Spring Greenhouse Maintenance

Spring is the ideal time to prepare yourself—and your equipment—for a new growing season. Here are five things to do before the outdoor season hits.

Sterilize equipment
Sterilize your shears and secateurs in a 10% bleach solution. I use a 500ml measuring cup with 50ml of bleach, then topped with tap water. 

Clean out pots
Scrape last year’s dry dirt from your outdoor pots. I love my rigid round brush for this job. 

Wash the dust off the greenhouse
Before things fully thaw, get out and wash the dust off the inside and outside of your greenhouse. Use tap water and a little bit of dish-soap. Do not use bleach for this job as it will take the finish off the steel and make it rust. I use a plain old floor mop for this and it works perfectly. 

Address algae growth
If you have algae growing between the sheets of polycarbonate, you will want to clean that off with a diluted hydrogen peroxide and water solution (25ml hydrogen peroxide to a litre of water). Soak a soft cloth in the solution and slide the cloth between the two layers of ploycarbonate. I make my life easier by unscrewing the screws that hold the sheeting in place from the outside first. Then I can go back inside the greenhouse and get up and close to the polycarbonate without worrying about stepping on plants. 

Amend your soil
Remove any old plant material. If you grow right in the ground, add some finished compost to the beds. I’m a fan of Sea Soil. Two bags is plenty for my whole 7×12’ greenhouse. It costs about $12/bag and ensures the soil is ready for a new season of growing.