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Top 5 -yesterday
- Coal and pink tomatoes: the challenges for Polish growers
- Healthy seeds, and good germination with Plasma Activated Water seed treatment
- J. Huete International builds high-tech greenhouse for seed research in South America
- NZ: Return of the watermelon
- Tropicalia Greenhouse in Northern France blends perfectly with surroundings
Top 5 -last week
Top 5 -last month
- Zambia: "We produce 5,000 units of lettuce per week, per tunnel, year-round"
- UK growers stop planting and put nurseries on sale amidst energy crisis and labor shortage
- Passive solar greenhouses: How Ladakh farmers are harvesting crops in winter
- "High-tech farmer AppHarvest is running out of money"
- German family company switches from tomato cultivation to hydroponic lettuce
Common greenhouse maintenance problems
In a greenhouse, everything gets dirty. Unless you’re using hydroponics or some other growing medium, soil is literally at the root of everything you cultivate. And it has a way of finding itself onto many of the surfaces under glass. As if that wasn’t enough, the glass itself also gets dirty. Water vapour is distributed around the glasshouse, condenses on the inner surfaces, and then when it evaporates, leaves condensation nuclei behind. On the outside, standing water encourages the growth of fungi and attracts pests. Aluminium-framed greenhouses accumulate dirt in the joints between panes of glass and also where the glass comes in close contact with the framing itself. Once the dirt and grime is allowed to settle, it can attract pests and mould. And as the weather worsens, so will the problems associated with it.
Keeping your glasshouse clean
The most effective way to clean glass and other surfaces is with a jetwash in-between seasons, when the glasshouse is likely to be empty or nearly so. Gutters are a nuisance to clean out and probably best left to the experts who are used to climbing up and onto greenhouses. You certainly don’t want to fall through the glass roof. That said, you can sweep the floors anytime, and doing so as you go makes the job a lot easier than waiting until it’s really a mess. Disinfectants are another thing that must be handled by those who really know what they’re doing. If you’re not sure or haven’t done it before, then it’s probably a good idea to get someone to do it for you. Chemicals can be dangerous if they are mishandled.
Everything in a glasshouse, including the structure itself, can break or malfunction. That means that you need to constantly be on the lookout for problems and get them fixed as soon as possible.
Heaters tend to corrode when pipes leak. It’s much cheaper to catch a leak early than to wait until it becomes a steady drip or worse. You also want to make sure you have enough fuel stored up before you need it. Buy it during the off-season. Then you’ll have it when you need it.
Door and window seals should be checked each season. They tend to break down with use and from changes in the weather. Grease your racks and pinions, too; at least annually. And check your windows periodically to make sure that the close all the way. Do this at least every season. You want to find out that they don’t seal properly before the cold weather sets in; not after.
Screens also wear with use. Be sure you check them for tears and holes. You don’t want one coming apart when you need to open it, especially if it occurs on one of those days where the sun is in and out of the clouds.
Keep fans free of the dirt and gunge that builds up from excessive lubrication. Wherever there are moving parts, apply only as much as you need to do the job; and be sure to wipe off the excess when you’re finished.
Check everything that transports or stores water for leaks or cracks. Remember that water “finds its own level”, so you may have to do some investigating to find the actual source of the problem.
Check for cracked or broken glass and replace damaged panes as soon as you notice them. Gaps can let insects in, and water that freezes in the cracks can make the situation much worse. Look over all of your glasshouse; not just in the obvious high use areas. It’s worth taking a close look after a day of high winds or a strong storm. Look especially for signs of corrosion or breaks in the metal itself.
There are likely to be parts of your glasshouse that you don’t visit very often. Don’t overlook these. Check your wires, for example, for evidence of wear and gnawing. If you happen to have a back-up power supply, then run it at least once per year so that you’re confident that it works. And check your lights. LEDs and high-efficiency bulbs last longer than the old tungsten lamps, but nothing lasts forever. Inspect these things before you need them.
It’s been said that that an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to your glasshouse and the equipment that you use with it. The easiest way to prevent problems from occurring is to follow a routine inspection schedule. If you do a little bit each week or every couple of weeks, then it won’t take you more than a few minutes at a time. Create a routine that works for you. and then put it into practice. You can even delegate the easy stuff. The goal, of course, is to prevent downtime. If you think you’re too busy to inspect your equipment, then think about what you stand to lose if your equipment broke down for a couple of hours, a day or longer.
For more information:
20 Harwich Road
T: +44 (0) 1206 230 729
F: +44 (0) 1206 231 109
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Other news in this sector:
- 2022-11-30 US (WY): Enactus members construct greenhouse for Riverview residents
- 2022-11-29 Air raid shelter becomes underground farm in Clapham, south London
- 2022-11-28 Snacking trend leads to increased year-round production of mini cucumbers
- 2022-11-28 India: Krishnagiri growers are discovering the benefits of CEA
- 2022-11-28 US (AK): BIA awards T&H $2 million for greenhouse expansion project
- 2022-11-25 State media review: North Korea rewards greenhouse workers with new homes
- 2022-11-25 Influence of exogenous application of glycine betaine on strawberry
- 2022-11-23 How to install a double-layer inflated plastic
- 2022-11-22 UK: Heating system explodes on Essex farm, setting greenhouse on fire
- 2022-11-15 Maurice adopted ValkTwinRail ventilation system in its greenhouse in the Netherlands
- 2022-11-14 Texas A&M AgriLife seeks input on controlled environment agriculture
- 2022-11-11 Omaha restaurant uses greenhouse to grow their produce
- 2022-11-08 Philippines: Harnessing digitalization for smart agriculture
- 2022-11-04 US (KY): AppHarvest opens 30-acre indoor farm to grow strawberries and cucumbers
- 2022-11-04 Uzbekistan: Measures defined to support greenhouses
- 2022-11-04 "Urban greenhouses need to be intergrated with the urban environment"
- 2022-11-03 Canadian greenhouse season transitions into Mexico
- 2022-11-02 50 million USD geothermal greenhouse to be established in Kirsehir, Türkiye
- 2022-11-01 Banana growers from Hatay, Türkiye note that greenhouse production costs cause production decline
- 2022-11-01 First greenhouse tomato harvest has started in greenhouses in Antalya