Whether you’re a hobbyist gardener or a small-scale professional farmer, a greenhouse is a great investment! Not only will using a greenhouse extend your growing season, but it will also significantly increase your crop production.
While they’re well worth the cost, greenhouses generally aren’t cheap. That’s why it’s so important to understand how to use a greenhouse and have a solid plan before you make the financial commitment.
If you’re a first-time user, a high-tunnel greenhouse is a great option. They can accommodate both in-ground and pot-based growing and are less expensive to set up and operate. Here’s a closer look at how these cost-effective greenhouses work and some expert greenhouse tips to help you get started.
Cold Frame vs. Traditional Greenhouses
While they have some similarities, there are also important key differences between a high-tunnel greenhouse and a traditional one. First, most traditional greenhouses are either permanently or semi-permanently anchored to the ground. Second, their walls are often made of hard materials, like polycarbonate or glass, and they almost always have permanent utility hook-ups for lighting, heating, and ventilation.
Instead of anchored into a concrete foundation or footers, high-tunnel greenhouses are made of hoops that anchor directly into the ground. This gives you the ability to deconstruct and move them if necessary. The walls are also made of a thinner material, usually fabric.