Category Archives: Greenhouse Information

Greenhouses can mean more heat, more shade, supplemental lights, insect screens, etc. But let’s look at some common-sense approaches and deciding factors one can use in basic site planning.

How to Protect Your Greenhouse Plants from Pests and Disease

How to Protect Plants from Pest and Disease Gothic Arch GreenhouseGreenhouse growers aim to create an ideal environment in which plants can thrive year round.

Along with managing temperature and humidity, keeping pests out and preventing the spread of disease are important.

The best way to protect greenhouse plants from pests and disease is by keeping it clean and consistent.

By not only controlling the greenhouse environment, but also what you introduce into it, you can set yourself up for a successful growing season.

Keep Greenhouse Environment Clean

Pests and disease can spread quickly in an untidy environment. As part of your regular maintenance routine, wash all surfaces, clean pots and disinfect tools. Remove dead leaves and other old plant matter to eliminate insect food sources. Get rid of all standing water. When working with plants, wash your hands before and after. Promote air circulation by giving each plant plenty of room to grow. Growers can empty their structure annually to clean all surfaces, check all doors and supplies for damages, and make repairs. 

Keep Greenhouse Environment Consistent

Keeping the environment consistent throughout the greenhouse helps eliminate the hot, humid conditions in which pests and disease thrive. Some experts suggest natural ventilation systems are an ideal way to create those uniform conditions. Not only does the fresh air help control temperature and humidity, but it also contributes to transpiration and cell wall strengthening, beneficial for creating healthy plants. Automated climate controls can also have the same effect by creating consistent temperature and humidity to prevent the spread of pests and disease.

Inspect Greenhouse Plants Regularly for Pests

As a gardener, one of your most important tools is observation. Make time to inspect your plants regularly to identify and address signs of pests or disease before they get out of hand. Check your plants–or at least a smaller group of them–every day. Take note of spotted leaves, insects, insect skins, groupings of dying plants or unusual growth. If you suspect any plants are infested or diseased, remove them from your greenhouse and dispose of them right away.

Isolate New Plants in Greenhouse

Pests can also enter the greenhouse when you introduce new plants to the environment. When bringing in new plants, keep them isolated in an aquarium with a tight-fitting lid for up to two weeks to ensure no signs of bugs or diseases are present. Once you are sure that no pests or disease are present, you can safely transplant your new plants into your greenhouse. 

Use Barriers and Traps in Greenhouse

Growers can use barriers, screens and traps to protect plants from the vast majority of pests. Insect screens over vents, windows and other openings are effective, but they limit the amount of sunlight that gets inside the greenhouse. Floating row covers and sticky traps are commonly used to provide protection. Sticky traps placed under benches, close to vents and near windows and doors will help you monitor pest activity.

Tips for Using Pest Controls in Greenhouse

Choosing between chemical or organic methods of pest control is a personal choice. While some insects can be harmful to your plants, others are natural predators to those pests. Not all insects are bad! If using chemicals, start by using the least toxic methods of pest control first so there is less damage to those beneficial insects.

Pests and disease target stressed and damaged plants. The best defense against pests and disease is keeping your plants healthy. We can help! Call us at 800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com for the supplies you need to protect your plants today!

 

How to Design Greenhouses for Your Climate

How to Design Your Greenhouse for Your Climate Gothic Arch Greenhouse Greenhouse for Dry Climate Greenhouses forGreenhouse design is definitely not one-size-fits-all. Areas with low sunlight and heavy snowfall require different structures than a tropical climate marked by extreme heat and high humidity. We will help narrow down the best greenhouses for your climate. 

By understanding their local climate, gardeners and commercial growers of any size can make fundamental decisions about their greenhouse setup. Doing so will allow their plants to thrive and also extend their growing season.

Because a greenhouse provides protection from external elements, determining how the weather and climate in your area affects your plants is essential. Ultimately, the design of the structure is influenced by whether it is shielding them from wind, rain, heat, snow, etc.  

Whether you’re considering a new structure or want to optimize an existing one, these design suggestions—based on the four major climate types—will help you maximize production year after year. 

