Having your own greenhouse can be a very fulfilling experience. But like anything that holds benefits, it requires a lot of love and attention if you want to reap any of those benefits.
If you’re curious about how to keep your greenhouse healthy and bearing fruit (pun intended!), then this article is for you.
Greenhouse Structure Inspection
While cleaning your greenhouse should be high on the list, there’s no reason to clean something that will need replacing anyway. You’ll want to conduct a thorough inspection to find out if you need any spares for greenhouses structures. The most common types of replacements you’ll have to make are to a few nuts and bolts or panels.
Frame and Base
You’ll want to empty out the greenhouse completely so that you can examine each part of the structure. Check for openings where pests or draughts can get in. You can seal any gaps in your greenhouse structure with exterior sealant. Give all the joints a close lookover to see if any of the nuts or bolts are loose or broken. Make sure all the windows are properly placed and clamped correctly. Another good rule of thumb, if you have a wooden frame, then make sure the wood is treated and painted white. The treatment will safeguard it from pests. White paint is reflective and will assist with growth and maintaining the right temperature in your greenhouse.
You might want to go over your panels with a pressure washer before examining them to ensure that dirt and grime aren’t covering cracks or openings. If you notice that some of your panels are damaged or broken, then replace them. To do this, you’ll need pliers to unclamp them since most panels are held in place with clips. When replacing panels, make sure you wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles or some kind of protective eyewear, especially if your greenhouse has glass panels. If you aren’t using plastic panels, then consider making the switch. Plastic is safe, lightweight, and easy to maintain, whereas glass is heavier and dangerous to replace and more difficult to care for.
Set a few dates throughout the year where you will perform deep cleanings. This will ensure that you catch any issues early on and will keep pests and mold at bay. Cleaning the panels, preferably with a pressure washer, will allow most sunlight to get in to nurture your plants. The best times of the year to clean are when there’s a breeze so that you can air it out after words. If you let it sit without airing it out afterward, then mold might set in. The best seasons are usually spring or after a really cold winter. It’s ideal for this to be done before you plant any new seeds.
Remove everything that isn’t nailed to your greenhouse. Anything electrical, like a heater or fan, should be removed as well. Delicate plants should be placed on a porch or some other sheltered area where it can still get some sun. Sweep up any dead leaves and toss out any dying plants. This will keep your greenhouse safe from disease. All weeds need to be removed as well to avoid them spreading and taking over your plants which can happen quite fast if you’re not careful.
Plant Trees or Install Shades
It’s always smart to do one of two things to provide shade to your plants if you live in a particularly hot climate: either plant trees, or install shades. Trees are a great way to naturally shelter your plants from the sun’s harsh summer rays, as they still allow in some light so that your plants get all the sun they need. Since their leaves fall off in the winter, maximum sunlight will get into the greenhouse. Installing shades is another way to regulate the temperature and amount of light getting into your greenhouse. Shades are ideal because you can control the amount of light depending on the weather.
If you can fit it into your budget, automatic window openers can be added to your greenhouse. These will open when it gets too hot and close when your plants need the extra warmth. If you live in a humid area, then consider getting a fan to regulate the moisture in your greenhouse. If these basic steps are kept in check throughout the year, then you’ll have basic protection against climate and pests. However, you should do your due diligence in research to know about all the pests in your area and how to protect your plants from them.