Success in a Farmers Market

5 Steps to Success in a Farmers Market

5 Steps to Success in a Farmers Market

Growers of all levels, from hobby gardeners to commercial producers, can often find themselves with a crop even more abundant than they had hoped for. While interest in good farmers markets has surged in recent years, so has over-saturation and competition. The number of farmers markets in the U.S. has grown from 1,755 in 1994 to more than 7,850 in 2012, according to the USDA. Yet NPR reports that 2018 saw our then 8,600+ farm markets start to fail.

For small-business owners, farmers markets can provide easy and affordable opportunities to reach new customers, test new products, and supplement their incomes. Careful planning and forethought can help growers to succeed in a competitive farmers market.

1- Target Fresh Produce Markets

Farm Market Fresh

Farm Market Fresh

Establishing your target consumer and selecting the right way to reach them is one key to your success in a farmers market. Your ideal consumer can vary depending on what you offer and how it relates to the audience you hope to attract.

If your specialty is affordable fresh staple grocery items, consider markets and cooperatives that serve the local residents of a food desert.

If you’re an organic grower, consider targeting upscale “foodies” who are concerned about nutrition and locally grown produce.

And if you produce local or regional produce or botanicals, you might most appeal to out-of-town visitors who are looking for something out-of-the-norm. Tourist locations and markets near local attractions should bring ideal customers to your booth with regularity.

2- Plan Your Farm Market Strategy

The pressures of growing and farming can cause established market vendors to drop out regularly. This can leave market managers eager to find new vendors to fill those spots. Be selective in choosing a venue. If there are several established in your area, make sure to visit each to see how your offerings equal success in each farmers market.

In most places, it’s no longer necessary to be a farmer to become a market vendor. Many markets allow vendors to sell prepared goods, arts and crafts, clothing, etc. How well do your items fit in with the overall feel of the market?

If there is a lot of competition with your products, or if there is too much diversity away from your focus,  it may be difficult to find success in that farmers market.

Consider the spectrum of what you can offer. Fresh produce pairs well with local honey, dried herbs, cured meats, fresh cut flowers, artisan-made vases and pots, seedlings, nuts, baked goods, hand-made soaps and candles—you may find an outlet for many of your home-grown hobbies!

3- Evaluate Community Support for Farmers Markets

Farmers Market Success

Farmers Market Success

Community support is necessary for a strong farmers’ market. Local residents, government, and area businesses help a market to contribute to the community. Without community resources, a market and its vendors may struggle. In addition to the number of farmers, also look at participation from local gardeners, craftsmen, chefs, artists, and community garden organizers to give an indication of interest.

If there are too few farmers and too few customers to make a market viable, look for a single, stronger farmers market, even if it is a farther distance. Several communities partnered in one market can be a more exciting venue for customers and a more profitable market for farmers.

4- Check Market Rules and Bylaws

Most farmers markets have rules, and many operate as cooperatives with bylaws. Be aware of your responsibilities as a part of the farm market community. In addition to fees for your space at the market, you may also be expected to participate a certain number of times per month, to provide your own displays, to secure your merchandise when the market is closed, or purchase a vendor license. Some markets may even require a buy-in for advertising dollars, or require sales tax accounting.

5- Decide on Payment Options

Fresh Grown Goods

Fresh Grown Goods

Plan ahead to determine the best payment options to prepare for farm market sales. If you’ll be a cash-only operation, you’ll want plenty of small bills to use for change. Many people now also offer credit card processing via their cellphone, for those spur-of-the-moment buyers who may not have cash on hand. Paypal, Venmo, ApplePay and the like are also options to consider.
Another option that helps your local community is to participate in government programs, which can help local economies by increasing sales, while helping those in need.

  •  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–administered by USDA Nutrition Program
  • Farmers Market Women Infant Children (WIC) Program–administered on a state level by the Department of Agriculture
  • Senior Farmers Market Prog– administered on a state level by the Department of Agriculture

As with any business decision, there are many things to consider when entering the direct-to-community farmer’s market arena. With wise choices, a little planning, and a crop ready to sell, you can have great success in a farmers market. Ready to get growing? Shop Gothic Arch Greenhouses today for everything you need to ensure a bumper crop and a happy harvest!

Best Greenhouse Guide

8 Steps to Planning Your Best Greenhouse

8 Steps to Planning Your Best Greenhouse

The best greenhouses are the ones that are not only beautiful but are also functional and are planned with an eye towards the future. Whether you grow for pleasure or for profit, these tips can help you to get the most from your greenhouse and your investment in it! Here’s how to plan for your best greenhouse!

