Dumb question but as amateurs, has anyone crunched the numbers?

This is a forum for backyard hobby greenhouse enthusiast wanting to share their green house experiences with like minded people.

Post by Guest »

I mean the amount of time/money/effort has been discouraging to say the least.

Tips to improve my harvest would be appreciated.

Post by JoAnn »

I garden and use my greenhouse as a hobby and for personal entertainment. It’s a bonus if crops or plants are productive and fruitful. I’m very certain that my return on investment is not good but, for me, it is about my pleasure (even though it can be frustrating!) I belong to a couple of local groups with people who also share a love for plants and gardening. I learn a lot from interacting and sharing information as well as plants with them.

Post by Peg »

Echo what others are saying: thrill of growing my own food, no total reliance on the crazy, unpredictable food supply chain, inflation, chemicals on commercially grown food, the sheer satisfaction of a hobby and connecting with growers that I am learning from. This is my first year as a greenhouse owner - if I were to base it on ROI, my cute little tasty cherry tomatoes cost more than the mortgage. But like someone else said here - I planned on the first year being a total wash and an experiment. I'm researching and growing (as a grower) and I know I can do this much more economically and productive down the road.

Post by Charles »

My wife says it’s not an expensive greenhouse but cheap therapy!

Post by Carina »

I think it gets expensive if you are trying to use the greenhouse for year-round growing in a climate that makes that very difficult. I'm in Ohio, zone 6a. I built a small (10×6 or so) greenhouse from cattle panels and t-posts, bought a greenhouse cover, and put plastic garage shelves inside. I use it to start warm-weather seedlings, harden off any cool-weather seedlings I started in the house, and store gardening supplies I'll use during the season. Starting my plants from seed saves me lots of money, and I kept a ledger last year on my harvests that proved to me that the veggies and fruits I was producing more than paid for any initial costs.

Post by Joan »

Even if my greenhouse and garden are not always money saving, they provide exercise and joy, and the advantages of having chemical free produce.

Post by Daniel »

Trick is to find what works for your yard. Don’t coddle plants - no sense growing pineapple in Pennsylvania. Try cold weather crops - kale, lettuce, beans, carrots, beets, potatoes. I’ve found that greenhouses allow a bit extra time - I wouldn’t plant peppers outdoors in western Pennsylvania, but the greenhouses allow longer growing season so it’s worth it. Experiment and have fun.

Post by Melody »

The truth is you could probably buy veggies cheaper at the grocery store. That's not the point for me, though. It gives me joy to putter in my little greenhouse, to see the seeds I planted grow to maturity. Then to taste a tomato or cucumber that the seeds produced. I don't grow during the winter but I love to go out there on sunny days to soak up the warmth of the sun. So what price do you put on joy? If you think a hobby greenhouse should pay for itself you might be disappointed. I consider it my stay at home vacation. I don't have to fly on a plane, or get a hotel room, or pay admission fees and it makes me very happy!

Post by Owensboro »

A greenhouse is a long-term investment that pays for itself over several years or decades.

You will have a higher and higher return on investment the longer you utilize your greenhouse and become more efficient in growing.

Most people who have a greenhouse don't garden to save or make money with their greenhouse. People garden for the love of it.

For myself, a greenhouse gives me the ability to enjoy time with my daughter in the garden. Teaching her life skills and being active outdoors.

It's memories like these that we will remember and not how much money we saved on veggies.

Post by Kathy »

If it isn’t fun don’t do it. I grow all my vegetables but I give most away. I get a kick out of it.

Post by Kidsmom »

When starting out only do a small garden, get a feel for that and then go with a few mor things. People tend to go over board and it is more than they can handle and they get discouraged. Do things like mulch to cut down on weeding. The more time you spend on making say 5 tomato plants healthy will yield you more than a dozen that are not cared for, ie fertilize,trim,de bug, etc. I hope I made sense.

Post by Sharon »

We did the year round thing last year in zone 6b. It definitely was not worth the money. Those were some EXPENSIVE tomatoes. There is just no practical way to heat a small greenhouse. This year we are waiting until February to start seedlings. That will pay for itself.
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