Types of Greenhouses In Kenya

Types of greenhouses in Kenya are based on 3 main factors. In temperate climates, greenhouses produce food in the winter. They have a heating system to do this. Greenhouses in tropical climates such as Kenya have no heating, and are produce all year round. They have a UV treated polythene cover, not glass or fiber glass. In the ventilated sections, they have white colored low or high density insect nets. The choice of white because it reflects much light which deters insect entry. It also reflects off heat

Types of greenhouses in Kenya; categorization

1. Construction material

1.1. Galvanised steel greenhouses

The steel bars used in greenhouse construction in Kenya are of various sizes depending on their position in the structure. Thicker and stronger steel bars are on the edges as anchors. The lighter steel gauge is on the roof, and also acts as the internal crop support system. The choice of thickness of the steel bars adopted depends on the greenhouse location. In windy locations, the steel bars are deliberately stronger than in calm areas.

Food grade aluminum or zinc is what Grekkon Limited uses to galvanise these steel frames to keep them from rust. All vertically placed steel bars that are in contact with the ground have a concrete base. This strengthens the structure, and holds it in place during strong wind, or a storm.

1.2. Wooden greenhouses

Treated timber greenhouses are cheaper than galvanized steel greenhouses. They have a shorter lifespan, because wood degrades faster than galvanized steel.

Growers are not to treat the timber with used motor oil. This is because it will contaminate food crops.

 

2. By activity

2.1. Crop production

Galvanised steel or wooden greenhouses are for food crop production, and ornamentals. These structures have planting beds to ensure proper drainage, and irrigation is by drip systems.

2.2. Seedling production

The have 1meter high tables for seedling trays placement. On the roof, is a system of misters or foggers to humidify. They are for propagation of; vegetable, herb, fruit, cereal, spice, forestry, and ornamental crops.

2.3. Fish rearing

Fingering production, and fish rearing in greenhouses is a growing practice amongst Kenyan farmers. This commercial venture is due to the growing demand for fish and fish products locally, and internationally. They are shorter in height than crop production greenhouses, and are warmer.

 

3. The design adopted

3.1 Vented type greenhouses

They have an opening on the roof, and are taller in height. This opening, and additional height allows for more airflow in the structure, creating a higher cooling effect. These are for very hot- where average daily temperatures are beyond 30 degrees Celsius. This is for the mid to low altitude locations

3.2. Tunnel type greenhouses

Their roof is continuous, and have only the side ventilation. They are also shorter in height.  Constructed in the highlands, or cool locations. Daily average temperatures here do not exceed 30 degrees Celsius

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