If you own a commercial greenhouse or have a private greenhouse with a large number of plants and vegetables to protect, learning how to properly plan to maintain the hygiene of it is a vital part of its success. Putting in place a clear plan and process for the cleaning and disinfecting of a greenhouse should follow a few simple steps, and be completely achievable with help from a few detergents and cleaning chemicals and equipment that can help secure a high level of biosecurity at all times within your greenhouse.
For any greenhouse or potting area, without a regular cleaning regime there can become inherent problems that assist in a premature rot on roots and cause other diseases that can destroy your plants and plans. From gnats and root rot, to the accumulation of infectious microbes and algae, there are a number of things to be aware of and that you can try to prevent with the correct approach. Cleaning out your greenhouse and potting areas as early as possible is the sensible approach, cleaning and disinfecting between planting and crop cycles to improve sanitation and reducing the potential for pest populations to grow. It is much easier to do this between crop cycles due to the greenhouse and other areas being empty. You are starting from a clean base, providing a solid and hygienic foundation from which to grow from.
Cleaning a Greenhouse
The cleaning process within a greenhouse typically involved removing all weeds from the surface, any debris and extra soil. This should be conducted throughout all surfaces, as well as any equipment that is stored in the greenhouse. It is important to perform this step as any soil and residue from organic matters can be a barrier when you then try to use disinfectants at the next step of the cleaning process. Soap and water is a simple method, but it does help to remove greasy deposits, however there are greenhouse specific cleaning detergents that can be purchased to thoroughly perform the task at hand. Start from the top of the greenhouse, sweeping any dirt and residue down to the floor, cleaning out any irrigation systems also.
Disinfecting a Greenhouse
There are a few areas on a micro level that require disinfecting to thoroughly cleanse the greenhouse and leave a blank, hygienic slate from which you can grow new plants, fruit and vegetables safely. Dust particles may have fallen, causing fungi and bacteria to grow. As thorough as you have been during the initial cleaning process, a high quality disinfectant is the only way to know that this type of problem has completely been removed.
Disinfectants offer you a higher level of control over plant pathogens that can cause long-term problems for your greenhouse plans. A healthy disinfectant regime can also help to manage algae and prevent the growth of gnats and shore flies, which can be devastating to a greenhouse.
Cleaning and disinfecting your greenhouse when empty, and doing the same with all containers and equipment that will be used in the up-coming cycle will provide you with the best chance to have successful growth and to reduce the chances of crop failure through infection or disease.