It’s TIME!!! We went through our Greenhouses this week, and this is the check list we use to make sure that all is well and tucked in for the winter.
1. Clean! Now is the time to clean the glazing to provide maximum winter light transmission. Remove shade cloth if you have it installed. With a mild solution of detergent (without ammonia) and bleach, wash all inside and outside surfaces of the greenhouse. Scrub areas with heavy concentrations of moss, algae, or mold. Air-dry inside the greenhouse. Open all doors and vents and use a fan to facilitate air drying. If glass laps are dirty, use a higher concentration of bleach and apply with a spray bottle between laps. Allow the solution to work a few minutes then rinse. A plastic card (such as we get with junk mail solicitations) run between the laps works great on difficult areas.
2. Disconnect and drain water lines at risk of freezing. Plan to hand water your veggies, herbs, and other plants that will be growing throughout the winter. If you plan ahead for an energy efficient greenhouse you can reap the rewards throughout the year.
3. Check electrical wiring and outlets for proper and safe operation. Test heaters, soil cables and thermostats. Blow dust out of heaters. Check your heater’s thermostat against a good thermometer (preferably a min/max recording thermometer) to monitor actual heating performance.
4. Inspect greenhouse for needed repairs. Re-caulk or seal glazing to prevent leaks.
Securely close vents, jalousie windows, exhaust fans and air intake louvers. If available, put on storm windows, install base vent plugs, etc. Where high winter winds are experienced, windward vents should be securely fastened shut, making sure to first disconnect or disable any automatic controls for those vents.
5. Good interior air circulation is needed in the winter greenhouse. Circulating fans should run 24/7 throughout the winter heating season to help circulate heated air, minimize mildew and mold and create a healthier environment for your plants. Don’t crowd your plants – they need a little space around them.
6. Check interior surfaces, under benches and the floor of the greenhouse for insects/eggs and eliminate as necessary. Inspect all plants before bringing them into the greenhouse, and treat as needed to give them a healthy start for the winter.
Enjoy the peace and tranquility of your winter greenhouse garden – your own private “Place in the Sun” no matter what the weather is like outside.