It won’t be long until the snow starts to hit the ground and hot cocoa will be the most fetched item from the cupboard. Winter is coming.
As the season arrives soon, there’ll be more things to look forward to but to prepare for as well. One of which is the crops in the greenhouse.
It’s tricky to care for crops and plants in this type of weather. It may even prove to be more difficult and demanding. Although there’ll be little to no control over external conditions, the greenhouse is still under a homeowner’s management. Here are some helpful tips to get through winter while making the most out of it.
A Thorough Cleaning
The best place way to start is with a blank canvas (almost). Remove any plants that have completed their harvest cycle, especially for fruits and vegetables prone to disease. Doing so will prevent other crops from getting affected. Additionally, replace old soil or compost with fresh one to minimize the risk of diseases and pests. For a successful harvest, it’s always best to start anew.
While it’s natural for a greenhouse to get grime on windows and soil in crevices, cleaning them will prevent any unwanted build-up. It would be a shame for much-needed sunlight to be blocked by grimy windows. To add, it’ll help preserve the quality of the greenhouse. With a bucket of hot water and disinfectant, scrub and clean the dirt away. After emptying and cleaning pots and trays too, sweep the floors to get any debris out of the way.
On that note, be sure to tackle the roof too, especially corrugated PVC roofing sheets. Get rid of any dirt, dead leaves, and such to make the most of its transparent abilities and provide ample sunlight for the cold times. Now there’s your fresh start for the next season.
Grease Up and Fix-Up
Nobody wants a squeaky window or a noisy door. Oil window and door hinges, doorknobs, etc. especially when winter is coming/ lubricate anything that needs lubricating so it can move or open with little to no friction from the other parts. This way, windows, and doors will shut completely and smoothly.
Should there be any holes or gaps, be sure to cover them up. Drastic changes in temperature or the cold weather itself could harm the health of your crops. Be sure to do this before the snow hits the ground so it’s easier to patch up and your crops can experience more consistent environmental conditions.
Install a Heating System
You might have zero control over the weather, but at least the interior of a greenhouse is yours to reign. When deciding on a system, consider your greenhouse’s structure, especially the amount of heat it will lose. Depending on the state of your greenhouse and the materials used, it may have fractures and holes through which cold air may enter. Conduction, convection, and radiation are examples of heat transmission methods.
Install a Watering System
Water systems can include drip irrigation, overhead sprinklers, water trays, and sub-irrigation. You may use more than one method based on your crops’ demands and watering schedule. For example, a sub-irrigation system can help you save money on water and fertilizer. On the other hand, if you prefer a more convenient method, go for sprinklers. But if both sound pretty good to you, you can opt to install both depending on the crops’ nourishment needs. Besides, wouldn’t you rather curl up in bed with a warm cup of coffee than having to water your plants in the morning?
Once you’ve decided on a heating system, you’ll need a vent or two and a fan to go with it. The basic function of vents and fans is to allow some air to escape, which aids in temperature regulation inside the greenhouse. Having this system in place promotes healthy and quality air circulation for your crops.
Mind the Temperature
Keeping an eye out on the temperature is more important than you would imagine, especially during winter. If there’s a sudden drop in temperature, you’re able to mitigate the problem before it gets worse. After all, the purpose of having a greenhouse is to keep tabs on the environment in which your crops grow. Install a thermometer inside your greenhouse, so you can easily determine what changes must be done to ensure the health of your crops.
Even after having done all these, maintenance and regular monitoring should be done to make sure that everything is working properly. But until then, get a head start on it.