For home gardeners as well as commercial farmers, greenhouses offer many benefits. By controlling the climate, they can extend the growing season, allowing earlier planting, later harvesting and more crops.
Greenhouses can help protect plants from insects, diseases and pests like deer, rabbits and other greenery munchers. They can also shield your precious produce from prying human eyes and two-legged thieves.
Getting a greenhouse and setting up misters or drip irrigation can be expensive, require lots of labor or both. To ensure your greenhouse will last as long as possible, it's important to practice proper greenhouse care and maintenance. DripWorks is here to help with our top greenhouse maintenance tips.
Keep it Clean
Just as in your home, much of the upkeep for your greenhouse involves cleaning. Regularly cleaning the surfaces of your greenhouse will help prevent transmission of disease. You can use a mild natural soap and warm water. For something stronger, use an oxygen bleach combined with water
If your greenhouse has glass, make sure to clean the glass sections regularly. That will enhance penetration of sunlight, which will help keep the greenhouse warm and help your plants grow.
Whether your greenhouse frame is wood, metal or plastic, scrub it thoroughly too. If you have a wood frame, caulk holes and cracks. This will help keep drafts from entering the greenhouse and also will discourage insects from hiding in and overwintering in the wood.
Pruning and Sweeping
Regularly remove and prune leaves, twigs and branches that are dying or appear to be diseased or infested with pests. Take this debris as far away from your greenhouse as possible to discourage more problems. Dispose of waste properly with your local yard debris collection service or by burning, if permitted in your area.
Make sure to sweep and clean your greenhouse floors regularly too. This will also help prevent the spread of disease.
Before introducing new plants to your greenhouse, closely inspect them for signs of disease or insects. Do not put infected or infested plants inside.
Also be careful you and others are not transmitting diseases or pests into your greenhouse. Avoid entering the greenhouse after working with or visiting infected plants outside.
Wash pots, trays and gardening utensils with a bleach/water solution. Throw out or recycle disposable garden pots and trays.
At the end of the growing season, remove the old soil from pots and containers. You may compost this dirt for a year or more for eventual re-use. Buy new, disease-free soil from a trusted nursery, gardening center or other source.
Heating and Cooling
If your greenhouse has a heater, fans or other heating and cooling systems, make sure to check them regularly. You can head off small problems before they become big ones. Perform any scheduled maintenance recommended by the manufacturer, such as lubricating.
In some areas, summer sun may make your greenhouse too hot. Keep an eye on this issue to provide your plants an ideal temperature. Planting trees or shrubs or installing blinds can provide a simple solution.