Greenhouses can be a gardener’s best friend, but they can also be our worst enemy if they’re allowed to become a breeding spot for pests and diseases. Cleaning out your greenhouse now will not only let more sunlight in to help your plants survive through the cold winter months, it will also prevent the spread of nasty moulds and viruses, and will diminish the chances of pests overwintering on your plants.
A mild autumn day is the ideal time to give your greenhouse a thorough clean – both inside and out – to ensure you’re ready for the growing season come spring. Follow our step by step guide to get the best results:
Remove all plants, seedlings and other materials from the greenhouse and retain in a sheltered area in the garden, or in a shed or garage. Tender plants won’t appreciate being put outside in severe frosts or in the driving rain!
Ensure any electricity supplies into the greenhouse are turned off and all electrical equipment such as heaters and radios are unplugged.
Begin on the outside by washing the panes of glass with warm water and a sponge. Higher parts of the greenhouse can be reached by attaching a sponge to the end of a broom handle or cane. As you wash, carefully check the panels for any broken or cracked glass which will need replaced.
Once you’ve finished with the exterior, you can begin on the inside using a hot solution and cloth. You will find a wide range of cleaning products in your local garden centre, including garden disinfectants and greenhouse cleaners. Alternatively, domestic cleaning products or vinegar and lemon in warm water will also work a treat.
Be ruthless – throw out anything that you’ve not used for a while, including old grow bags and broken pots. Sweep the floor to remove any dirt and spilled soil and throw out any dead or dying plants.
Sterilise all pots and containers, or wash in warm soapy water to minimise chances of spreading disease or infection from old plants.
Check that all ventilation panels and windows are operating properly and lighting and watering systems are working to your satisfaction.
Last but not least return all your plants and seedlings to their proper place in the greenhouse, and enjoy the feeling of a clean and tidy greenhouse where you can spend many cold winter days!