There are many advantages to greenhouse growing. You can extend the growing season and experiment with a variety of different plants. However, in order for you to fully enjoy the benefits of owning a greenhouse, you will need to keep it well maintained. Maintaining your greenhouse will not only keep it in a suitable condition for your plants but will also keep your garden looking tidy, organised and attractive.
Here are a few greenhouse maintenance tips:
- Arrange an annual clean out. Organise a day where you can spend time cleaning out your greenhouse. Choose a day when the weather is mild, as cleaning out your greenhouse on a day when there are heavy winds could damage plants when windows and doors are left open. Check the overall condition of your greenhouse. Cracked or broken glass panes will need to be replaced and you will need to check for any signs of rot inside your greenhouse. Some designs, such as wood greenhouses, may need a lick of paint or preservative to spruce up the structure and keep it looking in good condition. When using cleaning chemicals or preservatives, make sure that they do not come into contact with your plants.
- Keep panes clean. Over time, your greenhouse panes will gather dust, dirt and grime, which will result in sunlight being blocked out. Clean your glass panes regularly using warm water and a sponge. Use blasts of water in areas such as underneath windows to remove dirt.
- Check for signs of pest damage or plant disease. It is important that you recognise any signs pest infestations or plants disease so that you can tackle the problem. Remove any dead or dying plants as well as ones that are infected. Use organic pest sprays to prevent damage to plants. Sticky traps and blasts of water will help to remove pests without harming your plants.
- Keep your staging in good condition. Sterilise your staging and propagation benches and check for any signs of rot. Organise your greenhouse shelves and remove any items that are no longer needed, such as soil bags and broken pots. Keeping your greenhouse free of clutter will help to reduce problems with pests.
- Remove weeds. Make sure the area around your greenhouse is free of weeds as this will help to reduce problems with pests such as whiteflies, aphids and thrips. Avoid using weed killers that contain harmful chemicals.
- Ventilation. Make sure your greenhouse is kept well ventilated. Check that any vents that you have installed are working properly. A well ventilated greenhouse will help to create a much healthier environment for your plants and will reduce the risk of pests and fungal diseases that thrive in warm conditions.
- Take care of your plants. In addition to keeping your greenhouse in good condition, you will need to provide your plants with regular care. Water them regularly to prevent soil from drying out and feed as required. Make sure that conditions in your greenhouse are suitable for the type of plants that you are growing. You may need to add shade nets in summer to prevent scorching.
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Guest post by Robert Smith