Greenhouse farms have been successfully used to grow crops around the world for decades. Equipping these structures with hydroponic farming technology, allows farmers to take advantage of natural light, while also managing the temperature in a way that allows farming all year round.
Advantages and disadvantages of hydroponic greenhouses
Advantage: High yield
The space available within a greenhouse allows for the use of a wide range of hydroponic farming systems
Aside from lettuces and herbs, mass market crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, chili, eggplants, etc can be grown using dutch buckets and grow bags.
By eliminating the need for expensive climate control and LED lights, the setup cost for greenhouses is significantly lower than for indoor vertical farms
By utilizing natural light, as well as gravity for the circulation of the water, utility and operating costs are greatly reduced
The standard greenhouse span measures 8x32m, thus taking up a large space while not benefiting from vertical farming
Greenhouses are therefore not suitable for areas with high real estate costs and are better placed in rural and agricultural areas
Plants inside greenhouse farms are not fully protected from external factors such as weather, temperature, and humidity
While the insulation cooling systems in a greenhouse can reduce temperatures inside the farm by up to 15 degrees, high outside temperatures can have negative effects on yield and productivity
Left: Dutch buckets and growing bags are used to grow larger plants such as tomatoes, strawberries, eggplants, cucumbers, bell peppers, and chilies.
Right: Polycarbonate sheets combined with ventilation fans and cooling pads allow the temperature inside the greenhouse to be reduced by up to 15 degrees