How to Prepare Your Greenhouse for Winter

Greenhouse Maintenance Preparing for Winter CleaningPreparing your greenhouse for the changes in seasons is one of the most important tasks you’ll do throughout the year to set yourself up for gardening success.

Just like your home, your greenhouse requires regular maintenance and tidying, but you should also schedule time for a thorough cleaning.

Not only does this ensure a clean working environment, but also it creates a healthy space for your plants.

The best time for that essential in-depth cleaning is as you are preparing your greenhouse for the fall, as that is when your greenhouse will likely have the fewest plants.

On a breezy, yet still warm day (that’s also dry to keep the mud out!), tackle the following maintenance tasks before you begin cleaning and preparing your greenhouse for winter. These recommendations are geared to hobby greenhouse growers, but there is some good advice for commercial operations as well.

  • Remove all plants and furniture. This includes tables, chairs and planters to get the greenhouse as empty as possible.
  • Turn off electricity, unplug cords and electrical appliances and protect the wall sockets before you get started.
  • Sweep out any debris. Getting rid of dead vegetation will help prevent the spread of pests and potential for disease, as well as allowing for a deep cleaning.
  • Rinse all windows with water using a garden hose. Take time to clean any dirty windows as well with a soapy sponge or cloth if needed.
  • Inspect glass or coverings and opening panels, making any needed repairs. For example, replace any cracked or broken glass and fix any tears or rips in coverings. Also grease the hinges and handles of doors, vents, etc.
  • Check window frames, not only for holes in insulation but also for any dirt that could possibly harbor parasites. Clean window frames, and replace any weatherstripping or caulking so the greenhouse effectively retains heat.
  • Clean all greenhouse surfaces, including cement, tile or wood floors, furniture, empty pots and garden tools. Replace old gravel if you have a gravel floor. Everything from a mild soap with antibacterial properties to bleach can be used to kill any mold or bacteria. Sharpen tools if needed.
  • Rinse everything well with plain water before returning your plants to the greenhouse so they aren’t damaged by contact with any leftover cleaning solution. Opening the doors on a warm, breezy day will also help everything dry faster.
  • Examine your plants carefully before bringing them into your newly cleaned greenhouse. Remove dead or dying leaves, and discard any that appear to be infected with pests.
  • Turn on and test your greenhouse systems—the heating system, watering system, lighting and drip irrigation. Perform any necessary maintenance or cleaning, and order backup parts if needed. Make sure you have enough propane and your backup generator is working, as well.
  • Order new planting supplies, such as potting soil, fertilizers or seed trays.
  • Don’t forget the outside! Spray down the outside of your greenhouse without using any disinfectant so it’s clean from the inside out. Start at the top and rinse down. Do this especially on a windy day so it dries faster.

Need help getting your greenhouse ready for the upcoming seasons? We have all the supplies you need! Give us a call at 1-800-531-4769 to speak with one of our friendly representatives or visit our website www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to learn more.

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