Why Is The Greenhouse Good?

A greenhouse is a structure made primarily of glass or other transparent material, designed to grow plants in a controlled environment protected from external weather conditions. Greenhouses allow gardeners and farmers to grow crops year-round in most climates. The goal of this article is to discuss the many benefits that greenhouses provide for agriculture, the economy, and the environment.

Extend Growing Season

Greenhouses allow growing crops year-round by controlling temperature and light. The enclosed environment of a greenhouse traps heat from the sun during the day and retains it at night. Even during winter months, the greenhouse temperature can be maintained at optimal levels for plant growth with proper heating and ventilation systems. Greenhouses also use supplemental lighting like high-intensity discharge lamps and LEDs to ensure crops get enough light for photosynthesis when sunlight is scarce. With heat and light controlled, crops can be grown in greenhouses continuously throughout the year.

The ability to extend the growing season is a major advantage of greenhouses. Crops that normally only grow during summer can be produced year-round in a greenhouse. For example, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce can be grown in colder months when field production is not possible. The consistent supply of fresh produce from greenhouses helps meet consumer demand all year. Extending the growing season also allows growers to increase yields and profits on land by getting multiple harvests instead of just one. Overall, greenhouses provide the optimal controlled environment to grow crops regardless of external weather conditions.

Protect Crops

Greenhouses provide protection for crops from various environmental conditions that can damage or destroy them. By shielding plants from precipitation, wind, and pests, greenhouses create an optimal growing environment resulting in higher yields and quality.

One of the main advantages of greenhouses is protecting crops from heavy rain, hail, or snow. Plants that get oversaturated from excessive rainfall become prone to root rot and fungus. The controlled environment of a greenhouse allows managing the amount of moisture plants receive.

Greenhouses also provide a barrier from strong winds which can damage delicate fruits and vegetables. Wind can topple over top-heavy plants, whip tender shoots, and dry out the soil. Shielding plants helps prevent abrasions to foliage and blown off flowers and buds.

In addition, the enclosed space of greenhouses prevents pests like insects, rodents, and birds from reaching crops. Screens and barriers keep out common garden pests like aphids, snails, and caterpillars which protects plants. This reduces the need for chemical pesticides.

By protecting crops from precipitation, wind, and pests, greenhouses create optimal growing conditions for healthy plants and higher yields. The controlled environment is a major benefit of greenhouse gardening.

Grow Unusual Crops

One of the greatest benefits of greenhouses is the ability to grow exotic crops that normally could not survive in the local outdoor climate. Greenhouses allow control over temperature, humidity, sunlight, and other environmental factors to create the optimal conditions for unusual plants.

In colder regions, greenhouses make it possible to grow tropical fruits like mangos, bananas, and citrus year-round. These types of exotic fruits often have to be imported over long distances when not in season locally, increasing costs and environmental impacts. With a greenhouse, fresh exotic crops can be sustainably produced close to home.

Greenhouses also enable gardeners to experiment with rare heirloom varieties that may not thrive outdoors. The protected environment helps ensure successful harvests of delicate or finicky exotic plants. Growing unusual crops not found in supermarkets also allows home growers and farmers to differentiate their produce.

The expanded palette of plant choices allows for greater diversity in agriculture, cuisine, and nutrition. Overall, greenhouses grant the exceptional opportunity to sustainably cultivate exotic crops far from their origins while delighting local palates.

Conserve Water

Greenhouses allow growers to conserve water in a number of ways. The enclosed and controlled environment makes water collection and reuse much more feasible compared to outdoor fields. Rainwater can be gathered from the roof and stored in tanks for later use in the greenhouse. Irrigation systems can be set up to deliver precise amounts of water directly to the crops’ roots. This avoids water loss from evaporation, runoff, or overwatering the soil.
diagram showing water collection and reuse system in a greenhouse.

Technologies like hydroponics and aeroponics are especially water-efficient since they don’t require soil at all. The roots are suspended in nutrient-rich solutions or misted with a fine spray. No excess water needs to be applied to soak into the ground. Greenhouse growers can reuse drainage water multiple times after filtering and treatment. Any water the plants don’t consume stays within the closed loop system instead of being lost. With population growth putting more pressure on freshwater supplies, the ability to grow crops with minimal water will only become more critical. Greenhouses allow efficient irrigation right where crops are being produced, reducing extraction from rivers, lakes and aquifers.

