Whether you’re a first-time gardener or a seasoned green thumb, investing in a greenhouse is a wise move, 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 five 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 greenhouse for your backyard is a great way to get started, and many greenhouses 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, including:
- Increased size
- Available shelving
- Climate control systems
Commercial greenhouses often have specific size and branding requirements, which is why all the greenhouses from WeatherPort® Shelter Systems can be built to specification with custom color and logo options.
Retailers, hobbyists, 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, commercial greenhouse is the best way to expand quickly.
[Related: FAQs on Fabric Buildings]
Cheaper greenhouses have a very short functional lifespan and shouldn’t be used year-round.
WeatherPort greenhouses 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.
All of WeatherPort’s buildings are also designed for ease of setup, allowing individuals, gardeners, and unskilled labor to set up and take down each greenhouse structure with minimal technical know-how.
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 toward it!
With the ability to be placed on virtually any foundation, WeatherPort greenhouses can be installed and safely anchored on any level surface.
[Related: Three Tips for Great Greenhouse Growing]
As far as transparency goes, several options exist: clear, diffused, and semi-opaque.
WeatherPort employs an 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 to 10 years), allowing for dirt and debris to become trapped in the damaged surface.
WeatherPort’s fabric membranes are designed for year-round use and to withstand extreme wind, heat, cold, and snow loads.
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.
WeatherPort greenhouses have HVAC and heating functionality, and both active and passive ventilation features. Doors, windows, and added insulation are all available with a custom-designed greenhouse.
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.
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 is the only greenhouse manufacturer that invests in third-party engineering checks on our initial designs. This ensures that 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.