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The Grow4it System

 

"The LED lights working in conjunction with the seed trays/root spas provide an extraordinary approach to growing abundant amounts of produce in a relatively compact space and in a reduced time period. We really love our new Grow4It system and would recommend it to anyone else that takes their growing seriously!"

John & Franziska - Colorado

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  » F.A.Q.'s

Grow4it™ - Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

• Why was Grow4it developed?
• Who will benefit from Grow4it?
• How does Grow4it benefit you, your family or business?
• I live in an extremely cold climate, will Grow4it work for me?
• My garden is small, how big of a space do I need for the Grow4it system?
• Is Grow4it a hydroponic system?
• Is the system completely organic?
• What can I grow in a Grow4it system?
• You say that food grown in Grow4it is nutrient-dense. What does that mean?
• How long can Grow4it be left unattended if I travel a lot?
• What does it mean to feed a family of 4?
• What if I have a family of 6 or 8? Can I get this system in a larger size for my larger family?
• How much food can I grow?
• How much time does it take to grow my own food with Grow4it?
• Why is growing my own food healthier than buying it at the store?
• Can anyone use the Grow4it system?
• How much power does it take for the system? How do I get power to the greenhouse?
• What makes this system better then what I can build/put together myself? Why does the system cost so much?
• Grow4it is a Solexx Greenhouse. What makes Solexx Greenhouses different than others?
• Can the greenhouse withstand severe weather like snow and wind?
• I get a lot of snow do you offer the grow4it in the 5mm material?

Ordering and Setting up Your Grow4it System
• How do I buy the Grow4it System?
• Where is the best place to locate my system? What is the best surface to build the greenhouse on?
• What type of prep (at my house) will I need to do for the system?
• How long does it take to set up Grow4it, build the greenhouse and set up components?
• Do you have a technical support person on site?
• How long will it take to get my Grow4it from the time I place my order?
• How do you ship the Grow4it system?
• What is the warranty?

Supplies
• What is included in the Grow4it™ System?
• Can the potting mix be reused?
• Can FlexiPots be reused?
• What is the FlexiPot made of?
• How do the Flexipots work? What is the big deal about the Flexipot System?
• How many watts does an LED light use?
• Can I buy the parts separately and build the same system by myself?
• Can I extend the greenhouse and component system to enlarge it later?
• How to I purchase new growing materials as time goes by?
• I already have a greenhouse; can I buy just the components?
• How do I know your company will be around to offer replacement materials?

General Questions

Why was Grow4it developed?
Grow4it was developed out of the worry of multiple food scares, low-nutrient, bland food and the rising costs of fuel. We wanted to make a system that would be easy for gardeners of all levels to use so they could grow safe, nutritious food all year in a small space right away – without having to tear up their lawn and spend years amending their soil for a productive garden.

Who will benefit from Grow4it?
All gardeners benefit from Grow4it. It is especially helpful for people who live in areas with a short growing season or with poor soil. Since it saves a lot of work over a traditional garden, it’s the perfect solution for those who work full days and have limited time to spend gardening. Grow4it also gives people peace of mind knowing they can live a sustainable life style and feed their family with a reliable source of food.

How does Grow4it benefit you, your family or business?
• Year-round growing: A constant supply of fresh, healthy food all year long
• Safe and healthy food: No pesticides and higher than normal nutrient levels
• Eco-friendly: Low energy consumption—only 400 watts of power used!
• Sustainable: No chemical needed, uses recyclable materials, and no long-distance transporting of vegetables that uses unnecessary fuel
• Saves money: Costs less to grow your own food
• Self-sufficiency: No need to rely on others for your food. Live off the grid.
• Convenience: Ready supply at your fingertips
• Freshness: Harvest what you need, when you need it
• Peace of mind
• Fun for the entire family

I live in an extremely cold climate, will Grow4it work for me?
Yes, however, some additional inputs are required and there will be some limitations. In extremely cold areas, additional insulation on the North wall will help hold in the heat from the day.  Adding water bins will increase the heat retention in the greenhouse and water heaters added to the Root Spa will keep the plant roots warm. With such extreme lows, however, a small heater may be required on the cold nights to keep air temperatures warmer. 

Planting cold tolerant crops in the colder months will help significantly, but still may require some additional heating. Most plants will continue to grow with nigh-time temperatures above 40° F, as a general rule. Most cool crops will do well with night time temperatures above 25° F. 

Since tender plants are in a greenhouse with no frost, and night time temperatures drop slowly in the greenhouse, many plants will survive significantly colder temperatures but will grow more slowly.  Here is a list of a few good cool season crops to grow:  Arugula, beets, broad beans, broccoli, broccoli raab, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, corn salad, endive, Florence fennel, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, parsley, parsnips, peas, radicchio, radishes, red mustard, spinach and turnips.