1. Choose the Best Greenhouse Location

Many people put a greenhouse wherever they have the space and easy access to utilities. Others may plan a site that has the best light and exposure. When planning around the surrounding structures and landscape elements, there are several additional considerations. Trees and shrubbery will grow, affecting light, but you also want to plan for future beds to transplant seedlings to, and possible additions to buildings. You may even later add into your greenhouse, or add a barn or shade house!

Best Home Greenhouse Kit

Home Greenhouse kit

2. Boost Your Greenhouse’s Curb Appeal

Greenhouses don’t have to be generic lookalikes, or simple working structures. They can be custom designed to reflect your home or business’ style and taste. Custom knee-walls to match your architecture, roof peaks, finials, and more can add style and value to your property.

3. Connect Greenhouses  Buildings

Beautiful connections can be made between your greenhouse and home, your garden center and retail store, your farm market and production area—the possibilities are limitless. Use a gazebo, a porch, a shade house, or lean-to to create vestibules, sitting areas, potting sheds, or multi-use spaces that protect you and your plants from inclement weather.

Best Lean-to Greenhouse kits

Greenhouse attached to building

In retail use, “A rainy weekend at the end of spring can drop sales up to 80 percent,” according to horticulture expert Chuck Sierke. “If you can cover more area with canopies and awnings, that is the biggest potential for up-sales even in inclement weather.”

4. Install the Right Greenhouse Doors

Entry and exit doors should be wide and easy to manipulate. When hands are full with tools, supplies, and plants, an easy-open door that can accommodate carts, wheelbarrows, and equipment will ease your day.

5. Open Up Interior Greenhouse Space

An easy way to create an open feel is to reduce the number of columns, using beams instead. Fewer posts increases growing space and allows for better retail bench layouts.

6. Choose Durable Covering Materials

Polycarbonate versus polyethylene gives long life, and a more permanent look. It lasts 20-plus years rather than four or five, though it is a greater initial investment. Glass improves further, with excellent light transmission and longer life still. Rigid coverings take far less maintenance than films, also, and have excellent R-value.

7. Consider Greenhouse Air-flow

Many growers prefer more natural ventilation as opposed to fans, utilizing open-roof designs, sliding doors or roll-up curtain walls. However, insects and pests are more difficult to keep at bay with open designs, and humidity extremes can also be more difficult to manage. A greenhouse professional can help you to decide what is right for you.

Best Greenhouse Irrigation

Irrigation System

8. Rethink  Greenhouse Irrigation

There are many options for water management besides traditional overhead watering systems. A sub-irrigation system with automated pump and tank can flush out salt buildup and allow better water absorption. Hydroponic systems also root-feed water and nutrients to plants, which results in losing water only due to evaporation, saves labor, and makes for a less-damp environment.

Greenhouse growers large and small can benefit from considering these 8 things in when planning or refurbishing their growing space. Planning not just for today but for tomorrow’s harvest can help you to choose the best greenhouse for how you grow. Gothic Arch Greenhouses’ 70+ years of experience can help you plan, design, and grow, whether you need a simple kit or a 1,000 acre solution. Call our experts today!

Poinsettia Care

Poinsettia Care Plan for Reblooming

Poinsettia Care Plan for Reblooming

Poinsettias have become a holiday tradition, causing many people ask, “How do I care for Poinsettias year-round?” Gothic Arch Greenhouses is here to help, with Poinsettia care advice that will have your blooms recurring year after year!

Poinsettias are sensitive to light and temperature, and do best indoors year-round in many climates. With proper care, they can continue to delight each season. To ensure your poinsettias rebloom, we recommend:

Poinsettia Care Plan for Late Spring

Poinsettia Care Guide

Poinsettia Care Guide

• Replant in new soil
• Trim to 6”
• Water regularly
• Add fertilizer every 2 weeks (We recommend a 30-10-10 mix)
• Place outdoors in a sunny location
• Maintain a temperature range of 60°-75°
• Pinch tips off new shoots when 6” – 8” long
• In late July, cut back to 5” – 6”

*Keep in mind that hotter climates may require plant to be moved indoors during hotter times of day—ideally, a greenhouse can provide perfect temperatures with plenty of solar exposure*

Poinsettia Care Plan for Late Summer

• Bring indoors before evening temperatures begin to drop.
• Place in full sun, with 3 to 6 hours of direct sun daily
• Continue to fertilize every 2 weeks

Poinsettia Care Plan for Fall

• For poinsettias to bloom, they need 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness daily for 40 days
• Place in a dark place or cover completely at dusk, then remove the next morning so that the plant is kept in total darkness. Continue daily.
• Do not fertilize November 1 through December 30

With a light deprivation schedule, a poinsettia should bloom by holiday time. Even as little as 10 minutes of artificial light during the blackout period can delay blooms by weeks or even months, so stay vigilant and enjoy your poinsettia all winter long! Happy Growing!

