How To Maintain Your Greenhouse
Spring clean the greenhouse ready for those first seedlings
As the Christmas pudding and the mince pies are settling nicely around the waist it is the ideal time to get to grips with the greenhouse. Choose a nice mild day and clean it out thoroughly getting rid of the overwintering pests, scrubbing the pots and seed trays and insulating it ready for the first seed sowings. If you don't have a greenhouse now is the time to order one, as some which are made to order can take 8 - 10 weeks.
- Choose a mild day as you will need to leave the door and windows open to allow everything to dry out.
- Move any tender plants; leave outside if only for a couple of hours, otherwise place somewhere sheltered.
- Take everything out and wash the glass with soap and water, rinse with clean water; making sure you get all the algae and dirt from around the panes. Light levels are lower if the glass is dirty which can lead to straggly seedlings. Wash the frame and if it is wooden give it a coat of preservative.
- Scrub the floor and any staging with water and disinfectant.
- Dig over any beds.
- Fumigate with a sulphur candle; close all windows tightly, light the candle in the centre of the greenhouse, close the door tightly and leave for several hours until the fumes and smoke have cleared. This should destroy any overwintering pests.
- Insulate with bubblewrap when the glass and frame are thoroughly dry.
- Make sure any heaters are in working order.
- Scrub pots and seed trays with disinfectant and water, leave to dry before putting back in the greenhouse.
- Replace any capillary matting.
- Wash the outside thoroughly and give the wood a coat of preservative.
- Replace any tender plants, taking off any dead leaves.
- Sow onion seeds and give them a little bit of heat.
- Finally put the kettle on, make a cup of tea and settle down with seed catalogues.