Why do I need a Greenhouse

Why do I need a Greenhouse

The purpose of using greenhouses is to avoid the plant from excessive heat or cold and unwanted pests. Greenhouses are used to grow crops year-round, to increase production capacity, and to overcome seasonality in the production of certain crops. Crops grown in a greenhouse are normally healthy and of a good quality. A greenhouse creates the perfect environment for growing vegetables, herbs, or flowers, while protecting them from blistering sun, destructive hail, wind, and frost. It also keeps out dogs, birds, monkeys, and pests. In the sheltered environment, the growing season is extended, allowing you to frost-tender plants throughout winter, increasing the harvest or yield in a small space. Greenhouses are ideal for vegetables, like cucumbers and tomatoes that benefit from increased humidity and protection. In hot, dry areas, you can even grow leafy greens such as basil, rocket, lettuce, and spinach. A greenhouse is also ideal for seedling propagation, giving you a head start on the season as frost-tender seedlings can be sown much earlier.

Benefits of Greenhouses:

  • All types of food plants can be grown in greenhouses like fresh greens, vegetables, flowers, berries, and fruits.
  • You can easily transplant any available seedling with success.
  • You can harvest fresh cur flowers all year long. Longer growing season. Most obviously, a greenhouse offers an extended growing season.
  • Pests and predators can easily be controlled.
  • Temperature does not vary much inside the greenhouse.
  • The optimum growing environment can be created for different plants.
  • Bigger plant variety options can grow a wide variety of plants.
  • Portability and Customization to your needs.
  • Garden in any weather.
  • Protect plants from bad weather.
  • Grow plants without dangerous pesticides.
  • Natural or Biological control can be employed.
  • Keep beneficial insects inside.
  • Safe energy.
  • Enjoying raising your own food.
  • Relaxation and stress relief.
  • Creates the ability to grow plants close to the market.
  • Cleaner and fresher products can be harvested or reaped. Healthier products can be produced.
  • Products are more resistant to diseases.

Choosing a Greenhouse:

Greenhouses come in different sizes and different styles. This step is the most critical step of building the greenhouse. The design of the greenhouse is according to need and utilization. You need to specify the height and width of the house and you get an idea or guidance from the decision of which plants you are planning to grow inside. If for instance you are planning to grow tomatoes, then you need a high height or if you want to plant leafy plants then there is no need to have an extremely high greenhouse.

Although it is tempting to buy a very inexpensive greenhouse, they do not last long as the plastic is not UV resistant. Rather look for durable models made to withstand South Africa’s harsh conditions. Passive heating and cooling are important features in a greenhouse. When you start using energy to heat or cool the inside of the greenhouse, your operational cost can become quite expensive. Modern greenhouses have built-in light diffusers, which soften the radiation and distribute it evenly. This encourages uniform growth and increases yield. It also contains UV blockers that reduce UV transmittance. The sheeting has built-in, anti-drip agents to prevent condensation, which reflects light and increases the risk of fungal and bacterial diseases on the plants.

Correct positioning prevents the greenhouse from becoming overheated. Ideally, it should receive six to eight hours of mostly morning sun, with protection from the hot late-afternoon sun, especially in summer. Position it facing north to south to prevent tall plants creating shadows. The wind directions should also be considered, although a good windbreak can limit the wind impact.The full article is for subscribed members only. To view the full article please subscribe. It’s FREE!Log In Register


  • Manager, Aquaculture, Department of Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University

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