There are many positive aspects to a greenhouse. To start with, they can shelter your plants from the elements. This is critical for people who are growing their own food, or for farmers who are growing food for an entire community.
Greenhouses also make it possible to grow certain plants for a greater amount of time each year. That’s because you can essentially simulate the perfect environment inside them with the right equipment.
But when it comes to water, you could assume that they’d use more, since plants inside them don’t get rainwater. You might be shocked to learn that assumption isn’t necessary correct, though.
In this post, we’re going to answer the question of whether greenhouses use less water than open-air gardening.
Quick Answer: Do Greenhouses Use Less Water?
The answer to that question is yes, many experts believe that greenhouses can actually conserve water. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that less water evaporates from the plants into the atmosphere in a greenhouse.
How Greenhouses Can Conserve Water
As we mentioned, there are a few different ways in which a greenhouse can conserve water.
The first way is reduced evapotranspiration. In short, that means that the water you use to moisturize your plants will not evaporate into the atmosphere as quickly.
Second, the growing cycles for plants are reduced in greenhouses. That translates to you having to actually water your plants for a shorter amount of time than you would have to if they were growing outdoors.
Third, greenhouses often allow you to grow plants more closely to one another. Growing plants closer together means their roots are also closer, allowing the water you do use to spread through the soil to other plants more easily.
Of course, this only really applies if you’re not growing plants in individual planters. If you have a different planter for each plant, the water won’t be able to spread from pot to pot.
Finally, a greenhouse can conserve even more water than others if it uses a watering system called drip irrigation. This is a system that applies the water directly to the soil around the plant’s roots, rather than spraying it all around the plant. By getting the water right where it’s needed most, water waste is vastly reduced.
Regardless of how your greenhouse is designed, it can likely use less water than an open-air garden, too. If you add a drip irrigation system and grow plants close together, you’ll save even more water.
The obvious benefit to this is reduced water expenses. However, another advantage to this water conservation is that it’s environmentally friendly and can be crucial in areas of the world where water can be in short supply.