 

Unique Holiday Gifts

10 Unique Holiday Gifts for Gardeners

  • 10 Unique Holiday Gifts for Gardeners

    Does the plant and flower lover in your life have a stockpile of planters, seed packets, and garden figurines going unused year after year? Does coming up with a unique, useful, beautiful gift for the gardener in your life seem like a daunting task? If so, we are here to help! Read more about 10 unique holiday gifts for gardeners that will make this year’s holiday shopping a snap for every budget.

    Gardening Gifts Under $50

    There are a lot of inexpensive gardening gifts that every gardener will love, and use regularly. If you’re looking for unique holiday gifts that don’t break the bank, some of our favorites are:

    ·        Floating Plant Covers

    These affordable, practical plant covers have a variety of uses. From protecting plants from extreme heat and cold to helping soil stay moist, floating plant covers are something that most gardeners will need and use for years to come.

    ·        Hydro-bottle Watering System

    This fun gardening gift bottles to hemp maintain soil moisture. You can decorate the bottles to include photos, paintings, or messages for a more personal touch. Environmentally conscious growers will appreciate the use of up-cycled bottles as part of their garden decor.

    Hand-crafted Gifts That Keep on Giving

    For one-of-a-kind gifts for gardeners that will last for decades, we specialize in hand-crafted cypress wood items that are sure to please any gardener on your list.

    ·        Cypress Wood Gothic Arch Greenhouse Kit

    One of the strongest hobby greenhouses on the market, the eye-catching design of the Gothic Arch Greenhouse compliments all architectural styles. Made from sustainable heart cypress and made individually by our master craftsmen, this greenhouse kit is truly unique. The high peak and sloped edges make it ideal for areas with heavy snow and wind loads. This greenhouse will provide the ideal growing environment for your loved one’s plants and flowers year after year.

    ·        Cypress Wood Potting Bench

    Also made from sustainable, long lasting heart cypress, our potting bench adds a combination of style, and storage space to your greenhouse, porch, or garden. These potting benches are ideal for storing small gardening tools, displaying flowers, or using as a work space. Practical, beautiful, and affordable, our cypress wood potting bench is ideal for all plant and flower lovers.

    Gardening Gifts for Small Spaces

    Not all gardeners have the luxury of ample space to grow the plants that they love. Some growers are limited to patios, rooftops, and even small indoor spaces. Here are a few unique holiday gifts that we recommend for gardeners who are limited on space.

    ·        TAB Indoor/Outdoor Aquaponic System

    This growing system is great for its compact size, ease of use, and the ability to not only grow plants, but cultivate fish! If your gardener wants to experiment with trending growing styles but doesn’t have the space, this is an ideal gift. The plants and fish rely on each other to create a little eco system that is clean, sustainable, and affordable. This system also makes a great gift for schools, teachers, and community programs.

    ·        Elevated Planters

    Elevated planters are ideal for creating small gardens in small spaces. The elevation allows for better drainage, keeping plants healthier and happier. Elevated planters are also the perfect solution for people who love to garden, but cannot bend over to tend to plants growing in the ground. These planters add the beauty of foliage to any porch or patio décor.

    Helpful Gifts for Larger Spaces

    Some gardeners have large, outdoor growing spaces or greenhouses that can be difficult to manage at times. Here are a few items that can help manage and organize these spaces for your loved one.

    ·        Greenhouse Shelving

    Whether your gardener is looking for a place to display their prized blooms, or looking for way to stay more organized, greenhouse shelving is a great solution. Available in a variety of sizes and price points, greenhouse shelving is something that every gardener will use season after season, making it a practical and unique holiday gift.

    ·        Garden Help Cart

    In larger greenhouses and outdoor gardens, hauling plants, tools, and equipment back and forth can be a painstaking process. A garden help cart that easily glides between garden rows makes easy work of moving items from place to place. Ideal for commercial greenhouses, farmer’s markets, home gardening, and nurseries, the gift of a garden help cart is a gift that makes gardening life easier.