Support Food Security

Local greenhouse food production can greatly improve a community’s access to fresh produce and support food security. Greenhouses allow for year-round vegetable and fruit production, providing a consistent local supply of nutritious options. This is especially impactful in areas with long winters or limited shelf-stable options.

In food deserts where residents lack proximity to grocery stores with healthy offerings, greenhouses can fill the gap. When produce doesn’t have to travel far, it can be sold more affordably and stay fresher longer. Community greenhouses specifically increase availability of culturally appropriate foods that may be difficult to source locally otherwise.

Self-sufficiency reduces reliance on imports and strengthens the local economy. Greenhouses create agricultural jobs and keep money within the community. The reinforced community food system is more resilient to disruptions in transportation or global supply chains. Reliable local production protects against price shocks and scarcity when national or worldwide shortages occur.

Greenhouses support food security through extending growing seasons, shielding plants, enabling urban agriculture, and circumventing geographical limitations. The adaptable enclosed environment empowers communities to take charge of their own food needs.

Reduce Transportation

Local greenhouses can provide fresher, better-tasting produce by reducing the distance food needs to travel from farm to table. Fruits and vegetables start losing nutrients as soon as they are harvested. The longer the transit time, the more nutrients are lost. Local greenhouses shorten the time from harvest to your plate, providing produce that is more nutritious.

Long-distance transportation also requires more fuel and releases more carbon emissions. Greenhouses located close to consumers reduce those environmental impacts. Food travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to plate in the U.S. Local greenhouses can shrink that food mile footprint drastically, to just a few miles in some cases. This saves energy and reduces pollution.

Additionally, produce grown in local greenhouses does not need as much product packaging or refrigeration during transport. Less packaging also benefits the environment. Local greenhouses provide the opportunity to enjoy fresh, ripe, nutritious fruits and veggies while supporting the local economy and reducing environmental impacts.

Year-Round Jobs

Greenhouses allow for year-round agricultural production, which leads to more stable and consistent employment opportunities. In temperate climates, outdoor farming is highly seasonal, with peak labor needs during planting and harvest times. This results in seasonal, temporary agricultural jobs. Greenhouse operations, on the other hand, require a more stable workforce throughout the year to maintain crops and manage the controlled environment. Tasks like planting, pruning, pest management, and harvesting happen on a regular basis rather than in concentrated bursts.

With year-round production, greenhouses can provide full-time, year-round jobs. For workers, this means steady employment and reliable income rather than seasonal work. It also allows farms to retain experienced employees over many years rather than retraining new temporary workers each season. The consistent jobs from greenhouse agriculture support local economies in agricultural communities. The year-round nature of greenhouse jobs makes them an attractive employment opportunity for those seeking reliable work in the agricultural sector.


School and community greenhouses provide hands-on learning opportunities and foster an interest in science and agriculture among students of all ages. Getting students involved with growing plants teaches valuable lessons about botany, biology, ecology, and the food cycle. Caring for greenhouse plants also develops responsibility, patience, and an appreciation for nature.

Greenhouses allow students to grow exotic plants that normally couldn’t survive local climate conditions. Watching unfamiliar plants sprout and thrive gets children excited about plant biology and engaged in the growing process. Educators can design engaging greenhouse curriculums and projects around the unique offerings of the greenhouse environment.

For students interested in sustainability, greenhouses serve as interactive models for environmentally-friendly technology. Monitoring humidity levels, temperature control, irrigation systems, and energy efficiency offers practical lessons in engineering and conservation. School gardens also encourage community building and leadership skills by getting students to collaborate towards a shared goal.

Simply spending time interacting with nature in a greenhouse can have therapeutic benefits for children who primarily occupy urban environments. Psychologically, caring for greenhouse plants cultivates patience, responsibility, and an appreciation for the natural world. There are abundant educational and developmental benefits to exposing students of all ages to greenhouse environments.


In summary, greenhouse cultivation provides many benefits that improve the sustainability of local and global food systems. By extending the growing season, protecting crops, enabling the cultivation of exotic produce, and conserving water, greenhouses allow for more resilient and productive agriculture. Greenhouses also support food security by enabling year-round crop production, reducing transportation needs, and providing year-round employment. Most importantly, greenhouses can play an important role in adapting our food systems to the challenges of climate change and population growth. By taking advantage of greenhouses’ controlled environments, we can grow food and educate future generations on sustainable practices. With their many advantages, greenhouses are an important tool for creating more sustainable and secure food systems.

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