If you are a gardener or just a gardening enthusiast and you do not have a backyard greenhouse, you are missing out. Whether you grow tropical plants or organic vegetables, greenhouses are an effective, consistent, safe and fuss-free way to lengthen your gardening season and to grow beautiful plants that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to grow in your climate.
If you are looking to expand your horizons and take your passion for gardening to the next level, then having your own greenhouse is your golden chance. Whether you’re just taking the plunge or are already someone with a backyard greenhouse, you need some ways to keep up with the structural maintenance so your greenhouse will last for many seasons. Here are 3 easy ways to ensure its longevity.
1. Weatherproof the Structure
One of the biggest advantages of having a greenhouse over planting your little leafy children in open-air beds is that they are protected from harsh weather conditions and covered in all climates. But greenhouse weatherproofing starts with choosing a suitable sheet as a cover. You can’t create the right temperatures or the right draft-free environment without having the right cover.
When it comes to the proper cover material to look for you can either go for UV-insulated horticulture bubble wrap or heavy-duty polyethylene sheeting. If going for bubble wraps, look out for bigger bubbles for durability and optimum insulation. In the case of poly sheets, go for UV-resistant ones and choose thickness according to your specific greenhouse’s needs.
However versatile and durable the sheets of your choice are, the most important thing is to know when to replace them. Like they say: when it’s time, it’s time. Make note of the lifespan of your sheet when you make the purchase.
Most covers are built to last for upwards of five years but start showing signs of deterioration like yellowing and scratching within one to two years. The wear and tear of your cover will also depend on the climatic conditions it is being subjected to and how roughly it is being used.
If you use your cover for longer than prescribed, your plants could bear serious damage like pesky mold, pest infestations and more.
2. Clean Every Inch of the Greenhouse
We know that the upkeep of a greenhouse can get especially tiresome and boring, but what’s necessary cannot be avoided. An annual cleaning keeps your greenhouse pest-free, mold-free and environmentally healthy and conducive for plants to thrive.
Make sure that the weather you choose to clean it in is favourable—ideally, springtime is great for a seasonal clean-up. However, it depends largely on the kind of plants you are harvesting. A fall cleaning works if that suits well within your gardening calendar.
To get started, inspect your plants for any potential mites or scale growing and safely quarantine them. Wash all greenhouse accessories thoroughly with soap, water and possibly bleach. Replace old soils that might have diseases or pathogens and use clean, new, fresh soil for your plants. Disinfect the premises, check the greenhouse frame for potential damages like cracks and crevices that harbour mites and flies and lastly, practice good hygiene in general.
3. Insure your Greenhouse
In addition to a strong polyethylene cover and a thorough spring cleaning, your greenhouse can be protected through home insurance. Home insurance acts as a safety net whenever disaster strikes. It takes months—sometimes years—of work, and loads of blood, sweat and effort to build the backyard greenhouse of your dreams. Whether it is an uncalled-for calamity or the shed itself that needs repairing, home insurance, with additional coverage, could cover it all. Make sure to ask your agent for all the limitations.
There are a bunch of great options available on the market, but to make sure you gain the most out of your deal—research your options, scour the internet, ask your fellow greenhouse owners and then compare, evaluate and choose the most robust, practical, comprehensive policy for your protection.
Owning a greenhouse is a really fun, rewarding and relaxing experience for someone who is passionate about it. If you are that person, we’re sure these 3 tips will come handy in ensuring the longevity of your backyard greenhouse. If you choose the right cover, clean thoroughly and get insurance, you should be all set. Once you tick all the boxes in this list, you’ll be ready to plant all the seedlings you want and watch them grow into full, healthy, beautiful plants.