Each year we grow a varied selection of plants from small ornamentals in pots to larger bush types in hydroponic or self watering systems, some of the equipment we've used over the years is listed below.


VitopodVitopod Heated Propagator from Greenhouse sensation

We bought the larger heated propagator for the 2007 season and wasn't disappointed. The Vitopod is available heated or unheated, both have large vents and a lid that can be opened gradually to manage the temperature. The heated version provides more control than any other heated propagator and can be controlled to within 1C to manage growing conditions more closely than ever before. We set ours at 27C to start with, placed it outside in an unheated greenhouse in March. Germination started within a week and we lost no seedlings even tho' the night temps were dipping to frosts. They are not the cheapest propagators available but are well made, very controllable, and at this size will easily hold 4-5 times the amount of seed plugs the small standard size tray propagator will hold, which does make it a good buy. With the success of this years plants we are even considering buying a second one for next year to get all seeds germinating together and hopefully even earlier. Web Site: www.greenhousesensation.co.uk

Artificial Lighting

Lightwave TubesLightwave 120cm x 8 Tube from Greens Horticulture

The T5 grow light is specifically designed for propagation and out of all single fluorescent lighting units available on the market; it offers the most even light dispersal. This is the 4’ 8-way model that measures 119cm (l) x 66cm (w) x 6cm (d), making it ideal for large propagation set-ups. The unit itself houses eight 54W blue spectrum lamps (red spectrum lamps are available if needed) and comes with two on/off switches mounted on the side. One switch controls the four outer lights and the other switch controls the four inner lights to give you complete control over the spread of light your plants receive. For optimal results hang the light around 2-3cm above your plants.
Web Site: www.hydroculture.co.uk

LED LightsSunbeam 20w LED Growlights from Green Lights LED

Individual LED growlight strips, containing 20 x 1W LED's. We use these in the early season to lengthen the daylight hours on the plants in, especially in Feb, March and April when the plants need as much light and warmth as possible, this will ensure a good healthy grow rate instead of a spindly leggy plant reaching up for light, which just isn't about this time of year. Using only 60w for 3 strips you won't be getting a shock on the electric bills. Weighing only 0.5kg and being 120 cm long they are the ideal size to fit over the longer Vitopod propagators. After trials we are just not sure if they made much of an inprovement.

These were trialled a few years ago and now not sure if website exists.

Grow Systems

QuadgrowQuadgrow from Greenhouse sensation

The Quadgrow planter cleverly keeps your plants perfectly fed and watered for up to 2 weeks at a time thanks to the large SmartReservoir and FeederMat controlled watering, so you raise healthier plants with bigger harvests. Plants need enough water to take nutrients up into the plant, but if there is too much water the roots don't have access to enough oxygen. Incorrect watering causes most gardening problems, including blossom end rot and fruit splitting.  The Quadgrow has a SmartReservoir which holds 30 Litres, plenty to keep plants perfectly fed and watered for several weeks/days at a time depending on time of year.. Simply fill the SmartReservoir and let the FeederMats in the pots pull water up to the roots when they need it. Web Site: www.greenhousesensation.co.uk

Chilli GrowChilligrow from Greenhouse sensation

The Chilligrow keeps your chillies perfectly fed and watered at all times without ever-watering. Simply fill the 7 litre SmartReservoir and the FeederMats in the pots pull water up to the roots when they need it, so your chill plants have access to water whenever they need it, roots are never stood in water, so oxygen is never limited.  Each pot is 6 litres, large enough for healthy root growth but small enough to encourage early fruit development, giving fruit time to ripen and plant time to produce bigger chilli harvests. At less than a metre long and 25cm wide, you can grow bumper harvests in any small sunny space and the Chilligrow is drip-proof, so you can grow chillies indoors and outdoors.
Web Site: www.greenhousesensation.co.uk


NFT HydroponicsNFT Hydro System GS100 3 plants & GS200 5 plant from Greenhouse sensation
(now called the Vivigrow-hydrogrow)

We tried out the GS100 in 2004, and found it a very easy kit to begin hydroponic growing with. This kit came with pH water test, nutrients, pump, heater and growing tank. The Greenhouse Sensation Hydro systems are active, which means that the water and nutrient is automatically pumped from a reservoir, around the plant roots, anything the plant does not take is drained back into the reservoir. This way the plants never receive too much or too little water and nutrient. In a GS NFT the water is constantly pumped over the roots and back into the reservoir over and over again. The plants we grew, here seemed to take off at a very quick rate compared with soil pot plants, plus there was no worries about watering as long as you keep an eye on the reservoir. All three varieties grew really well and needed little looking after apart from staking to keep the plant upright as it grew. Electricity is required if using a greenhouse. Nice easy product to use and maintain. www.greenhousesensation.co.uk

