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Things to Consider Before You Buy a Greenhouse

Thinking of getting a greenhouse to grow plants? A greenhouse is used to grow off-season crops and exotic plants all year long – even in the dead of winter. That’s because a greenhouse could stay warm by trapping heat during the daytime, keeping the plant and the air warm and moist. This is also an excellent idea for farmers who want to grow different crops all year long to sell.

Is it worth getting a greenhouse?

vegetable garden greenhouse

If you want to grow crops all year long, grow off-season crops or exotic plants like tropical plants, then yes, getting a greenhouse is worth it. The space enables you to grow different plants any time of the year because it stays warm even during the cold months. A greenhouse is also ideal if you’re growing crops for profits. That said, maintaining a greenhouse takes a village, so that’s something to consider when getting one.

What are the pros and cons of a greenhouse?

flower garden greenhouse

Pros

Controlled environment: A greenhouse enables you to control the temperature, moisture in the air, soil types, and the kinds of plants to grow in space. Using an herb kit, you can grow a host of premium herbs in a greenhouse all year. If you’re greenhouse farming, you can grow and sell off-season produce using a greenhouse. Plants are much healthier because you control the growing conditions and cater to their needs.

Minimize pests and diseases: Because the plants are housed in a confined space with a controlled environment, the chances of pests and diseases spreading are minimal. Pests cannot cause damage or destroy your crops. The crops are not exposed to the elements like torrential rain or droughts, which ensures their survival. With a greenhouse, you can also combine fragile and hardy plants in one space, letting you maximize every square inch of space to grow various crops.

Choose crops to grow: Because the growing environment inside a greenhouse is ideal for growing most kinds of plants, even tropical plants that do not grow in your region, you have the freedom to choose what plants to grow. You can determine what products to sell, including exotic plants or summer fruits and vegetables during the colder months.

Limitless farming: Apart from choosing what crops to grow, you can plant, grow, and harvest different crops any time of the year. The controlled environment of a greenhouse enables you to continue farming at any season. For example, you can grow fruit-bearing trees that usually thrive in the summer season in the middle of the winter season or spring flowers even in the fall season. You can grow ornamental plants and harvest fresh herbs that typically thrive during hot, humid months any time of the year.

If you’re planning to build a small herb garden within the greenhouse, we highly suggest buying an herb kit in bulk so you’ll have all the tools you need to grow fresh herbs all year long.

Check out our ECOgardener Bundles here.

Cons

Expensive to build and maintain: Building a greenhouse can be costly. Even a small greenhouse would cost several thousands of dollars. Operating a greenhouse and maintaining it is expensive too that’s why greenhouse farming is recommended chiefly for farmers and sellers.

Constant monitoring: While a greenhouse gives you total freedom to grow just about any crop because you can control and monitor the growing environment, continuous monitoring can be expensive and draining too.

You’ll need to buy fans and heaters to regulate a greenhouse’s temperature and air circulation. You need to purchase various tools and garden supplies to grow different crops. You’ll consume more water unless you have a rainwater collection system in place. You cannot just set and forget a greenhouse once it’s been built; you need to check it daily to ensure that equipment and tools are working correctly to maintain the ideal temperature.

Increase water and electrical bills: Expect to spend more on water and electricity when operating a greenhouse. Using heaters and fans, lighting sources, and setting up and operating an irrigation system all require energy that you’ll pay at the end of every month in the form of electric and water bills.

5 Basic Questions To Consider in Choosing a Greenhouse

lettuce greenhouse

Can I afford to build and maintain a greenhouse?

Building a greenhouse requires an upfront investment, constant monitoring, and maintenance. It will require a lot of money and space to develop and maintain. You need to consider the expenses and dedication required to operate a greenhouse, if it’s something you can afford.

Assuming you can afford to operate and maintain a greenhouse, you need to check your cash flow and decide on a budget for the upfront costs and total ownership. Just because a greenhouse option offers low upfront costs doesn’t mean it won’t be pricey to maintain down the line.

What is my goal?

Are you building a greenhouse to sell crops at a farmer’s market or to grow your own food? Do you plan to sell crops you’ve grown in a greenhouse or enjoy the fruits of your own labor? How do you protect crops in a high-risk area or save on heating? These are just some of the many factors to consider before building a greenhouse. Think about the purpose of building a greenhouse and see if it’s something worth spending your hard-earned money on. You need to know if getting one will give some return on your investment.

What is the right greenhouse design for me?

Greenhouses come in various designs, each with pros and cons. The right design will depend on your outdoor space size, budget, and goal. Suppose you only want a greenhouse to grow off-season crops like fresh herbs or summer fruits for yourself throughout the colder months; you can simply buy a raised garden bed or a tiered planter box in bulk and install plant covering to protect the crops from bad weather and pests.

Free-standing greenhouses offer optimal light transmission and ventilation but require a large space. If you have an available wall to attach to a greenhouse, you can opt for a lean-to greenhouse. Both structures will require electrical and water connections – something that professionals could set up for you.

If you’re planning to grow tall plants like cucumbers and tomatoes, the greenhouse should have long sides and top to bottom glass or clear plastic sheeting to accommodate the plants and insulate them during the cold months.

Is the outdoor space ideal for building a greenhouse?

A greenhouse should be built on clear, level ground for optimal airflow. It should be set in a space with a lot of natural light. Is your outdoor space big enough for a greenhouse? Does it receive natural light to ensure high productivity? Is the area ideal for setting up electrical and water connections? If the space is not ideal for building a greenhouse, maintaining one will become even more expensive. You will also encounter structural issues if the land is unsuitable for building a greenhouse.

What essentials are included in the price?

You need to check with the company or contractor to determine what is included in the price. Does the total cost only cover the structure, or does it have the fixtures like a potting sink, ventilation windows, shelves, etc.?

Delivery charges and other expenses related to building the greenhouse might be included in the total price, but water and electricity installations are usually not. Structures like benches, automatic opening ventilators, ventilator windows, and raised beds might cost you extra. The same thing goes for cool-season heating and supplemental lights – these are something that you need to buy separately.

Adding raised beds to your greenhouse helps maximize the space. You can build several ones depending on the size of the greenhouse or buy ready-made raised beds in bulk here.