A greenhouse can be of great use serving as a very innovative method for gardening, especially in conditions where seasonality plays a limiting role. Popular as a commercial growing method till a few years ago, in recent times there has been a lot of interest in greenhouse gardening with home gardeners and hobbyists.
Now the big question that crops up among home gardeners is, do vegetables grow better in a greenhouse than in a regular gardening setup?
Well, to answer it to the point; yes. Vegetables do grow better in a greenhouse as compared to a traditional garden. There are several reasons for this. Seasonal crops like eggplant, cucumber, pepper, and tomato can be grown in a greenhouse all year round with controlled settings and the environment. Also, as it is a highly focused activity under favorable conditions and not bulk production, growing vegetables in a greenhouse tend to have a much higher level of freshness and taste.
Let us now dive deeper into why vegetables grow better in a greenhouse.
What Makes Vegetables Grow Better in a Greenhouse?
It’s a no-brainer that when you choose to grow vegetables in a greenhouse, you have far greater control over the growing environment than you would have in a normal growth setting. This includes better management of various aspects like the irrigation process, air humidity, temperature, light and other factors.
It might seem that vegetables grown in a controlled environment are inferior in quality compared to those grown in a regular outdoor environment. However, the contrary has been found to be true. Vegetables grown in a greenhouse are of a much superior quality as all the favorable conditions for the growth of the vegetables are well taken care of. And this is done through innovative methods and tools.
While large quantities of vegetables are best grown in open fields or massive, commercial-grade greenhouses, an average-sized greenhouse is best for growing small amounts of vegetables. Your greenhouse setup will eventually determine what kind of vegetables will grow the best in your greenhouse.
Cool-season crops that can sustain chilly nights can grow well in unheated greenhouses. Warm-season crops can also grow well in low temperatures, provided the greenhouse has sufficient heating and arrangement for grow lighting.
5 Benefits of Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse
Coming to think of the benefits of growing vegetables in a greenhouse, 5 main points come to the mind at once.
- No Seasonal Dependence – Usually, certain vegetables grow well in certain specific climatic conditions. One of the noteworthy benefits of growing vegetables in a greenhouse is that they can be grown almost yearlong. Warm-season crops can be grown in cooler temperatures as well by using adequate heating and lighting arrangement.
- A larger variety of vegetables – As we have seen, we can grow vegetables in a greenhouse for extended seasons. Apart from that, it is also possible to create conditions in which certain exotic vegetables can be grown which usually are not grown in your part of the world. This gives rise to a great opportunity to grow exotic vegetables in the greenhouse and sell them at the local farmer’s market.
- Keeps the pests away – As they are closed enclosures, small animals and pests like moles, squirrels, and rabbits are kept at bay, thus protecting the plants and crops. Smaller pests like rats and rodents can still find a way in. They can be kept away by using traps and screens.
- Going green – Growing plants and vegetables in a greenhouse is an effective way of keeping the planet green and contributing to nature’s wellness.
- Growing vegetables without toxic pesticides – Growing in a greenhouse enables you to have more control over what you use while you grow. This means that you can choose not to use toxic pesticides that are used in large scale commercial cultivation, as the quantity of crops grown in a greenhouse is considerably less. Growing without using toxic pesticides not only makes the vegetables safer for consumption, but it also results in better soil structure and preserves the nutrients in the soil.
Should you Buy or Build a Greenhouse?
To answer this question, you need to consider different factors like the number of plants and vegetables you want to grow and how much space they need to grow well. While building your greenhouse can be a tedious task as compared to buying a readymade greenhouse kit, you have greater control over the number of plants and vegetables grown. It also offers better customization and may also cost less than manufactured kits.
Readymade greenhouse kits are easily available online and come in different sizes; sold by a number of different brands. If you’re just starting out with greenhouse gardening, it is always better to buy a readymade greenhouse kit of a smaller size to get first-hand experience of the art of growing stuff in a greenhouse.
They can be easily assembled without the need for any professional help. They are also a great fit for most backyards and make different stages of growing like heating, watering, and ventilation easy and efficient.
Maintaining the right level of heat and lighting in winter, cooling in warmer months, providing adequate air circulation, humidity, ventilation, and shade are some of the factors that ensure good growth of vegetables in greenhouses.