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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Greenhouse Production

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Did you know that Ohio is a top grower of
fruits, vegetables, and herbs in greenhouses?

Greenhouse and nursery products are one of Ohio's top five agricultural products in terms of revenue generated. Controlled environment agriculture is an ever-expanding production technique for growing vegetables and fruits in greenhouses; and Ohio State is growing our next generation of skilled agricultural workers who will manage this type of ag production. Ohio State students get hands-on learning that is vital for their success in one of Ohio’s largest growing industries. They learn the facts behind the science, and then they work directly in our greenhouses to learn production techniques and maintenance skills, as well as specific product knowledge. Nutrient film technology, deep water culture, high-wire propagation, pollination techniques  there's a lot to learn!

Tim McDermott, Extension educator, and Mark Kroggel, CFAES instructor in Horticulture and Crop Science, join us from the greenhouses at Howlett Hall on main campus to talk about how we’re growing plants and students!

We have many free fact sheets available on Ohioline, including some that discuss specific issues with various vegetables and other greenhouse produce.

Ohio has a thriving greenhouse business, and many of Ohio's commerical greenhouse veggies are produced by hydroponics. Again, the benefits are many – from conserving water and limiting nutrient loss, to more control over the entire growing environment. Read on to learn more about Summer in Winter: Ohio's Red-Hot Greenhouse Industry.

Meet the greenhouse of the future! The Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex (CEARC) being built by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences near main campus will be state-of-the art, with technology that supports interdisciplinary research and innovation. This is a significant investment in the infrastructure at Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory on the Columbus campus.

CFAES is doing our part to improve the industry as a whole, educate the future researchers and growers needed to help the industry continue to thrive, and provide the research knowledge needed to create modern, sustainable food production technology. The CEARC is scheduled to open in September 2022. Check out this quick overview about the facility.

There are numerous benefits of controlled environment agriculture (as outlined on the CEARC website):

  • Food can be produced year-round in areas that would not otherwise be suitable for farming: deserts, non-arable soil, etc.
  • As the amount of the world’s arable land continues to decrease, controlled environment agriculture can help meet the nutritional needs of a growing global population.
  • Perishable crops can be raised closer to their point of consumption, reducing food waste and greenhouse gases associated with long-distance transportation.
  • The increasing number of people moving toward densely-populated areas can be better fed.
  • Growers have more quality control over production and plant nutrients, so the risk of foodborne illnesses can be reduced, crop yield can be increased, and specific flavors can be induced.
  • Vegetables and fruits can be grown sustainably.

Check out Buckeye Yard & Garden onLine (BYGL) for other current information about Ohio growing conditions, greenhouse, yard, and garden production.

Mark Kroggel is a lecturer in the CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. He instructs the hands-on sections of greenhouse courses, producing the subject crops from seed to harvest, and teaching/assisting the students to manage the crops for which they are responsible. Mark also supports graduate students with their projects via expert advice, management of instruments and growing systems, and even overall system maintenance.

Dr. Chieri Kubota is professor of controlled environment agriculture in the CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science.

The CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science (HCS) provides "in-depth learning experiences, scientific discovery, research opportunities, and respected academics for both undergraduates and graduate students." Academic programs, research, and Extension teams in HCS focus on  sustainable agriculture, agroecology, agronomy, horticulture, plant biosciences, turfgrass science, and professional golf management.