Greenhouse Care

In order to prevent pests and diseases from spreading in the heated and humid atmosphere of a greenhouse it is really important to keep it clean and tidy.

Controlling the humidity

  • During the summer keep a watering can full of water in the greenhouse at all times. This ensures the water will be at room temperature which is safer for plants. Cold water that is direct from the tap can shock plant roots, especially in the summer.
  • To raise the humidity, place a tray of water on the floor, this will slowly evaporate into the air.
  • To lower humidity open windows and air vents during the summer. This will help to keep the plants cool and also prevent any scorching when it is very hot.

Cleaning

  • When starting on the interior of the greenhouse, ensure that the electricity is turned off and all electrical equipment such as heaters are unplugged.
  • Before cleaning begins remove all the containers, pots, shelving and staging.
  • Ensure windows are kept clean as dirty windows will affect the levels of sunlight. Seedlings can become straggly if they do not get enough light.
  • Clean on a mild day if possible as you will want the doors and vents open in order to clean thoroughly. If you do this when there are frosts and icy winds you could risk damaging the plants.
  • If the frame is made of wood is will be prone to rotting if not taken care of. Ensure framework is thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.

The outside of the greenhouse

  • Check the panels for any cracked or broken glass and replace if necessary.
  • Wooden frames can be touched up using a wood preservative.
  • Clean under window panel joints using a gentle jet wash attachment on the end of a hose. You will find there will be a dirt build up underneath the panels.
  • You can insulate the greenhouse with bubblewrap which will encourage it to heat up quickly in the spring, and also protect the plants you may be overwintering.

Throw out old used growing bags, remove all the leaves that will have fallen from the plants, and sweep the floor to remove any dirt and spilled soil. Also, pick off any damaged or infected leaves and burn them.  Throw out any dead and dying plants.

Common pests you are likely to find in warm, humid conditions like greenhouses will include: aphids, red spider mite and mealy bug. Diseases include mildew and botrytis.


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