Winter greenhouse maintenance is mostly down to good preparation so the ideal time to carry this out is not winter but autumn. When the greenhouse has been emptied of summer plants and the real cold of winter has not yet hit, you have the ideal opportunity to get some things in order. This will help make sure your greenhouse is ready to cope with the winter weather and come through ready for use when spring returns.
Repairs and Sealing
While the greenhouse is less crowded or empty and you are already in there getting it ready for the winter, this is the ideal time to carry out some repair work. As well as the fact that you have a good opportunity, this will help to prepare it to withstand the wet weather and extreme temperatures of the winter which might otherwise cause problems.
A few basic maintenance checks should be your starting point here. Check that doors, opening windows and other moving parts move freely. If they don’t, give them a bit of oil.
Next, you should check your glazing. Obviously any broken glass should be replaced. Check any sealant or caulk around the glass and reseal if necessary. Caulking many panes of glass is repetitive and soon becomes automatic so don’t make the surprisingly common mistake of caulking vents shut.
If you are keeping some plants in your greenhouse over winter you may want to add additional, temporary sealing around vents and window frames with adhesive tape. This will help keep out cold winds and make sure your greenhouse stays warm.
Clean and Clear
Make sure any plants that won’t survive the winter have been properly cleared out. Also clear up any fallen leaves or other bits of dead plant matter that are cluttering up your greenhouse. Make sure to save any fruits or vegetables that you might still be able to ripen later.
Give the structure of your greenhouse a good clean. Wash the panes and the framework and treat wooden frames with a disinfectant or a preservative if you feel that either of these treatments are necessary. While washing the panes, make sure any paint or shading material is removed if you are keeping plants over winter. You want to make sure every possible beam of sunlight can enter your greenhouse to help your plants survive the colder months.
If any of your plants have problems with pests this is another thing that should be “cleaned out.” This is the ideal opportunity to deal with pest problems, while the number of plants in your greenhouse that might need treating is at a minimum. If you leave it off, the pests may still be there next spring and get a chance to infest your new seasonal plants.
Check Your Heating
The last thing to do is check heating systems. Making sure these are in good working order could prove vital to keeping your plants healthy throughout the winter. If there are any problems, investigate them and either repair or replace heaters as necessary.