Greenhouses for Dry Tropical or Desert Climates

For climates marked by extremely high temperatures, low humidity and high winds, a minimalist structure works best. A simple shade structure using insect screen as sidewall protection is the most practical option to manage costs. A misting or fogging system can help increase humidity inside the greenhouse, while also helping to reduce temperatures well below the arid conditions outside. It can upgrade this economical design to include automated cooling systems for even more control over the greenhouse climate.

Greenhouses for Humid Subtropical Climates

Hot, muggy conditions day and night, coupled with heavy rains, require flexible greenhouse designs, as simple as a plastic roof with roll-up sides covered with insect mesh for protection against pests or a more substantial greenhouse that can withstand higher winds and scorching sunny days. Even larger greenhouses may feature open-roof construction to allow for natural ventilation. Heating systems and insulation aren’t much of a concern in this climate, but misting systems, circulation fans and movable screens can help manage temperature, air flow and light intensity.

Greenhouses for Temperate Climates

Temperate climates exhibit seasonal variations in temperature and moderate rainfall year round. An optimal greenhouse design features fully clad walls, roof and sides with large areas to encourage ventilation. A double layer of insulation can significantly reduce heating expenses. Commercial growers in these conditions may find it most efficient to manage heating, ventilation, irrigation and lighting with environmental controls.  These controls help easily maintain optimal greenhouse conditions despite the changing weather. 

Greenhouses for Cold Temperate Climates

In cold, snowy climates, greenhouses should be sturdy enough to handle heavy snow.  Polycarbonate walls and a steep roof pitch will help prevent snow from collecting on top of the greenhouse. Adding supplemental lighting and keeping vents closed will help keep the greenhouse warmer, particularly during colder months.

The experts at Gothic Arch Greenhouses will help you choose the right greenhouse for your climate.  Please call us at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to view our selection of greenhouses.

When to Upgrade Your Commercial Greenhouse

Commercial Greenhouse Upgrade When to Upgrade Gothic Arch Greenhouse Mobile ALMaintaining your commercial greenhouse can mean more than sealing doors, greasing hinges, and fixing tears or cracks in coverings. For commercial greenhouses, proper maintenance also means making necessary upgrades to keep your operation efficient and your workforce effective. Not only can this result in healthier plants, but also better profit margins.

Commercial greenhouse technology changes quickly. For that reason, consider that a greenhouse has about 10-15 years of useful life in it in terms of its systems, such as heating, cooling, etc. The structure itself may last a lot longer, but planning to upgrade the working parts of your greenhouse operation is necessary to stay competitive.

Planning ahead for greenhouse upgrades can help manage overall costs and keep your greenhouse running at maximum efficiency. Keeping a running inventory of your supplies and equipment will help streamline your upgrade process. 

Commercial Greenhouse Upgrades

Below, you will find several types of supplies and equipment that can be upgraded within your commercial greenhouse, often at a low cost. Upgrading your equipment now will save you money in the long run.

Benching

Benches are great for creating more growing space and keeping your greenhouse organized.  If you have stationary benches, making the switch to movable or rolling benches can help you increase your production area by up to 25 percent. Using benches as shelving for your plants allows you to group them in a way that makes them easier to find and sort. 

Glazing

Glazing, or greenhouse coverings, are becoming more effective at helping to maintain greenhouse temperatures. Manage heating costs by reviewing your glazing. It’s likely you regularly reglaze, but be especially mindful of acrylic and glass, which dulls easily. A greenhouse grade glaze that diffuses light, coupled with an infrared layer that adds energy efficiency is ideal.

Heating

High efficiency heaters help reduce how much energy your heating system uses. Growers can also use horizontal air flow fans to help move warm air throughout the greenhouse. There are many natural gas and propane options to choose from. Other natural fuel sources can be used to boost efficiency even more. 

Ventilation

Making the move to natural ventilation will have a significant impact on your energy costs as well. Roll-up side walls, large roof vents and open roof designs make this a widely available option. Switching to energy efficient fans is an easy way to save money. 

