Greenhouse Farming in Canada: How to Start, Cost, Crops, and Requirements

When done correctly, greenhouse farming is an environmentally-friendly way to grow crops. Canada is a top greenhouse farming country in the world. There are many advantages to greenhouse farming in Canada, including abundant sunshine, frost-free growing seasons, and a temperate climate.

Greenhouse Farming in Canada
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Greenhouse farming in Canada

What is greenhouse farming?

It is a type of agriculture that uses artificial structures to warm and humidify the air, making it easier for plants to grow. Greenhouse farming was first developed in the 1930s in Europe, but it has only recently become popular in Canada. Greenhouse farming is a relatively new method of agriculture that is still evolving.

As greenhouses become more sophisticated, they are more efficient at growing produce. In addition, Canadian greenhouse farmers are beginning to export their products to other parts of the world where the demand for organic produce is high. The benefits of greenhouse farming are numerous; from increased production to reduced environmental impact, it is an industry growing rapidly in Canada. 

Are greenhouse farms profitable in Canada?

  • Yes, greenhouse farms are profitable in Canada. It is a type of agriculture that uses artificial environmental conditions to produce plants. These environmental conditions include controlled temperatures, humidity levels, and light cycles.
  • Greenhouse farming is an environmentally friendly method of production. It relies on renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power to operate the greenhouse, eliminating the need for pesticides or other chemical inputs.
  • In Canada, the agricultural sector is one of the economy’s fastest-growing sectors. Greenhouse farms can help meet the growing demand for food products without contributing to pollution or climate change.

Factors to consider before starting a greenhouse farm in Canada 

Greenhouse farming is a growing industry in Canada. Before starting a greenhouse farm, there are many factors to consider, but the operation’s profitability is often one of the biggest concerns. To start a greenhouse farm in Canada, you’ll first need to identify an area suitable for the type of agriculture you plan to pursue. You’ll also need to factor in your costs and decide whether you want to lease or purchase the land.

Once you have all this information, you can prepare your greenhouse for production. Equipment and materials are the main costs of starting a greenhouse farm in Canada. You’ll need to buy seeds, fertilizers, and other necessary supplies, and there are also construction costs associated with building a greenhouse. However, if you can attract private investors or government grants, your start-up costs can be reduced significantly.

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Greenhouse Cucumber Farming
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Once your greenhouse is operational, it’s important to monitor the crops closely so that they’re consistently producing high-quality produce. Sustainable farming requires regular expert input, and good equipment maintenance can be expensive. In addition, greenhouse farming is environmentally friendly but has some environmental drawbacks. For example, intensive crop production can increase pollution levels in local airwaves and water bodies.

Can you grow in a greenhouse year-round in Canada?

Yes, you can grow vegetables and flowers in a greenhouse year-round in Canada. The key is to start early and get the most out of your greenhouse season. Below are tips to help you succeed:

Plan your garden so you can get the most out of your greenhouse season

When planning your garden, consider what you want to grow and how much space you have available. In general, plants that do well in a greenhouse tend to be hardy and resistant to cold temperatures, so make sure to include these types of veggies in your garden plan. Also, consider planting flowers close to the window to benefit from the sun’s light while still being sheltered from the weather.

Use cool weather conditions as an opportunity

If it’s cooler outside than normal during your greenhouse growing season, don’t worry – this is an opportunity for growth! By starting plants earlier in the season and keeping them warm with supplemental heating, you can coax them to produce their best results. If it gets too hot inside your greenhouse, open some windows for fresh air or install fans to circulate the air.

Water wisely when it’s hot outside

During extreme heat or humidity periods, water your plants less often than usual to not over-water them and cause root rot or fungus growth.

Greenhouse vegetable production in Canada

Canada is a leader in greenhouse vegetable production, with over 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) under cultivation. The main crops grown in greenhouses are bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Greenhouse vegetable farming has many advantages over traditional farming. For example, it allows farmers to continuously produce plants year-round without the need for cold storage or shipping. Greenhouse farming also reduces soil degradation and supports biodiversity by using a variety of climates and light levels to grow different vegetables.

One of the biggest challenges greenhouse vegetable farmers face is finding affordable land suitable for growing vegetables. Canada’s climate is favorable for greenhouses, but the land cost makes it difficult for small farmers to invest in this type of agriculture. However, Canada’s government can help small farmers find land by providing subsidies and other assistance programs.

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Greenhouse Farming
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How does greenhouse farming work?

