Greenhouse care basics

A greenhouse brings with it a lot of potential for experimenting with plants – but of course also a lot of work. Not only the plants, but also the building itself needs regular care. Here is a brief overview of what you should not neglect.

What care does a greenhouse need?

Growing plants and making them thrive takes a lot of work, time and patience. If you buy a greenhouse to expand your cultivation options and extend the gardening year, you also need to take care of the building itself, in addition to looking after the plants. Because if it is neglected, the plants will also suffer, for example through poor lighting conditions, permanently unfavourable humidity and the appearance of mould and fungal spores.

Regular care and maintenance work on and in the greenhouse should include the following:

  • dispose of diseased plants and plant parts
  • clean the windows
  • repair/replace defective components
  • clean interior furnishings

A thorough cleaning is advisable once a year. The best time to do this is in autumn or early spring – either after or before the season. This gives pathogens, mould and fungal spores less opportunity to take up permanent residence and make it difficult for plants to thrive.

Dispose of diseased plants and plant parts

If there are still plants in the greenhouse, you will have to clear them out anyway for cleaning and maintenance. Examine them thoroughly for diseases, sort out infected plant parts and burn them. Important: also examine the greenhouse floor and the substrates carefully and remove diseased fallen leaves or the upper substrate layers.

Cleaning the panes

The windows must be cleaned from the outside and inside. The easiest way to clean the outside is to use a pressure washer. If you don’t have one and your greenhouse is not too big, you can also use a hand sponge or a telescopic window cleaner. Use either warm water only or an additional ecological window cleaner. If you find limescale deposits, you can use vinegar or vinegar essence.

Repair/replace defective components

If you discover cracks in individual panes or the framework is brittle in places, arrange for replacements. Real glass panes can even be cut relatively easily by yourself with a glass cutter, plastic sheets are easy to work with for the do-it-yourselfer anyway. Damage to a film covering can be repaired with greenhouse film tape. If your frame is made of wood, a coat of wood preservative stain may not go amiss – if rot has already set in, individual sections are more likely to need replacing.

Also check the windows and doors – sluggish hinges may need a little oil, and seals may need a little glycerine or silicone to keep them supple, as well as cleaning.

Cleaning interior furnishings

You should also clean the interior furnishings, i.e. planters, shelves and trellis poles – it is best to use water with vinegar to minimise any pathogens. You can also take this opportunity to give all hand tools such as hoes and watering cans a thorough cleaning.

Ray D Berryman

Ray D Berryman

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