6 Advantages of Greenhouse Growing over Traditional Gardening
Greenhouses are an important tool for many growers, from hobby gardeners to larger farming operations. While traditional gardening can be great for backyards and certain hardy crops, greenhouses provide numerous advantages over traditional farming and gardening.
These advantages are largely the result of greenhouses enabling growers to create an enclosed micro-climate for their plants, and develop different interior climates by changing moisture and light levels, to suit a variety of crops that wouldn’t necessarily grow in certain regions.
Greenhouse Growing Allows For a Larger Variety of Crops
Different crops require different watering schedules, temperatures, humidity levels, soil compositions, and types of terrain. Traditionally, farmers and gardeners have been limited to a single crop, or a few very similar crops, because those were the only things that could be grown reliably in a given region. It’s also more difficult to segregate natural terrain into sections optimized for particular crops, so traditional growing tends to allow for less variety.
Each greenhouse essentially forms its own micro-environment, with its own climate and terrain that you can easily control. This allows gardeners to successfully grow a much wider variety of plant species. Multiple individual greenhouses mean that individual farms can diversify their crops to help spread out harvests and take advantage of seasonal popularity.
Greenhouse Growing Makes It Easier to Buy and Eat Local
The wider variety of crops afforded by greenhouses makes it easier to eat and buy local produce. Traditional farming’s reliance on local terrain means that farmers are restricted to one or two crops on their fields, and local regions are restricted to whatever local farmers can grow. This makes it difficult for people to buy a significant portion of their food from local growers, as there simply isn’t enough variety to fill out a complete diet.
With a greenhouse, farmers can easily grow a number of different crops on the same local agricultural lot, making it easier for area residents to buy a larger portion of their food requirements directly from local suppliers. This also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by long-distance food shipping and storage.
Greenhouse Growing Reduces the Need for Pesticides
Given their nature as a shelter from the elements, greenhouses can also be helpful for keeping insects and other pests away from plants, saving growers from the need to apply a lot of pesticides in the growing process.
Installing screens over entrances and air vents, and inspecting plants for insects before bringing them into the greenhouse are measures that can significantly reduce the instance of harmful insects in the greenhouse environment, vastly reducing the need for agricultural pesticides, many of which are damaging to local ecosystems.
Greenhouse Growing Makes it Easier to Contain Plant Diseases
In a similar vein to reducing the need for pesticides, the enclosed nature of greenhouse growing makes it a lot easier to contain plant diseases and blights, when they do occur. With traditional farming, diseases can easily spread through an entire garden or field of crops since there is no protective barrier between rows of plants. With a greenhouse, infected crops can be quarantined away from healthy crops, keeping yield loss to a minimum.
Greenhouse Growing Helps Limit Flood and Overheating Risks
Traditional agricultural fields are at the mercy of the elements. It’s not unusual for inclement weather or natural disasters to wipe out an entire season’s worth of crops, leaving farmers without income, and with fields that need to be repaired and re-seeded.
Greenhouses allow for mitigation of weather risks – a good, sturdy greenhouse structure like the ones available from Slip Tube can stand up to rain, wind, and heavy snow, making them ideal for growers in environments that experience extreme weather conditions. Greenhouses allow farmers to grow crops that wouldn’t normally be suited to a particular region, creating better food availability in remote areas.
Heat can also be an issue for crops, and as climate change makes extreme heat more common, properly ventilated and climate-controlled greenhouses are one way to help ensure that crops are protected from extreme heat and drought better than by traditional means.
Greenhouse Growing Allows for Year-Round Crops
With traditional gardening methods, most crops can only be harvested once or twice per year. This is because natural plant flowering cycles are influenced by outdoor sunlight levels. This annual growing cycle often means irregular income for farmers, and periods of intense labour demands followed by work scarcity.
With a light deprivation greenhouse, farmers can effectively “trick” plants into flowering as many as four times per year by manipulating the light levels inside the greenhouse environment. This allows for multiple harvests per year, providing farmers with a more steady income stream. With light deprivation systems installed in multiple greenhouses, growers also have the option of staggering harvest cycles to help spread out the workload of harvesting and provide more stable, regular employment for workers.
In addition to all these benefits, greenhouses are covered under NAFTA, the trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This means that we can ship our greenhouses to the United States duty free, enabling our US neighbours to take advantage of our custom sheds and shelters made from high-quality domestic materials.
If you’re ready to start taking advantage of greenhouse growing, or you have an existing greenhouse that needs upgrading, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We have the experience and manufacturing expertise to deliver the custom fabricated shed, shelter, or greenhouse that you need.