How to clean a greenhouse
Posted by Alix Francis on 11th Oct 2017
There will come a time when a little bit of cleaning and maintenance is required for your greenhouse. It’s not everyone’s favourite job but it’s a job that needs doing. It helps to prevent diseases, fungus and other pests from growing and causing havoc throughout the greenhouse.
Plants and veggies need a good growing environment and all the sunshine they can get, especially in winter months. It’s essential you keep your greenhouse cleaned, maintained and in good shape. Try to look at this as a fantastic opportunity to reorganise your greenhouse and get everything ready for busier months.
Things you will need;
- Brush & broom
- Mop & Bucket
- Disinfectant or detergent
- Small scraper to get in the corners
- Warm water
- Cloths or wire wool
Before you start
Choosing the right disinfectant is key to getting your greenhouse cleaned properly, there are many out there so it can be slightly confusing which one to choose. Some help with algae control and plant pathogen whilst others focus on removing fungus and bacteria.
It’s advisable to do your research before investing in a disinfectant to see which is best suited to your needs. It’s also worth checking to see if the solution you use on your greenhouse panes and structure doesn’t cause any damage, especially if you have a plastic greenhouse. You don’t want the disinfectant mix to remove any glazing properties from your greenhouse, etc.
Choose a day that is dry with a little breeze (if you can) and begin by carefully removing all your plants to a sheltered area whilst the greenhouse gets cleaned.
After you have safely removed your plants and veggies from the greenhouse, begin by sweeping down the walls, the roof and the floor. Start removing debris, pulling up weeds and collecting the excess dirt that’s built up around the greenhouse too.
Remove moss or algae that has grown and be sure that you are removing any likely organisms which may be lurking in the cracks and crevasses. It’s also a good chance to give your irrigation systems a good scrub to flush out any debris or sludge/slime.
Washing the greenhouse
After you’ve chosen the correct disinfectant, swept down the panes, removed debris, weeds and any excess dirt.
It’s time to set up your mop and bucket, give yourself a pep talk and get yourself ready to power through the cleaning.
If you have chosen to use a mop and bucket or a sponge and bucket, whatever you feel comfortable with, make sure
the mop/sponge is well rung before you attack the panes above your head. You don’t want to end up getting soaked before you’ve started. It's inevitable, you will get a little damp in this process but avoiding it as much as possible is better than being soaked from the start.
Wash the panes and structure of the greenhouse thoroughly making sure you get into the corners and wash away any dirt and marks you find throughout the greenhouse.
Getting into the cracks and crevasses
After you’ve cleaned the inside and outside panes of the greenhouse, it’s time to get into those cracks and crevasses. Ease out any dirt which has got stuck between your panes or in the structure of your greenhouse with your scraper and wash away the dirt that comes out with your disinfectant mix.
Be thorough when cleaning the panes and structure of your greenhouse, you’ll be amazed how much dirt and bacteria collects in these small spaces over time.
Cleaning benches, pots and trays
It may come as no surprise but giving your benches and potting areas a good scrub will prevent the spread of diseases. Using wire wool allows you to scrub deep into any cracks or corners and they’re good for scrubbing dirt away.
If you can’t afford to buy new pots, trays or containers, give them a good scrub too. Wash out all the dirt stuck in any corners and make sure you rinse them well after.
Before you sit back with a cup of tea or coffee and admire the hard work you have put in, check that your greenhouse has dried (as much as possible) and that there isn’t any disinfectant mix around that can either drip onto or contaminate any of your plants. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Once you’ve checked everything over and are happy with the job you’ve done, carefully transport your plants and veggies back then start to enjoy your clean greenhouse.