Grower's Guide: Greenhouse Cleaning Tips

Grower's Guide: Greenhouse Cleaning Tips
June 01, 2020
If you’re gearing up for a new season of crops, your structure will need a good greenhouse cleaning. Seasonal greenhouse cleaning is important to maintain overall plant health. Cleaning your  greenhouse will help keep diseases from spreading while staving off harmful pests. To do this, you’ll need to remove all plants and crops from within the greenhouse unit and follow the following our helpful greenhouse cleaning tips.

Greenhouse Cleaning Tips

For ShelterLogic units like the GrowIT Greenhouse In-A-Box, it’s important to clean the cover just like you would any other fabric shelter. Avoiding harsh detergents will help stretch the life of your greenhouse. And because this greenhouse also has a steel frame, it’s important to maintain that as well. This includes using a soft-bristled broom when you clear leaves and debris. The same care goes for the ShelterTech High Tunnel Greenhouse. In order to ensure you are giving your plants the best environment possible, it’s important to not only care for your cover, but the steel frame as well. Make sure to use a soft brush when cleaning. You can use a garden hose with a nozzle to clean the roof if it’s hard to reach, and remove any leaves, cobwebs, or other debris.

Best Practices for Cleaning Your Fabric Greenhouse

You might think a quick sweep down will suffice. But an important greenhouse cleaning tip is to disinfect the area to give your plants a truly clean environment to grow. According to the University of Massachusetts, this process can manage algae and stave off bacteria or fungi. The disinfecting process includes a thorough cleaning of the Luminate fabric cover and steel frame to kill off harmful algae, mold, and mildew, and a comprehensive inspection to extend the life of your greenhouse. Whether you have a small greenhouse for your backyard or a commercial greenhouse for your business, you can follow these cleaning steps and prolong its life and usage. Steps to take to thoroughly clean and disinfect your fabric greenhouse:

Remove Everything from Inside the Greenhouse

To be successful, the cleaning and disinfecting of the greenhouse must be complete and thorough. So, before you start the clean-up, everything must be removed from the inside of your greenhouse: that includes benches, pots, tables, shelves, and any equipment stored inside it. You must remove all the plants that are in your greenhouse before you begin cleaning and disinfecting, so check the weather to make sure you will have a few days of satisfactory weather. Also, sweep or vacuum away any cobwebs, dirt, debris, weeds, and soil that may be on the floors, cover, and frame of the greenhouse: that will make the following steps a little simpler.

Disinfect Reusables or Dispose of Trash

Recyclable and non-reusable trays and pots should be removed from your fabric greenhouse area as soon as you can. Dispose of the items that cannot be reused and recycle everything that can be salvaged. Pots, trays, shelves, and equipment needs to be completely cleaned and disinfected before they are returned to your fabric greenhouse. You can wash these greenhouse items and more with soapy water. Once washed, let those items sit in an oxygen bleach solution of 3/4 cup oxygen bleach to one gallon of water.

Clean the Cover and Frame

Your cover and frame need to be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate all fungi, mold, and other pathogens that may not be visible to the naked eye. We recommend cleaning it with a solution of mild detergent and warm water to clean both the greenhouse’s cover and steel frame. To prevent accidental damage to your greenhouse, you should avoid using a brush with sharp edges. Do not use a pressure washer to clean or rinse hard-to-reach places like the top of your cover. The water sprayed from a pressure washer is powerful enough to cause damage to your Luminate cover. However, you can use a garden hose with a nozzle to clean or rinse the cover and frame.
Cleanipedia recommends choosing a warm or windy day to clean. This will allow the inside of your greenhouse to dry quicker, and your cleaning time to be cut down!

How Often Should You Clean Your Greenhouse?

The simple answer: Ideally, you should give your greenhouse a thorough cleaning at the end of every growing season. Each growing season brings different pathogens and molds: removing them will ensure a more bountiful crop season after season. However, whenever there is debris, dirt, mold, or other accumulated, you should clean your greenhouse as soon as possible. Also, your greenhouse cleaning frequency should depend in part on your geographic location. If you experience hot and humid or wet conditions, you may need to be more aware of mold and mildew. At the absolute minimum, your greenhouse should be cleaned at least once per year, both inside and out. If you plan to dismantle and store your entire greenhouse and not use it the following season, then you should keep the cover on when you clean it. This will make it easier to safely clean the cover. However, do not put the greenhouse into storage until every part has completely dried. This will help prevent mold and mildew from returning to the unit.

A Clean Greenhouse is a Mold- and Mildew-Free Greenhouse

Regularly cleaning your greenhouse will help maximize the life of your greenhouse and extend the life of the plants inside it. Also, cleaning your greenhouse will prevent mold and mildew from growing on the inside and outside of the cover. Although our Luminate covers are UV treated to reduce mold and mildew, it can still grow on the building when weather gets humid, and in areas that are more shaded and have less sun exposure. When you clean your fabric greenhouse, you should also give it a detailed maintenance check. This inspection will help confirm that your greenhouse is ready to perform season after season. You can learn more about the greenhouse maintenance process in this blog post.


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