A greenhouse is a magnificent treasure to any crop. It lets gardeners make the most of the sun, extending the seasons, and yield a wide range of high-grade crops. With the help of your greenhouse, you can sustain a very fruitful harvest at any time of the year. Proper planning plays a very important role. Check the space, the soil, the temperature and water sources.
There may be some obstacles, but all can be overcome with the right decision. Starting with greenhouse plants that are easy to grow, you can feel the joy and excitement of watching them grow. Then you will be excited to level up and grow challenging plants.
Why do plants grow better in a greenhouse?
There are a number of factors at play here: the climate is more controlled and consistent, there's less humidity, there's more light (a necessary for photosynthesis), and most times, soil is better and has the nutrients that the plant needs.
Automatic ventilation regulates the airflow in the room. This provides a continuous supply of carbon dioxide to the greenhouse plants. They are needed to produce sugar and oxygen. Concentrated carbon dioxide produces larger leaves and stronger plant stems. It also increases the chances of early flowering and fruiting.
A greenhouse with a humidifier maintains the humidity of the air for maximum plant growth. In a humid atmosphere, each plant can focus on flowering and fruiting. In addition, moist soil is less susceptible to pests and diseases.
How Does a Greenhouse Work?
The main purpose of the greenhouse is to provide maximum comfort to the plants in which you grow. You want the right amount of light, moisture, and temperature to help your plants grow best. Some greenhouses are dedicated to food crops while others focus on indoor plants and flowers.
Greenhouse ceilings are made of glass or other materials to let light through and retain heat inside. Even when it gets dark outside, the temperature inside the greenhouse does not drop as much as outside. That's why plants and flowers that don't tolerate temperature changes seem to grow well in greenhouses.
There are many crops suitable for growing in a greenhouse, but here we will focus on the best of the best. Choose fast-growing crops and, if possible, choose crops that yield more than one crop. When planting crops that can grow vertically, remember that greenhouses use a lot of space!
Cucumbers are a great crop to plant in the greenhouse and sell. Many options are available and they grow very well vertically. They also produce over a long period of time.
2. String Bean
This is one of the easiest crops to grow. They grow vertically and take up very little space. Planting once every 1-2 weeks will give you a consistent yield. It's also amazing to see how many beans are harvested from each plant.
Capsicum is very marketable considering the fact that we use it as a spice in most of our meals. Farming them in greenhouses can harvest more yields compared to an open field. This is because it is easier to control the weather conditions, soil conditions, pests that might attack them and other conditions. However, Capsicum farming will depend on how well you take care of your farm.
Greenhouse farming is hailed for its benefits particularly in improving the quality of produce and maximizing on value.
To learn more on capsicum farming in a greenhouse, read our previous blog: Types, Facts, Benefits and How to grow capsicum in a Greenhouse.
4. Chili Peppers
Most chilli peppers in the grocery stores are not good looking and most of them have a withered look. Greenhouse farming of child peppers will help you sell the most freshest and juicy chili peppers. Just like that, customers will flock to buy the fresh chillies.
Tomatoes are easy to grow and there are hundreds of tomato varieties. The tomato plants are fertile producers that reward you with bunches of fruits per plant. When properly planted, spaced out and supported with strings, sticks or ropes in a greenhouse, the farmer can harvest more yields.
Spinach is an excellent cash crop. Growing them in a greenhouse will protect them from the harsh sun. You can sell an unlimited number of spinach leaves from the same plant per season due to the fact that they grow quickly and grow back if you cut it.
7. Baby Spinach
Served raw or steamed, baby spinach grows well in a greenhouse since it has weak stems that needs to be protected from the harsh windy conditions.
This is one of the latest superfood crazes. Microgreens such as basil, beets, and mustard are nutritious and delicious. They are small and tender vegetables which are normally sold at high prices in restaurants. They do well in greenhouses. Microgreens farming is a lucrative business especially if you get a ready market since they take 2 to 4 weeks to be harvested.
Watermelons thrive in humid climate regions. The fact that a farmer can control the greenhouse temperatures and humidity makes it the perfect place to farm them. Melons are of different varieties. It takes about 80 to 90 days for baby bush varieties and 90 to 100 days or more for the large varieties to reach maturity.
Greenhouse farming requires a small space to do your planting or growing of crops. That makes peas varieties ideal to farm in greenhouses since they grow vertically.
Broccoli is very nutritious and it's rich in vitamins and minerals as well as a good source of Vitamin A, potassium, folic acid, iron, and fiber. Getting them from our local groceries in Kenya can be hard. That's why planting them in your family greenhouse can be ideal.
Garlic is so easy to grow and consumers are always looking for the freshest ones at the grocery store. This is an all year-round crop meaning you'll never lack market for it. Farming them on small scale such as in a greenhouse can get you to maximise your farming space and reduce other risks that come with farming it.
13. Swiss Chard
These colorful leafy greens should be on your list of suitable crops for growing in the greenhouse. If you cut it, it will grow back and you can continue to sell. It also doesn't take long to grow.
There are many varieties and almost every salad mix includes cabbage. Easy to plant, easy to manage and easy to sell. They can also be grown alongside other crops in a greenhouse.
Pumpkin is often used in bakings and makes great breads, chapati and muffins. The large pumpkins do well in greenhouses and they are far superior to the thin pumpkins you see in most stores. Pumpkins can be grown vertically which makes them ideal to be grown in greenhouses since they require small spaces.
Greenhouse gardening allows farmers to cultivate crops year-round without having to worry about any weather conditions. Additionally, a controlled farming space makes it easier to manage the crops.
Feel free to consult with us on your greenhouse farming project. We help farmers successfully set up technology such as smart greenhouses and AI Powered farmshields that help them monitor and produce more yields.