    Greenhouse Equipment

    If the plant loved in your life already owns a greenhouse, you can be sure that they will eventually need to replace or upgrade their greenhouse equipment in coming years. Help them stay ahead of the curve by gifting them with equipment upgrades. Here are a couple of pieces of equipment that we recommend replacing often, in order to maintain optimum growing conditions inside a greenhouse.

    ·        Greenhouse Heaters

    In most parts of the country, we recommend greenhouse heaters to help combat cold temperatures. If you are looking for a gift that will make your plant lover’s day, you can’t go wrong with a greenhouse heater. Whether they need a backup heater in case of an emergency, or are looking to save money by upgrading to a more efficient heater, the gardener in your life will appreciate your help in keeping their plants safe all year long.

    ·        Greenhouse Lighting

    More and more gardeners are becoming aware that grow lights in different spectrums, wattages, and configurations can help boost the growing cycles of their plants. With many options to choose from, some growers shy away from trying out new lighting techniques in their own greenhouses. Gift them with the opportunity to experiment with these newer technologies by giving them new bulbs, lamps, or complete greenhouse lighting systems.

     Looking for Something Else?

    While this is a list of some our favorite unique holiday gifts for gardeners, we understand that not all growers are looking for the same things. At Gothic Arch Greenhouses, we have a variety other tools, equipment, structures, and growing solutions that would also make thoughtful gifts for anyone who loves or works with plants. Call one of our experts today at 1-800-531-4769 and ask about the special holiday pricing and discounts available to you.

 

Winter Greenhouse Growing Tips

Winter Greenhouse Growing Tips

Winter Greenhouse Growing Tips

The changing seasons can be a challenge to home gardeners, commercial growing operations, and agricultural productions. One way to combat adverse seasonal changes is to utilize the controlled environment of a greenhouse. Greenhouses are very helpful for growing cold weather crops and plants. Read below to discover what makes greenhouses ideal for winter planting, and for some winter greenhouse growing tips to get you started.

Why a Greenhouse for Winter Growing?

Greenhouses offer protection from extreme temperatures, precipitation, birds, diseases, pests, and overheating. Because of this protection, greenhouses promote healthy plant growth. However, greenhouses also offer a controlled and consistent growing environment that is optimized to your specific crops. With greenhouse environmental controls, you can automatically maintain the ideal temperature, humidity level, the watering schedule, and lighting conditions. This means that your plants are in their healthy growing “sweet spot” for longer periods of time.

Prep Your Greenhouse

         Deep Cleaning

Having a properly prepared greenhouse is vital to successful growing any time of the year. If you are planting winter plants in a greenhouse, take some time to clean up after your fall harvest season. This process gives your winter plants a clean, fresh environment, and ensures that no left-over pests or diseases are present. To clean your greenhouse:

  • Remove all containers and supplies from the structure
  • Rid the space of all debris and organic matter
  • Scrub and disinfect all surfaces including walls, floors, and benching
  • Disinfect all containers and supplies before returning them back to the greenhouse

         Maintenance

Keeping optimal growing conditions depends on having a properly maintained greenhouse. Taking the time to check your greenhouse and equipment for needed repairs before planting your winter garden will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Making a checklist is an easy way to organize your maintenance schedule.

Remember to always follow the manufacture’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining equipment. Contracting professional, companies is the best way to ensure safe, regular equipment maintenance. You will want to:

  • Check your greenhouse covering for rips, cracks, gaps, and other signs of damage.
  • Make sure that your frame is in good shape. Check for loose or damaged bolts. For wood frames, make sure that there are no signs of rot or mold.
  • Inspect your greenhouse base and note any gaps that may have appeared.
  • Check door hinges, linkages, and sliding channels for blockages.
  • Clean gutters and check for leaks or damage.
  • Check that all parts of your ventilation system are in good working order, and that windows and vents close properly.
  • Check heating and cooling equipment for damage or operation problems.
  • Re-calibrate your environmental controls and sensors.
  • Clean or replace equipment filters.
  • Have your electrical system, plumbing, and gas lines inspected by a licensed professional
  • Check that all safety and first aid supplies are stocked and up to date.

Bonus Tip! Organize your greenhouse maintenance checklists by seasons to streamline your maintenance schedule!

What Grows Best in Winter?