My garden is small, how big of a space do I need for the Grow4it system?
The footprint of the greenhouse is 8’x8’. You will need at least 10 feet in order to open and close the door. Allowing 3-4 feet on the side is also a good idea as it can serve as a temporary shade area. Once plants are ready to move outside, you will need to find an area with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight.

You can scatter the FlexiPot containers in your perennial beds, along a driveway or walkway. They will work on a deck or patio or even on top of a rock wall. The system comes with 72 FlexiPots, which are each about 1 square foot. It is unlikely you will have all 72 in the garden at once as some will be in the greenhouse (all 72 will fit in the greenhouse at once when the plants are small). You can even place the FlexiPots in decorative containers. For easy maintenance, place them on a drip line or some place where they can be watered.

Is Grow4it a hydroponic system?
The Grow4it System is not a true hydroponic system. It is much easier to use than traditional hydroponics and produces excellent results. The RootSpa uses a hydroponic method called aeroponics. This simply means roots are sprayed with a nutrient-rich solution for optimal growth. We’ve chosen this method because it develops strong, healthy roots quickly.

The RootSpa requires only a few easy steps. Simply mix each of the dry fertilizers (Part A and Part B) in separate 1 gallon containers.  Add the liquids to the RootSpa and fill with water. Once the RootSpa is full, test the pH and make small adjustments as needed (the same easy process used to test a swimming pool).  Drop your covered 2” Net Pots into the 36 ports and plug in. (Note: once you know how much adjustment, if any, is needed, you will not have to test each time you start a rooter).

Watch them grow! Check the RootSpa occasionally and add water if necessary. Ideally you will clean the rooter ever 4 weeks or so when you replant your next crop.

Is the system completely organic?
We’ve used natural and organic nutrients and components wherever possible. At this time, the rooting phase is not organic. We use only high-quality fertilizers for this phase. It is possible to use organic nutrients with the RootSpa, however, the provided nutrients are better suited for a beginning grower. We felt it was more important for the beginner to have success than to be strictly organic. Plants are only in the RootSpa during the beginning development where the goal is root production. Plants are not flowering or producing fruit at this time. The objective is to grow as many roots as possible that will process the organic nutrients in the next phase.

What can I grow in a Grow4it system?
Your choices are virtually unlimited. The system is designed for common fruits and vegetables, but it’s possible to grow a wide variety of plants. In our test garden we’ve grown blueberries, lemons, apples and sunflowers. It’s also possible to grow corn, but a traditional garden plot is more effective for this crop. Root crops are possible to grow in a Grow4it system by skipping the rooting step and planting from the SmartStart Seed Cubes directly into the FlexiPot containers.

You say that food grown in Grow4it is nutrient-dense. What does that mean?
Nutrient-dense foods have a high nutrient/calorie ratio, meaning they are rich in nutrients when compared to their calorie content. Nutrient-dense foods are the opposite of empty-calorie foods which are low in nutrition when compared to their calorie content. Fruits and vegetables in the store tend to taste bland because they were not grown in nutrient rich soil. Grow4it uses nutrient rich fertilizer so you get food with a higher nutrient content. You will taste the difference!

How long can Grow4it be left unattended if I travel a lot?
It would be advisable that you have nothing in the rooters during and extended vacation of more than a few days. The plants in the FlexiPots (Stage 3: Growing Stage) can be watered automatically. Place all the FlexiPots on the WaterWick mats and attach your hose to a programmable timer to keep the mat saturated with water. If you used all the space on the WaterWick mats, we recommend that you set up a drip watering system controlled with a programmable timer to water your plants in set intervals throughout the day.

What does it mean to feed a family of 4?
This will mean different things to each family. While some want to supplement the food they purchase at the store, others will want to grow and harvest as much food as they possibly can and preserve the harvest for the winter months. The system assumes you will follow traditional seasons somewhat, but you will be able to harvest crops sooner and longer than you would traditionally. While it is possible to grow tomatoes in the greenhouse in winter, it may require additional heating and lighting. 

What if I have a family of 6 or 8? Can I get this system in a larger size for my larger family?
A larger Grow4it system will be available soon for those who have a larger family.

How much food can I grow?
The amount of food you grow is up to you and your family’s needs.  It is possible to grow a tremendous amount of food in a small space.  If you have additional space outdoors (beyond room for the 72 FlexiPots), you can continue to start and grow plants most of the year.  If you live in a cold climate, there will likely be several months where you harvest cool weather crops (lettuce, broccoli, etc.), but growth will slow due to the cool weather. In more moderate climates where you can maintain a 25° F night time temperature, you will be able to actively grow all year.

