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Greenhouse Planning Guide To A Successful Greenhouse Made Easy !
In this article you will find the best tips and ideas for planning your first successful greenhouse.
Planning a greenhouse in advance is an important strategy for your greenhouse success.
Greenhouse gardening just like any other type of gardening style have some basic guidelines you should know up front and follow to avoid common issues in the future.
Listed below you will find reasons in my opinion from the research I have completed on this subject why greenhouses may play a critical role in our future food growing efforts.
Greenhouse gardening may become necessary in the near future to insure a stable healthy food supply for our families and possibly others in many parts this country.
Whether you are planning to grow your own food or plants for resell to others this information will be worth reading.
Growing vegetables, herbs, tropical plants and trees or even medicinal herbs for healing this guide will help in the decision making process in the beginning and beyond..
What Is The Purpose For Having A Greenhouse?
The purpose for having a greenhouse is to shield plants from excessive temperatures and provide them with a stable growing environment to increase yields.
This environment is required for proper seed germination and optimal plant growth year round.
Farmers interest in greenhouse growing is on the rise these days due to what I believe to be the issues of failing crops throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world due to extreme storms and unstable weather conditions.
These issues have led to weather uncertainty that has been haunting our country for the past few years and seems to be on the horizon for some time in our near future.
Granted I know not all of the farmers can just go out and convert their acreage into greenhouses, but if some could consider adding this greenhouse idea to other growing methods at least they can sustain their own food supply.
Growing in greenhouses could possibly raise some food fodder for some small animals like for instance rabbits, chickens and other livestock.
The possibilities of these ideas are endless when you use your imagination and are able to grow food year around in a controlled environment.
I have no doubt in the near future if things don’t change, some of us will have to resort to gardening under shelter in greenhouses.
Growing indoors may become necessary to keep an affordable supply of healthy food on our tables due to the world experiencing a grand solar minimum causing these extreme weather issues that could last for years to come.
Recent reports say that in the near future it has been predicted that we will be experiencing longer and colder winters with more severe storms throughout the year just like during the Dalton minimum Of the 1930’s.
Issues in this era caused a huge migration of people to shift to other regions of the country to avoid starvation for the fact that they could no longer sustain a healthy lifestyle by growing their own food in certain areas of our country.
Needless to say, we are already starting to see the cost of food items on our grocery store shelves increasing on a regular bases due to our recent extreme weather events that hit our mid west and many other states,
these storms caused about 19 million acres to not be planted just this last year according to recent reports.
Taking all this information into consideration led me to writing this article about the need of greenhouses in our near future.
This is climate change in action that is a real and serious issue which has very little to do with what we do in our daily lives and everything to do with what our sun is doing and how the earth is reacting to it.
Don’t believe the myths created by some politicians designed to generate huge amounts of cash to stuff in their pockets by taking yours.
The science and the proof is all around you and the records show this has happened before several times in our past. we just need to learn alternative methods to grow food to get through it all without moving to a different region of the country like in the past.
This is a serious issue on our horizon as predicted by the people who study the weather and solar cycles.
There is always a chance this won’t come to pass as they predict but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
When you have a greenhouse you will always be able to garden and grow your own food any time of year no matter what the weather is doing outside.
This is the purpose for having a greenhouse!
Can You Use A Greenhouse In The Winter?
Yes this the time of year a greenhouse operates its best.
You can start seeds for your favorite plants and grow them too.
Their main benefit is to allow growers to produce food crops anytime of the year including winter.
Greenhouse designs are made up of mainly glass or plastic that is great for collecting solar energy from the sun while acting as an insulator to hold the cold out.
The design gives the greenhouse the ability to collect the heat from the sunlight and trap it inside of the structure.
The greenhouse converts the electromagnetic energy from sun into heat warming everything inside the structure which allows plants inside to grow even when the temperatures below freezing outside during the winter months.
Some of the best vegetable plants which can be grown in the winter are
- Brussel Sprouts
Along wit any other cool weather crop you wish to grow including herbs.
Many people even grow exotic tropical fruits in these greenhouse structures year around when set up properly.
When it comes to supplemental heat there are some using compost piles inside the structures that supply a continuous heat source during the cold months for extra warmth..
Heaters can also be used to heat during times when there is no sunlight present for days and extreme cold is present which can run on electricity or solar powered battery banks with converters you can buy or make for yourself.
Glass Or Plastic… What Greenhouse Design Is Best For You?
There are many types of greenhouses for sale that you can purchase in greenhouse kits or you can build one from scratch.
The type of greenhouse you choose all depends on which best suits your purpose.
Hoop style greenhouses have always been very popular in the past.
