A greenhouse is a very special place for gardeners. Caring for the structure itself is just as important as for the plants inside. It's important to keep your greenhouse clean and tidy to prevent pests and diseases from spreading rapidly in the humid and heated conditions.
Some of the regular maintenance required for indoor gardening is pretty mundane but at other times can seem like a great deal of work. If you implement a few simple tasks into your daily, weekly and monthly routine it will go a long way towards keeping your greenhouse in tip-top condition for years to come.
- Open or close the vents if you do not have automatic openers.
- Water regularly to make sure that the compost and soil doesn't dry out. Avoid watering plants in the middle of the day during summer as this can scorch the leaves.
- Feed plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs as required.
- Weed around plants and in the beds, pots and planters.
- Inspecting panels to insure they are intact and undamaged.
- Tidy up and dispose of debris and trash regularly.
- Clean planters, pots and gardening tools as needed.
- Put canes around plants that need support and tie in emerging shoots.
- Thin out or prune plants as needed. Summer pruning and fruit thinning may be required with some plants, such as grape vines.
- Put up shade cloths in early summer to protect plants from scorching by direct sunlight.
- For plants that prefer high humidity, spray the gravel floor with water each day in the summer or use a hand-held mist sprayer.
Clean and sanitize your greenhouse nursery in the fall. The best defense against insects, bacteria, fungi and viruses is cleanliness. Remove everything from your Greenhouse and clean the roof and walls inside and out. You will be amazed by the increase in the amount of light. Also, don't forget to clean all of your benches, shelves and walkways.
Inspect plants, herbs, vegetables and flowers regularly for pests and diseases and treat appropriately. Common pests in warm, humid conditions, such as found in a hothouse, include aphids, red spider mites and mealy bugs. Diseases include mildew and botrytis.
Biological control of pests and diseases in agriculture that relies on natural predation, parasitism or other natural mechanism, rather than introducing chemicals into the plant nursery. This type of pest control works to create a system where the insects and the pathogens that cause diseases are kept at manageable levels within the greenhouse. Ladybugs are effective predators of aphids such as greenfly and blackfly, and will also consume mites, scale insects and small caterpillars. Hoverflies feed on fruit tree spider mites and small caterpillars. Dragonflies are predators of mosquitoes, both in and out of the water.
There are also many companion plants used in indoor gardening to deter insect pests. Basil, catnip, garlic, horseradish, marigold, mint, nasturium, peppermint, rosemary, sage, summer savory, tansy, thyme and wormwood are all effective when mixed in with other plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables.
Continued enjoyment of your greenhouse is made possible by simply adding a few tasks to your regular schedule. As you can see, the real task at hand is choosing what type of plants and flowers you would like to grow in your greenhouse!
At Greenhouse Center, our goal is to provide useful information on choosing between the many different types of greenhouses available, buying a greenhouse kit, purchasing plants for your greenhouse nursery and how to maintain your greenhouse for indoor gardening year-round. Visit our Products page to see a sample of the large variety of greenhouse styles that are available.