Spring Greenhouse Prep: Ready, Repair, Grow!
Spring officially arrives on March 20, but here in the Northern Hemisphere, March 1st marked the first day of the meteorological spring and we are going full steam ahead towards our growing season and all that comes with it. But despite spring being on the horizon, winter has taken its toll on many greenhouses across the country and growers are faced with the task of repairing and rebuilding any damage that may have resulted from heavy snow and wind. The key to having a successful greenhouse is controlling the environment and making repairs from winter damage to be sure your growing season is off to a strong start! Read on for some tips and recommendations to help you with your greenhouse repair!
1. Take a walk…check it out!
It is a good idea to inspect your structure periodically to spot any problems that may have happened over the winter. If you can, take a walk along the outside of your greenhouse or high tunnel after inclement weather to look for any damage that may have occurred. Keep an eye out for springs that may have come loose from U-channels and possible holes in your poly film. Look for screws that may have worked themselves loose and tighten them to ensure your structure is stable. A common issue in polycarbonate greenhouses can be excessive condensation on the inside of the panels if there are any cracks in them, or if porous tape on the bottom of the polycarbonate has become clogged and needs replacing. Make sure that vents are unobstructed and in good condition. As the days get warmer, properly working vents are essential to optimizing your plants’ health. Look along the base of your greenhouse for any areas where mice or other pests may be able to enter. Are your gutters draining properly? If not, it may be necessary to install heat tape in your greenhouse gutter in the winter months, especially if you live in a northern region. Be sure to make sure basic things, like doors and vents, are in proper working order and take note of missing latches or loose hinges that may need replacing.
If you use lighting or other growing accessories that require electricity, be sure to check that all outlets are functioning and clear from debris or any damage that may have happened over the winter. Make sure to ask for help from an electrician if needed. Grow lights are key to many growers’ seed-starting plan and nothing is worse than realizing your electrical hookups are not functioning! Also inspect any heating or cooling systems you have in place in your greenhouse to ensure they are in optimal working order. This will keep your growing operation running smoothly and your plants at optimal growth as the season begins and progresses.
2. Tool Time
Now that you have identified what needs fixing, get your tools together. Be sure that all your tools are in good condition and replace any that may have seen their last days with your past growing season. Take note of any repairs that may require special tools or an extra set of hands to help you. Ladders, hammers, nails, screws, screw drivers are just a few basic things to have on hand when you’re getting ready for spring time repairs to your greenhouse. In addition to any tools, gather some basic cleaning supplies for your greenhouse. Brooms, paper towels, all-purpose cleaner and garbage bags are a few good things to keep on hand when you’re in the greenhouse since there is sure to be some debris that has made its way into the house over the winter. By keeping up on cleaning, along with making basic repairs, you will be ahead of the game when it’s time to start growing in just a few short weeks, if you haven’t started already!
3. Get Fixin’!
Now that you have taken note of any problems that need to be addressed and gathered the proper tools, you are ready to make your greenhouse repairs with confidence! As I stated before, sometimes projects need another set of hands, so plan ahead for a weekend when you can make your repairs a somewhat social event and invite friends or family over to help! Many hands make light work, so they say, and it surely makes the time go by faster and more enjoyable. For additional help and advice on repairs for your greenhouse or high tunnel, check out some of Growers Supply’s video tutorials listed below!
What are some of the most common repairs you make on your greenhouse or high tunnel in the spring?