1. Give your greenhouse a checkup
Walk through your greenhouse with a keen eye. Evict what doesn’t belong so you can start with a clean slate. Remove any broken glass or plastic, repair structural issues, and check irrigation systems. Any tears, leaks, or damage from winter should be fixed up as soon as possible. And don’t forget to look out for potential pest hiding places (more on that later).
2. Clean your greenhouse inside and out
Toss out dead plants and move all the pots, planters, and discarded items out of the greenhouse. Get a bucket and fill it with warm water, soap, and garden disinfectant (you can find at most local garden centers). Use a towel to wash and disinfect the outsides of pots and planters. The floor should be swept and washed clean, too.
If you have some empty pots or planters, disinfect the insides of them before planting. Spray down the exterior of your greenhouse with a pressure-cleaner. Make sure to check for any leaks after that.
3. Pre-sprout seeds that need a longer season
March is the perfect time to sow seeds for plants that require a bit longer before harvest. Plants such as Geraniums, Begonias, Peppers, Eggplant, and Antiffhunums are a few of the plants that prefer to start early. Here’s a more complete list of when to start your seasonal gardening jobs from the experts at Thompson & Morgan.
4. Do a pre-emptive pest sweep
Contrary to popular belief, the first frost does not take care of your pest problems. Pests such as slugs, snails, and aphid colonies often hibernate in last year’s pots and beds or in the crowns of your perennial plants. Vine weevil larvae love to dig into compost piles and feed on plant roots. Destroy any you find and use parasitic nematodes or chemical drenches to treat your greenhouse for vine weevils this year. This provides one more reason to assure that your spring cleaning is thorough and exhaustive before the upcoming season begins. For more useful tips check out this helpful video featuring Clara Coleman of Four Seasons Farming Consulting.
5. Fix beds, gates and trellis
Get the heavy lifting out of the way before the summer heat turns up. Structures or tools that have fallen into disrepair are best fixed now so that once the warm weather begins it’s all about the garden. Another great tip is to treat any wooden structures in your greenhouse with a wood preservative during prolonged periods of drought.
6. Clean and sharpen your gardening tools
If it wasn’t clear by now, disinfecting anything that will be in contact with or in the direct vicinity of your plants is imperative. Dirty tools can spread infection and may introduce bacteria and fungi to fresh pruning marks on your plants. Beyond that, sharpening your tools will also save you on time and money down the road. Sharpening your tools improves their performance. They’ll also be easier to work with and will give cleaner pruning cuts.
7. Set up your compost
If you don’t have a compost area in your garden, it’s time. A ready-made compost bin or a compost bin you build yourself using spare bits of wood works just fine. This accomplishes two things: You have somewhere to put your garden waste and your plants will benefit from the nutrient-rich compost created when it all breaks down! Try to find the perfect blend of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, wood shavings, and even crab shells. To preserve your compost, flip the pile with a garden fork each month to keep it aerated.
8. Make sure ventilation is ideal
Fungal diseases are often the result of insufficient ventilation in your greenhouse. To avoid a disastrous infection for your plants, ensure that the greenhouse has enough openings and that they’re positioned correctly to allow optimal air circulation. Ideally, this means two slatted vents located low down on opposite sides of the greenhouse, and two roof vents at the top. One option is to invest in an automatic vent-opener. When temperatures rise and your greenhouse gets overheated, this could save your entire harvest. If you forget to open the vents for any reason, the automatic vent ensures that hot air can still escape, preventing plants from withering.
The preceding is only a handful of things to consider before the season kicks into full-swing. What does your pre-season greenhouse preparation list look like? Share your suggestions in the comments below and let others share in the benefits of a well-prepared garden. And if you have any questions, the Rimol team is always here to help at https://www.rimolgreenhouses.com/contact.