A greenhouse can be home to a great variety of plants and flowers but if you don’t keep it maintained and clean, then your plants might end up suffering. Here are our tips to help you make the best of your greenhouse and ensure that your plants have the best possible home.
When to clean
Any day in autumn or spring when the sun is shining and the temperature is climbing is a fine choice to thoroughly clean your greenhouse. You might also wait for a dry day in winter – when the greenhouse is far less crowded – to tackle the job. No matter what time you choose, you should always take the greatest care and attention when cleaning both the interior and exterior of your greenhouse. Just make sure not to choose a cold, wet day as you will need to store all the plants outside the greenhouse during the big clean.
The first thing you need to do, before getting into the bulk of the cleaning, is to remove any plants from inside the greenhouse. Move them to a sheltered spot in your garden or, to be extra safe, put them in a shed. This is a good time to keep an eye out for any dead or dying plants – it saves you from dealing with them later after bringing them back in. Also use this as an opportunity to weed around the plants and beds, and carry out some general maintenance on the plants.
Now the greenhouse is empty, it should be easy to spot any leftover debris like dead or infected leaves, or spilled soil on the floor and shelves. Brush up any debris or detritus you can see and dispose of it, making sure to brush or vacuum every nook and cranny – the floor underneath shelving and staging may become particularly messy after time.
The windows will need cleaning on both the inside and the outside. Plants need sufficient light to thrive and if you’ve left the greenhouse for too long without cleaning, the humid conditions could easily cause algae to grow on the windows, lowering those crucial light levels. Use hot, soapy water – or any commercial greenhouse cleaner – and a microfibre towel to scrub clean the glass or plastic windows from the inside. Always be sure to follow the instructions on the product to ensure complete safety. You might also need to clear out any dirt trapped between panes. Do this using a plastic scraper.
Scrub clean the structural sections of the greenhouse. Any metal framework can be cleaned with domestic cleaning product or commercial greenhouse cleaner. Check wooden frames for signs of rotting and apply preservative if necessary.
Check for damages
Window panes might have come loose or taken damage so check to see if any need replacing. Maintenance checks on lighting, irrigation and ventilation are also important, so make sure everything is in fine working order.
Clean the windows on the outside in the same manner as you did the inside. Having pristine windows is important for the health of your plants.
Use a ladder if you’re comfortable with heights, or use an extendable cleaning sponge, to reach those higher up areas. Use a long broom to brush off any debris left on the roof panels – there could be an abundance of leaves, cuttings or broken branches/twigs left lying up there, so be thorough!
Such a pane
Be careful of cracked or broken glass panes or panels on the outside of the greenhouse. The exterior will be more susceptible to damage, so wear thick gardening gloves to protect yourself from cuts. Deal with any panel replacement after you have finished cleaning your greenhouse.
Leave the glass to air dry – cleaning on a moderately windy day might help speed up the process, so you can get those plants back where they belong.
Keeping your greenhouse clean should become a regular part of your garden cleaning routine. Once or twice a year and your greenhouse should remain in tip-top shape, and you’ll have happy, healthy plants all year round.