Now that you’ve made your investment, you need to learn how to care for your greenhouse so that will have a long life. This requires performing a few basic tasks you can do every day, and more intensive chores that you maybe need to do once or twice a year. Regular care of your greenhouse is an essential part of successful greenhouse gardening and will also mean healthier, more robust plants.
As mentioned before, monitoring the temperature of your greenhouse and opening vents is an important daily task. As you open and close the vents make sure they seal correctly and that there are no damage in the material or rips in the fabric. Monitoring for pests is also important. Most greenhouse kits have vents with a screen over them so that insects won’t enter your greenhouse. Make sure that the fabric is intact and that no holes are present that will allow insects in.
Checking the frame of your greenhouse is important, especially if you have a wood frame. You may need to regularly waterproof the wood. Check for rotten boards and also look out for termites that may be damaging the structure of your building. If you have metal or a PVC frame, make sure there is no visible warping of the frame. You may have a cover that is too heavy for your frame.
During the cold months and windy days, your greenhouse may suffer damage. It is a good idea to monitor on a monthly basis to make sure the greenhouse panels are complete and in good shape. You may need to tighten your panels if your greenhouse has experience high levels of wind. If you have a plastic cover, you made need to replace it as often as every year due to tearing.
At least two or three times a year, you should clean the panels of your greenhouse, both inside and out. Use a biodegradable soap such as Castille soap and rinse with water. It is also a good idea to periodically remove all your plants and wash down the shelves and tables. Cleaning your greenhouse regularly will help reduce the formation of bacteria and molds that might affect the health of your plants.
Be aware that some greenhouses are not meant to be left outside all winter in areas with heavy snow fall. These greenhouses, know as season extenders, are really designed to help with starter plants in the spring, and to extend the growing season an extra month or two in the fall. If they are left to be battered by the elements, this can significantly shorten their lifespan.
Of course, it’s important to have a few monitoring tools handy for your plants to make sure they are living under the correct conditions. A high quality garden thermometer is very important for monitoring your greenhouse temperature. Also, this great Electronic Soil Tester for Garden Plants will give you information on soil pH, soil moisture, light intensity, and total combined nitrogen and phosphorus and potash levels.