How Greenhouse Yields Compare to Container Farms’

As the agriculture industry searches for more sustainable alternatives to field farming, greenhouses remain the most popular solution, making up 47% of the indoor farming industry in the United States.

Greenhouse popularity is also on the rise worldwide.

A 2019 statistical survey found that more than 1.2 million acres worth of vegetable-growing greenhouses were in use globally, an increase of 223% since 1980.

But they aren’t the only indoor farming option out there.

In this article, you’ll learn about how typical greenhouse yields compare to our Pure Greens container farms.

Let’s start with a little bit of background info.  

Greenhouses are structures with glass or clear roofs that are used for cultivating plants. They range in size from small backyard sheds to massive commercial farms.

Greenhouses utilize a variety of crop growing systems. Most use typical soil methods planting in boxes, pots, or raised garden beds. Others use soil-less growing solutions such as hydroponic and aeroponic systems.

Other types of indoor farms include vertical, container, and deep water culture (DWC) systems.

What sets greenhouses apart from these other indoor farms is the use of glass or clear plastic roofing and sides to provide plants with natural sunlight. Other indoor farms rely on artificial light.

Growing indoors has plenty of advantages over outdoor farming. For example, indoor farming allows for highly controlled environments, creating near perfect growing conditions for plants.

Greenhouses and container farms both offer the ability to control factors such as humidity and temperature and help prevent damage from weather, pests, and diseases. As a result, plants are healthier and can be grown at any time, no matter the season.

Our Pure Greens farms made from repurposed shipping containers are fully controllable from your smartphone!

Soil-based greenhouses are subject to similar space restrictions as field farms because plants need to have enough room for their roots to grow.

Hydroponic systems deliver water and nutrients directly to roots so that plants don’t have to spread. Therefore, our hydroponic container farms yield more per square foot than a traditional greenhouse yields.

Fresh produce from a vertical farm

Using traditional soil methods, each lettuce crop would have to be placed 10 to 16 inches apart, meaning only six to 18 lettuce plants would be able to grow in a 16-square-foot row.

Using our hydroponic technology, we’re able to fit 36 lettuce plants in one row! That’s at least three times as many.

But lettuce takes up a lot of space in both types of farm. Herbs like rosemary and sage are much easier to grow in bulk in our hydroponic container farms than they are in soil-using greenhouses.

In soil, rosemary and sage plants need to be spaced a couple feet apart. If we were to follow that rule in one of our 16-square-foot rows, we’d only be able to grow four plants total.

We grow 90 rosemary or sage plants in one row!

Thai basil crops need to be spaced 12 to 18 inches apart. Like sage and rosemary, we easily fit 90 Thai basil plants in just one of our rows. Farmers who use soil can only grow 16 max in the same space.  

This means our hydroponic farms yield at least 5.6 times as much basil per square foot than a traditional soil greenhouse yields in just one grow cycle.

It’s clear that our container farms come out on top when it comes to yield.

If you’d like to learn more about maximizing your production with one of our farms, reach out to us on our website or give us a call at 602-753-3469.