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How to Keep Your Greenhouse Clean

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Before cleaning the greenhouse, make sure that appropriate measures are taken to minimize emissions to the environment from the cleaning products. For more information on emissions and environmental policy implemented locally, we advise contacting your local Environment Office. If the crop is infested with a disease such as Verticillium, Bacterial Ulcer or an invasive virus, seek professional advice before cleaning. A nursery-specific hygiene protocol is required in order to design an effective cleaning strategy.

Cleaning

  • Empty the entire greenhouse: remove any plant material, substrates and cover plastic (if used). Sensitive equipment such as the WCM must be protected and the sensor removed from the plates. Due to the risk of pests and diseases do not compost from contaminated plant residues near the greenhouse.
  • If the substrates are not placed in gutters, correct the ground if it is uneven. This will improve irrigation management and reduce the risk of Pythium contamination caused by surface water. Make sure that the gutters have a slope of 0.1%.
  • If necessary, now is the time to replace its plastic greenhouse.
  • Before disinfecting the greenhouse all surfaces must be clean and free of organic matter. Check with your supplier the most suitable disinfectant for your needs. Treat the upper areas first starting at the door and prevent re-infection in the cleaned areas.
  • Greenhouses must be washed to remove dirt that accumulates during during the season in order to allow maximum light penetration for the new crop.
    Also, wash the internal structure of the greenhouse. In case of perennial floor coverings, wash the floor with a suitable disinfectant.
  • Work backwards towards the entrance of the greenhouse and prevent re-entry into the cleaned areas. Use clean high-pressure clean water to which detergent or acid (eg peracetic acid, hydrofluoric acid or oxalic acid) may be added. For outdoor use use acid with a concentration of 10% while for indoor use acid with a concentration of 1%. As with all chemicals use the appropriate protective clothing when applying read the manufacturer’s instructions before use. If in doubt, contact your supplier for the best action plan.
  • After 24 hours, rinse again with clean water to prevent the glass from becoming cloudy.
    The irrigation system must also be cleaned. See the newsletter ‘Cleaning and inspection of the irrigation system’.

Preparing for the new crop:

  • After cleaning, and if required, a new protective floor plastic can be installed. Perennial mypex protective covers should be wiped clean of plant debris and washed with the appropriate disinfectant. Make sure the polyethylene is not contaminated: spread it on dry ground and use two groups (one will remain on the uncovered ground and the other on the plastic). Make sure that the edges are sufficiently covered to prevent the soil from being exposed later in the season and taking into account the contamination of this floor with plant debris by people who move in the area constantly.
  • Clean again and sterilize the floor as soon as the polyethylene is installed.
  • Insert the substrates and place them in their places. Consult the ‘Handling and Slab contraction’ newsletter

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