Maintaining a greenhouse is way more challenging than looking after a garden. Your job isn’t over with pruning and watering the plants, you have to be equally attentive towards the regular maintenance of the structure of the greenhouse as well. Keeping a greenhouse clean and pest free is important for healthy growth of plants and vegetables. You must also ensure adequate temperature and humidity control to ensure your plants receive optimum nutrition for a healthy growth.
Here are some tips you can follow for a regular maintenance of your greenhouse:
Clean The Panes To Ensure Adequate Sunlight
The glass panes of your greenhouse are susceptible to dirt and grime build up, which affects the amount of sunlight that reaches your plants. It is essential to maintain a cleaning routine to ensure that your plants receive optimum heat for growth.
To get started, first use a dry cloth to wipe off any debris or dust collected on the glass. Lift off any creepers or algae that have spread on the glass. Make sure you use a soft cloth to avoid scratching the glass panes. If the glass panes are very dirty, use a mild detergent to clean both the sides of the panes. Use a well wrung kitchen mop that can be used on the inside or a plastic brush that can clean up the dirt on the outside.
However, if you clean your greenhouse glass panes regularly, you can simply use rinse free liquid cleaner that can be sprayed on to the glass and wiped using a dry cloth. Use a disinfectant to curb the growth of pests. You may either use the disinfectant liquid separately or use it along with the cleanser.
To ensure the panes dry out faster, open the windows or plan cleaning on a breezy day.
Choose an Ideal Annual Cleaning Time
Whether you use your greenhouse seasonally or all year round, it is essential to deep clean your greenhouse at least once a year. Choose an ideal cleaning time when your greenhouse is relatively empty or during the summer months when keeping the greenhouse is mandatory as dry soil propagates the growth of pests and insects. If you like to clean your greenhouse twice a year, it is recommended to choose October and April months as cleaning in these months will free your greenhouse from winter pests and plant diseases.
When deciding on the best days for cleaning, choose a breezy day so that the panes dry out faster and water does not settle on them. If you live in an extreme weather, choose a mild day to avoid any damage.
Keep Your Plants Free From The Soap Water while cleaning
Soap water is extremely harmful for your plants and thus extra care must be taken when wiping the window panes and cleaning the floor. Place your pots outside if the weather is warm or use a rinse free cleanser. You also need to protect your plants from over pressurized stream of water when cleaning with a hose pipe. If there are electrical sockets installed for extra heating, make sure you cover them with plastic to avoid water to run into them.
Disinfect Your Greenhouse
The main purpose of cleaning your greenhouse is to control the development and growth of plant pathogens and algae. Use branded disinfectants that contain chlorine bleach, q-salt products, Hydrogen Dioxide and Pyeroxyacetic Acid, Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate or alcohol for fungal, bacterial or viral pathogens. Do not limit the use of disinfectants to glass panes and floor; use it on all the equipments, watering parts, pots, benches, gardening tools or any other part of your greenhouse. Plants diseases spread through all means and thus it is mandatory to disinfect all the greenhouse parts.
However, it is very important to follow usage and dosage instructions when using the disinfectants on plants and other greenhouse equipments.
Clean the Soil
A lot of debris builds over soil over different crop cycles. Cleaning a greenhouse isn’t limited to disinfecting the infrastructure but also includes thorough cleaning of your plants and soil. Physically remove weeds, debris or any other algae built up on the soil and it must be done as an initial step. The branded disinfectants you use on the soil will only be effective if you clean the soil residue from plants. You will have many gardeners who will warn you against pests and algae growth as their prevention is easier than cure. Clean and disinfect your greenhouse on regular intervals as once the pest growth sets in, you will have to invest a lot of time and resources in deep cleaning your greenhouse to restore it to its original.