A greenhouse can be a lot of things: a goal in sustainability by growing your own fruits or vegetables, a hobby to serve as a way to relax, a way of life as a means to grow and sell food or flowers, and more.
But no matter what purpose your greenhouse serves, to be able to do it (and do it well), keeping your greenhouse in peak condition is crucial. But as you know, greenhouses have a lot that goes into them, and that's before you consider what's growing in them! So to help you make sure your greenhouse is in great shape, here's a short list of key ways to make sure the “house” in greenhouse is in tip-top working order.
Tools: A broom, brush, garden hose/pressure washer, rubber gloves, and a bucket.
Optional: a mild detergent or disinfectant
Sure, this probably goes without saying, but it might be the most important task you can do. Clean up helps as a preventative measure to prevent any pests or diseases in the first place, before you're in the unenviable position of trying to get rid of them.
First, clearing out any old debris, plant material, and weeds is critical (and easy). If this includes older plants or pots, take them outside of the greenhouse first to avoid knocking any loose dirt, debris, etc., on the floor for additional cleanup.
Sweep and brush down surfaces, from the walls and frames to benches and tables, followed by using a garden hose or pressure washer to clean them off. Pay close attention to any corners or shelving. A mild detergent or even a specialized cleaning solution might be a good investment depending on how stubborn some spots can be.
Finally, make sure vents and any louvers aren't missed! Just like a house heating and cooling system can spread dust if not well-maintained, the same goes for the airflow in your greenhouse.
If your greenhouse has a cooling, heating, humidity, irrigation, or any other system involving climate control, test them in advance! Just like you'd run the heat of your home for a few minutes *before* the cold season hits to ensure everything is in proper order, you'll want to give each of your environmental systems a test drive. Check timers and gauges as well to ensure their accuracy.
Cleaning also applies here as any nozzles, vents, or tubing can be susceptible to dirt, dust, and other buildups which can both be a source of pests and disease as well as preventing the proper function of these systems.
Like an aviation safety inspector walking around a plane to do an inspection, doing a thorough check of your greenhouse at least once every season is critical and can be the difference between a happy growing season and a disaster, from broken panels to something as extreme as a structural failure.
Check walls and glass panels for cracks or loose gaps from general wear, and check the frame and overall structure, giving extra attention to where you might have any accessory attachments – items like shelves and/or hanging components, like where climate systems may be attached.
Finally, even items like pots and containers should be checked for their own structural wear to make sure they're in good shape for the growing season ahead and replaced before issues like drainage or nutrient loss can become an issue.
While not something that serves as much for 'cleaning', seasonal preventative measures such as insect traps or window bug traps can be a measure that saves time on future cleanings and helps leads to a successful growing season.
There you have it. With just a handful of basic cleaning supplies and a keen eye, you can get the most out of your growing season and your greenhouse for years to come!
- Greenhouse Megastore Staff