Cleaning the greenhouse

by Pippa Greenwood

...the daffodils have been stirring (in tandem with the snowdrops!) and I have the urge to spring clean the greenhouse.

Hosing down the panes of a greenhouseI reckon that spring is in the air, albeit intermittently. The daffodils have been stirring (in tandem with the snowdrops!) and I have the urge to spring clean the greenhouse.

A good clear out makes a lot of sense - it's good to make space for all the chitting seed potatoes, seed trays, pots and propagators. It also forces me to throw things away. So, out go the weird, wonderful and unused gadgets. Out go the seed packets that I've kept for years on the assumption that I might one day sow the contents.

Although I've been horrified at how much 'stuff' I've unearthed, there is something very satisfying about scrubbing down staging and cleaning the frame of the greenhouse. (I can't say I experience a similar feeling of satisfaction when I'm doing housework).

I don't use any chemical cleaners, but I do use some eco-friendly washing up liquid when I can't achieve the effect I want with elbow grease alone. I'm pleased to say that I've managed to loosen just about all of the algae and grime that has accumulated between the panes in the last year. A jet wash with a hose attachment is all it took. The secret is to do it once, allowing the water to loosen everything up, then repeat the process an hour or two later.

All that remains is to write myself a reminder to keep the greenhouse tidier this year.

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Gardeners' World Web User 22/02/2009 at 18:36

Thanks for the sound advice on the greenhouse. My next concern is that in the past I have re-used pots from year to year, removing the old compost, but this year I thought it would be best to clean the pots to ensure they are totally clean to use again. Any advice on what is best practise for cleaning and if there is anything that should be added to the water to aid the cleaning, or is it water and elbow grease ??? Would mild washing up liquid do any damage ? Regards

Gardeners' World Web User 23/02/2009 at 04:49

I clean my greenhouse every year using a hefty squirt of Fairy washing-up liquid in a bucket of lukewarm water. It does the job beautifully, inside and out, and although I generally rinse it off with clean water after the scrub, I don't really think it is necessary. The rain does the rest anyway. There has been no effect on the plants in a bed beside the greenhouse either.

Gardeners' World Web User 23/02/2009 at 11:42

I clean my greenhouse with the recommended amount of Jeyes Fluid to warm water. For the stubborn algae, I have added a squirt of Fairy Liquid. This seems to do the job quite satisfactorily. I then give both inside and out a good rinse with the hose pipe. The glass is sparkling and all set for the new season.

Gardeners' World Web User 23/02/2009 at 12:11

I use a little Ecover washing up liquid, but even then only when really necessary - elbow grease and an old fashioned scrubbing brush do the trick on most occasions !

Gardeners' World Web User 25/02/2009 at 12:45

Where do i buy elbow grease?

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