Regardless of where you’re at with your growing career or passion, taking the next step towards a greenhouse can provide some enormous benefits, far beyond what other types of indoor or outdoor growing can provide
You’ve found the perfect article to give you the many reasons why you should take this step, too. Still, greenhouse growing can seem daunting. You may tell yourself: “I’m not a builder or a carpenter.” Or: “Equipment and parts are expensive! I can’t afford that for my business or my hobby.” Or maybe you even think: “Greenhouse growing is a completely different approach to growing. I don’t think I’m ready for it.”
These are all logical concerns. But newbies may take quite a surprise knowing how much they can expand their potential, even with the addition of just one greenhouse to their system. Plus: the challenges to greenhouse growing are a lot less daunting than they may seem. Tons of gardeners and farmers are making the change every season. Is it worth the leap? Yes! Let’s take a look at the reasons why.
Making the Switch: Easier Than You’d Think
Greenhouses may draw up imagery of giant complex structures: ones made with unwieldy plastics and operated with switches, gadgets, vents, and windows. It’s true that there are many types like this, with some being quite enormous and complicated. But rest assured, there are also some very simple designs – including high tunnels or polytunnels – that you can start with before even considering the larger ones.
Even rookies to carpentry would have an effortless time setting up more easy-to-build models, with the help of a very basic guide. Plus, many of the simplest designs can come in smaller, easily manageable sizes that don’t require the fancy extras of larger models. Not to mention, the setup of simple high tunnels and hoop houses can go right over your already established garden beds! Essentially, you wouldn’t have to change a thing about your garden or grow space. With only the simplest carpentry skills, the addition of a basic greenhouse structure would require a lot less change and effort than you ever imagined.
Controlling Temperature (Both Cool and Hot Weather)
Of course, this one may be obvious to you. But there’s a lot more to it than you might think. Greenhouses clearly hold an advantage in keeping your plants, produce, and flowers warm, alive, and well as temperatures get colder with the seasons. It’s a common reason why so many people choose to build them, too.
Additionally, they also create artificially hot environments for heat-loving plants: basil, tomatoes, and tropical flowers, just to name a few. Many plastic coverings are also built to magnify and boost the amount of light plants can get as well. What some may not realize, however, is that these growing structures can create a much wider variety of environments for your plants than that. For example, shade cloth additions to your greenhouse frames in the place of plastic inversely protect cool weather crops from excessive hot weather or drought.
The added technologies of radiant earth cooling, as well as water walls on some models, also assist with making your grow space a cool-friendly environment, too. Last but not least: some are designed for light deprivation rather than light enhancement. Light deprivation is an excellent method for encouraging the very best flowers and blossoms for floral growers year-round, since many flowering plants respond most sensitively to natural light cycles – a factor that greenhouses can simulate. You can read about our light deprivation greenhouses here.
Extending Your Seasons
A greenhouse’s better control of temperature for the farmer or gardener can, effectively, expand these capabilities to literally extend your growing season. This is the hugest impact these structures can have on your farm or garden for the better. An extended season means more produce, flowers, and other plants, well into fall or winter – and even after temperatures have dropped to temperatures less ideal for growing.
This also applies to early spring, when temperatures may yet be too cold to transplant and grow outside. Greenhouses thus help you get a jump start on the season, essentially yielding you larger, more mature plants and harvests much earlier than if you grew without them. For the home and hobby grower, this can mean bigger harvests, yields, and even more food. For farms and business owners: this means more money!
Too Expensive? Consider Funding and Grants
Does the sheer price of a greenhouse have you stopped in your tracks? Sure, getting one is an investment at first. But if you are running your own business growing flowers, produce, or other plants commercially, you’ll find that there are many financial advantages to having one – so many, that they eventually pay back those initial costs to you over time.
As stated earlier, these growing structures extend your growing seasons into both spring and winter, which effectively expands the amount of time you grow your plants (and thus, you make more money). Further, greenhouses are protective in many ways, as you’ll find later in this article: shielding your crop from potential damages caused by pests, diseases, weeds, and more. Think about how much money (and time!) that could save you on weed, disease, and pest control, whether by chemical means or by more organic measures.
Even if you’re a hobby gardener with only a little padding in your pocket to invest in one, it could really be worth it to streamline your home growing efforts! For those who lack the funding to invest in one, plenty of grants and funds are available for beginning farmers and gardeners to get financial assistance for their first high tunnel or greenhouse.
Prevents Weeds and Contamination
Think about how you would normally grow plants outdoors without a greenhouse. Next, imagine: in come the weeds and disease issues! These tend to originate from dampness, airborne pathogens, or wayward seeds that blow in from the air, or which travel by other means.
Naturally, some of the grower’s biggest obstacles tend to be weeds or diseases, which create the majority (and the hardest part) of a farmer’s or gardener’s work. One good way of looking at greenhouses is to see their protective potential. Not only do they create enhanced temperature environments for your plants, they also add an extra benefit of shielding your crop from a good deal of factors that endanger them: weeds and diseases especially.
That’s not to say they will 100% prevent every single weed or disease from entering. But with the right maintenance, they’ll save you a lot of work preventing their establishment in the first place, and keep them all under control.
Prevents and Controls Pests
Beyond weeds and diseases, greenhouses can grant a great deal of protection from pesky insects, bugs, birds, rabbits, deer, and much more. Especially when it comes to bigger animals and birds, entrance into your growing space will be much more difficult for them than ever before, compared to your open outdoor environment. In fact, your greenhouse may be enough to scare them away completely, since it is such an unnatural structure!
Again, this does not guarantee complete safety from smaller pests, especially bugs, nematodes, and the like. But it’s more than a good start. Once issues establish, however, they are much easier to manage in such a concentrated space. Yet another reason why greenhouse growing gives you great protection and better yields!
Easy-to-Manage Soil Health
Just like your plants experience added protection from diseases, pests, and weeds from a greenhouse, you can also look at your soils in the same way. This can apply to most soil situations, whether you plant straight into the ground under your structure, or into raised beds, containers, and more.
One of the greatest threats to soil health can be erosion. With the added overhead shelter a greenhouse provides from heavy rainfall (and irrigation as well, with the correct setup), you may find that you’re better able to control and maintain the healthiest natural soils possible for your plants.
With the right setup of your growing space under your greenhouse, added fertilizers, composts, natural amendments, and even microbes are unable to go too far away. Instead, they stay right where they’re needed: right around your plants. What a great way to ensure that your plants only have the healthiest, liveliest soils they could possibly grow in!
So What Are You Waiting For?
Think you’re ready to get started greenhouse growing? There’s no better way to really feel, experience, and understand the benefits of greenhouse growing other than to just get your hands dirty!