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Prefabricated Greenhouses or Container Farms: Which is Right for You?

Inside a greenhouse.

If you’ve ever dreamed of growing produce or flowers in your own backyard, you’re not alone.  

They are best suited for growing in pots and planters — a familiar method for novices. 

Prefabricated greenhouses entered the scene of at-home farming as a convenient option for beginners. 

Prefabricated greenhouse kits come with all of the parts and tools necessary for onsite assembly.  

But they do not come with any materials to do the actual planting. Only the structure itself.  

As a result, you’ll still need to figure out how to set up your own growing system, purchase all of the materials for it, and get started.  

If you’re not handy, you may struggle to construct your greenhouse.  

Plus, there’s room for human error. Imagine if your greenhouse fell down while you were in it! 

Luckily, container farms come prebuilt and turnkey.  

Container farms are an alternative type of small, indoor farm. 

These are made out of repurposed shipping containers and use hydroponic systems to cultivate crops. 

Instead of soil, hydroponic farms grow plants in a growing medium, an inert material, and deliver nutrients directly to plants with water. 

Different container farms use different hydroponic systems.  

Our Pure Greens Container Farms use nutrient film technique (NFT) and deep floating technique (DFT) systems, which recirculate water, conserving consumption. 

Prefabricated greenhouses are smaller than a typical building but vary in sizes, making it easy to find the right fit for your backyard.  

While a prefabricated greenhouse is great for casual gardeners looking for a new hobby, it’s hard to reach commercial-level production.  

Because the greenhouses use standard soil-farming practices, there’s not much potential for high enough yields to profit from. Unless, of course, you have the space and time to maintain multiple.  

To compare, container farms are built for commercial level production.  

Using hydroponic and vertical farming techniques, just one farm is able to produce high yields, much higher than greenhouses.  

But both indoor farms are small enough to fit in a backyard.  

In fact, some prefabricated greenhouses reach sizes larger than container farms! 

Container farms are the size of a normal shipping container: 320 square feet.  

While cheaper greenhouses stick to the 100-200 square foot range, some surpass 400 square feet.  

The ease of proximity saves you land and rent costs and reduces commute time. 

They range from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $10,000, depending on size and materials.  

Prefabricated greenhouses typically use wood, plastic, or metal for the frame and glass or polycarbonate for the walls and roof.  

The use of clear panels, which harness natural sunlight for plant growth, distinguishes greenhouses from other indoor farms. 

Other indoor farms, container farms included, use artificial light. 

All indoor farms protect crops from weather and climate.  

Some prefabricated greenhouses come with options for heating and cooling to prevent wildly fluctuating temperatures. But these are typically just fans or panels that open to let in fresh air.   

While they protect from outside weather, the inside environment is not very controllable. Especially compared to container farms. 

Container farms use controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology to regulate humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide levels.  

Greater control over the growing environment leads to faster growing plants and higher yields.  

Whether you’re looking for commercial production or just something to occupy your time, it’s important to remember that either structure may require a permit.  

Be sure to check your local laws for more information.  

If container farming sounds like the right choice for you, visit our website or call us at 602-753-3469 for more information.  

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