Tuesday, 16 June 2020 | Matt
Cleaning up your greenhouse is not only a great way to keep control over pests, it is also a way to mark the beginning of a new growing season – you might even find those long-lost secateurs that fell behind the potting table last season!
Cleaning the glass (or clear plastic) of your greenhouse also helps to increase plant productivity by letting in more light energy.
Don’t limit your cleaning to greenhouses, either – polytunnels and garden frames can gain the same benefits from a proper cleaning.
When should you clean your greenhouse?
When to clean your greenhouse depends on what you are growing in it.
If you are planning for a summer-cropping plant, like tomatoes, for example, you’ll want to clean in winter when the crop has been cleared out and you won’t risk damaging the growing plants or fruit.
For plants that crop all year round, it’s best to clean between crops, whenever that happens to be. If you always have a revolving array of plants in your greenhouse, then perhaps the best time to clean it is when you can take the plants outside (if they are in pots of course) for a few hours while you give the inside a good scrubbing. A warm summer’s day is good for plants that are used to hot temperatures, and more delicate plants might prefer a still evening, after the heat and winds of the day have subsided.
Cleaning The Actual Greenhouse
If you want to get it all out of the way in one go, and you want to do it all, from the panes to the gutters to the butts and floor, then set aside a full day and get started as early as you can.
Cleaning out greenhouse gutters
Gutters can get blocked up by fallen leaves, moss, particles and objects blown in on the wind, and even by nests and small animals. Cleaning them can be a messy job, but with a bit of prep it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant one. Also, make sure you are physically able ad fit enough to clean the gutters. If your greenhouse is a tall one, or you have some physical limitations, it is best to bring in a friend or professional to give you a hand.
Put on a pair of thick gardening gloves (the rubberised ones are great for this) and run your hand down the length of the guttering. Much of the build-up should be pushed out by your hand, and any it misses can be scooped out.
If fall pipes are blocked, or even partially blocked, a coat hanger, stave, or other long, thin object can be carefully poked downward to dislodge the blockage.
Liberal dousing with water should wash away the leftover material. Start at the fall pipe, then go up to the far end of the gutter, then return slowly to the fall pipe. Make sure everything is flowing freely before calling it a day.
Cleaning water tanks or water butts
It is important to clear standing water containers, to prevent root rots like Phytophthora, and to keep mosquitoes from using your water but as an incubator for their larvae! Once a year is usually frequent enough to prevent major problems, but many gardeners prefer a cleaning every six months or so to keep things looking and smelling fresh.
Tip the butt on its side to drain the water. Wish a coarse brush, scrub out the inside, beginning at the top of the object and moving down from there, so anything you clean off doesn’t wash over already-cleaned areas.
Do you need to replace an old greenhouse?
We can help you! Browse our full range of greenhouses online by clicking here, or visit one of our sub-types below: