Gardening under cover is one of our favourite topics... you might have guessed that. We've prepared our 8 top tips that you can use one sunny winter afternoon (we've got our fingers crossed too!) to get your greenhouse prepped and ready for winter.
Colder temperatures, frosts, and moisture can all have a damaging effect on less hardy varieties. That's why we have put together this quick checklist of essential tasks for getting the most from your greenhouse through winter.
- Maximize light by cleaning panels. Use soap, water and a squeegee to clean your greenhouse's clear panels. Marks and dirt on the panels reduce the amount of light available for your plants. Be sure to dry the inside thoroughly to prevent high levels of humidity.
- Eliminate disease and pests. All kinds of pests love to shelter from colder weather in greenhouses. Get rid of old grow bags, unused pots and containers, and tidy away tools. This will reduce the number of hiding places for crawling and creeping undesirables. Clean all tools, pathways and staging with a garden disinfectant spray.
- Check temperatures. In an ideal world a consistent temperature of between 5-7 degrees should be maintained. Over the coming days take a morning, afternoon and late evening reading if possible. Keep an eye on the forecast for particularly chilly nights. When those cold evenings set in, close up the vents mid-afternoon to keep in the heat from the afternoon sun. Use heaters sparingly to boost the temperature. Our award winning paraffin heater range is ideal for boosting temperatures by a few degrees on frosty nights.
- Plant care. Space out plants to allow lights to as much of each plant as possible. Dead-head flowers and remove yellowing or leaves with signs of disease. Cover delicate plants with matting, fleece or newspaper at night if you expect a spell of really cold nights.
- Replace broken or loose fitting panels. This can help with eliminating draughts and keeping unwanted moisture out. Check all your panels are snugly fitted. You can plug any gaps over with trans tape quickly and easily. If you have a Norfolk Greenhouse, be sure to check out our full range of reasonably priced spares.
- Clean guttering. Prevent water from pooling where you don't want it. Use a soft brush to clean leaves and other debris from gutters. Drain water butts to prevent build up on algae. Give your water but a good clean and wipe down with garden disinfectant.
- Maintain ventilation. It's best to keep the air on the dryer side, so water sparingly and close the root. Keep vents open mid-morning to mid afternoon.
- Get ready for winter storms. With harsher weather and high winds the winter has the potential to put and end to your greenhouse. (and nobody wants that!) - Add some weight and batten down the hatches. Make sure your greenhouse is firmly fixed down. Try to shelter your greenhouse from winds by moving larger tubs, water butts, bin stores, etc. to create a wind break.If you expect a larger storm steak some large pegs and lash your greenhouse with ratchet strapping.