Greenhouses offer numerous advantages for gardeners and farmers. Because they let you control the climate indoors, they can extend your growing season into colder times of the year.
These buildings also offer a natural barrier against insects and animals like deer and rabbits that can damage crops. A greenhouse gives you complete control of how much water your plants get and when.
Greenhouses can range from tiny tents to huge, commercial-grade structures. To provide light the plants life-giving light, they have clear or opaque walls and roofs held up by a wooden, metal, or plastic frame. Materials can include glass, polycarbonate, and polyethylene plastic.
Greenhouse Tips and Maintenance
No matter how big your greenhouse is or what it is made of, learning how to maintain a greenhouse is crucial. When you understand how to take care of a greenhouse, it will take care of you and your plants. Here are 10 greenhouse tips from DripWorks.
- Keep it clean. Make a schedule to clean your greenhouse regularly, whether that be monthly, annually, or seasonally. Throw out plant debris and trash. Cut the clutter by organizing pots, tools, and garden accessories. You can clean surfaces with a mixture of hot water and a disinfectant, such as 3/4 cup of bleach mixed into a gallon of water.
- Inspect your greenhouse for damage. Look for cracks in the glass or tears in poly sheeting. Check wooden frames for rot. See if there is corrosion in metal supports. If you find any of these problems, fix them as soon as possible. They will only get worse with time.
- Prevent pests. First, make sure you are not bringing any pesky insects into the greenhouse by inspecting each new plant you introduce. Also, carefully look over your plants in the greenhouse for signs of pests, such as holes in leaves. Remove and dispose of leaves or plants that have been damaged. Consider using natural controls like ladybugs or praying mantises to fight pest infestations.
- Inspect the ventilation system. Make sure the air vents are open for good circulation. Open and close vents, louvers, and other openings. If they squeak, oil them. Replace vents that are damaged.
- Check the greenhouse irrigation system. Inspect hoses, tubing, pipes and joints for cracks and leaks. Repair or replace as needed.
- Examine the entrance. If your greenhouse has a hinged door, check, and oil the hinges. For sliding doors, clear the top and bottom channels of dirt and debris.
- Inspect the greenhouse frame and base for small gaps. These can harbor insects. They also can let drafts into your greenhouse. Plug any gaps with a suitable material.
- Check the frame for loose bolts, nails, and fasteners. Tighten if necessary. If the fasteners are corroded or damaged, replace them.
- If your greenhouse has a heater, whether powered by conventional energy sources or solar, check that it is functioning properly. Repair or replace as needed.
- Prevent diseases by carefully checking all new plants before bringing them in the greenhouse. Keep any eye on plants in the greenhouse for signs of disease. Treat them if you can and remove and destroy them if you cannot cure the disease. It is also wise to remove soil from containers in the greenhouse at the end of every growing year and compost it for at least a year. Replace it with new, disease-free soil you have obtained from a trusted supplier.