For greenhouse growers that are ready to expand their business, often one of the first thoughts is to build more or expand on existing greenhouses. While there certainly does come a time where it does makes sense for a grower to expand their operation, it may not be the best option for everyone.
The energy and labor costs increase the larger an operation becomes. Growers should consider how these costs affect their bottom line. Rather than expanding, sometimes it makes more sense to first become more efficient.
If your goal is to get more out of your existing greenhouse space, one of the first steps to increasing efficiency is evaluating how much time and money is being spent on repetitive tasks being carried out in the greenhouse every day. For example, spacing plants, sleeving plants or planting plugs are all simple, repetitive tasks that can be easily automated. Machines that automatically do these tasks may require significant capital investment, but the labor savings can far outweigh the cost of the equipment. Potting machines and other similar equipment also provide more consistent products without compromising quality.
The quality of your plants and efficiency in your greenhouse will also be improved by investing in a new environmental control system. Rather than spending the time and money to manually control environmental factors such as heating, humidity, lighting and ventilation, an environmental control system will ensure your systems are working together to provide consistent, high quality results.
Automation can be customized according to your preference and budget from simple automation solution to more complex, fully integrated systems. If you are a smaller grower looking for simple automation solutions to increase efficiency in your commercial greenhouse, you may consider automating a few key systems to start such as irrigation, lighting or energy curtains. You can always automate more systems as needed and as your budget allows. The more you invest in an automated control system, the more you will save over time.
Other simple retrofits to your greenhouses such as changing your growing tables can expand production space, increasing your greenhouse’s efficiency. GGS Rolling Benches are used by all kinds of growers. They can dramatically increase the growing space in your greenhouse by eliminating the need for dedicated aisles. Installation is simple and you will see your return on investment quickly.
Of course, sometimes a business outgrows its greenhouses and it becomes time to expand. The benefit of expansion is knowing your maximum output and being able to easily calculate when you will see your return on investment.
GGS has more than 40 years of experience working with all types of commercial growers to create their dream greenhouses. Whether you’re looking to expand your operation or increase efficiency, the experts at GGS can help with your project from conception to completion.