Controls

Controls allow you to manage the temperature and other environmental factors in your greenhouse. Some of the latest technology now combines heating and cooling in one device. By streamlining the monitoring, this helps the systems work more efficiently, that the environment maintains consistent temperatures. 

Irrigation

Upgrading your irrigation systems can be a great way to lower costs. Keeping your irrigation system on a timer so that it comes on at certain intervals helps manage water usage. There are also ebb and flood products available that help recycle water to use over and over again. 

Materials Handling

Automation is one of the newest greenhouse trends. Using automated systems can greatly cut down on your labor costs over time. Many automated options are available, including rotating basket systems, container filling, potting and labeling, etc. Also consider conveyors and carts to move plants, as they offer the most inexpensive option.

Have questions about a particular system or upgrade cost? We’re greenhouse experts! Call us at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com.

 

greenhouse pests

Control Greenhouse Pests

Gothic Arch Greenhouse SuppliesGreenhouse growers aim to create an ideal environment in which plants can thrive year round. Along with managing temperature and humidity, keeping greenhouse pests out and preventing the spread of disease are important.

The best way to protect greenhouse plants from pests and disease is by keeping it clean and consistent. By not only controlling the greenhouse environment but also what you introduce into it, you can set yourself up for a successful growing season.

Keep Environment Clean

Pests and disease can spread quickly in an untidy environment. As part of your regular maintenance routine, wash all surfaces, clean pots and disinfect tools. Remove dead leaves and other old plant matter to eliminate insect food sources. Get rid of all standing water. When working with plants, wash your hands before and after. Promote air circulation by giving each plant plenty of room to grow. Growers can empty their greenhouse annually to clean all surfaces, check all doors and supplies for damages, and make repairs.

Keep Environment Consistent

Keeping the environment consistent throughout the greenhouse helps eliminate the hot, humid conditions in which pests and disease thrive. Some experts suggest natural ventilation systems are an ideal way to create those uniform conditions. Not only does the fresh air help control temperature and humidity, but it also contributes to transpiration and cell wall strengthening, beneficial for creating healthy plants. Automated climate controls can also have the same effect by creating consistent temperature and humidity to prevent the spread of pests and disease.

Inspect Plants Regularly for Greenhouse Pests

As a gardener, one of your most important tools is observation. Make time to inspect your plants regularly to identify and address signs of pests or disease before they get out of hand. Check your plants–or at least a smaller group of them–every day. Take note of spotted leaves, insects, insect skins, groupings of dying plants or unusual growth. If you suspect any plants are infested or diseased, remove them from your greenhouse and dispose of them right away.

Isolate New Plants

Greenhouse pests can also be an issue when you introduce new plants to the environment. When bringing in new plants, keep them isolated in an aquarium with a tight-fitting lid for up to two weeks to ensure no signs of bugs or diseases are present. Once you are sure that no pests or disease are present, you can safely transplant your new plants into your greenhouse.

Use Barriers and Traps

Growers can use barriers, screens and traps to protect plants from the vast majority of pests. Insect screens over vents, windows and other openings are effective, but they limit the amount of sunlight that gets inside the greenhouse. Floating row covers and sticky traps are commonly used to provide protection. Sticky traps placed under benches, close to vents and near windows and doors will help you monitor pest activity.

Tips for Using Pest Controls

Choosing between chemical or organic methods of pest control is a personal choice. While some insects can be harmful to your plants, others are natural predators to those pests. Not all insects are bad! If using chemicals, start by using the least toxic methods of pest control first so there is less damage to those beneficial insects.

Stressed or damaged plants are easily targeted by pests and diseases. The best defense against pests and disease is keeping your plants healthy. We can help! Call us at 800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com for the supplies you need to protect your plants today!

 

Heat Your Greenhouse

How to Heat Your Greenhouse on a Budget

Gothic Arch Greenhouse snow runoffWorried about the cost of heating your greenhouse this winter? Rising fuel prices and extreme cold weather can add up quickly if you don’t know how to maximize every strategy that could help you cut your energy bill. Learn tips and tricks to heat your greenhouse on a budget. 

Relying solely on heaters to heat your greenhouse is expensive. Depending on your zone, there are things you can do to supplement heaters and help reduce heating costs.

