As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. The cost of greenhouse sanitation is minimal in comparison to the costs associated with fixing problems, such as weeding and chemical pest control. The key to greenhouse sanitation is to have all employees trained to “think clean” and to be able to identify and watch for insect, disease and weed issues before they become a problem in the greenhouse.
Inside the greenhouse
Greenhouse floors and benches are potential sources of disease and insect contamination for greenhouse crops. Floors and benches should be cleaned and sanitized between each crop. This includes discarding non-saleable plant material from the benches and removing weeds and debris from under benches. Do not use herbicides inside closed areas.
Once the trash has been removed, the entire area should be sanitized with either bleach or a greenhouse sanitizer. Wooden benches can harbor pathogens more than metal benches, so additional sanitation is required to assure eradication. Likewise, soil floors under benches can also be home to more pathogens than concrete. At a minimum, cover open soil areas under benches with weed barrier cloth and avoid standing water. No matter how clean the floors are kept, they can always be a source of contamination. Keep all tools and water wands off the floor and sanitize on a weekly basis.