5 Tips for Supercharging Greenhouse Yields
So, you want to harvest heaping bushels of delicious greenhouse vegetables. Whether you’re growing chard, peppers or hydroponic tomatoes, simple steps can help you pull off some horticultural heroics. Let’s take a look at the top 5 tips for putting your green thumb to work in the greenhouse.
1. Get Selective
Not all species are created equal. When it comes to boosting crop yields, it’s important to focus on growing the very best greenhouse plants. Squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, radishes, and beans are known for mouthwatering yields. And let’s not forget about potatoes. You can pile up 50 pounds of this prolific grower in just 100 square feet of space! Selecting specific varieties will also put you on the fast track to success. For instance, if you’re growing tomatoes in a greenhouse, Roma and beefsteak offer relatively high yields compared to other varieties. And the right variety can make all the difference. So, before you buy those seeds… do the research your high-yielding greenhouse needs!
2. Plant Up Close and Personal
Interplanting is the practice of sowing two complimentary species in the same place, and it’s a staple of high-yield greenhouse farming. This technique plays out several ways. In one scenario, you can plant tall plants and ground-hugging varieties together to maximize vertical space. Another option is placing slow-growing and fast-growing varieties together. As the fast grower races to the finish, its slow-growing companion establishes itself, reaching maturity slightly later for a second harvest. There are numerous other methods, but they all share one benefit. By planting two species on top of one another, there’s less room for weeds to compete.
3. Optimize Your Containers
Cheap plastic pots are a money-saving temptation. But are they worth it? Heck no. Plastic pots are the bane of healthy roots. They trap excessive moisture, restrict healthy oxygen flow and promote root circling. That’s when roots circle the perimeter of the pot, eventually becoming tangled and unhealthy. And unhealthy roots will throw a wrench into any greenhouse farming operation. As an alternative, consider fabric Smart Pots. They’re a tad more expensive, but they more than pay for themselves. These fabric containers promote air and moisture flow through the surface of the container. The result is explosive root growth and massive yields. Consider that organic tomatoes cost $3-$6 per pound. If Smart Pots can help you grow an extra pound or two per plant, It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out they’re perfect for growing greenhouse vegetables. Durable and re-usable year after year, they’re absolutely worth the investment.
4. Go Vertical
Next time you’re in the greenhouse, set your sights high. Ceiling high, that is. While it’s not so easy to expand your greenhouse outward, growing upward is totally doable. Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and many other crops love to climb trellises. Tomatoes can actually grow to 50 feet in height! Tiered shelving and vertical planters are also viable options. When exploring vertical growing, be sure to consider lighting. You don’t want vertical structures throwing shade on light-hungry plants. Situate your vertical structures opposite of prevailing light to prevent shading surrounding crops.
5. Get Back to Basics
Sure, fancy ventilation systems, environmental controls, and light-modulating covers can help you master greenhouse farming. But don’t lose sight of the basics. Start with high-quality soil and amend it with organic fertilizer. Mulch your crops to retain moisture. Inspect plants for diseases BEFORE you bring them inside the greenhouse. And whatever you do, steer clear of toxic pesticides that harm the micro-biome of your soil. Remember: what’s good for them is good for you. When it comes to growing greenhouse vegetables, it’s easy to overthink it. So don’t. Focus on the fundamentals and watch your garden thrive.
With these simple tips, you’ll be ready to take your greenhouse yields to the next level. So grab your favorite high-yielding varieties… And get ready to haul in massive harvests all year long!