Greenhouses are an excellent way to grow various flowers, fruits, and vegetables by regulating the climate so that plants can thrive. However, they are also prone to attracting pests and are the perfect environment for mould and algae to grow. Speaking to Fabulous, gardening expert and founder of Luxury Screens, Suhail Patel, explained how gardeners should clean their greenhouses to get rid of mould, mildew, and algae, and it’s easier than you might think.
Certain factors “have a negative impact on a plant’s health,” the pro explained, so keeping on top of any issues is a must. He explained: “Mould can cause plant diseases and potentially hinder a plant’s growth by competing for nutrients. “On top of being unsightly, some types of algae can release toxins that can harm plant growth and development.” As for condensation, “moisture is the biggest cause of mould and algae, increasing the risk of plant diseases and bad plant health,” so controlling humidity levels is vital.
To keep your greenhouse spotless and your plants in top condition, there are only five steps you need to follow.
The first step when carrying out “an intensive deep clean” is to take any pots, plants, or obstructions out of your greenhouse so you have access to the entire space. The best time to do this is “during the off-season of growing” before your greenhouse heats up too much.
Once your greenhouse is clear, use a hose to wash down the walls, roof, and floor – this will get rid of any loose debris before you deep clean. “For general day-to-day maintenance, you want to be sure to sweep regularly and remove dead plant material,” Suhail said. After deep cleaning, you should also maintain the space and keep it organised. “Spot clean dirty areas daily or weekly and sweep regularly,” the pro suggested.
Using a greenhouse disinfectant or a “mild detergent” that you can pick up for around 50p, and a soft-bristled brush or cloth, scrub away at any dirty spots, including green slime and mud – this will help “eliminate pests and diseases,” Suhail said. Start with one wall at a time and work your way around in small sections until the entire greenhouse is sparkling. It’s a good idea to do a “pest check” so you know if any further action needs to be taken before moving on to the next step.
It’s important to “maintain the right balance of humidity inside the greenhouse” since it can cause problems if there’s too much. The ideal condition shouldn’t be so wet that dew forms and starts to drip on your plants, as this can cause mould and mildew. An easy way to control the humidity level is to leave the door or window open until things level out or add more space between plants. “Algae thrives in high humidity, so a well-ventilated area will go a long way to helping. However, other ways to get rid of algae include keeping your greenhouse clean and sanitised, ensuring proper drainage, and using shade cloth,” Suhail continued.
“The best way to prevent mould is to ensure proper ventilation. Many choose to do this using fans and vents, which help circulate air and reduce condensation,” the gardening expert explained. Most greenhouses will already have vents installed, so make sure they’re open and clear of any obstructions. You can also add in fans for extra ventilation, although this can be costly to do.
In conclusion, following these five simple steps will help you keep your greenhouse clean and your plants healthy. By taking care of your greenhouse, you can ensure that your plants will thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.