Greenhouses are the perfect addition for any gardener as it shields plants from extreme weather conditions and pests, whilst extending the growing season for plants such as tomatoes. The warm, dry conditions, free from pests, are perfect for seedlings and tender plants. However, if a greenhouse is not looked after it can do more harm than good.
To find out more on greenhouse cleaning, read on…
Cleaning your greenhouse
To ensure that your greenhouse is giving your plants the right conditions to thrive, it must be routinely cleaned. The right time to do this depends on what you are growing. In general, it is good practice to clean it in October and then again in April. Often, over winter, your greenhouse does not get much attention, allowing time for unwanted things to enter including dirt, green algae, moss, pests and disease.
See our Plant Disease Guide
Cleaning your greenhouse isn’t glamorous, in fact it may be something that you have been putting off, but once achieved it will give you great satisfaction and set you off on the right foot for the new season.
How to Clean your Greenhouse
Due to current circumstances we have chosen to use easy to find, household cleaning methods, as we understand that it may be difficult to get your hand on specific products.
What you will need:
-Bucket, soap and water
-Natural Domestic Cleaning Products
-Old plant label
Begin by removing the contents of your greenhouse. Not only will this give you room to do your work, but it may also remove any pests or disease that are amongst the contents. Do not bring them back in whilst cleaning where possible. Choose a day where the weather is dry. A breeze helps also as it helps to dry the greenhouse faster. You may prefer to do this over a few days, so plan your timing carefully.
Start at the bottom. You may find that the floor of your greenhouse is covered with dead plant materials, or even moss or algae. Sweep or vacuum the floor until all traces are removed. Pests and disease can live in even the smallest of areas.
Use soap and water to clean down the surfaces within your greenhouse, a hot solution works best. If you find there is algae growing between each glass plane, using a plant label, make a gap between the panes. This will make it easier to clean.
If your greenhouse has electricity, don’t forget to cover any electric sockets.
Using a window squeegee, clean the glass surfaces both inside and outside of your greenhouse. This will allow the maximum amount of light to pass through for plants to access.
Use a natural domestic cleaning product to disinfect your greenhouse, this will remove unwanted bacteria and/or fungi. You may decide to start this job the next day.
Hose down your greenhouse with a hose pipe, at high speed. A more effective alternative to using a bucket of soap and water to scrub down. The nooks and crannies in your greenhouse are perfect for creepy crawlies to hide, the pressure from the hose pipe will aid in flushing them out. Metal frames are less attractive for pests, but wood is desirable so take extra care here.
Lastly, don’t let your hard work go to waste. Before bringing your content back in, ensure your pots and equipment have receive the same treatment. Disease and pests can just as easily be found on these things as around the greenhouse. Don’t forget to replace soil, that may contain disease or pathogens with fresh/ clean soil.
Tips for maintenance over the growing season
Any plants that appear to have diseases, remove from your greenhouse as to stop it spreading and causing further problems.
Reduce the chances of bringing in diseases from your shoes and clothes by not entering the greenhouse after spending time in a potentially contagious area.
Stay on top of your cleaning and wash your pots and equipment regularly.