More vegetables and fewer flowers grown in greenhouses

01/04/2011 15:00

Tomatoes are the most commonly grown type of vegetables and pot plants the most commonly grown flowers in greenhouses. Cultivation of vegetables in greenhouses has steadily increased in recent years, whereas flower cultivation under glass declined. The entire horticultural sector was scaled up. Greenhouses covered more than 10 thousand hectares (ha) in 2010, i.e. an area equal to the municipality of Utrecht.

Horticultural area

Horticultural area

Tomatoes and sweet peppers largest crops

Nearly 5 thousand ha were used to grow vegetables last year, i.e. an increase by 19 percent from 2000. Tomatoes and sweet peppers, the vegetables most commonly grown under glass, almost entirely accounted for the increase. The cultivation areas for tomatoes and sweet peppers covered nearly 1.7 thousand and 1.4 thousand ha respectively in 2010.

Top 5 vegetables grown in greenhouses

Top 5 vegetables grown in greenhouses

Fewer roses and chrysanthemums, more orchids and pot plants

The flower cultivation area was reduced by 19 percent since 2000 to 4.8 thousand ha in 2010. Pot plants are most commonly grown. The pot plant cultivation area has increased by nearly 10 percent over the past decade. The declining flower cultivation is mainly due to cut flowers, like roses and chrysanthemums, whereas more orchids were grown in greenhouses.

Top 5 flowers grown in greenhouses

Top 5 flowers grown in greenhouses

One hundred greenhouse farms account for one third of vegetables grown in greenhouses

The largest scale-up in greenhouse farming was recorded in vegetable cultivation. In 2010, one hundred large-scale greenhouse farms covered one third of the total area of vegetables grown under glass with an average area of 17 ha. The average area for vegetable cultivation under glass was 2.8 ha in 2010 versus 1.2 ha in 2000. Greenhouse farms for flower cultivation were also scaled up from 0.9 ha in 2000 to 1.5 ha in 2010.

Renzo Ghianni