A clean greenhouse looks tidy and may inspire you to introduce additional plants to your collection or inventory. And a clean greenhouse has other benefits — for example, cleanliness prevents diseases and pests from gaining a foothold. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your greenhouse clean year-round.
Start With Spring Cleaning
If your greenhouse was dormant or not in use during the winter, a spring cleanup is definitely in store before the start of the next growing season.
Empty the Greenhouse
A greenhouse free of supplies and old stock is easier to clean. Move all soil, tools, containers, and other supplies out of the way. Use this time as an opportunity to sort and discard old material or unwanted plants as you work. If the greenhouse is very large, you can empty and clean sections instead.
Remove Visible Dirt, Weeds, and Other Organic Material
As you prepare for the sanitization stage of cleaning, first get rid of visible dirt, weeds, and other organic material. Most cleaning or sanitizing products cannot work effectively on dirty surfaces. Use a broom to clear off benches and potting tables first. Sweep the floor thoroughly last.
You can also use a power washer to remove dirt and debris quickly. Start at the top of the greenhouse walls and work your way down to the floor. Don’t forget the overhead irrigation pipes that accumulate dirt and pests. Include all worktables and workbenches.
Finally, spray the floor so that you end up at the drain. Doing so ensures all dirt, leaves, and other material that harbor disease leave the greenhouse completely.
Sanitize All Surfaces
After most surfaces are free of organic material, you can sanitize them. Several different cleaning products kill algae and pathogens like bacteria and fungus, which harm greenhouse materials and plants. Use a substance like:
- Chlorine bleach
- Hydrogen dioxide
- Chlorine dioxide
- Peroxyacetic acid
Arm yourself with a scrub brush and sanitize potting benches, tables, and greenhouse panels. Sanitize walls from the top down. Pay attention to ledges and cracks where germs and algae hide.
Finish with a comprehensive rinse. Any residue left behind from a sloppy rinse creates a film that attracts dust and pests. Chlorine bleach requires several rinses to remove all residues. A pressure washer will more thoroughly rinse all surfaces of cleaning agents and eliminate residue.
Sanitize Between Crops
You may have successive crops in your greenhouse during the growing season. In this case, clean between crops to eliminate the spread of disease, fungus, and algae.
Planting Pots and Containers
You can reuse planting containers as long as they are thoroughly disinfected between uses. Even tiny amounts of dirt can harbor insect eggs and fungus spores. You newly planted seedlings are susceptible to root rot, Pythium, and Fusarium in dirty containers.
Clean and sanitize planting tools daily, especially after you prune and take cuttings. A quick dip in alcohol is a good way to prevent the spread of germs.
You can prevent new crops from being infected when you clean and disinfect all benches and tables. Spray with a pressure washer to remove all dirt, and then sanitize. Don’t forget to check for algae underneath benches and tables.
Immediately after you clean and sanitize your greenhouse, shut the doors and vents. Greenhouse temperatures near 110 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours help kill insects and other pests.
Your greenhouse can be more productive when it’s clean and free of disease and pests. If you are interested in more ways a pressure washer can keep your greenhouse clean and sanitized, visit Ben’s Cleaner Sales, Inc., for a selection of pressure washer equipment.