Best Crops For Greenhouses: A Grower’s Guide
When the cold season comes, most growers will opt to take a rest and wait until the snow clears. However, a wise grower will choose to use other means to extend the life of the crops, providing fresh harvest even in winter. The best way to do so is to invest in a greenhouse. However, one usual questions all greenhouse owners face is: "What should I grow?" While it seems quite simple, the answer can genuinely affect your overall profit and success. Whether you're just beginning or planning to grow new crops, you can start by taking a look at the list we've compiled of the best crops for greenhouse.
Why Use a Greenhouse to Grow Plants?
When conditions are ideal with climate controls and accessories, greenhouses offer a perfect growing environment for plants. Greenhouses provide:
- control in temperature and humidity,
- shelter from bad weather and strong winds,
- protection from pests,
- lengthened growing seasons and higher crop produce,
- increased control over crop production.
As a grower, your primary concern is the health and profitability of your crops. Susceptibility to the unpredictable environment can place a lot of stress on plants and limit their growth over time. With a greenhouse, you can ensure that your plants will grow better and stronger. Healthier crops are more profitable and sell faster than plants of lesser quality.
The Best Crops Greenhouse
Lettuce is a hardy vegetable and a popular one throughout the year. Try to grow different lettuce varieties, as well as some colorful lettuce heads, to draw more customers. You can grow it by sowing seeds for leaf mixes, preferably using a seeder, in compact rows of 2 to 3 inches apart in a 4-foot-wide bed. For head lettuce, sow seeds 10 to 18 inches apart, depending on the variety. The best time to plant lettuce is in early fall and late winter.
Spinach is one of the best crops for greenhouse. It must stay watered and must avoid extreme temperature shifts, so growers should monitor the greenhouse closely. Spinach can be cut several times to provide a steady off-season harvest. You can grow spinach by sowing seeds 1 to 2 inches apart, in rows 10 to 18 inches apart. For baby spinach, sow seeds in wider groups, in rows 6 to 10 inches apart. Spinach is best to plant in early fall and late winter.
Other Leafy Greens
Other leafy greens like kale, collards, and Swiss chard are an excellent fit for farmers who want to extend the growing season. The taste of some greens, like kale, even improves with a little cold. These crops are one of the best crops for greenhouse because they can be picked off of all winter and provide months of income. Whether you sow seeds or use transplants, leave at least 8 to 10 inches between each plant and about 24 inches between rows. It's best to plant leafy greens into fertile soil in early fall and late winter, and water constantly for best leaf production.
Microgreens are tiny versions of common vegetables like mustard, beet, cress, radish, basil, which have high nutritional value. The best time to plant microgreens is from fall to spring. Restaurants tend to love microgreens, especially when there aren't a lot of other greens available. Also, the two to four-week crop yield and high price tag make them a pretty attractive option. To grow microgreens, sow seeds thickly, cover them with a small layer of soil mix, and keep moist.
Carrots grow so well in the open with a little row cover. Since most winters are wet, they are a lot easier to dig out of an area where you control the moisture. To grow carrots, sow seeds thickly in rows 16 to 24 inches apart. As crops grow, thin to 1 inch apart, and water well. Planting in late summer and late winter is the best time for carrots.
Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and cucumbers are most popular in the summer season. However, in the winter market, but you can at least extend their season by planting them in a greenhouse. You can start them in late winter and sow in early spring, or start the crops in mid-summer and plant in the late summer. Also, try to consider that these plants don't usually tolerate temperatures below 35 degrees F, and need lots of sunlight, so they must be covered when temperatures start to drop.
Herbs like basil, cilantro, tarragon, rosemary, and thyme, are some of the best crops for greenhouse, which thrive well if you have reasonable control over the temperature of your greenhouse. Germinating and raising herbs require more attention to detail but can be profitable under the right conditions.
Like any other tool, a greenhouse must be in good working order for you to achieve all the benefits that come with it. These are excellent ways to help increase food production and enable you to take more control over the kinds of crops you would want to yield. The best way to maximize it is to find the best crops for greenhouse. If you choose the right plant for you, profitability will just come smoothly. Get more tips on growing crops.
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