Current situation of greenhouse vegetable production in Greece
The total greenhouse area in Greece amounts to about 5,600 ha, which corresponds to approximately 0.12% of the total cultivated area of the country. Of this area, 92% (5,200 ha) is used for vegetable production and only 8% (400 ha) is occupied by ornamental crops. Nearly 93% of the total greenhouse area of Greece is plastic-covered but nearly 96% of the greenhouses used for vegetables in Greece are plastic-covered. Glasshouses are used mainly in floriculture. The main vegetable crops in the Greek greenhouses are tomato and cucumber followed by pepper. Crete is the leading region of Greece in greenhouse production, followed by Peloponnese, Macedonia, Thessaly, Central Greece, Epirus and Aegean Islands. A significant proportion of the greenhouse area used for vegetables is occupied by high tunnels. Low tunnels are used to a large extent too, particularly for early melon, watermelon and strawberry production. Only a minor percentage (about 17%) of the greenhouse area used for vegetable production is heated in Greece. The level of automation in the greenhouses used for vegetable production in Greece is unsatisfactory. Computer controlled automation systems are only exceptionally used in greenhouse vegetable production. The fuel cost for greenhouse heating is relatively high in Greece and, therefore, most vegetable greenhouses are not heated. However, heating in the winter is necessary to attain proper temperature levels for high yield and good quality products. Currently, soilless culture in Greece occupies approximately 180 ha, which is nearly 3.3% of the total greenhouse area. Soil solarization and soilless culture in combination with grafting seem currently the safest and most effective practices to overcome the problem of soil-borne pathogens in intensively cultivated greenhouses in Greece.
Savvas, D., Ropokis, A., Ntatsi, G. and Kittas, C. 2016. Current situation of greenhouse vegetable production in Greece. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1142:443-448
Greek greenhouses, Peloponnese, Crete, heating, tomato, cucumber