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Greenhouse In Nigeria – How To Get A Cheap One

A greenhouse is a warm place for plants to thrive. It is also called a hothouse. It is the function of the house, not the structure itself that makes it a greenhouse. It provides a controlled and sheltered environment for plants to grow.

Of course, the way the structure is constructed can enhance its function. But Nigerians who want to have greenhouses do not necessarily have to build a new structure. It is possible to modify an existing one to serve as an excellent greenhouse.

It is often cheaper, and it can also be very profitable.

Can You Get A Cheap Greenhouse In Nigeria?

A very big yes! Remember that the greenhouse is the function it serves, not the shape of the building itself. A poultry house can serve as a greenhouse, a warehouse can become a greenhouse, an empty room can become a greenhouse, and even a fish farm can become a greenhouse.

Even in Europe and America, there are greenhouses that are made with wood, bricks, or even metal. It does not have to be a steel frame, covered with polythene material.

Remember that in Europe and America, one of the functions of a greenhouse is to provide a warm environment for plants to thrive. The average temperature in Nigeria is 26.9°C, which is plenty warm. The attention of anyone building a greenhouse in this country should therefore be on creating a controlled environment – free from pests.

Making a greenhouse in a hot country like Nigeria is all about making a space pest-proof. You can convert almost any house. Here is how.

How To Convert A Structure Into A Greenhouse

Even if it is a blue house or a red house, you can convert it into a greenhouse – making it conducive for plants to thrive. There is no need to waste money building a new structure.

Plants need sunlight to produce their food through a process called photosynthesis. Any modification should be to maximize that light.

A poultry house can become a greenhouse – some changes will have to be made. For example; the roof may be removed, and replaced with plastic, polythene, or glass. The battery cages may also be removed – and they can be replaced with shelves so that the plants can be stacked vertically. It is not even necessary to remove the cages or the roof to make it work. But changes may be made to the walls.

The walls of most poultry houses in Nigeria are made with a kind of wire mesh. It may not be necessary to remove them, polythene material can just be used to cover it, therefore securing the plants.

A Warehouse can become a greenhouse. In this case it may be impractical to remove the roof; replacing it with a transparent material that will let the sunlight in. instead, artificial lights can be used. Some may wonder “can artificial light make plants grow?” the answer is yes. For example, illegal plants have been cultivated indoors using artificial lights for many years.

Aside from the lights, shelves may need to be built so that the space can be maximized, and the plants cultivated in more quantity. The shelves can have as many stacks as possible; and trays or pots are put on top of them. The plants can be grown with or without soil, depending on the choice of the owner.

Ventilation is also necessary; the plants need fresh supplies of carbon dioxide from the air. They also need the air to be fresh because too much humidity will cause disease to spread. But all the openings in the house should be covered with wire mesh to prevent insects which could damage the plants or spread disease.

A shipping container can become a greenhouse. The procedure of converting it would be similar to that of a warehouse. The first thing to do would be to make some windows in the container. The purpose of course is to let in the air. But letting in the air could also be letting in the insects, which is why the windows would need to be covered with nets.

It may be impractical to remove the roof of a shipping container to make it a greenhouse, although some may decide to do so. Artificial lights can be used to grow the plants; and they can be powered with solar panels which can be installed on top of the container.

Shelves can be constructed to hold the plants; they can go as high as possible, thus holding as many plants as possible. This will maximize the profits coming to the farmer.

A spare room can be a greenhouse. Modern building designs can come with indoor gardens which can be made with glass roofs or glass walls. Failing that, a spare room can be converted into a greenhouse by maximizing the sunlight. The windows can be opened up, and any obstructions like curtains removed. Nets will need to be installed to keep birds and critters out.

It may still be necessary to install some artificial lights – this will make up for any inadequacies in lighting.

Available furniture in the room can be modified to hold the plants in stacks, or additional furniture can be procured.

When there is no available stricture that can be converted into a greenhouse, one will have to be built.

How To Build A Greenhouse

There are several companies that offer consultancy services on the construction of greenhouses in Nigeria – a quick internet search will make them available. However, there are many locally made greenhouses in Nigeria – a solution that is a lot cheaper.  A green house is not different from a canopy – the type that is regularly used for parties.

The only difference is that instead of the polycarbonate material, a transparent polythene will be used.

Wood can also be used to make the walls of the greenhouse; a competent carpenter can make it. This is especially true if the structure may be used for other purposes later. Artificial light may be used, but when building a greenhouse from the ground up, it is always best to make the roof out of glass, transparent plastic or polythene. That way natural sunlight can be used.

Wood can also be used to make the shelves upon which the plants can be stacked. Note that shelves are not always used, but they are necessary to increase yield in the greenhouse through vertical farming.

Further reading:

Greenhouses are relatively new in Nigeria, but there is so much potential for anything that has to do with food production in the country. Despite the potential for profits with Greenhouses, many will find the initial costs of building one prohibitively high.

The article has shown that it may not even be necessary to build a new greenhouse; it is not difficult to convert existing structures for use as greenhouses – a much cheaper, and more viable option.

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