Will Greenhouses Add Production Space In 2014?

Greenhouse interior At CorsosAbout 37 percent of greenhouse operations plan to add or retrofit a greenhouse in 2014, according to Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 State Of The Industry survey, up just slightly over 2013 survey results.

For those who are making changes this year, many responded that new production space will be used to extend their growing seasons, for early-season sales, as well as edibles during the winter months.

We also got some insight into why now is a good time for retrofits. Keep reading for the numbers on this year’s survey and comments from our survey respondents.


 Do you plan to add or retrofit a greenhouse structure in 2014?
 Yes, we plan to add or retrofit a greenhouse in 2014 37.6 percent
 No, we see no need to add or retrofit in 2014 43.9 percent
 No, we can’t afford to add/retrofit, even though the need exists 18.5 percent

How Does This Compare To 2013?

If you look back to last year, the responses to this year’s survey are similar, although more operations who need to retrofit or add space are able to afford it this year. The numbers last year looked like this:

Do you plan to add or retrofit a greenhouse structure in 2013?
Yes, we plan to add or retrofit a greenhouse in 2013 36.7 percent
No, we see no need to add or retrofit in 2013 39.3 percent
No, we can’t afford to add or retrofit, even though the need exists 24 percent

Adding Greenhouse Space

From high tunnels and cold frames to gutter-connected and open-roof greenhouses, we found that many growers are planning to add production space in 2014. Here are a few comments on adding production space, including what the new space will be used for.

  • “The owners want to continue to grow our greenhouse space. We added over 3,000 square feet this year with an additional 18,000 square feet coming early in 2014.”
  • “We’re building new gutter-connect ranges to replace old quonset structures is our highest priority.”
  • “I need to add shade cloth structures to give me room to expand outside my greenhouses; I have a lot of wind and these types of structures would allow me to carry more perennials.”
  • “We will be expanding our annual bedding plants, planters and hanging baskets.”

Making Repairs

Several growers reported that a slight turnaround in the economy is allowing them to make some much-needed repairs around the greenhouse. Here are a few examples.

  • “We have a crazy amount of deferred maintenance to do. $250K. The joke right now is, ‘How many years can you get out of three year poly? Answer: 10 years.'”
  • “There are some areas that need a bit more than normal maintenance and after four poor years (2009 to 2012), we need to play catch up.”

Extending The Growing Season

For those growers who are adding new space, several mentioned that the new area will help the operations extend their growing seasons. Here’s how several respondents say they will be expanding in 2014:

  • “Adding cold frames to increase early sales.”
  • “Adding structures that can be ventilated easier so newer houses can be used all year round without a lot of labor.”
  • “May be changing one of the ranges to accommodate production of fresh cut herbs for the winter months.”

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