Pulling the Plan together for Successful Lettuce Growing

From our prospective as greenhouse manufacturers, at GGS, this series of articles has covered most of the key inputs needed for setting up and preparing for leafy green production. We have a team of very experienced staff and partners that know how to plan and implement the manufacturing, construction and ready for starting up growing plans for a facility. There are a number of other factors that need to be considered with additional expertise is required to put it all together. If you are an established leafy green grower you have been through this before, but if this is your first major project it is easy to miss a few details along the way.

By working closely with growers we have learned that there are variations to the standards and their input is valuable as part of the planning stage.

Greenhouse Grown Lettuce

So you have the land and leafy greens is the plan for your new greenhouse. Let's review the initial checklist. First, know the availability and cost to bring in the electrical lines adequate for a commercial facility to your site for hook up. Next the two most common sources of energy are natural gas or propane and there will be a cost to have it on site and ready. What is your water source? The quantity, quality and reliability of the water source is critical to growing. Have it tested so you know if you will need to include a treatment plan for it to be ready to use in the greenhouse. We have an irrigation questionnaire we can send to you that covers the questions you need to answer as part of planning a system that fits your needs. Contact us to receive this irrigation questionnaire.

GGS follows the National Farm Building code along with checking local climate conditions to insure your greenhouse will stand up to the elements for years to come. Most importantly, you should check with your local municipality for any local building bylaws, set backs and permits that may affect your plans. You do not want to have an unexpected work stop order on the project part way through.

Will you decide on a curved glass, poly carbonate or double poly. This is a preference and budget decision GGS can help with. We will go over the details with you looking at the pros and cons of each. This is also an area where grower input helps. They are all good choices and as discussed in the other article there are a few variables each has that need to be taken into account when planning. Read Part 1 of the Blog series to learn more about choosing the right structure

The choice of which hydroponic system you choose is dependent on the size of facility, preference of the grower, choice of leafy greens you are growing, level of automation etc. As discussed in Part Two of this blog series, the two main choices are NFT, the trough system and Deep Water Culture, the large shallow pond and floating tray system. We partner with companies that specialize in the various specific technology systems to ensure you get the options best suited to your needs.

As part of planning and choosing the best products for you to produce, start researching local markets and demand. From micro greens to the various varieties of lettuce, the leafy green market for greenhouse grown product is full of opportunities. Choose the best for you.

An area hydroponic system providers will be able to give some guidance on is post-harvest handling and packaging. What will catch the eye of the consumer on the shelf? How can you most efficiently and cost effectively package your produce?

The ability to know all the details required from planning and construction to growing and marketing will dictate how stressful or comfortable your leafy green project will progress and flourish. At GGS we look forward to working with you to get you started with the right greenhouse and environment for growing success.

Ready to get your commercial greenhouse project started? Contact the experts at GGS today!

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