Having a greenhouse is a great way to grow vegetables, flowers and other plants throughout the year. However, if you’re new to this area of agriculture, then you may not be well-educated on how to set up and grow plants in a greenhouse space. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts to follow if you want to get the most from your greenhouse.
Do Your Homework
If you’re fairly experienced, then you’re probably going to be better prepared to get started with a greenhouse. However, it’s still important to do some research before starting. Research how to set up and run a greenhouse. Also, make sure to do the basic homework on time and financial investments necessary. Developing an operational budget is a key to success and will help keep you on track.
Don’t Miss Learning Opportunities
Traveling to a greenhouse farming event can take a few hours of your day but these conferences and education opportunities exist for a reason. All growers are busy, and time is valuable but attend as many as you can. In many cases, the seminars are recorded so watch any relevant ones if you can’t attend in person. They are a great way to talk with knowledgeable farmers just like you as well as suppliers and potential clients. You should never miss an opportunity to network in this industry and to learn from your peers. You could also meet people who are in sectors that actually complement yours or could refer you to distributors and retail opportunities.
Do Plan the Space
Plan your greenhouse to be in a location where it will have good sunlight. This may be easy if you live in an area that naturally has sunny days. For example, California greenhouses are usually bright. However, if you don’t have as much sun, plan for building on the south of your property to get good sunlight. Also, make sure that the greenhouse is located near a water source. If you don’t have a hydrant on the property, you may need to install one.
Don’t Forget the Help
When you get ready to install the greenhouse, make sure that you’ve hired some extra help. Constructing a greenhouse, even with a kit, is not a job for one man. Most of the greenhouse kits come with a video, so watch it before starting. Hiring a few extra people to help you do the work will make the process easier and faster. Even small greenhouses are complicated, and you’ll need this additional help.
Do Have a Plan for Temperature Control
The ventilation, cooling and heating needs of the greenhouse are going to vary greatly depending on what you’re growing and the surrounding area. For example, if you’re raising orchids, then you’ll need a higher temperature and more humidity control. There aren’t many fast rules, but you’ll want to have these systems installed in the greenhouse. Make sure that you determine the temperature and humidity needs of what you’re growing before planting anything.
On the other hand, although this is an area which requires some attention, don’t heat or cool the greenhouse unnecessarily. You’ll find that the sun does the majority of the work by raising the temperature of the greenhouse during the day so that you’ll only need to run a furnace at night. Similarly, having a good ventilation system will keep the greenhouse cool on most days without needing to use the cooling system.
Don’t Spend Unnecessary Money
Although many items or promotions are nice to have, you don’t want to sink money into anything nonessential when you’re starting out. Certain products or promotions may have some benefit but look for a cheaper option and follow your budget. You’ll be grateful you did this when you run into unexpected repairs or other expenses.
Do Communicate with the Public
If your greenhouse is going to be used for a commercial venture, then communicate what you’re doing as much as possible. Social media accounts are easy to set up and will help you build an audience and attract customers. Get involved locally supporting causes that are important to your business. Keeping connected can play a large role in your success. Also, try to get your product in front of the public as much as possible if you want to get your product noticed fast.
When it comes to starting and running a greenhouse, knowing the do’s and don’ts is incredibly important for your long-term success. Since many people fail to start a greenhouse or have to shut down after a few years, use this advice to keep going strong.