If you could go back and re-design your existing greenhouse, how many changes would you make? How many of those changes would be minor ones and how many would involve major structural, heating or other mechanical changes? Avoiding this in your future expansion is easy; have a checklist of things you should have in your greenhouse now and incorporate them into the next build.
Things to consider before you begin:
One major complaint that growers have in their existing operation is that they don’t have flexibility to adapt to the needs of a change in crop choice. If your greenhouse is designed for a cool crop with no need for blackout, and by necessity you need to accommodate a day-length sensitive, warmer crop, you are forced to make expensive changes, or to avoid drastic internal climactic changes that a crop can demand. What you have essentially done is to narrow the list of the crops that can be grown in your chosen environment.
Investment decisions that focus only on the past and the present rarely yield staggering returns. Remember this is a greenhouse built to last for decades, so what you want it to do 10 or 20 years from now is almost as important as what you need it to do in the next 5 years. With the changing economy and everything else that has happened in this industry in the last decade, who knows what choices need to be made in the future, don’t let your growing environment limit them!
It seems very obvious but knowing your budget and looking at cost effective ways to achieve what you need in return from your greenhouse can save you more money in the long run. More than if you didn’t plan and carefully think through your options first. It is worth considering that to accommodate varying climactic conditions involves larger capital, but the expenses are far less to incorporate flexibility into a new build than to an existing structure.
Have a look at the ROI possibilities and this may ease your decision making process! Here’s a quick list of questions that you need to ask yourself before your next expansion:
5. Heating and Lighting
6. Growing Systems & Irrigation
Source: Hortidaily, GGS