Keeping Your Greenhouse
Clean & Pest-Free
Cleanliness is a key ingredient for a healthy greenhouse. Your goal should be a spotless greenhouse where insects and fungi have a hard time surviving. Now is a perfect time to clean house.
Follow this step-by-step guide to ensure your greenhouse starts clean and stays clean! You’ll remove dirt and organic matter from your greenhouse by starting at the top and working your way down. Once you have removed the dirt and organic matter you will then disinfect all the surfaces.
1. Clean your polycarbonate, glass, benches, and floors with detergent or mild soap.
- Remove as much dirt and organic matter from glass or polycarbonate
- Clean the top and underneath the benches
- Use long handled scrub brush to remove dirt, algae and debris from floor
- Remove grates and clean trench drains and catch basins
- Disconnect the bleed off if your system is equipped with one
- Remove all debris from pads and reservoirs
- Rinse the pan area
- Fill the reservoir with clean water and add J.R.’s Once-Through Cleaner
- Disengage blower and circulate for 6 to 12 hours. Repeat if build up is excessive
- At the end of cleaning, attach hose to drain and flush reservoir
- Engage blower and refill reservoir with fresh clean water and J.R. Evaporative Cooler Treatment
4. Inspect, repair and replace boot scrapers at entrance (consider using a shoe bath with disinfectant at entrance of greenhouse to prevent dirty boots from bring in insects, fungi and bacteria.
5. End by cleaning your sink. Kip it sparkling every day.
Now you are ready to disinfect. We recommend hydrogen dioxide or quaternary ammonium chloride salts for disinfecting greenhouses. Hydrogen dioxide (hydrogen peroxide) is an oxidizer that kills fungi, bacteria, and algae on contact by denaturing proteins and lipids. Zerotol, Sanidate, GreenCleanPRO and Terraclean are hydrogen dioxide-based products that are labeled for different uses and types of surfaces. Quaternary ammonium chloride salts are either ADBAC, (GreenShield & Microbloc), or benzylkonium chloride (Physan 20). These general disinfectants kill viruses, bacteria, fungi, mildew, and algae while also deodorizing. Physan 20 can also be used to treat seeds and plants.
The number one carrier of diseases is actually the water you grow your plants with. To keep your greenhouse clean, consider treating your system with a water disinfectant chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide will kill algae, bacteria, and fungi in your irrigation lines. You can choose to dedicate an injector to continuously maintain your irrigation system at low rates. Or you can shock treat your irrigation system to remove pest build up in lines at higher rates.
Other good rules for your greenhouse:
- No smoking. If you do smoke, disinfect your hands before entering the greenhouse to prevent spreading tobacco mosaic virus.
- Clean your boots before entering or change into a clean pair of greenhouse shoes or boots.
- Keep hose ends off the floor.
- Remove pet plants, unnecessary plants, infested plants, and weeds under benches.
- Control ants as they can harbor and protect aphids, mealy bugs and scales. Disinfect the handling area.