Warmer weather is here at last! Spring is an exciting time of renewal and growth. But it is also the busiest time of year for commercial greenhouse growers.
To get the most out of your greenhouse, it is important that you take certain steps to ensure your greenhouse is ready for the summer. By decluttering, doing a thorough clean and checking all equipment, you can create the optimal growing environment for your plants.
Here are a few points you may want to consider doing during the spring to keep your greenhouse in its best running order during the busy season:
1. Make sure ventilation remains ideal
Insufficient ventilation can cause plants to become sick and leaves them vulnerable to a variety of pests. To prevent this, you should ensure there are enough vents in your greenhouse and that they are positioned correctly to promote good air circulation.
If poor ventilation is a recurring issue, consider investing in an automatic vent opener. This type of technology is solar-powered and doesn’t require electricity. When heat builds up, the automatic vent opens up to allow air to escape. Then when the temperatures cool down, the vent starts to close. This helps protect your plants from fungal diseases, high humidity and temperature extremes.
Another option is to place sensors on automatic ventilation systems like vented roofs, side vents and forced fans. These sensors will alert you if these systems stop running or start operating outside preset parameters.
2. Schedule a deep cleaning
If you want to maintain optimal growing conditions in your greenhouse, an annual deep cleaning is essential. Typically, greenhouses don’t get much attention during the winter, allowing algae, moss, dirt and pests to multiply. That’s why a deep cleaning is often necessary in the spring.
For a deep cleaning, you’ll want to remove everything from your greenhouse. This is the perfect opportunity to check the structural integrity and eliminate any pests or diseases. Once the greenhouse is empty, the next step is the actual cleaning of the greenhouse. This includes sanitizing all surfaces and tools, cleaning floors, and removing any spilled soil, plant debris or anything that is cluttering your greenhouse.
Cleaning greenhouse windows is also key to improving the growing environment for plants. Removing algae, moss and dirt from glass lets in more light and helps control pests and diseases as well.
The cleaning process takes time, so plan accordingly. Ideally, you should set aside a few days for cleaning.
3. Perform end of winter maintenance
Routine maintenance is essential to providing the best growing conditions for your plants, especially after the cold winter months. Testing your ventilation system, irrigation system, heating and cooling systems, etc. ensures that your greenhouse will function properly in the warmer months ahead. In addition, it helps prevent floods, fires or other costly, and often easily preventable, issues. Be sure to also check all cords, tubes and lights for any damage.
Winter damage to greenhouse structures is often an area of concern. During your deep cleaning, keep an eye out for any structural issues or broken equipment. Make note of any issues and be sure to schedule repairs or replacements before your busy season starts.
4. Invest in a remote monitoring system
Temperature, humidity levels, lighting and fan circulation are crucial to preventing mold, algae, mildew and disease and maximizing your plant yield. A remote monitoring system can monitor all these environmental conditions using hardwired or wireless sensors. If any condition goes outside your preset range, the device instantly alerts designated personnel by phone, email or text. And you can check conditions from anywhere online or via the app.
Remote monitoring systems also function as data loggers. You can identify patterns and trends in environmental conditions and get insight into issues before they threaten your plants. The systems automatically record tens of thousands of data points, dates, and times that you can view, graph, and print.
Sensaphone offers a full line of innovative remote monitoring systems for the greenhouse industry. Installation is quick, easy and, in most cases, does not require hiring an outside expert.
If you need help deciding on the right system for your greenhouse, give us a call at 877-373-2700 or contact us. Our experts can answer your questions and help you choose a solution.