Follow these 5 tips before cold weather arrives
Okay, you have enjoyed a glorious outdoor gardening season—and there are likely a few weeks yet to go! But painful though it is, now is the time (before it turns cold) to get your greenhouse ready for its closeup.
Greenhouses are wonderful to have, but you’ll find they can do more for you with a proper maintenance schedule and a little cleaning.
1. Begin with a good cleaning. Just like washing your car, begin on the top, on the outside. Spray down the glazing and use a gentle scrub brush or sponge on areas that might have collected debris and left crud on the glass. Rinse thoroughly.
2. Check the collected junk. If you’re like most gardeners, the empty greenhouse was just too convenient—tools, pots, fertilizer and insecticide containers, and sometimes even sick plants (oops, you forgot about them didn’t you?) find their way into the greenhouse during the heat of summer battle. Now is the time to clean them all out and put items where they belong.
3. Inspect, inspect, and inspect everything that could leak, break, fall off, or get stuck, and make repairs. You won’t want to do this when a rainy cold front is coming through and you still haven’t moved plants inside.
4. Prepare for plants. Are tables and benches sturdy and clean? If you kept some plant material inside during the summer, is it healthy, insect-free, and disease-free? If not, you’ll want to remove the pests and disinfect with a mild soap with antibacterial properties. It’s also a good idea to disinfect hand tools used in the greenhouse.
5. Test your systems, including heating, fans, water, and drip irrigation if you have them. You don’t want to do this after loading plants and seedlings inside.