Greenhouse 101

Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education
(SARE) Farm Internship Curriculum and Handbook


Tom and Maud Powell and Michael Moss, Sustainable Farmers, Jackson County, OR.
Technical advisor: Tim Franklin, Jacksonville, OR.
Curriculum advisor: Peter O’Connell, Jacksonville, OR.
Web advisor: National Center for Appropriate Technology, Butte, MT.

Published 2007
Updated 2010


Greenhouse 101

Learning Objectives
The learner will…

  • Understand the purpose, types, and needs of various greenhouse systems.
  • Examine various pest and disease control issues related to greenhouse use.



  • Propagation of plants to be transplanted
  • Raising crop from seed to harvest
  • Perennials



  • Fully enclosed, automated air, heat, and water systems
  • Hoophouses
  • Cold frames



  • Heating/cooling – provides optimal temp range for germination and growth
    • Active vs. passive heat
    • Heating to aid germination
    • Temperature ranges – cool crops 50 – 70, hot crops 60 – 85
    • Shade cloth
  • Air circulation – strengthens plants, reduces chance for fungi and disease
    • Automated vents and fans
    • Opening doors or roll-up side
  • Light – in winter, supplemental light could be used to speed growth
  • Growing infrastructure
    • Beds – in ground or raised – mostly used for crops to be harvested in greenhouse or perennials
    • Flats and pots – used for crops to be transplanted
  • Water – ranges from hose to fully automated sprinkler/mister systems


Pests and Disease Control

  • Common greenhouse pests
    • Aphids
    • Scales
    • Meolybugs
    • White Flies
    • Cabbage Loopers
    • Flea Beetles
    • Mites
  • Healthy plants are most resistant when you provide the following
    • Sanitary conditions – wash flats, pots, tools, do annual cleanout
    • Regular monitoring – remove diseased plants immediately
    • Mechanical monitoring – pick or spray off insects
    • Biological monitoring – use of predatory insects
    • Healthy seed source – seeds can carry disease


Container Formats

  • Cell/Plug trays
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages
  • Traditional wooden flats/Soil Blocks
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages



  • Discuss various types of greenhouse construction.
  • What are the basic needs to be provided for in any greenhouse?




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