It is most likely because they are economical to build up front but with the intensity of the sun rays and extreme storms these days you could bet the plastic covering will have to be changed more frequently due to it breaking down quickly.
PVC greenhouses are definitely the ticket when it comes to how to build a greenhouse cheap but this type may not be economical in the long run and could have huge maintenance costs due to frequent damage when living in climate with rough weather.
Some well known growers have reported in the past that these lightweight hoop houses were bad about taking flight during freak storms producing high winds.
This issue had been blamed on not being anchored properly as a result causing property damage and even being completely destroyed.
If you choose this type of greenhouse make sure the anchors are in place properly because these type of strong winds can come with any storm from this day forward because of our unstable climate.
If you are a do it yourself kind of person and would like to know how to build your own greenhouse cheap you can download some great greenhouse plans here that has complete step by step building plans to build a 12′ x 12′ custom solexx insulated PVC greenhouse.
These greenhouse plans come with additional anchoring methods plus several other plans for a hydroponics growing set ups, auqaponics set up and setting the your greenhouse up to run on solar power in case of power outages and more.
If you are looking for a stable permanent solution, building a framed type permanent structure using glass windows may cost more in thee beginning but maintenance and energy costs should be much lower over time.
This type are also very durable and can last for many years.
Years ago I had read were many years ago they used these wooden type greenhouse structures with the glass and were able to grow anything they needed in extremely cold weather.
The book did mention they did have some issues when the weather was warmer due to the poor ventilation at the time.
Today we have solid electrical systems and good economical fans to supply proper ventilation that should solve most of the issues they had in the early years.
These things will be important to do some in depth research on to figure out what design suits you best and which type would be the most affordable over time to suit your plans before jumping into the game.
I would bet that a few good people with some good shed building plans, a batch of used glass and some pressure treated lumber could have an small free standing gable roof garden greenhouse or plant nursery built in a weekend that would last for years.
Besides building the main greenhouse structure you will need some office space and storage buildings to keep your stock in so these building plans would a good investment to serve many purposes for your project.
Where Should You Position A Greenhouse?
The greenhouse should be positioned toward the southwestern part of your property away from trees and other buildings that may block sunlight in a way that the walls most used for growing get the most direct sunlight.
In other words track your sunlight, It moves basically east to west.
You will want the widest side of your greenhouse structure as close to parallel as possible with the movement or direction of the sun providing the most sunlight to as many plants as possible .
Your greenhouse end walls not used for much growing with the entry ways and ventilation fans and other utilities should be facing east and west.
The positioning will be completely relevant to the size of the structure you will be able to build to fit the size of your property.
Wider properties east to west may be better for larger structures while properties running north to south will need multiple smaller structures.
During your greenhouse planning keep this in mind
Knowing a lot of land plots are very unique and the shape and layout of your existing property may directly affect your productivity if the structures layout is not right. Property shape and size plays a huge role in making this plan work out.
When planning a greenhouse there is some very important steps which have to be taken into careful consideration by the grower before starting construction on a greenhouse project as a business.
Selecting the proper area to start your garden greenhouse business is very important in relation to the areas infrastructure and economics.
Will your greenhouse business have access to;
- Adequate local labor supply who are willing and ready to work.
- Availability & access to local markets of people that are interested in your product.
- Easy access to utilities, electric power, water and phone service must be readily available along with other utilities that you see fit for your business.
Shortages of any of these three things mentioned above could cause significant struggles to meet projected goals or even failure.
Consideration of future expansion plans based on the items above will really make a lot of difference in how your greenhouse business will profit and perform.
12 Important Questions To Answer During Your Greenhouse Planning
What type of crops will you will be growing?
- Container plants
- Bedding plants
What is the growing span of the crops?
How long will it take for your crops to mature before rotating to the next crop?
Will you be growing annuals or perennials?
What will your plants be growing in?
- Hydroponics beds
What growing medium will you be using?
- Soil less
- Custom Soil mix
- Nutrient solution
What growing methods?
Will you be using
- Earth beds
- Movable or fixed growing benches
- Grow bags
- Raised garden beds
- Hydroponics systems
- Aquaponics systems
What is your expected annual productivity?
How much space will be required for it?
What will be your marketing techniques?
Will you be selling retail, wholesale or both?
Will you be operating from your own financial resources or using a bank or other Financial investors?
By answering the questions above it will help you calculate in advance what your estimated start up cost will be before you get started with your greenhouse project.
I have recently discovered a self watering hydroponics wall gardening system that would work extremely well with this method of indoor growing. Click here to see the wall mount garden system now!
10 Important Ideas To Be Considered Before Construction Of Your Greenhouse Project!
The area required depends on your business plan whether you will be following a retail or wholesale model.