Greenhouse farming is a method of agriculture that uses artificial lighting to grow crops in an enclosed, warm environment. Greenhouse farming is popular in Canada because of the country’s cold winters and short growing seasons. To greenhouse farms, farmers first build an enclosed structure resembling a large, windowless room. They then set up rows of plastic or metal frames filled with soil and seedlings. The frames are kept at a relatively constant temperature by energy-efficient systems that use sunlight, water, and wind to produce warmth.

Crops are grown under greenhouses in Canada

In Canada, greenhouse farming is a popular method of growing crops. Greenhouses are often used to grow vegetables and fruits, allowing for consistent temperatures and humidity levels. This prevents the plants from experiencing seasonal changes, which can lead to better growth and production. Additionally, greenhouse farming allows farmers to take advantage of year-round weather patterns.

This means they can produce crops even when outdoor temperatures are below freezing, or the weather is too hot or humid for traditional agriculture. Greenhouse farming in Canada can be a great way to produce fresh vegetables and fruits without the need for cold weather. Many vegetables, like cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, and beans, can be grown year-round in greenhouses. Fruits like apples, pears, grapes, and strawberries can also be grown indoors in a greenhouse.

There are many types of greenhouses available to purchase or rent in Canada. You can choose from an open-air frame greenhouse or a glass curtain-walled greenhouse. Open-air greenhouses have large windows that allow you to see the plants inside the greenhouse. Glass curtain-walled greenhouses have panels of glass that divide the greenhouse into sections. This allows the plants to receive different amounts of sunlight and warmth.

The type of soil that is used in a greenhouse will also affect how well the plants grow. If you are growing vegetables, try using soil high in organic matter and has good drainage properties. If you are growing fruit trees or flowering plants, try using soil heavy in nutrients but light in clay.

Benefits of greenhouse farming in Canada

  • There are many benefits to greenhouse farming in Canada. First and foremost, greenhouse farming is a very energy-efficient way to produce food. Greenhouse farming uses less energy than traditional farming methods, such as field cultivation or raising livestock, which can lead to significant environmental benefits.
  • Greenhouse farming also creates jobs in the agricultural sector. This is because greenhouse farmers need only a small amount of land for their crops, and they can produce a large quantity of food using minimal inputs. As a result, greenhouse farming is particularly well-suited to small-scale operations, which can create jobs in rural areas.
  • Greenhouse farming also has several health benefits. Finally, greenhouse farming is highly resilient to weather conditions. As long as the temperature remains above freezing and there is enough sunlight, plants will grow successfully in a greenhouse. This makes greenhouses ideal locations for producing food during times of drought or other weather disturbances.

Types of Canadian greenhouse farming

A variety of greenhouse systems in Canada can be used for growing produce. These systems range from traditional glass greenhouses to more innovative contraptions like hoop houses and tunnel greenhouses, which allow for greater flexibility in selecting crops and weather conditions.

Vertical greenhouses

These are the most common type of greenhouse and are built on a series of tiers that allow sunlight to penetrate deep into the plant’s roots. They’re good for growing high-value crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and flowers.

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Greenhouse Tomato Farming
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Hanging greenhouses

These tend to be more expensive than vertical greenhouses but can offer a wider range of crop options because they can be designed to grow various plants in multiple directions. They’re popular for growing vegetables like peppers, lettuce, and herbs.

Inverted-pyramid greenhouses

These are similar to hanging greenhouses but have a pyramid shape that allows more light to reach the plants at the top. They’re good for growing ornamental plants like roses or conifers.

Traditional glass greenhouses

These are the most common type in use in Canada. These greenhouses are shaped like a bell and can hold up to 1,000 plants. However, they need regular maintenance to keep the glass clean and free of pests, and they typically have a low yield compared to other types of greenhouse systems.

Hoop houses

These are a type of greenhouse system that is unique to Canada. Hoop houses are large hoops (typically 18 inches in diameter) covered in plastic or metal sheets. The hoops are filled with soil, and the plants grow around rather than inside them. This system allows for high yields (up to 400 pounds per square foot) because there is plenty of space for plants to grow.

Tunnel greenhouses

These are another type of greenhouse system popular in Canada. Tunnel greenhouses take advantage of natural sunlight by having long tunnels (up to 100 feet long) that run through them from top to bottom. The tunnels allow light to flood the entire greenhouse, resulting in higher yields and smaller sizes for the plants because they don’t need as much space.

Cost to start a greenhouse in Canada

The costs of constructing a greenhouse will vary depending on the size, location, and features desired. However, a basic greenhouse can typically be built for around $10,000-15,000 using materials readily available in most parts of Canada. There are many different types and sizes of greenhouses available, so it is important to select one appropriate for the size and number of plants being grown. Aside from the cost of materials and construction, there are also monthly costs associated with running a greenhouse.