How to Heat Your Greenhouse on a Budget

Paint It Black

Paint the outside of plastic containers with flat black enamel paint. Fill them with water and place them in areas where they will absorb the most sunlight throughout the day. When the temperatures fall at night, heat emitted from the water will help keep your greenhouse warm. This technique can maintain an average of 20-30 degrees warmer in your greenhouse than outside temperatures!

Gimme Compost

Get the most out of your organic waste by creating a compost pile. Tea bags, fruit and vegetable scraps, dryer lint, newspaper, grass clippings and egg shells make great compost. Compost helps provide essential nutrients to your plants, but also creates heat that is released during their chemical breakdown. Place your scraps and trimmings in 55-gallon drums or a ring of wire mesh. Be warned that they can create immense amounts of heat—well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit—so use caution when using this method.

It’s All About Row Covers

Garden fabric, also known as row covers, is a simple way to help turn up the heat when the weather outside demands it. Not only can row covers protect plants from cold and wind, but also they shield them from insects and prevent overheating in the summer. This fabric is either draped over hoops or secured to the ground. Row covers can be reused if handled with care, hence, reducing costs. Even if yours last one or two seasons, row covers have secondary uses such as  as weed barriers or covers during milder weather.

Seal It Up

Retain as much heat in your greenhouse by preventing as much warm air as possible from escaping. Seal all joints and gaps in the greenhouse with silicone caulking or installing weather stripping around doors, seams of glass and at the foundation. Repair any tears in film, coverings or cracks in glass to hold on to all of your hard-earned heat! Regular maintenance like this is one of the simplest ways to help you improve the energy efficiency of your greenhouse.

Heat What You Need

Particularly for larger greenhouses, heating the entire space can get expensive quickly, but the good news is that it might not all be necessary. Separating plants into zones inside the greenhouse with partitions makes it possible to heat the needed space more efficiently. Not only is this a more economical approach, but also it provides the grower with more control over the temperatures, which helps create a more ideal environment for each plant grown.

Got questions about preparing your greenhouse for the winter or what works best in your zone? Let us know! Call Gothic Arch Greenhouses at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com.

 

 

DIY gifts gardeners

Best DIY Gifts for Gardeners

Gardeners can be some of the best do-it-yourselfers around, so they of all people would appreciate a considerate DIY project—or gift—during this time of year! Read about some of the best DIY gifts for gardeners below. 

If you’re not crafty, creating a DIY gift can seem pretty intimidating, but we’ve put together a list of what we think are the best DIY gifts for gardeners out there.

The best part? They span all crafting abilities so anyone can give their favorite gardener a thoughtful gift this year.

Seven DIY Gifts for Gardeners

Antique Spoon Plant Markers

Any gardener could use a little signage in his or her garden, putting plant markers at the top of our recommendations. Using antique spoons—whether culled from your extra stuff or a secondhand store—can add a vintage flair to any garden. Stamp them or paint them with plant names; you can even create a collection!

Decorative Watering Cans

Functional and fun, personalized watering cans can add a bright spot to an otherwise everyday gardening accessory. Make your selection from dollar stores or thrift stores, if you like. Create or use a stencil if you don’t consider yourself much of a painter, and paint your design. Your gardener can use your gift to water plants or even as a planter.

Gardeners Gift Basket

If crafting isn’t your thing, you can still put together a thoughtful and useful gift by collecting gardening essentials and presenting them in a unique gift basket. Find a pot (you can go the inexpensive route and paint it), then fill it with small tools, gloves, seed packets and more! The bonus is that you can truly personalize it to your recipient.

Seed Tape

What’s a great do-it-yourself gift for a gardener to DIY? Seed tape! Again, if you know your gardener well, you can use the seeds of plants you know he or she will love. Seed tape is a great gift for beginner gardeners. Place seeds an equal distance apart inside of a folded strip of paper and secure the open end with tape. It’s that easy!

Fresh Garden Gift Tags

Is your gardener one to share his or her bounty? If so, you can help them customize their gift with these Fresh from the Garden gift tags. Ideal for the person who preserves their harvest by canning or making jams, these homemade gift tags make a great gift for gardeners who use the fruits of their labor to keep on giving.