For successful winter planting, you want hearty plants and vegetables with woodier stalks and stems, cruciferous veggies with leafy greens, and plants with strong, sturdy root systems. Here are some of our favorites:

Plants & Flowers

  • Begonias
  • Mint
  • Pansies
  • Thyme
  • Azaleas
  • Boxwoods

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Radishes
  • Citrus
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Crab Apples

Start Early

One of the biggest issues we see in the greenhouse business is customers waiting until the last minute to purchase parts and equipment.  With today’s erratic climate and unpredictable weather patterns, having all of your winter greenhouse equipment in place early is essential. Once the first frost happens in your area, it’s too late to discover that you need a new greenhouse heater. Because production times, inventory, and shipping logistics are all factors that can cause delays in receiving your winter equipment, don’t put it off! Inspect your greenhouse as early as possible. This ensures that you have plenty of time to get your winter greenhouse in perfect working order.

Keep it Warm

Even plants that grow well in the winter cannot withstand freezing temperatures and frozen growing media for long. While the ideal temperature for a greenhouse is between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit, many winter plants will grow beautifully as long as the temperature stays higher than 37F. Every plant is different. Therefore, it’s important for you check the requirements for each plant before deciding at which temperature to keep your greenhouse. Using programmable thermostats, heat lamps, heating systems, and sun absorbing materials will help you maintain that temperature.

Take Advantage of Controlled Lighting

Being able to control the lighting in your greenhouse is one of the most beneficial aspects to successful greenhouse growing. Though some plants thrive in full sun for long periods of time, others prefer a short day, long night lighting cycle. Natural sunlight is always best but not always an option. By using lighting to supplement the hours of sunlight available, you give your sun-loving plants more time to grow and thrive. For plants that traditionally grow during the fall, alternating spectrum lighting and light deprivation will mimic their natural growing conditions and can cause more frequent harvests.

 

Whether you are a hobby gardener or a large commercial grower, it is possible to keep your harvests abundant all year long. Our friendly staff at Gothic Arch Greenhouses will help you optimize your winter greenhouse with the highest quality greenhouses and the most reliable equipment on the market today. Give us a call at 800-531-4769 or check out our website www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to start your project today.

 

 

 

Growing Hemp in a Greenhouse

Growing Hemp in a Greenhouse

As of 2018, growing hemp as an agricultural product is now legal in the United States. Hemp is known for having wonderful health benefits, applications in building materials, and versatile uses in textiles. Hemp is traditionally grown outdoors. However, for the purposes of making health products such as CBD oil, growing hemp in a greenhouse can be beneficial to your production. Whether you are a new hemp grower or you are looking for a better growing environment for your maturing plants, Gothic Arch Greenhouses can help you customize a hemp greenhouse to meet all of your needs.

Benefits to Growing Hemp in a Greenhouse

Extend Your Growing Season & Increase Your Production

Greenhouses allow growers to control environmental factors surrounding their plants. Controlling temperature, lighting, humidity and other factors allows hemp to grow all year long. Typically only harvested once a year, greenhouse hemp is ready for harvest multiple times a year thanks to blackout systems.

Reduce Cross Pollination

Because of natural pollination processes, cross pollinating hemp and other crops can cause a decrease in some plant’s potencies. Federal regulations are in the works to reduce cross pollination between hemp and other plants. Stay ahead of the legal battle by containing your hemp crops inside greenhouses. Not only will this keep your crops from cross pollinating with others, it will keep unwanted pollutants away from your plants as well.

Fewer Pests

Pest management is vital to healthy crop growth no matter what you are growing or where you are growing it. However, growing hemp in a greenhouse greatly streamlines pest control practices. The highly controlled greenhouse environment is less susceptible to bugs than those crops grown in open fields. Properly sealed joints, and windows and vents covered with insect screens create little to no room for unwanted pests to sneak in.

EPA & FDA Compliance

A virtually pest free environment is ideal for hemp growing due to the federal restrictions on using chemicals on CBD grade hemp. With the hemp market booming, the EPA and FDA are still collecting data about safe levels of pesticides, fungicides, and other common chemicals used in hemp production. Until that data becomes available, it will remain illegal to use most chemicals on your crops. This preventative measure keeps ingestible hemp safe for consumers. Growing hemp in a greenhouse makes it possible to avoid the use of pesticides because your plants are less susceptible to pests. Keeping your chemical usage at a minimum now will make it easier to follow federal regulations and guidelines in the future, which can save you a lot of time and money.

Considerations for Growing Hemp in Greenhouses

Your Greenhouse

There are many types of greenhouses available today. Make sure that you choose the type that is practical for your growing needs. Gutter connected greenhouses can grow with your operation and are ideal for expansion. For areas with heavy snowfall, triple-wall polycarbonate greenhouses will hold up better than glass or acrylic structures. If you are on a tight budget, a cold frame or hoop house may be ideal.