These include electricity bills for heating and cooling systems and fertilizer and water bills. In addition, to maximize yields from crops grown in a greenhouse, it is often necessary to adjust to normal farming practices, such as seeding times and watering regimes. So whether you’re looking to grow vegetables or flowers in your backyard garden, a greenhouse is an affordable way to get started. To start a greenhouse farm in Canada, you must purchase or lease land, build your greenhouse, and purchase any necessary equipment. 

Number of greenhouses in Canada

There are currently about 200 greenhouses across Canada, with a projected growth rate of about 30% per year. Most greenhouses are in southern Ontario and Quebec, but many are in British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. The main reasons for this growth are the increasing demand for vegetables and flowers from Canadian consumers and the growing interest in sustainable agriculture. In addition, greenhouse farming is said to be more efficient than traditional farming methods because it uses less land and requires less water.

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Greenhouse Flower Farming
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Commercial greenhouse farming in Canada

  • There are many different types of greenhouses in Canada. Commercial greenhouses use electric lights and heating systems to create an environment that is warm and humidity-controlled. These greenhouses are used to grow flowers such as roses and lilies. The largest commercial greenhouse in Canada is located in Bowmanville, Ontario, and covers over 750,000 square feet.
  • Greenspace Incorporated operates the largest greenhouse operation in Canada. It is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and covers an area of over one million square feet. This operation produces Canadian fruits such as apples, pears, strawberries, and grapes.
  • Greenhouse farming provides Canadians with fresh produce they can not find at local markets or grocery stores. There are many factors to consider when starting a greenhouse business in Canada, including understanding the regulations that apply to your industry, selecting an appropriate location for your greenhouse, and securing the necessary permits and licenses. Additionally, it is essential to establish strong marketing plans and strategies to attract customers and keep them loyal.
  • If you’ve decided greenhouse farming is the right business, plenty of resources are available to help, you get started. The Canadian Greenhouse Growers Association (CGGA) provides information on all aspects of greenhouse farming, from market analysis to business planning. The CGGA also offers membership benefits, such as access to industry resources and networking opportunities

Requirements to starting a greenhouse farming in Canada

To create a greenhouse farming operation in Canada, the following requirements must be met:

  • Land: A dedicated greenhouse farm plot measuring at least 20,000 square feet is needed.
  • Fertilizer and Water: Suitable fertilizers and water must be available for the crops.
  • Climate Conditions: The greenhouse should be located in an area with a mild climate.

Challenges of greenhouse farming in Canada

  • The expansion of greenhouse farming in Canada has raised several challenges for producers, regulators, and research institutions. In this article, we’ll look at some of the key issues that have come up as greenhouse farming has grown in popularity.
  • Several factors have made greenhouse farming an attractive option for Canadian producers. First, the country has a temperate climate, which allows for the year-round production of crops. Second, ample land is available to grow crops in greenhouses, making the process more efficient than growing crops under glass in other countries.
  • However, several challenges have come up with the expanding use of greenhouses. One issue is that the technology requires precise temperature control to ensure optimal growth rates for crops. This can be difficult to achieve in climates where temperatures vary significantly from day to night or season to season.
  • Another challenge is ensuring water usage is optimized when growing plants inside a greenhouse. Unlike outdoor agriculture, where rainwater is collected and used to irrigate plants, hydroponic systems must carefully manage water usage within greenhouses so as not to damage plants or increase electricity bills.
  • Finally, researchers are still trying to figure out best practices for using greenhouse gases in agriculture and how to mitigate their environmental impact. While greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are low compared with other sources such as transportation or industrial production, they could still impact global climate change if not properly managed.

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Greenhouse Strawberry Farming
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Greenhouse farming problems in Canada

Greenhouse farming in Canada has grown in popularity in recent years due to its many benefits. However, there are some problems that greenhouse farmers in Canada face. One of the biggest problems is the weather. Canada’s climate is not conducive to greenhouse farming, as it is too cold for most crops and too moist for most plants.

Another problem is pests. Most greenhouse crops are susceptible to pests; without good pest control systems, the crops can be ruined quickly. Finally, greenhouses also require a lot of maintenance, and if the conditions aren’t correct or the components aren’t up to par, the greenhouse will not function properly. All these factors challenge Canadian greenhouse farming, but it remains an important part of the country’s agricultural landscape.


It is a type of agriculture that uses glass or plastic structures to create warm, controlled environments for plants. This farming method is ideal for Canada because of its long, frost-free growing season and temperate climate. Greenhouse crop production is a cost-effective way to grow vegetables and flowers. In addition, greenhouse crops can be grown year-round, which means they can be harvested anytime during the year. This means greenhouse crops don’t need to be stored during winter, saving farmers time and money.


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