5 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your Greenhouse Operation


While I’m a self-proclaimed, learn-from-my-own-mistakes, kind of gal, I wouldn’t want to test my luck with a commercial greenhouse operation. I’m betting you wouldn’t either.
Everyone wants to know what not to do.

In part three of our four-part series featuring Fox Greenhouses from Dallas Center, Iowa, Matt Fox humbly shares what you really want to know:
You’re a rookie if you…

1.Think you can grow through winter, without supplemental lights. Don’t even try it.
Either quit for the season, or invest in lighting. Consider perusing our sponsor Hort America’s website to learn about the advantages of LED lighting. 

2. Prune your plants into shock. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
Learn how to prune correctly. Do your research. Test a few plants. If you’re growing tomatoes, get tips here from Texas A&M. 

3. Wish away pests and diseases. It doesn’t work like that. Hit them head-on.
Expect to spend money for integrated pest management. If that’s a new term for you, read this. Interested in organic greenhouse production? Here are some resources

4. Fail to communicate with your customers.

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I’ve mentioned it before, customer service is KEY in your greenhouse business. It’s part of why Matt is so successful. You don’t have to tell your customers everything. They don’t necessarily need to know your pump quit on you this morning. But they do need to know if a delivery is going to be delayed. Learn more about earning your place in your local market here.

5. Don’t ask for advice.
As I alluded to in the intro, I have a hard time asking for help. I’d rather eff it up without anyone watching. But when you’re growing for consumption, there’s no room for foolish pride. Seek advice from those who live and breath the industry. For instance, our sponsor CHiggins Consultancy. Now there’s a company who loves to talk about greenhouse growing.

If you’ve made mistakes, and are humble enough to share with us, we want to hear ’em! There’s no sense in not sharing. We’ve got a world to feed.
Fox Greenhouses is located in Dallas Center, Iowa. Founder, Matt Fox has been growing pesticide-free, vine-ripened tomatoes hydroponically since 2000. Connect with them on Facebook.

If you missed the first two post in this series, read them here:

Post 1: 8 Grow Tips From a Cold Climate, Hydroponic, Greenhouse Tomato Grower

Post 2: Tapping Into Your Local Market: Ways to Build Relationships and Your Greenhouse Operation


Related Urban Ag Products Articles:
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Three Innovators in Urban Ag You Have to See