If you own or operate a greenhouse, you know that harsh winter conditions can be damaging. Preparing your greenhouse for the winter is the best way to set yourself up for success and keep your crops in the best shape possible.
5 Tips for Preparing a Greenhouse for the Winter
Don’t let the winter season scare you this year. Follow our tips for preparing a greenhouse for winter, so your inventory can handle whatever the season throws at it.
1. Thoroughly Clean Your Greenhouse
Keeping your greenhouse as clean as possible will allow it to operate at peak efficiency. Remove all the plants you can and clean the area thoroughly. Wash benches and surfaces, empty pots that aren’t being used, and scrub equipment with disinfectant to keep pests away.
We recommend cleaning your greenhouse frame with diluted bleach or a disinfectant and the covering of the house with mild soap or dishwashing detergent. If you have to clean wood, it’s best to use a diluted wood oil soap.
2. Prepare Soil in the Garden Beds
If you have garden beds in your greenhouse, they’ll require some prep for winter. Remove any dead plants, branches, leaves, or debris. It could be a feeding ground for infestations or diseases if you don’t.
It’s also a good idea to place worms in your soil. It will keep the area well-aerated and healthier for planting in the springtime.
3. Fix Holes and Oil Hinges
Even the tiniest hole can let cold air into your greenhouse. Inspect your greenhouse structure and look for cracks, holes, or gaps between the frames and covers. You also need to ensure that every door and window closes properly. If you mind minor issues, apply patches or caulk to the area. For more extensive repairs, consider replacing parts of your greenhouse.
You should also apply oil to any hinges in the greenhouse or parts that move, including door handles, vents, etc. We recommend using WD-40 or another silicone-based product to keep the equipment lubricated during the cold months.
4. Prepare Your Heating System
We know you want your plants to thrive all year long, so you need to implement a heating system and make sure it’s working properly. When picking out a heater, invest in one with a power supply big enough to support the size of your greenhouse. In most cases, gas-powered and battery-backed heaters are ideal for greenhouses undergoing power outages in the winter.
If you already have a heater, now is the time to get it out of storage and ensure everything is in working order.
Note: Using heat in your greenhouse won’t be effective if you have poor insulation. Duct tape can work great to fix minor repairs, or heat-retaining silicone caulk works as well.
5. Create Healthy Airflow
The presence of heat and clean, healthy soil is key to keeping your crops growing throughout the winter. But just like in spring and summer, plants need fresh air. This can be challenging when trying to keep cold air out. Prepare your greenhouse for this issue by installing a ventilation system or greenhouse fans.
Keep them at a low setting and point them at your plants, so they have a fresh flow of air coming at them. This can prevent harmful moisture buildup.
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Give us a call at 616-662-0954 or contact us online today for more information.
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