Greenhouse Farming 101: Advantages, Disadvantages, and How To’s

Greenhouse farming has become very popular all over the world. It has all started in the 13th century, being a way to satisfy the nutritional demands of royalty. Back then, people also used this as a way to grow medicinal plants. However, the science of greenhouse growing has expanded to universities in order for researchers to develop their studies. Nowadays, the advancement of technology in the agricultural industry, the use of greenhouse farming is accessible to everyone.

Any gardener who has the desire to start their own business can incorporate this method of sustainable living into their lives. If you think you are ready to develop your own greenhouse garden, you should first research and plan every step. Furthermore, you also have to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of greenhouse growing.

The advantages of greenhouse farming

Extend the growing season

When you develop your own greenhouse, your plants will no longer depend on weather conditions or patterns. Any gardener would be pleased to know that they can continue to grow the vegetables and herbs they need, without worrying about the weather. The seeds you plan can take root and thrive in the greenhouse even if in normal conditions, planted directly in the garden they would not manage to survive.

The advantage of owning a greenhouse is that you can use different techniques to keep a stable temperature. In this way, you will be able to cause less stress for the plants. Furthermore, you will also promote strong growth earlier in the year. One of these techniques consists in thermal solar mass. Therefore, you can use natural materials which can absorb, store and then release thermal heat. Furthermore, you could also implement the use of heating fans and human-made heaters.

A wider variety

Relying on demand, availability and production methods, the prices of vegetables vary as they come in and out of season. However, if you invest in a greenhouse, you have the opportunity to offer a wide variety of vegetables and fruit off season. In this way, you will create greater availability for your customers when the market has a low supply. Greenhouse farming also offers you the opportunity to grow flowers and new vegetables which do not generally thrive in your climate. Hence, you are likely to provide the best growing environment for your crops.

Diminish threats to crops

With greenhouse farming, you can prevent rodents from feasting on your crops. In a greenhouse, you can always control what comes in and what goes out. Furthermore, this environment will also help you protect your crops from the outside weather, pests, and disease. You can minimize the risks of pests and insects which can affect your plants.

The disadvantage of greenhouse farming

Operating expenses

To make sure you use the greenhouse to the best of its ability, you will need to invest in supplies or a kit that can assure a good lifespan for your crops. If you install cheaper film plastic to maintain heat, they can work just fine. However, if you set up more expensive glass windows, they will last longer, and you will also be able to ventilate the greenhouse when opening them. Furthermore, when it comes to heating, you will notice a huge increase in your monthly bills in case you decide to use electronic heaters.

The lack of pollination

Even if you will have greater control of your plants in a greenhouse, some plants which carry pests as whiteflies can quickly spread this to the rest of the crops. Therefore, this can sabotage many types of plants and vegetables you grow there. You should also think about the fact that pollinators will not be able to reach your crops. This may be a disadvantage for some of the greens and fruits you grow.

Some tomatoes and tomato plants in a greenhouse

When growing your vegetables in a greenhouse, you can prevent all kinds of pests which could affect them.

How to develop a greenhouse

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Choose the frame

The first thing on your mind should be the greenhouse style or frame. This can determine the effectiveness and functionally of your entire greenhouse. Each greenhouse style has well-established applications. Hence, you have to decide which frame could best meet your budget and needs while also helping your plants thrive.

Doors

Another important step to consider when building your own greenhouse is the exists and entryways. These have to match with the look you are trying to achieve. Furthermore, you should consider doors which are well-insulated in order to maintain the heat inside.

Covering

This is the key step in building a greenhouse. The covering will establish the perfect growing environment. You can choose between different materials, regarding the thickness to make sure that you provide the best conditions for your plants. You need to find something which can protect them from wind and snow.

Ventilation

To think about ventilation is a must when developing a greenhouse. You can choose between natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation, and shading. You should choose the system that best suits your pocket and your needs.

Environmental controls

You have to have complete control over cooling and heating. Therefore, you should consider implementing a user-friendly thermostat that could help you maintain the appropriate conditions there.

Benching

Benches can help your greenhouse function the right way when you use your greenhouse for retail applications. You have to choose the right benches, some that will last a long time, like those made of galvanized steel.

Summing up

Considering greenhouse farming is clearly a good investment if you carefully plan everything. Hence, you have to create the perfect conditions for your vegetable and fruits to thrive. This will help you increase the availability of your products throughout the year, irrespective of the weather conditions. Building your own greenhouse has never been easier if you learn what tools and materials you need.

You will quickly find the materials needed since there are plenty of greenhouse system stores which provide quality materials that suit your needs and budget. Make sure you develop a plan, and you establish what plants you want to grow there relying on the conditions they may need.

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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