvested.
It depends on the size of the plants you wish to cut. When compared to the first harvest, on the next harvest you should have some bigger stalks and some new and small. After the first harvest the plant will already have well developed roots, so some stalks will grow faster and bigger and eventually the plant will flower.
We can't find all of the active ingredients in the spraying program. Can we use others?
Yes, of coarse. Just follow the instructions on the label. Always try a new treatment on a small scale first to see there is no damage to the crop. The evaluation of the damage should be after 72 hours.
Do I have to use 442 styrofoam trays for seedlings?
No. You can use others types of styrofoam trays, too. 442 trays are well suited for TAPKIT's needs and for the germination chamber.
Which plants can I grow in the TAPKIT?
There is a wide variety of plants that could grow in the TAPKIT. Such as basil, rocket, lettuce, coriander and many others. We invite you to consult with TAP agronomists.
How many seedlings will I need every week?
It depends on your growing plan, percentage of channels used, growing length and the size of the target product.
Which kind of peat moss do I need?
You can use Klassmann Dielmann 402 peat or any other peat that is suitable for young plants and seedlings.
How much water is needed for seedling irrigation before germination?
Enough water to give the seedlings good water coverage with minimum drainage is required.
How long should be the roots be at the germination stage?
The roots at the end of the germination stage should be up to 3 mm.
The sprouts grew very long after germination. Why is this and can I plant them?
The plants were left at the germination stage for too long. It is not recommended to plant them if they are too long, because these plants will be disordered. These seedlings should be trashed.
How do I know if the plantlets have enough water?
The plantlets should be checked at least two times a days: in the morning and at mid-day. During very hot days, they should be checked more frequently. The peat should always stay moist.
It is summer and the temperatures are high all day and night. When should I transplant?
The transplantation should be done in the morning and not during the hottest hours of the day.
Can I water the seedlings before transplanting instead of submerging them in the tub?
It is recommended to submerge to seedings in the tub and not to water from above. Wet plants are more sensitive to infestation.
Why is pak-choi planted in every other hole?
Lettuce of all kinds and pak choy are planted in every other hole creating a chess-board pattern. This provides the plants with enough space to grow without overcrowding, which will lead to competition for light and eventually to big differences in plant size. Also, high planting density will make it harder to spray the plants evenly.
What will happen if the cotyledons of the planted pak choi are inside the hole?
The base of plants might get stuck inside the hole while growing.
How can I recognize aphids on my crops?
Example of aphids on pack-choy:
My plants aren't getting water and collapsed. Can they recover?
Wilting may cause irreversible damage. The severity of the damage depends on the duration of the water outage and the climate of the greenhouse.
How can I recognize downy mildew?
Examples of downy mildew on rocket leaves:
How can I recognize leaf miners in my crops?
Examples of leaf miners on pack-choy:
How can I recognize iron deficiency in my crops?
Example of iron deficiency in basil:
What is tip burn and what should I do about it?
Tip burn occurs when the top edges of the leaves—usually the younger ones—turn brown and curly.Tip burn in lettuce and many leafy greens is caused by lack of calcium uptake within the plant, from the nutrient solution to the leaf tips.The cause is either lack of calcium in the nutritional solution or reduced transpiration due to high humidity and high temperature.
2. Lower humidity—the ideal relative humidity for most crops is lower than 80%.
3. Increase air flow over the leaves to help plants transpire and move calcium to the affected tissues.
I have dirt, plant residue and algae buildup in my channels. What should I do?
This is caused from substrate washed off the plantlet plugs, algae growth and root parts cut during harvest.
1. Take the channel's end out of the gutter so that the dirty water will not recycle back to the water tank.
2. Use fresh water hose to flush the waste accumulated inside the channel.
3. If needed, use pull-through with brush-end or cloth to help scrape the waste away.
What should I do about soft rot?
Soft rot is caused by several types of bacteria, most commonly Pectobacterium carotovorum (previously called Erwinia carotovora), Dickeya dadantii (previously called Erwinia chrysanthemi), and certain species of Pseudomonas, Bacillus and Clostridium.
Once soft rot bacteria have infected plant tissue, there are no treatments. Immediately remove and discard infected plants or plant parts away from the TAPKIT. Then, add hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to the water to reach 6 ppm (XXX liter of hydrogen peroxide to full water tank).
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