Gardener’s Soap

We know gardeners get their hands dirty, so it helps to have an extra bar of soap around. But you can make it extra special by making it yourself! This orange and clove recipe makes several bars that you can give to one lucky recipient or split it up among several gardeners on your list. Ideal for cleaning dirt of your hands and keeping them moisturized too!

Garden Glove Rack

If you’ve got some time but maybe not much of a budget, transform leftover plywood and metal clips into an up-cycled garden glove rack. It’s a great way for gardeners to keep track of their gloves, plus you can paint it and customize it. This one will take a couple of hours to complete based on how detailed you might get with the painting.

Gothic Arch Greenhouse

Get your gardener what he or she really wants—a greenhouse! So maybe it’s not a traditional DIY gift project, but for your favorite grower, it just supports their own DIY efforts in their garden. Just in time for the holidays, our signature greenhouse is on sale, so you can get a great deal on a great gift!

If you’ve got a greenhouse or greenhouse supplies on your shopping list this year, let us know! Our friendly representatives are happy to help you. Call us at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com.

Greenhouse innovations

Greenhouse Innovations You Need to Know About

Technology in every industry advances rapidly and the agricultural industry is no exception. Knowing about new greenhouse innovations can help you stay on top of the best ways to streamline your greenhouse operations.

For larger operations, automation can significantly improve efficiency and reduce the cost of labor—which is the biggest production concern. Thanks to innovations, from software and sensors to robotics, water and lighting, greenhouse gardening can be more efficient and effective.

These technological advances in gardening have their roots in Europe before they make their way to North America. Based on a feature in one of the latest greenhouse technology showcases this year, this is what U.S. growers have to look forward to.

Greenhouse Innovations

Pointed Microclimate Sensor

Wireless sensor that captures dew point, vapor pressure deficit, temperature and humidity to help monitor heating needs. This tool helps growers cut unnecessary energy costs and reduces the risk of plant disease.

Service Engine (Royal Brinkman)

Software that helps managers identify everything in the greenhouse that requires service or maintenance and keeps those tasks on schedule. Streamlines management of greenhouse upkeep and provides up-to-date and easily accessible maintenance records.

Moisture Balance Module (Priva)

Automated module that constantly monitors water evaporation and plant water usage, then schedules irrigation and duration that automatically adjusts based on the environment and plant needs. Therefore, encourages not minimal, but optimal amounts of water usage.

SmartPAR Wireless Control System (Lumigrow)

Wireless platform used to automate lighting zones and adjust LED lighting remotely. Adjustments are tailored to crop types and growth stages. Lighting modes are adjustable between grow and view modes.

IRIS! Scout Robot (Metazet FormFlex)

Robotic system detects crop stress, so pests, diseases or other deficiencies are treated early on. This robot is is also equipped to measure humidity, temperature and carbon dioxide levels to assist growers in managing an ideal environment in their greenhouse.

Wondering how to innovate your greenhouse? Let us help! Call our friendly staff at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to learn more.

7 (More) Crops That Grow Best in Winter Gardens

 

 

Winter GardensIf you love gardening, there’s no reason to let the cooler weather interrupt you! There are plenty of crops that thrive when the temperatures fall, so don’t think you have to take a break until the spring. Winter gardens are beautiful and nutritious! 

Depending on your local climate, you can plant outdoors or in a greenhouse. If you’re in the South, outdoor gardens will work for you throughout most of the winter. But if you’re in the northern zones, your best bet is to rely on a greenhouse to help you extend the growing season.

A couple of years ago, we discussed the “7 Best Cold Weather Crops.” But now we’re going to detail seven more that will grow best in your winter gardens!

Radishes in Winter Gardens

Don’t limit yourself to the typical radishes you may see in the produce aisle at your local grocery store. Varieties like French Breakfast, White Icicle, Pink Beauties and Easter Eggs yield interesting shades of purple, pink, and white. And they grow fast! Some are ready within a month or less of seeding.