Wilma 4 PotWilma 4 Pot System from Greens Horticulture

We first tried this for our growing diary in 2007 and are now using again this year 2008 as we had good success with it. Probably the best of the Capsicums to use in this system are the Chinense as they do not grow so vigorously as the annums and can be managed more easily as the 4 plants do grow quite closely together. Using a small pump, 4 drippers supply nutrients to the plants roots which were planted in clay pebbles. Dripping every 15 minutes in the hour from a timer seem to be adequate. The plants seemed healthier and had more fruit on than the same strain grown in 4 litre pots using soil. The Wilma 4 Pot System can be used with either organic growing media and fertilisers, or with clay pebbles. Measures 69cm long by 58cm wide, the height to the top of the pots in situ is approx 43cm. Each pot holds 11 litres of growing media, the nutrient tank holds 30 litres when full. Web Site: www.hydroculture.co.uk


Nutrients 1Two Part Nutrients from Greenhouse sensation

Two sizes of nutrient refills. With large number of the smaller planters (Chilligrow, Windowgrow, Hydropod) meaning that you use a lot of the nutrient, you might want to order the empty 2.5 litre bottles and the refills for those larger bottles. 250ml bottle nutrient refills - for your Chilligrow, Windowgrow and Hydropod. Makes 500ml of concentrated nutrients (250ml of of nutrient A and 250ml of nutrient B). Simply pour the nutrients into your existing nutrient bottles 2.5 litres of Powdered Nutrient – for your Solargrow, Hydrogrow, Quadgrow and Octogrow, and Vitogrow Mini Allotment. Makes 5 litres of concentrated nutrients (2.5 litres of nutrient A and 2.5 litres nutrient B). Simply pour into your existing nutrient bottles. Web Site: www.greenhousesensation.co.uk

Nutrients 2Ferro Regional Feed from Norfolk Lights

Ferro of Holland have sampled our tap water and made up a mix especially for Chilli Growing using our Anglian Water, other water regions are also available taking into account the minerals already present in the your water system. This makes pH and EC levels much easier to maintain and we have found to be very stable over 4 week usage. Easy to use 2 part mix, one start mix and then onto growth & bloom.
Web Site: www.norfolklights.com

Principles of the NFT Hydroponic Systems

NFT1GS100 3 plants & GS200 5 plant from Greenhouse sensation

These systems are ‘active re-circulating’, also known as ‘NFT’ (nutrient film technique). This process involves a shallow film of nutrient solution (nutrient & water) constantly re-circulating past the roots of the plants, which in time produces a root mat (see below). The diagram (left) shows nutrient solution pumped from the tank up to the channel (top tray), flowing down the tray (over the plant roots - root mat) and back into the tank. NFT2It is this the re-circulating film that differentiates NFT from other hydroponic growing methods. This planter constantly pumps a stream of water and nutrients from the planter reservoir up to the plant roots so that your plants can constantly take up what they need, when they need it. What your plants don’t need drains back into the reservoir. The nutrients for the Hydrogrow NFT include all the elements plants need for healthy growth. The planter reservoir is completely emptied and refilled every 3 or 4 weeks, so no elements are ever too depleted or too concentrated. When you transfer your plants from the pot they were started in to the Hydrogrow NFT no extra soil is added, the roots grow along the planter tray forming a thick root mat. Because the roots are not restricted by soil they can access as much oxygen as they need for optimum growth. This constant access to water, nutrients and oxygen – 3 essentials for growth - results in faster growth, healthier plants and bumper harvests. Although the Hydrogrow NFT is electric, the power consumption is very low, it costs pennies a day to run and you’ll be more than repaid by the much larger harvests you’ll produce.

NFT3Chilli Plants: After planting out, other than routine tank maintenance your chilli plants will need very little care, but there are some things to bear in mind. Early on the chillis will use little solution and will not need a solution change for 3 - 4 weeks, but as growth becomes more rapid they may need more frequent changes. Do not switch to full strength dosage until you are achieving a good fruit set. Maintain a solution temperature of about 22°C – 24°C (70 - 76°F). When the plants are young they will be susceptible to the cold but they become hardier with age. Also remember the higher the environment temperature the hotter the chillis will be in flavour. As your chillis grow they will need support, tying with string is best, each plant will eventually need several support strings. Do not be afraid of pruning, to control the direction and shape of your plants. Flowers are produced continually once the plant reaches a mature stage and readily self-pollinate, but tapping the plants around mid-day can encourage a better fruit set. Soon after tiny chillis will start developing. Once they have reached their full size they will ripen and change colour, but they can be used at any stage. Picking some fruit unripe will encourage continued heavy flowering. Some varieties will grow very large and woody over the season and can use as much as 5 or 6 litres of solution each per day, so regular topping-up is essential. It may be a good idea to have a reservoir of topping up solution pre-mixed, especially if you are going away and friends are topping up for you.