Tips for Cleaning Up This Spring
Humans are profoundly affected by their environments. Your surroundings — whether it’s a small or large room, a loud or a quiet one or even a blue or a red one — can change your emotions, thoughts and productivity. Just like humans, the plants in your greenhouse can be positively or negatively affected by their immediate surroundings.
Their productivity will be sure to thrive in a nice clean, disease free environment, and there are a number of steps that you can take before the growing season starts to ensure your crops have the ideal surroundings they deserve.
At this time of year, your greenhouse is most likely to be emptier than usual, which makes it the best time to follow some of these practical tips to ensure your greenhouse is clean and ready for this coming spring.
- Make sure you have adequate drainage. Fill any holes with gravel to avoid any puddles of water that encourage disease and insect breeding.
- Repair or replace any old, rotten or decayed wood.
- Make sure your glazing, end walls, doors and vents are properly sealed to keep out unwanted pests.
- Remove any old vegetation and weeds from greenhouse areas.
- Clean up any old growing medium or hydroponic channels and growing pots. Disinfectants can be used for this to kill any pathogenic organisms.
- Clean all work areas. Be sure to sweep and hose down all production surfaces, as it is imperative to keep these areas algae free.
- Make sure all tools and equipment are clean and in good working order.
- Order your supplies. Make sure you are properly stocked so that you always have what you need on hand.
- Inspect all incoming plants and cuttings thoroughly to make sure there are no insects, mites or diseases coming in.
The outside of your greenhouse doesn’t necessarily have to be cleaned as often as the inside, but it’s always a good idea to ensure that the polycarbonate panels are clean, so that your plants can get the full benefit of heat and light coming through them.
Cleaning the polycarbonate regularly makes it much easier to remove any dirt or stains, as ground-in stains can prove more stubborn. To do this, use a long-handled brush, a bucket of soapy water and some Windex with Ammonia or Palmolive liquid. Stay away from using any abrasive cleaners or brushes, as they can easily cause the polycarbonate to become marred or scratched.
Spring cleaning is not the most glamorous task, but there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that the greenhouse, the operations centre for the new season’s growth, is well prepared for the coming year. Although it may seem a bit of a bother, setting aside two major cleanings – Fall and Spring – along with regularly scheduled cleanings between crop cycles during the season can ultimately payoff in a big way. Happy cleaning!