Peas in Winter Gardens

Plan to plant these in November or February, as those are the best months for this plant to flourish. Shelling or snap pea seeds should be placed an inch or two deep into rich soil, but give them a stake or something tall to wind around as they grow. Be mindful that birds like to feed on pea shoots, so you’ll want to protect them, yet allow sunshine and rain in.

Potatoes in Winter Gardens

Ideal for planting in February, potatoes are harvested three months after planting. They can also thrive as a late-season crop, particularly in the South, where there are only a couple of frosts per year. Potatoes can be successful for northern growers; they just have to ensure that the ground is well insulated for the crop to survive the cooler season.

Turnip Greens in Winter Gardens

For crisper, sweeter turnip greens, plant them in the fall. If the weather gets too hot—even if just for a few days—they can taste strong and bitter. Plant from late August to October for a fall crop in most areas. They need little room, but at least six inches apart, and make sure they get plenty of water, especially during drier fall weather.

Cauliflower for Winter Gardens

Cauliflower can be temperamental, making it one of the best late-season crops. Not recommended for spring, unless summers are cool. Start seeds indoors ealy in summer otherwise. For early harvests, particularly where fall weather doesn’t last long, select varieties like Snow Crown, Denali and green-headed Panther. For larger, more dense and sweet yields that mature in the main season, opt for Candid Charm, Skywalker and Graffiti.

Brussels Sprouts for Winter Gardens

Plant in early autumn to late winter for an early spring harvest. Some varieties mature earlier if you want to enjoy these veggies even earlier. These include: Prince Marvel, Jade Cross, and Lunet, which mature within 80-125 days from seed. Though they can be planted directly in the ground, your chances of success increases if you start them indoors.

Broccoli for Winter Gardens

Excels when planted outdoors in the fall, especially in warmer climates. A mid- to late-summer planting is recommended everywhere else unless you are using a greenhouse to extend your season. Be sure to give your plants 1 to 2 feet apart depending on the size of the heads you want to harvest. If you overseed, you must thin seedlings later to allow for growth.

Wondering what you need to get your winter garden going? Gothic Arch Greenhouses can help! Call our friendly representatives at 1-800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com. We’ll be happy to help you get growing!

 

Designing a Retail Garden Center

Retail Garden Center Design Gothic Arch GreenhousesGardeners of all ages, abilities and scales love to sell their products and reap the benefits of their hard work. Garden centers are uniquely designed for retail sales, though they may have areas for living plants, hard good products, storage, and shipping and receiving. A retail garden center can help boost your sales and keep your customers coming back again and again. 

But a garden center’s approach and design must be methodical to be successful—from the big picture even down to the small details.

Retail Garden Center Considerations:

Keep retail areas separate from all other areas for various functions of the garden center. Your retail space serves a different purpose from production or shipping, for example, so this will help you invest more in the customer experience.

Build High

High-roof structures are ideal for garden centers, as they create a better environment for customers and plants. By adjusting trusses, you can still make use of space while allowing customers the ability to reach hanging baskets.

Looks Matter

Typically located on high-traffic streets, garden centers must have some curb appeal. Using glass—at least on the front of your building—allows potential customers to get a peek at what you’re selling, even as they are driving by.

Design Seasonally

You have the first 20 feet from the entrance to make your impression on shoppers. Change displays regularly and seasonally to engage interest in various products. Some recommend making these changes every two to three weeks. Bench systems should be flexible so they can be used for such displays as they can be moved around to create different looks. Shade houses can be used during the hottest months to provide additional comfort for your plants and customers.

The Right Structure

Choose an appropriate greenhouse structure. For example, hoop houses can be used year ‘round or even temporarily. Sometimes, they function as both a production and retail area. Gutter-connected greenhouses are typically used by larger operations, and polycarbonate structures have the advantages of permanence and less maintenance.

Layout

Lay out your space with the customer in mind. Aisles should be wide to allow for foot traffic to flow easily, and space for wagons and carts if provided. Multiple doors may also be an option, as they can also assist in this flow.

