Annual cleaning

The annual cleaning of the inside and outside of the greenhouse and cold frame is central to good husbandry. The aim is to clear away all rubbish and weeds, kill all lingering pests and diseases, and ensure that the cover, w hether of glass or plastic, will once again allow maximum admission of light. It may he done whenever it is most convenient, but the autumn suits many cropping programmes.

inside Remove all plants from the greenhouse as well as any easily moved obstructions such as temporary benching or shelving. Cover with polythene sheeting all electrical points and fixed electric or gas equipment before thoroughly washing the interior with soapy water and a soft brush; the green algal growth that forms on glazing near soil level may require the use ot' a scrubbing brush. Follow ilns with a rinse of clear water to which a small quantity of formaldehyde or J eyes Fluid has been added. Make a note ot any repairs that may be necessary. It is advisable to remove sand or shingle from the greenhouse benches. It should be replaced with fresh material it available, or thoroughly washed before it is used again. Both benching and shelving should be well scrubbed before they are returned to the greenhouse.

outside Remove weeds growing in the vicinity of the greenhouse and frame, and scrub the panes of glass or polythene cover as well as the framework with soapy water; make sure that the gutters and rainwater butt are cleaned out, too. Algal growth between overlapping panes of glass can often be removed with the aid of a good jet of water from a hosepipe.

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