If you own a piece of land, whether or not you have experience in agriculture and you want to have vegetables, herbs and flowers in every season and maybe something to get profit from, greenhouses is a solution worth to be taken into account. The installation of a greenhouse is no longer a problem with the materials, because you can find complete greenhouses kits as well as other components that can be purchased separately on the market and the only thing you have to do is just put in balance the amount you want to invest, the time that you have available and the result you expect.
Solariums advantages for small and large farms:
- Ensure fresh products of high quality and environmentally friendly all year round
• Production is not dependent on climatic factors (wind, cold, heavy snow, heavy rain, etc.).
• It can be quickly arranged
• Costs are amortized in a short period of time (up to 2-3 years, depending on the complexity)
• There is no need for building authorization, only a manufacturer certificate in case you want to market the surplus crops.
For those who are at the beginning of this journey, it is best to start with a smaller investment and to experience different cultures, to understand the mechanisms of operation that greenhouses plant need, time spent, etc.. You can opt for a solar from a specialized company which usually provide all the tools and they can also install it (but at a higher price) or the solarium can be made following a preliminary sketch with a lower cost. For example, a small solar, which also ensures optimum plant growth, may have a frontage of 10.08 meters, variable length, as conditions of 20-30 meters and a height of about 4 meters (you can opt for smaller, width 6.7 m, height of 3 meters and length depending on the land that you have available, but in this case, mechanized works are more difficult). The costs in rapport to quality of materials and the complexity of decorations can range between 15 and 30 euro/square meter. If you choose to do it yourself the price will be around 6-7 euro/square meter and you will require more land and have fewer opportunities to control temperature, humidity, insurance works.
General characteristics of the greenhouses:
- They have a steel frame and galvanized steel pipes clamps, without the need for welding.
• Short distances (up to a meter) between arcs, making them very durable.
• Foils, in general, are highly transparent, anti-UV and anti-wear, simple, double or triple layered (with warranty of 2 years) and with brackets that require no drilling. A double sheet, for example, ensures a temperature of 0?C in the solarium, while the outside temperature is -10?C, due to the fact that the air pressure between the sheets is maintained with an electric pump.
• Resistance to snow loads.
• The side vents cranes are easy to handle.
• They are equipped with irrigation systems (sprinkler or drip).
• Sliding doors.
• The greenhouses can be “tunnel”-shaped, which are very resistant to wind and ensure a rapid drainage of water.
• They contain the mulching film, namely the protection of soil, keeping the humidity, making it more productive and preventing weed growth.
• They are equipped with shading nets which, when the temperature increases in the solar, has the role to filter the sunlight.
• It includes support systems for the climbing plants.
An alternative to the fully equipped solariums, with previously mentioned features are the summer tunnels (in fact, the season is extended from April to November), which have the property to maintain a slightly lower temperature than outside, suitable for vegetables and vegetable gardens, and during the spring and fall they are protected from sudden temperature changes and other elements. Their ventilation is very resistant (with warranty of 6-7 years), the operating costs are lower (it saves water, pesticide, because bugs do not proliferate under these conditions) and it can be rearranged in the form of multi columns, which brings a higher yield of crops. It is very easy to assemble; four people can, for example, set up the greenhouse in one day, on an area of 300 square meters (pillars, arches, foil).
Greenhouses allow, during the winter, crops of lettuce, spinach, onions and garlic, and from spring to autumn fruits and vegetables of all kinds. Of course, any culture is possible in the winter, but with some higher maintenance costs (heat, water) for tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, cucumbers, etc. Seedlings grow well in greenhouses, a huge advantage for personal garden and for selling.
One of the benefits of the greenhouses is the fact that they allow greater control over the growing environment of the plants. First of all, there are a few key factors that can be controlled: the level of light and shades, the irrigation, the temperature, the atmospheric humidity, the fertilizer application. All depend on the technical specification of the greenhouse. Greenhouses are ideal for regions with less favorable weather conditions and they can thereby improve significantly the food production in those environments, especially in high latitude countries. They are very productive, especially considering the fact that they enable certain crops to be grown all throughout the year. They are often used for growing not only vegetables, but also fruits, decorative plants, transplants and flowers. They can be any sorts of crops, from tomatoes to green vegetables which are most common for commercial use. One of the largest greenhouse complexes in the world is in Almeria, Spain, where greenhouses cover almost 50,000 acres (200 km2). As outdoor production, the production in the greenhouses, in a close environment has to deal with some issues such as pests and diseases. But if the light, the heat and humidity are properly settled, most of the issues can be avoided. Another important aspect to be taken into consideration is the ventilation. The main purposes of ventilation are to ensure movement of air in the close environment of the greenhouse and to regulate the temperature to optimal levels, thus preventing the building-up of plant pathogens that prefer still air conditions. Ventilation also ensures a supply of fresh air for photosynthesis and it is necessary for plant respiration. It can be done with the help of recirculation fans or via the use of vents. These are usually automatically controlled.
In order to be able to estimate the costs, given that you are interested in installing a solar, you should know that the average price of a professional solar of 8mX30m (240 square meters), height of 3 meters, is 1500€. A mini-solar, just to ensure current consumption of vegetables in the household, the 5X6m (30 square meters), height of 2.5 meters with pedestrian access, costs approximately 500€, a totally acceptable price.
Those who have developed a business with one or more greenhouses, to an estimative calculus have obtained an average, of 0.8€/square meter, per year which means, 300 square meters (average professional solar), 2000€ initial depreciation expenses in three years.
There is still a little bit of time until spring and it is worth starting to take into account the possibility of a solar arrangement, in late fall. It will give you the satisfaction of an initiative and many benefits in the near future, especially given the fact that organic vegetables are more expensive and difficult to procure. Or maybe you choose solar flowers that can bring a lot of satisfaction as well.