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Cleaning the greenhouse

Posted: Wednesday 9 January 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

I’m starting January with my customary clear out. I always clean the greenhouse at this time of year...


Gardener cleaning the outer panes of a greenhouse with a long-handled brush

Happy new year – may 2013 be better for veg growers than its predecessor. I can’t say 2012 was my favourite year, and it was undoubtedly the worst I’ve known on my veg plot.

I’m starting January with my customary clear out. I always clean the greenhouse at this time of year, composting or binning any winter plant casualties. Somehow after Christmas I always feel mentally tougher and better able to throw out plants I should have binned long since.

Seed packets that are way past their sell-by date, or contain seeds that I’ll never use will all have to go. I’ll also ditch the seed tray labels that have turned brittle through prolonged exposure to sunlight, and have no space left on them for plant names.

The last few weeks of damp, with the greenhouse doors closed, has caused a build up of algae. So, the glazing will have to be cleaned again. Once that’s done, I’ll take the opportunity to tidy beneath the benches, to deprive the mice of hiding places. I’m determined to keep the greenhouse mouse-free this year. Last year they wreaked havoc, unearthing seeds and decapitating young plants.

Red spider mite can overwinter in tiny cracks and crevices, so I’ll be sure to scrub the whole greenhouse structure with a brush and soapy water. I didn’t have any problem with spider mite last winter, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.

This virtuous activity is always very satisfying, and makes me feel prepared for the year ahead. Roll on 2013, and a productive growing season!





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