High Efficiency Growing
By updating his greenhouse systems, John Urbanowicz saves 40% to 50% on heating costs.

John UrbanowiczPROFILE: John Urbanowicz, Owner/Operator, Urban Growers LLC, Burton, Ohio

MARKET MIX: 80% Wholesale, 20% Retail Bedding plants

GROWING AREA: Total 95,000 sq. ft (indoor and outdoor)

GREENHOUSES:
• Double poly hoop with 32-ft. wide span gutters, roof vented
• Double poly rebuilt greenhouse with 11 21-foot-wide bays

DELTA T HEATING PROFILE:
• TF2 tubing under bench
• Heat retention curtains
• In-floor, 4-zone heating with RBI natural gas boiler

HISTORY:
“I started this operation in 1999 on our family farm property after working several years for BFG Supply,” says Urbanowicz. “Since we started, we have continually upgraded, including a recent addition consisting of a used structure we moved, rebuilt, and integrated into our operation. I try to keep as up-to-date as possible.”

Urban Growers

Urban Growers sells to wholesale and retail customers generally within a 45-mile radius of its operation in northeastern Ohio, the home to long, cold winters that can cause significant heating challenges.

Urban Growers“I first started to upgrade my heating system about 10 years ago, when I realized that the forced air overhead heaters were not as efficient as I liked,” he notes. “I had seen a lot of greenhouse operations and I knew what I wanted. I worked with Delta T, which helped me figure out what we needed to fit our size and growing zones.”

“We added thin pipe under benches, then heat retention curtains, then in-floor heating,” Urbanowicz recalls. “The natural gas boiler controls four different zones covering 30,000 sq. ft. As we learned to adjust each zone, we found that it took less growing time because we had the heat where the plants need it.

“Our plants were healthier and we could speed up our crop times by as much as three weeks,” he notes.

Urban Growers“Compared to the costs of forced air, we’re now saving between 40% and 50% on our heating costs,” Urbanowicz says.

ADVICE FOR GROWERS:
“We’re neither a large nor small grower, and not exactly state-of-the-art,” he explains. “But if you want to have a long-term business, it’s important to think about and understand your heating costs. You need to know how you heat your crops and realize that to grow good quality plants and be efficient, you need to make an investment in the right heating system.

For more information about Urban Growers, visit www.urban-growers.com.



 
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