A greenhouse is a building used to grow plants, generally those that are unable to grow in the local climate.
It requires regular repairs to ensure it retains heat as well as it should.
- Premium greenhouses also require periodic cleaning due to the large amount of soil and plant matter this structure typically contains.
- Greenhouses are often used to grow plants in the winter, so gardeners often clean their greenhouses in the fall, before moving the plants into the greenhouse. This is the most important part, choosing between the best greenhouse manufacturers and brand names.
- Gardeners may also perform maintenance on the greenhouse in the spring after moving plants outside. Learning how to maintain a greenhouse isn’t hard work, if you find good greenhouse plans and learn how to execute them properly.
The best time to do most of the maintenance for greenhouse, is in the fall when the greenhouse typically has the fewest number of plants.
- A dry day is best, since this will allow the gardener to keep mud out of the greenhouse.
- The temperature within the greenhouse should be below room temperature to ensure a comfortable working environment. This may require you to open the events in the greenhouse.
A greenhouse must be covered with a clear material that will allow light into the greenhouse and prevent the heat from leaving.
- Glass greenhouse and plastic greenhouse sheets are commercially available with the specific properties needed by a greenhouse.
- These sheets may develop holes, which must be repaired before overwintering plants, especially when overwintering containerized perennials. Minor problems can be repaired by placing clear tape over the hole.
- Tears in plastic sheets may be fixed with hot glue and a glue gun.
The annual cleaning of a greenhouse requires all of the furniture to be removed, including chairs, tables and planters.
- Remove the plant matter and sweep out any other debris from the greenhouse.
- The enclosed environment of a greenhouse means, that diseases and molds can spread quickly through the plants in the greenhouse, therefor it’s important to know how to manage the humidity in the greenhouse.
The removal of dead vegetation is important for eliminating the spread of microorganisms as well as regular cleanliness.
- Inspect the ground coverings in the hobby greenhouse to see if they need to be replenished. A greenhouse floor often contains pea gravel and mulch, which become depleted over time.
The greenhouse also requires regular cleaning with warm soap and water. The selection of the soap is important since it will be used around plants.
Use a mild soap with antibacterial properties to kill mold and bacteria. The soap should also be biodegradable, so the soap won’t hurt the plants. If you have a commercial greenhouse kit, then you will need to get familiar with these starting a commercial greenhouse tips.
Wash the walls and other permanent fixtures in the greenhouse such as benches and shelves.
- It may be necessary, to use a mild window cleaner on the clear sections of the green house, to ensure these sections will allow light into the greenhouse.
- Clean the outside of plant containers, but avoid cleaning the inside of the containers with soap.
Gardening tools also require regular cleaning, especially tools used for dividing and grafting plants.
1. Disinfect these tools with warm soap and water as part of the annual maintenance for the greenhouse, and store them separately to further minimize the spread of disease.
2. You must also sterilize the tools used for division and grafting, as these procedures involve cutting into a living plant. This can be done with a mild vinegar solution.
3. Allow the tools to air dry inside your house before using them.
The maintenance of the insulation is essential for ensuring the greenhouse retains heat effectively.
- Check the trim around windows and doors for holes in the insulation.
- You may also be able to feel a draft when the hole in the insulation is not easily visible.
- Greenhouses typically use strips of insulation, commonly known as weather stripping.
- It is relatively easy to remove the old weather stripping and replace it with a new strip.
- Greenhouses may also have cracked caulking, which must be removed and reapplied.
Some greenhouses use artificial sources of heat such as space heaters in addition to the heat from the sun.
- It is especially important to ensure your heaters are in good working order, since they will typically run unattended for long periods.
- Check the cords on an electrical greenhouse heater, and discard any heaters that have cords with exposed wiring.
- Operate kerosene heaters for a short period to ensure they don’t produce smoke.
- Verify you have adequate kerosene for heating the greenhouse during the winter.
Greenhouses also contain additional equipment requiring periodic maintenance.
- Check hoses for cracks or splits, which can cause leaking.
- Ensure the screens over your growing lights are clear, as yellow light keeps plants from growing their best.
- Check the timers for your lights and hose, to ensure they are working properly.
- Plants should also receive their annual fall maintenance, before returning them to the greenhouse.
- Prune any dead or diseased growth from the plants, and dispose of this debris immediately.
Water and fertilize the plants as well.
- This will minimize the amount of debris that the plants produce while in the nursery greenhouse.
- Gardeners typically must wait until the plants enter their dormant phase before moving them indoors. This typically occurs when the plants drop their leaves and stop growing for the year.
Spring maintenance for a greenhouse generally consists of getting the plants ready to be moved out of the greenhouse.
1. This typically occurs after the last expected frost of the winter, when the ground can be easily worked.
2. Allow container plants to become acclimated to the outside weather by taking them out during the day and bringing them back inside for the first week.
3. Apply pesticide after the plants will remain outside for the year.
4. This will prevent the pesticide from accumulating inside the green house.
Related Articles on Creating and Keeping up with Spring Greenhouses
- » Title: How to Use a Greenhouse during Spring by Whitney Segura – [http://gogardenguides.com/guide/how-to-use-a-greenhouse-in-spring-44251/]
- » Title: Managing the Greenhouse Environment to Control Plant Diseases by Brian Eshenaur and Robert Anderson – [http://www.ca.uky.edu/agcollege/plantpathology/ext_files/PPFShtml/PPFS-GH-1.pdf]
- » Title: Keep Your Greenhouse Cool with these Maintenance Tips – [http://hrt.msu.edu/Energy/Notebook/pdf/Sec3/Keep_your_greenhouse_cool_by_AJ_Both1.pdf]
- » Title: How to Maintain Warm Temperatures in a PVC Framed Greenhouse – [http://www.ehow.com/how_5529498_maintain-temperature-pvc-framed-greenhouse.html]
- » Title: Managing Pests in a Small Greenhouse – [http://www.gpnmag.com/sites/default/files/030603.pdf]
- » Title: Mother Earth News Miniature Manual to Greenhouse Maintenance – [http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1976-11-01/Greenhouse-Gardening.aspx]