Blackout Systems 

Hemp is typically a “fall” plant meaning that it requires longer periods of darkness and shorter day time hours to grow properly. Blackout systems allow you to fake the light patterns and trick your crops into maturing more quickly. Blackout systems can be as simple as a tarp that is manually pulled over a hoop house. However, for large or commercial operations, automated blackout systems are recommended. These systems are set on timers and programmed to automatically cover and uncover your greenhouse at the correct intervals. Automated blackout systems take the guess work out of light deprivation and save money on labor costs.

 

Legislation seems to be changing more every month and Gothic Arch Greenhouses can help keep your greenhouse and greenhouse supplies up to date and at maximum profitability. Give us a call today at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.gothicarchgreenhouses.com.

 

Glass or Polycarbonate Greenhouse

How to Choose Between a Glass or Polycarbonate Greenhouse

Glass or Polycarbonate Greenhouse

If you’re ready to start a greenhouse, one of the most important decisions to make will be what to cover your greenhouse with. Both glass and polycarbonate options have advantages, but which one should you choose? Understanding the advantages of each style is a great place to start! Read below to learn whether you will benefit from a glass or polycarbonate greenhouse.

Advantages of a Glass Greenhouse

Durability

Glass is the strongest of all greenhouse materials. Partly due to its weight, which makes it strong, glass greenhouses can provide many years of service—40 to 50 years or more! Glass greenhouses are permanent, and though they may cost more than polycarbonate styles, the value they add to your property makes them worth the investment.

Appearance

Glass greenhouses are prized for their beautiful appearance. For many, they are considered to be the iconic image of what a greenhouse is supposed to look like. One of the many reasons they are so popular is because the clarity of the glass can give the feeling of being outdoors while being sheltered indoors so the beauty of both can be enjoyed.

Light Transmission

Glass greenhouses transmit the most light, nearly 100 percent, and maintain their clarity for many years if cleaned regularly. Single-layer or double- or triple-planed glass is available to help improve insulation and ventilation, making it more competitive with what polycarbonate greenhouses offer.

Advantages of a Polycarbonate Greenhouse

Durability

Polycarbonate greenhouses are more durable and 200 times stronger than glass. When polycarbonate needs to be replaced, it’s easy to remove the panels individually to make repairs. Though polycarbonate is durable, it should be treated with UV protectant to prevent it from turning yellow or breaking down. With proper care, polycarbonate can last about 10 years, a fraction of how long glass lasts.

Light Transmission

Polycarbonate greenhouses help diffuse light more evenly than glass greenhouses, which helps plants thrive and even grow faster. Polycarbonate protects plants from excessive sunlight or radiation as it naturally offers UV protection. This material provides better insulating properties, though double- and triple-paned glass can do the same for glass structures.

Cost

Polycarbonate costs less than glass, but consider the investment over time. Polycarbonate has a lifespan of about 10 years. Factoring this into your long-term investment plans is important when choosing a greenhouse covering.  Less expensive covering options may require more repairs that will add up to higher costs.

Shatter-Resistant

Polycarbonate greenhouses are shatter-resistant, and though glass greenhouses are strong, they can’t withstand impacts from hail, rocks or other hazards. Tempered glass may offer more protection against cracks or breaking, but there is still an element of risk.

Whether you choose glass or polycarbonate, make informed decisions about costs, durability and practicality. For example, glass greenhouses, for example, may be ideal for hobby gardeners, but impractical for commercial growers.

Have more questions? Call Gothic Arch Greenhouses at 800-531-4769, and let our friendly staff assist you in finding the right greenhouse for you or your operation!

 

Best Lean-to Greenhouse kits

Growing Roses in a Greenhouse

Growing Roses in a Greenhouse

Roses are as iconic as they are beautiful, so it’s no wonder that many hobby gardeners and commercial growers are intent on cultivating them. These fragrant flowers have been fixtures throughout history—from the Bible to the works of Shakespeare and even the White House Rose Garden, where they are celebrated as the national flower of the United States. If you want to try your hand at growing roses in a greenhouse, this article will take you step-by-step through the process.

Steps for Growing Roses in a Greenhouse

Choose your roses. As with choosing any plant to grow, consider your climate and the size of your greenhouse when making your selection. This will set you up for success! Growing roses in a greenhouse will reduce exposure to pests and diseases they would be subject to outside. There are also rose varieties that are naturally resistant to disease, making it easy to keep them healthy.

