1. What is the budget for your greenhouse project?
Every construction project starts with a plan. This is the stage at which you determine a budget for your project and make sure you invest your money in the right places. A producer growing a crop for the first time can opt for mechanical management and a slightly smaller greenhouse to save on costs the first year. If all goes well the next year, they can then automate it gradually and enlarge it section by section thanks to Harnois Greenhouses’ innovative designs.
2. What type of soil will the greenhouse be built on?
The composition of the soil affects crop production as well as construction. The land may require special foundations, which come with additional costs. With some soils, you can install a standalone greenhouse with anchors (no foundations). To avoid unexpected surprises, you absolutely need to know the type of soil before investing in the land.
3. Is there a water and energy supply nearby?
Water supply is essential to production, and limited supplies can hinder the long-term development of your business. The quality of the water is also important since it will influence the choice of equipment you use to treat and condition the water.
You must also ensure that you have access to an energy supply (electrical input, natural gas, biomass, etc.) near the production site, so as not to hinder the future growth of your business. The majority of low-tech greenhouses are evolving to mid- or high-tech greenhouses and have higher energy requirements.
4. Does the land have sufficient exposure to natural light and wind?
The greenhouse must be installed on clear ground to create a natural flow of air inside the greenhouse. Where you position the greenhouse has a significant impact on the duration of exposure to natural light. You must also choose land that’s exposed to light for as long as possible to ensure high productivity of your crop.
5. What crop will you be growing?
Market research will allow you to choose your crop wisely. Tomato production, for example, is likely to be more challenging for small producers as the market is dominated by large producers. In addition, if sales costs aren’t competitive, you should think about choosing a niche or less popular crop such as herbs or special varieties of cucumbers. The crop will also determine which model of greenhouse you choose.
6. When will production take place?
A greenhouse exposed to extremely cold winter temperatures must be adapted accordingly. In these conditions, a greenhouse is typically partially insulated and equipped with a heating and lighting system to protect the crops.
7. Do you have a team in place?
Before starting production, you need to make sure you have a team in place and nearby. Not having the right team could be detrimental to your business. The size of your greenhouse will affect the number of employees you hire.