In order to have beautiful plants all year round, it isn't enough just to put them in a greenhouse - you still have to maintain it properly. Although the greenhouse protects plants from the cold and strong winds, it doesn't protect them from damaging insects and cryptogamic diseases. To do so you must be vigilant, and greenhouse maintenance is essential.
A big autumn cleaning
As plants need a lot of sunlight, it is important to clean the windows of your greenhouse at least once a year. This should be done in the autumn, especially if the windows are coated with calcium carbonate in the summer, as there won't be enough light for the plants in the winter.
Take out all the plants on a dry, hot day.
Whether the windows are made of glass or polycarbonate, wash them with soapy water.
If the surface is very dirty or is covered with moss or mould, add bleach to the water at a ratio of 1 litre for 10 litres of water. Be patient, as calcium carbonate takes a while to remove. Once washed, don't forget to rince abundantly. Remember to check and clean the gutters.
Check all the opening panels, and grease the hinges and handles. Replace any broken or cracked windows.
As the plants have been removed, inspect the shelves and blocks on which they were placed. Get rid of all the weeds and clean the floor thoroughly in order to rid the greenhouse of any vegetal waste which, by rotting, may generate diseases or contain parasites.
An all year round maintenance
Each season requires a specific maintenance :
- Spring is a busy time in the greenhouse. You can take out the plants that can now grow outdoors and prepare the blocks for sowing. It is important to ventilate the place at this time.
- In summer, the plants must be protected from burning. Either cover the windows with a coat of calcium carbonate or install awnings to reduce the sunlight by 40%. Water the plants heavily in the cool of the evening. The greenhouse can be ventilated by leaving the door and the windows open. This will also stop rot and damaging insects from proliferating.
- As we have mentioned, autumn is the tilme to give the greenhouse a thorough cleaning.
- In winter, if the greenhouse is heated, check the heating and temperature periodically. Ventilate from time to time.