Pot Rose Plants

 Remove your rose plants from shipping pots or bags and place them in new containers. Add fresh potting soil (preferably rose-specific), but drape root cluster over the soil to encourage the growth of healthy new roots. Planting in the fall is recommended using containers at least 9 inches across. Placing small rocks or pieces of broken china in the bottom of the pot will increase drainage and prevent root rot.

Place Containers in the Greenhouse

Take your newly potted plants in your greenhouse, and place them where they will get enough sun. At least six hours of direct sunlight every day is what your roses will need to thrive. Give them enough space so they don’t cast shade on each other. We recommend placing containers at least six apart so that air can flow freely between them.

Prune the Bushes

Using pruning shears, trim branches back to about 3 inches from the main stem, including blooms and buds. Plants with the fewest stems and leaves can create bigger blooms. Remove all dead branches (those that are brown on the inside), and trim away the branches that block the middle of the plant. This allows for better air circulation which is important for preventing moisture build-up.

Water and Fertilize Plants Sufficiently

Water your rose plants enough so the soil is moist. The amount will vary based on your weather conditions. On hotter days they will need more; on rainy days less. Keep water from touching the stems or the leaves. Add high phosphorus fertilizer when you see new growth from leaves, buds or branches, then reapply every two weeks or as recommended.

Maintain the Right Temperature

A greenhouse regulated to a daytime temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 40 degrees at night are the ideal conditions for your roses. Use a combination of compost and shredded leaves to mulch your containers to maintain soil temperature and humidity. Supplemental lighting can help keep your greenhouse warm during the colder months.

Staying actively involved in maintaining the growing environment is the best way to successfully grow roses inside a greenhouse. We offer a variety of greenhouses and environmental controls that will help you grow beautiful blooms year after year. Wherever you are in the rose-growing process, call us at 800-531-4769 for exceptional recommendations, prices and customer support!

 

Protecting Your Greenhouse Plants In Winter

Protecting Your Greenhouse Plants in Winter

Protecting Your Greenhouse Plants in Winter

As the weather turns colder, you may be wondering what steps you can take to protect your greenhouse plants from frost, and other harsh winter conditions. Greenhouses are ideal for controlling the growing environment year round. The types of coverings you use, equipment in place, and insulation all play a role in maintaining your greenhouse temperature. Read below to learn more about protecting your greenhouse plants during the cold winter months.

Greenhouse Coverings

There are multiple covering types for greenhouse including glass, polycarbonate, polyfilm, and fiberglass. These coverings not only range in price and durability, their heat retention capabilities also vary.

Glass- Because glass is almost 99% transparent, more sunlight is allowed to pass through and into the greenhouse. Plants and greenhouse flooring absorb the sunlight and it is converted to heat. The heat is then trapped inside the greenhouse and helps create a warm environment, even at night.

Polycarbonate- Polycarbonate multi-wall panels provide greenhouses with better insulation and higher heat retention that glass coverings. Because sunlight passes through the panels, and is also absorbed by the panels themselves, polycarbonate greenhouses tend to stay warmer for longer periods of time as compared to glass greenhouses.

Insulation

Just as you insulate your home, you can insulate your greenhouse. Insulating your greenhouse allows for less heat loss and lower energy bills. There are several ways to insulate your greenhouse that are safe and economical. One way is through the use of bubble wrap. Bubble wrapping your greenhouse panels, or placing bubble wrap over the plants themselves, is an inexpensive way to trap heat inside your greenhouse. Another way to insulate your greenhouse on a more permanent basis is to use sealants around all over the joints and corners of your structure. Check the spaces around doors, windows, and vents to potential air gaps. Filling in the nooks and crannies of your structure keeps warm air from “leaking” out of your greenhouse.

Greenhouse Heaters

Though supplemental heating is not necessary in all parts of the country, using greenhouse heaters can be highly beneficial to growers that live in colder areas that receive heavier snow throughout the winter. Several types of greenhouse heaters are available to meet your specific needs. Using a BTU Heat Loss Calculator will help you determine how strong of a heater you will need to fit your greenhouse.

Before choosing a heater, you will want to check the existing capabilities of your greenhouse. Depending on the existing services, you can use natural gas, propane, or electric heaters to help maintain a warm environment in your greenhouse. Heaters can be ceiling mounted, placed on the floor, and even portable depending on your space and needs. Make sure to check your local ordinances and building codes before purchasing a heater for your greenhouse.

Automatic environmental controls and monitors allow you to program your heater to maintain a consistent temperature. This ensures that your greenhouse will never get too hot, or too cold, without having to check on it constantly.

More Tips for Protecting Your Plants in Winter

  • Install greenhouse grow lights as a supplemental heat source for your plants
  • Line greenhouse walls with polyfilm to trap cold air before it gets to your plants
  • Place open containers of water around your greenhouse to absorb sunlight during the day that will release warm particles at night
  • Use portable kerosene heaters as  a backup heating source in the event of a power failure
  • Keeping plants misted with water helps prevent freezing
  • If all else fails, bring your plants indoors until it is possible to create a warm growing environment inside your greenhouse.

Protecting your greenhouse plants in winter doesn’t have to be hard. Gothic Arch Greenhouses offers a wide selection of insulated greenhouse coverings, heaters, and other temperature control solutions. Call one of our experts today to discuss heating options, or look us up at www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to view our high quality products that make greenhouse growing easy.

irrigation systems

Drip Irrigation Systems vs. Flood Irrigation Systems

Ensuring your plants get enough water and nutrients is an essential part of greenhouse production. Multiple irrigation systems are available, ranging from simple, such as watering by hand, to more sophisticated computer-based irrigation control systems. 

This article will more closely examine the benefits of drip irrigation and flood irrigation systems for greenhouses.

Drip Irrigation Systems

In drip irrigation systems, water travels through a system of tubing, pipes and valves and is released as a steady “drip” of moisture near the base of the plant. This type of system localizes the watering and fertilization process and delivers the precise amount of water and nutrients to the plant. These are some of the many advantages of drip irrigation systems.

Advantages of Drip Irrigation Systems 

Efficient Water Use

The precise delivery of water in a drip irrigation system prevents water waste. As a result, these systems use up to 50 percent less water than traditional watering methods, such as sprinklers, according to multiple studies.

Lower Disease Risk

Drip irrigation systems keep foliage dry, which reduces damp conditions that are a breeding ground for disease and harmful powdery mildew. 

Fewer pests

Like disease, bugs love wet foliage. Because a drip irrigation system directs all water into the soil, pests can’t get to it, which creates an environment where they don’t feel welcome and thrive. 

Discourages Weeds

Along with reducing disease and warding off pests, localized watering helps discourage the growth of weeds as well. Since water is placed in a specific area around the plant, weed seeds don’t get nourished and are starved.

Better Plant Health

When plants receive water uniformly, they can thrive! Drip irrigation systems space out and extend the watering period and water gets well into the root zone, which helps improve growth and results in better plant health.

Saves Time

Drip irrigation systems eliminate the need to move sprinklers or hoses around to make sure everything gets watered. Some kits make it possible to install timers so watering is automatic. 

Flood Irrigation Systems

Flood irrigation is one of the earliest forms of watering crops. Several different irrigation styles make it possible to utilize this technique in a greenhouse, including capillary mats, troughs, flood and drain trays, and flood floors. These sub-irrigation options allow watering to happen from the bottom up, and they are generally considered to be more effective and efficient than systems that water from the top down. Here are some of their advantages.

Advantages of Flood Irrigation Systems

Saves Time

Some flood irrigation systems incorporate existing benches to reduce cost and save time on their setup and operation. 

Uniform Plant Growth

Plants can thrive in sub-irrigation systems because each one gets the same amount of water, resulting in uniform plant growth. Flood floors are popular with larger growers for this reason.

Efficient Water Use

Delivering water from the ground up, flood irrigation systems stays in the water rather than evaporating into the air.  Like drip systems, sub-irrigation methods can save 50 percent or more water. 

Less Fertilizer Use

Sub-irrigation systems use water and fertilizer more efficiently. Up to 50 percent less fertilizer can be used in these systems because water is collected, stored and reused. 

Lower Humidity

Supplying water from the bottom up reduces water evaporation, which means less humidity. Therefore, you have one less thing to monitor in your greenhouse!

Lower Disease Risk

This system stores and re-circulates water so little water moves between containers, trays, or troughs. This helps lower the spread of disease in your greenhouse.

Increased Space Efficiency

Placing trays and troughs throughout your greenhouse allows your plants to grow and thrive. Easy to move trays and troughs allow you to place the containers where you need them.

Which system is right for you? Let our knowledgeable professionals know if you have questions. Call us at 800-531-4769, and we’ll be happy to help you with your irrigation needs!