The minimum space should be at least a minimum of at least a couple of acres to make room for office space, separate parking spaces for employees and customers, driveway access for deliveries, warehouse buildings for storage and room for future expansion if needed.
A wholesale venture like a plant nursery generally will require more space because the greenhouses will need to be much larger.
Zoning For Your Greenhouse Location
These are local or state regulations that control land use within the jurisdiction of incorporated cities and towns to encourage safety.
Health codes are established for the well being of the community. Greenhouse operations are only permitted to operate in designated zones within the corporate limits.
Road frontage use regarding signs, driveways, parking spaces office space and restrooms should be planned according to their rules.
If you are within the city limits you should consult with your city zoning officials and ask what is required regarding building codes so you will know what permits will be needed in advance.
When planning operations outside city limits, the county and state regulations may apply. Contact your county officials for advice.
Highway Access To Your Greenhouse Business
Site location with regards to highways should be taken into consideration for long term business goals.
If you are planning for a retail business you will want the walk in traffic that would come natural with the visibility of a high traffic location.
Retail Business Location For Your Greenhouse
Location with frontage along side a high traffic road or beside a considerable residential site can greatly increase business.
Wholesale business needs access to some major highway to deal with pick up and deliveries by truck and road traffic.
Select a location that is away from heavy industrial pollution.
Somewhere right outside the city limits is usually better for agriculture type businesses, the air is cleaner, taxes lower and less restrictions in general. Be aware your state may require licensing for commercial food growers and have strict guidelines to follow.
Climates To Avoid
Avoid regions that maintain extreme temperatures or excessive cloudiness that may disrupt normal plant growth, the winter plant growth is directly related to the amount of daylight the plants receive for optimal growth.
If your plants can not get the sunlight they need they are subject to fail. Long periods of continuous cloudiness due to storms that restrict the natural light could easily be solved by adding some grow lights into your system to insure the plants still get the ample light spectrum that need to flourish.
A slight incline will be needed to provide sufficient water drainage.
This step is very important.
Provide an incline in your soil under and around the gravel foundation you will be using for the base of your greenhouse.
Use the gravel to level the incline to build your greenhouse on. Greenhouses must be situated on a level gravel base from 6 to 12 inches above grade for adequate drainage.
Water Supply To Your Greenhouse
Plants need sufficient moisture supply for optimal development and the highest production of flowers. As to how much water is required will greatly depend on how large of an area watered is allowed that the plants can feed from.Plants all have different sized root balls make a habit of covering the entire area above the roots with water.
Installing a automated irrigation system may be worth considering for a regulated continuous supply of water like a drip irrigation system for your plants.
Water that comes from municipal water supplies as well as from some natural sources all have amounts of impurities and could be harmful when it comes to plant growth.
You should have the water tested for chemicals that can be present or just invest in a good water filtration system to address issues in advance which may arise.
Electric Power Supply To Your Greenhouse
Your greenhouse should have an ample supply of electricity as well as a power distribution system to easily supply and manage the entire environment within the greenhouse.
Early in the designing stage of the greenhouse, you should contact your electric utility provider regarding power availability and guidelines for the positioning of your greenhouse.
You may want to also contact an electrician that understands greenhouse power supplies to design the electrical layout.
Consider installing solar panels or other alternative energy systems.
This may be a good option at this stage of the plan to save on ever rising long term energy costs depending on the size of your future operation.
Future Expansion Plans
All throughout the development and greenhouse planning stages certain provisions also need to be considered for later expansion.
Before setting up your greenhouse and going into your plant growing venture, careful assessment should be made of all that is listed above before a final decision is made.
There is many things to consider before starting your greenhouse project and this list has been provided to help you make an informed decision about what steps to take that is right for you to be successful in your greenhouse venture.
This list of helpful tips and greenhouse ideas for you is quite lengthy but necessary for anyone thinking about this type of project.
There is a lot of common sense stuff here you probably already know but there are also some important things you may not have thought of.
Some of this information is relevant to your project and some may not be but it is always best to be informed anyway.
With a well planned out greenhouse you can be wildly successful at growing any plants that already grow in your garden year around plus exotic vegetable plants, fruit trees and bushes that need stable climates to grow in for years to come.
Is a greenhouse worth the cost?
I will let you be the judge of that in a couple of years when you see the food scarcity causing rise in the cost of food that is coming.
Whether you are starting a small 6×8 greenhouse project for starting your vegetable plants to grow your own garden or a large commercial greenhouse nursery endeavor these guidelines should be followed to avoid potential future issues.
Greenhouse planning in advance will be the key to your success.
With all that being said I hope this greenhouse planning article helps clear up any kind of confusion or questions that may arise.
Gather your materials get some good shed building plans or choose a greenhouse kit and get started greenhouse gardening today.
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