5 Advantages of Poly Greenhouse Growing vs. Traditional Farming
Farmers and gardening enthusiasts who live in the Pacific Northwest no doubt already know some of the benefits of using a poly greenhouse compared to traditional farming, but there may be some advantages you’re not aware of.
Find out the top five reasons why you should consider growing in a poly greenhouse and what makes Slip Tube polyhouses particularly robust for your year-round growing needs.
Top 5 Reasons to Grow in a Poly Greenhouse
1. Using a Greenhouse Allows You to Extend the Growing Season
The traditional farming season on the West coast of Canada is usually between March and September or October, meaning farmer income tends to be dependent on crops put in the ground during this season. Greenhouses allow you to grow year-round, which also translates into year-round income for farmers, something that’s not otherwise possible in this climate.
This also provides some protection from shorter than normal seasons due to unfavourable weather. For example, last spring in BC was rainier than normal, delaying the planting season by nearly six weeks. Those using greenhouses were at an advantage during this season.
2. Growing in a Poly Greenhouse Allows You to Control Temperature and Humidity
In traditional farming, you can’t control the weather. Whether you want a sunny day or a rain shower, it’s simply not up to you. When you grow in a polyhouse, however, you can control the temperature and humidity to create the ideal growing environment for your plants or crops.
By installing mechanical ventilation, thermostats, and humidistats, you can create an automated environment that you can program to meet your needs, carefully monitor growing conditions, and have exhaust fans and intakes that maintain the preferred climate for you.
3. Growing in a Polyhouse Protects Plants from the Elements
Aside from temperature and humidity control, polyhouses also provide physical protection from sun, rain, snow, and ice. For example, many plants don’t do well if they’re getting wet constantly. Some farmers use a makeshift solution that involves putting a plastic hoopcoop over a row, but that can be a labour-intensive and fussy approach.
Of course, having this sort of controlled environment also allows you to grow plants that otherwise would not be viable in this climate at all, which diversifies what farmers are able to grow and sell.
4. Keep Pests Off Your Plants With a Greenhouse
Greenhouses enclose your plants and keep them safe from animals and insects that could potentially destroy them if they were out in the open. This reduces the chances of your plants being eaten and also protects them from organisms that can cause disease and potentially compromise your harvest.
Of course, if a pest or disease does manage to infiltrate your greenhouse it may easily spread to the rest of the plants. The most likely way this could happen is if you bring a plant already carrying a pest or disease into the polyhouse, underscoring the importance of taking care when establishing your plants.
5. Greenhouses Increase Your Available Growing Space
It may seem counterintuitive that growing in a polyhouse offers more space than traditional farming, but a flat field gives you a certain area. A large greenhouse can give you two or three times that area because you can grow in layers without being limited to the ground, depending on what you’re growing.
Slip Tube greenhouses have cross ties (steel bars) ion the roof for structural support that can also be used for irrigation and hanging baskets. You can also stack plants vertically by building trellises or other contraptions to suspend vegetables that grow better this way, such as tomatoes and cucumber plants.
Why Choose Slip Tube Greenhouses for Your Growing Needs?
Now that you know the benefits of greenhouse growing over traditional farming, let’s see why fresh-cut flower operations, nurseries, and farmers trust Slip Tube structures.
- Slip Tube polyhouses are durable and cost-effective
Our greenhouses are very economical compared to building a glass greenhouse because our structures consist of a durable steel frame covered by a UVA-treated greenhouse plastic rated for four years. Replacing this poly is very inexpensive, which makes it easy to switch it out every four years for optimal growing conditions. With this said, many growers successfully use the same poly for 8 years or more.
- We offer greenhouse designs for any climate
Different seasons come with different challenges, and we help you prepare for all of them. Because we work with a heating contractor to supply furnaces, we are able to provide lighter-weight greenhouses in areas with heavy snow loading since the warm snow can slide off the roof. If your greenhouse is not heated, we need to address heavy snow loading with a gothic design that has a sloped roof. For heat waves, we can provide shade cloth to protect your plants.
- We provide a turnkey solution and customize poly greenhouses to your needs
Rather than provide an out-of-the-box solution, we tailor your structure to your specific needs. Your plants and requirements are unique, so your greenhouse should be too. A few ways that we can customize your greenhouse include:
- Providing cross ties so you can optimize your growing space by hanging plants and include irrigation and electrical systems
- Heating options with natural gas or propane, ideal for off-grid solutions
- Offering mechanical ventilation sized to any greenhouse for your needs
- Manual or automated roll-up sides that provide an alternative ventilation option
- Number, size, and type of doors depending on whether you need tractor access
- Timber sill, concrete steel block, or concrete foundation options that meet permit requirements
- A line of greenhouses with a light deprivation system designed adapted for cannabis plants
- Double poly with an inflation kit that consists of a fan that pumps air between the two layers to help insulate and better control the temperature, whether it’s to keep the heat in colder areas or to keep it cool in warmer weather
At Slip Tube, we’re the portable shelter experts and we know that you are the growing expert. That’s why we’re here to provide whatever structure helps you meet your growing needs. Get in touch today to learn how we can help.