It should be keenly apparent to the prospective greenhouse vegetable grower that some formidable difficulties exist. Greenhouse vegetable production involves much expense and a great amount of risk. During the decision process, the potential new grower must understand and decide if the risks are manageable.
The production of greenhouse vegetables involves dealing with specialty horticultural crops that have some exacting requirements. If the production phase of greenhouse vegetable culture can be characterized, it would certainly include the descriptors intensive, timely, managerial-dependent, detail specific, and expensive.
Greenhouse vegetable production, however, can potentially be a high-return enterprise. Along with the potential for high return, comes the potential for great losses because of the high level of risk involved with this enterprise. There are many factors that need to be thoroughly investigated prior to entering the business of greenhouse vegetables. Depending upon how well a greenhouse operator can identify and manage all of the variables, the operator may have a highly rewarding enterprise or a financially frustrating one. Hopefully, this publication will help keep the prospective grower from facing the latter option.
For growers who decide to pursue greenhouse construction and crop production, information on those topics is available in succeeding publications (volumes 2 and 3).
For more information on greenhouse crop production, please visit our website at http://smallfarms.ifas.ufl.edu.
For the other chapters in the Greenhouse Vegetable Production Handbook, see the documents listed below:
Volume 3: Preface • General Aspects of Plant Growth • Production Systems • Irrigation of Greenhouse Vegetables • Fertilizer Management for Greenhouse Vegetables • Production of Greenhouse Tomatoes • Greenhouse Cucumber Production • Greenhouse Nematode Management • Alternative Greenhouse Crops • Vegetable Insect Identification and Management