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Cleaning your Greenhouse

To be honest, cleaning the greenhouse on a cold winter's day is not the most pleasant of tasks but it has to be done. Over the year the glass gets dirty and possibly has algae growing on it which will reduce the light that gets through by as much as 10%.

The other reason to thoroughly clean the house is to kill off the pests and problems that are overwintering inside, sheltered from the elements.

Best time to clean a greenhouse

The best time for cleaning your greenhouse will be when the crops have finished so the house is empty before you put the overwintering plants indoors to shelter. This will vary but usually we're looking at a fine sunny day between November and February.


Greenhouse Cleaning

If you can run a hosepipe up to your greenhouse the job will be easier and if you have one of the specific greenhouse and conservatory cleaning brushes that connect to a hosepipe easier still. Incidentally, a car cleaning hosepipe brush can step in here. A jet-wash can also be useful but not too much pressure on the glazing please.

Otherwise it's a bucket of water with a good squirt of dish detergent, a large sponge and a soft broom.

Use the sponge to get soapy water onto the glass and the broom to scrub (gently!). Start from the top and work down, finishing with clean water with just a spot of detergent which helps avoid streaking on the glass.

Cleaning the Greenhouse Method

Jeyes fluid

Now for the inside which is more important than the outside. Start by emptying out as much as you can. All those pots under the staging and the half bag of compost you popped in there 'just for now'. Take the staging outside if it's removable. Now a good brush down with a soft broom. Get rid of those spider webs and old leaves that had blown behind the staging. An invaluable tool for cleaning the inside is a sprayer. You don't need anything fancy, even those small ones they sell in the pound shop will do the job. Rather than detergent, use Jeyes fluid following the instructions on the tin as to dilution.

Spray all those nooks and crannies that a greenhouse has, inside the channels is often where pests decide to hide away. Clean the glass with a sponge using the same mix.

Wash Pots and Staging

Any pots that are being kept in the greenhouse can be washed now and the staging given a good going over before taking back in.

Job Done!

By now you're probably half-soaked and frozen so take yourself in for a hot bath and a mug of warming soup and bask in the pleasure of a job well done that will help you get off to a good start next year free from problems in your greenhouse.

Copyright © John Harrison 2015

About the Author: John Harrison has grown his own for 40 years. and is the author of a number of best-selling books on the subject including Vegetable Growing Month by Month. Described as Britain's Greatest Allotment Authority by the Independent on Sunday he also writes for a number of gardening magazines. He lives in North Wales.

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