Whether you’re a first-time gardener or a seasoned green thumb, it’s a wise move to consider investing in a greenhouse, especially when considering the profitability and cash flow analysis of an example commercial tomato farmer. Unfriendly climates and delicate crops aren’t a good mix, but even if you live in a very arid environment, you can maintain and even increase your crop output with the right greenhouse setup. Here are 5 things to consider before investing in a greenhouse:
Greenhouses come in many shapes, sizes, and styles, so you’ll want to get a sense of your intended production before you make a decision and begin constructing your greenhouse. Planning to get a jump start on the local farmers market or start a side business? Getting a grow tent for your backyard is a great way to get started, and many grow tents are not just designed for quick setup and portability, but residential models are often cheaper than you expect.
Larger producers, even if they’re not businesses, might consider the advantages of a commercial greenhouse over smaller residential models. Commercial greenhouses have several advantages over residential greenhouses and grow tents beyond much more space to grow and work, including:
- increased size
- available shelving
- climate control systems
Retailers, hobbyists, legal cannabis growers, and large-scale indoor producers need to invest in a structure that will have their back for many seasons to come, so if you’re planning to scale up your production in the immediate future, getting a larger greenhouse is the best way to expand quickly.
Cheaper greenhouses have a very short functional lifespan and shouldn’t be used year-round. WeatherPort® Greenhouses and Grow Tents use cutting-edge materials to ensure a minimum field lifespan of 15 years. When portability is important, a WeatherPort building has no equal. Small cube designs allow for easy transportation, portability, and deployment while ensuring protection from accidental damage.
Another important factor is the foundation on which your greenhouse will be placed. While greenhouses don’t tend to require concrete foundations, it’s nice to have a solid floor between the benches and shelves inside your greenhouse. Pavers or gravel will work nicely, but pouring a concrete slab will make cleanup easy and better secure your greenhouse to the ground. Just remember to add a drain and slope the concrete towards it!
There are a few options as far as transparency goes: clear, diffused, and semi-opaque. WeatherPort Shelter Systems employs industry-leading double-engineered polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabric membrane in every building system we manufacture.
Why not acrylic or fiberglass greenhouses? Both materials can become discolored and worn over time, especially if your greenhouse gets hit with a lot of precipitation. Fiberglass fades and becomes sunbaked over a relatively short period of time (6-10 years), allowing for dirt and debris to become trapped in the damaged surface.
4. Advanced Options
Modern greenhouses can be equipped with environmental control systems, ventilation, and insulation options – a far cry from your typical and flimsy fiberglass greenhouses of old. Frigid areas should opt for thick insulation and humidity control tools to ensure your crop has the proper growth environment.
For an additional level of protection for your greenhouse’s frame, in-house powder coating can prevent rusting, corrosion, and discoloration due to environmental exposure. Like the other elements of our building designs, the powder coated aluminum and steel galvanized frames can be outfitted with a variety of color options.
5. Manufacturer Reputation
Off-the-shelf and name brand greenhouses often produce very mixed results. Many can’t withstand damage or heavy rainfall, while others are poorly insulated and don’t produce any noticeable results. Choosing a greenhouse from a reliable manufacturer with plenty of experience in the industry is a better bet than a cheap greenhouse from a home improvement warehouse.
WeatherPort Shelter Systems is the only greenhouse manufacturer that invests in third-party engineering checks on our initial designs. This ensures our customers receive the best product for their money and won’t have to shop for a new building after only a few seasons of crop production.