How much time does it take to grow my own food with Grow4it?
Grow4it was designed for busy people. You can garden successfully in much less time than traditional gardening. Planting seeds, moving seedlings to the rooters and moving plants from the rooter to the FlexiPots takes only a few moments. Additionally, there are a few routine maintenance functions you will want to perform. These can be done once a week or broken into smaller tasks to be done daily or a few times a week. In total, you will likely spend between 1 and 2 hours a week in your new garden. In the summer months you may spend a bit longer as you will have a lot to harvest. You may also find you spend more time than necessary simply because you enjoy it.

Why is growing my own food healthier than buying it at the store?
Homegrown produce is harvested when it’s ripe. Unlike factory farmed food that is picked green and ripened with gas in transport. Fruit ripened on the vine has a longer time to pass minerals and nutrients from the soil into the food and it tastes better. High quality crops aren’t just healthier and good to eat; they have another thing going for them: resistance to pests. Pests are nature’s way of decomposing unhealthy plants. Healthy plants will not only resist bugs, they will repel them, eliminating the need for the use of pesticides.

Can anyone use the Grow4it system?
Yes. The system is truly plug-and-play. No previous gardening knowledge is necessary, however, a desire to learn is key. With any biological system, there will be some surprises. Experimentation, and observation will help you make changes and improvements as you go.  We encourage you to share your results with us. We too are always learning and would like to share suggestions and successes with everyone.

How much power does it take for the system? How do I get power to the greenhouse?
You can contract an electrician to wire a junction box in your greenhouse, or you can run an extension cord into the greenhouse. The power consumption is very low, (about 400 Watts) however, a greenhouse is a moist environment. It is highly recommended you use an extension cord with a GFI for added protection.

What makes this system better then what I can build/put together myself? Why does the system cost so much?
There are many inexpensive greenhouses on the market today, but we’ve chosen only the highest quality greenhouse and components to ensure your success. The Grow4it System is an investment that offers tremendous value. For your investment, you get a substantial system that will allow you to grow your own food for many years. Using the Grow4it system in our test garden, we harvested over 150 pounds of food between July 7th and September 10th. That’s a lot of food in just two months! You will be able to pay for your Grow4it system in just two or three years. You will be happy you purchased quality as you continue to enjoy your harvests for many years.

What makes Solexx Greenhouses different than others?
The greenhouse is the most integral part of the whole system. Our specially formulated Solexx greenhouse panels are a polyethylene blend and not polycarbonate. The insulation and protection from Solexx let’s you continue growing throughout the year while keeping heating and cooling costs to a minimum.

Most importantly, you get more light diffusion than is available with other types of greenhouse covering. University tests have shown that plants grow better under diffused light. Solexx panels diffuse the light and scatter it to every corner of the greenhouse eliminating shadows. This lets you use all of the available space for growing. There are four built-in benches and the space below the benches that can all be utilized to grow a tremendous amount of plants.

Can the greenhouse withstand severe weather like snow and wind?
Yes.  The greenhouses are designed to withstand snow, hail and wind.  You can see a video of the greenhouse on Mt. Hood.  Click Here>>.

I get a lot of snow do you offer the Grow4it in the 5mm material?
Yes. You can upgrade to the 5mm panels which we recommend for high altitudes and heavy snow areas for less than $200 more.

Ordering and Setting up the Grow4it System

How do I buy the Grow4it System?
You can purchase through The Greenhouse Catalog website at http://www.greenhousecatalog.com/grow4it    

Where is the best place to locate my system? What is the best surface to build the greenhouse on?
It’s best to build the greenhouse in a southern facing area of your yard where it will get plenty of sunlight. Set up your greenhouse on a level surface such as dirt, gravel, cement slab or a deck.

What type of prep (at my house) will I need to do for the system?
Level an 8x8 area in your yard. We recommend using a combination of weed blocking flooring and gravel for the best drainage. Locate the system to easy access electricity and water.

How long does it take to set up Grow4it, build the greenhouse and set up components?
Setting up the Grow4it system is not difficult but it will take some time. Start by assembling the greenhouse. The greenhouse itself takes about two eight hour days to assemble. Most of the work can be done with one person – of course, the more help you have, the faster it will go.

You can start growing the day you receive your order by starting your seeds while you set up the rest of the system. By the time your greenhouse is complete, you will have some seed cubes ready to move into the RootSpa in the greenhouse. Once you have your first RootSpa growing, you can set up the rest of the system components or set it up in stages as you go. 

Do you have a technical support person on site?
We are available to answer questions Monday – Friday from 8am to 5pm pacific time. Our staff actively use Grow4it for growing fresh fruits and vegetables at our headquarters. We are happy to assist you with any questions from assembly to harvest.