Design Specifics

Design specifics can also help direct customers through your space. Signage provides direction, but you want to route shoppers through as many categories of items—plants, pots, potting soil, garden decor, etc.—as possible as this can help boost sales. Stock heavier items at waist-level as customers are more apt to select from middle or higher locations than picking up from the floor.

Flooring

Retail garden center floors are ideally flat, providing convenience for customers and level surfaces for benches that support your displays. We recommend concrete or asphalt painted a light color to reflect heat. Placement of drains helps keep floors dry to help minimize hazards that come with slippery, wet floors.

Product Promotion

Promote products in bundles, such as containers with potting soil, shrubs, flowers, fertilizer, and garden tools. These can provide ideas for your displays or specials that you want to advertise.

Stand Out!

Last, but not least, be unique! Approach your garden center design as creating a memorable experience that your customers will not only enjoy, but also share with others to generate invaluable word-of-mouth recommendations.

Our experienced team is ready to help you create your garden center design! We evaluate the technical aspects of your project in terms of equipment, interior layout and your specific needs. The possibilities within our range of structures and products are endless, whether your approach is classic or modern. Call us today at 800-531-4769 to begin!

 

 

Greenhouse Safety Checklist for Commercial Growers

Greenhouse SafetyBeing vigilant about greenhouse safety is a must for any commercial grower. Multiple potential electrical, chemical and equipment dangers exist in commercial greenhouse settings, so growers must take steps to protect their structures, plants and employees.

Managing most safety hazards is easy with proper training, maintenance, and vigilance. Adherence to this approach is important since very often greenhouse operations may not always be convenient to fire stations and water sources to extinguish a blaze, for example.

For commercial growers, educating employees on equipment safety, chemical safety, fire prevention, personal protective equipment and more is one of the most proactive ways to prevent downtime due to injury or damage.

With that in mind, here are some safety tips to consider as you take precautions to protect the most important assets that contribute to the success of your commercial growing operation.

Greenhouse Safety Checklist

 

De-clutter

  • Keep aisles and walkways clear and even or level to prevent accidental slips, trips, and falls.
  • Ensure adequate clearance of exits, breaker boxes, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, etc., so safety equipment is easily found in the event of an evacuation.

Weather Watch

  • Encourage employees to: hydrate regularly when working in hot conditions, even when they aren’t thirsty; wear hats and light-colored clothing; monitor fellow workers; and be mindful of their location in case they need to call for help.
  • Monitor weather conditions, and in the event of lightning, hail or high winds, move from the greenhouse to a sturdier structure.

Proactive Practices

  • Work in teams in the greenhouse so no one is alone in case someone needs help or an emergency occurs.
  • Wear closed-toe footwear and safety glasses or eye protection, particularly when using chemicals, pruning or using machinery.

Equipment Safety

  • Compartmentalize your greenhouse into as many fire zones as possible. Use non-combustible materials for walkways and partitions, and firebreaks in glazing and shade cloth.
  • Protect boilers from glazing by using non-combustible materials to provide a protective barrier.
  • Locate electrical panels, switches, heating pipes, CO2 generators, etc. a safe distance away from glazing materials or shade cloth.
  • Be cautious when using sharp greenhouse tools. The same goes for benches or shelves, which typically have sharp corners.
  • Greenhouse floors become slippery when wet, particularly when algae forms on floors in propagation areas. Stay on rubber mats as much as possible, and plan to treat floors to treat algae growth.
  • Conduct regular walk-throughs with other team members to identify and address hazards proactively.
  • Use electrical equipment that is well-grounded  and with extension cords that can adequately support the current. Do not use electrical equipment if the floors are wet or it is near moisture pads.

Other Greenhouse Safety Tips

  • Separate storage rooms, utility rooms and heating plants from the main greenhouse floor when possible.
  • Evacuate the greenhouse immediately if there is a fire. Set off the alarm and notify authorities. Acrylic greenhouse coverings are highly flammable and the fumes are hazardous. Installing polycarbonate as a firebreak when using Acrylic is necessary.

For more information on how to keep your operation running safely, or to upgrade your greenhouse equipment, call us today at 800-531-4769 or visit www.gothicarchgreenhouses.com.