Greenhouse Planning

“Planning your greenhouse”

    Hydro-Gardens has developed computer programs for designing your specific greenhouse and growing system. These programs allow us to quickly and accurately quote you the cost of your building, growing system, operating supplies and operating equipment. In order to provide a quote, we need certain information:

If you supply us with the information listed below, we will be happy to send you a quote.

  1. Size of greenhouse you plan to purchase. Use the income formula below to help determine the size.
  2. Call your local weather bureau to find out: Coldest and Hottest record temperatures in your area during the time of year you plan to operate the greenhouse. This helps us design the proper cooling and heating systems for your area and season in which you are growing crops.
  3. Call your local city or county building department to find out: Specific building requirements such as wind and snow load, permit requirements, property set-back, etc.
  4. Call your local utility company to find out: Electrical voltage, phase and cost per KWH. Specify type of heating and cost anticipated: Natural Gas, LP Gas, Wood, etc.
  5. Water Quality: Send 4 to 8 ounces in a plastic bottle to Servi-Tech Laboratories or a local lab for analysis. Have Servi-Tech forward a printout of the results to Hydro-Gardens for our recommendations.
    Click here for Servi-Tech Laboratories Information.
  6. Location: Send a sketch of the approximate location of the greenhouse and any other existing buildings, trees, roads, hills, gas lines, electrical poles, etc.
  7. Construction Method: Do you plan to erect your own greenhouse or do you plan on hiring a contractor?
  8. Type of crop you plan to grow: Multiple vegetable crops normally require multiple greenhouses.
  9. Style of greenhouse building desired: Individual ground to ground, multiple bay gutter connected, or vented.
  10. Type of covering desired: Double poly or polycarbonate.
  11. Greenhouse Insurance: For structure and/or crop insurance.
Richard Seeley & Schafer Agency
8670 Wolff Ct. #130
Westminster, CO. 80031
(303) 814-2679 Phone
(303) 427-0611 Fax
Hortica Insurance & Employee Benefits
PO Box 428
Edwardsville, IL. 62025
Millers Mutual Insurance800-438-6719 or (618) 463-3636

As an aid in planning your greenhouse, use the following information to estimate the size greenhouse you will need to meet your gross/net income objectives. This is a very condensed version of an analysis used to arrive at possibilities.

TOMATOES require from 4.0 to 5.0 square feet of greenhouse area per plant. Therefore, the plant population in a 30′ x 132′ greenhouse will range from 990 plants to 792 plants. Plant population is affected by greenhouse style, time of year you’re in production, and your location. Production is normally calculated in pounds per square feet of greenhouse area. It can range from 6.0# psf to well over 12# psf per year with currently available varieties. (See production estimates at Tomato Production Estimates

CUCUMBERS require from 8.0 to 10.0 square feet of greenhouse area per plant. Therefore, the plant population in a 30′ x 132′ greenhouse will range from 495 plants to 396 plants. Cucumber production can range from 7.3# psf to well over 12# psf per year with currently available varieties.

The cost of producing vegetable crops varies substantially from season to season and year to year. It is generally accepted in the industry that this cost can range from $.70 per pound to $1.00 per pound. A few of the many factors that affect this cost are heating and electrical, labor, debt repayment and interest, operating supplies, and taxes.

The average selling price for vegetables in your area times the total yearly production gives you gross income. This will also vary substantially from season to season and year to year. Traditionally this yearly average has ranged from $1.25 per lb. to $2.50 per lb. for tomatoes.

There is an old saying in the farming industry, “There is no money in Growing….The money is in Selling!”

You can use the following form to help you keep track of your planning process or create your own form.
Planning Your Greenhouse Form

For more information, Pages 6 – 12 of Catalog (PDF Format).

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