How long will it take to get my Grow4it from the time I place my order?
Typically, Grow4it will ship within 5-7 business days from the date of order. UPS may take up to 5 business days to deliver once the item is picked up.

Once you receive your delivery, you will find a box labeled ‘Open First’. This box contains the instructions and everything you need to start your seeds before you build your greenhouse.  Note:  On occasion, UPS may not deliver all of the boxes in one shipment. This is out of our control, but if this happens, most orders are filled the following day.

How do you ship the Grow4it system?
Everything is shipped UPS. It will arrive in approximately 13 boxes. The number and size of the boxes may vary depending on other items added to the order. Here is a list of common boxes and sizes:


What is the warranty?

Each component has its own warranty. The Solexx Greenhouse has a 10-year warranty.  The grow lights and the Rooters have a 1-year warranty.

Supplies

What is included in the Grow4it™ System?

            Efficient Greenhouse:
            • 8' x 8' Solexx™ Garden Master Greenhouse
            • Solexx interior growing benches (shelves)
            • Louver (Vent)

            Energy-efficient heating and lighting:
            • (3) LED grow light box with adjustable hanging cord
            • (4) Thermal water heaters

           Low-use watering:
            • (3) WaterWick™ water delivery mats.
            • Water tubing and fittings to connect all WaterWick Mats
           
            Seed Starting components:
            • SmartStart seeding tray and reservoir
            • (98) SmartStart Seed “root cubes”
           
            Rooting components and supplies:
            • (3) Root Spas™, each with 36 plant ports and auto-misters
            • (108) 2” Rooting Pots and Rooting Tops
            • (36) Neoprene Root Collars
            • 1 lb. Rooting Nutrients

            Growing Components:
            • (72) 3 Gallon FlexiPots™
            • (72) Coir Fiber Bricks
            • (1/2 Bale) Coir Chips
            • (25 lb) Organic Grow nutrient
            • (10 lb) Organic Bloom nutrient
           
            Other:
            • Grow4it Planting instructions and diagrams

Can the potting mix be reused?
Yes! We’ve found the plants have done very well using the previous years potting mix. Some new mix will need to used with it to achieve the proper layering.

Can FlexiPots be reused?
FlexiPots can be dried out and wiped clean. If you wish to sterilize them with bleach, place them in a washing machine or dip the pot in a tub. Do not put the pots in a dryer.

What is the FlexiPot made of?
Custom, non-woven, polypropylene porous material that prunes roots as they reach its sides.

How do the Flexipots work? What is the big deal about the Flexipot System?
The FlexiPot system creates a unique growing environment.  Our Coir Mix and organic nutrient creates the proper growing environment for plants by providing food, water and air to the roots. The FlexiPot fabric container absorbs heat and insulates, providing a comparable environment to raised beds. Furthermore, as roots near the side of the container, rather than girdle like with most containers, roots “air prune”. This means they form hundreds of root tips rather than a few large roots that eventually become pot bound.  Roots only take up nutrients from root ends, so having many small roots versus a few large roots is critical to optimum growth.

How many watts does an LED light use?
The LED grow lights use only 28 Watts of power each; they are extremely energy efficient.

Can I buy the parts separately and build the same system by myself?
This system was developed after years of research and trial and error. Many of the components are not available commercially. Each phase in the system is designed to work carefully together so eliminating one step or component will yield different results. There is no reason you cannot grow healthy and nutritious food at home by traditional methods, but we’ve done the hard work for you so you can enjoy your harvest. Some of the parts are sold separately, however, it would be considerably more expensive to purchase them individually.

Can I extend the greenhouse and component system to enlarge it later?
Owners of Grow4it can purchase additional components to add on to their Grow4it System if they decide to expand the system at a later date.

How to I purchase new growing materials as time goes by?
All supplies can be ordered by calling 1-800-825-1925. Eventually the supplies will be available to purchase on our website.

I already have a greenhouse; can I buy just the components?
At this time the components are not available separately. The Solexx greenhouse is a critical component of the system. The insulation (R-Value) and light diffusion are vital for the success of the system. Less insulation results in more drastic temperature shifts, and clear panels result in hot spots and shading. It would not be possible to plant with the same density in a clear greenhouse because there would be too many shadows and stress from overheating.

Solexx greenhouses have built-in benches designed to accommodate the weight and configuration of the system. At some point in the future, we may have a separate package for previous Solexx Greenhouse owners.

How do I know your company will be around to offer replacement materials?

We started making greenhouse over 20 years ago. We also service commercial growers, CSA farms and several other industries. Our business is diversified, and we are passionate about our new Grow4it system. We have a long track record of servicing our customers and we plan to keep doing just that.

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