Cleaning the greenhouse is not necessarily the most exciting task in the garden but, to me, it represents the new season and all the pleasures that follows: Beautiful produce, the wonderful smell of flowers and herbs, a safe house when it is raining and you want to be outside, and a warm place to spend the long summer nights with family and friends.
So even though, a good cleaning takes time and a lot of hard work, it is well worth the effort, and there is nothing more satisfying that enjoying a cup of tea in a newly cleaned greenhouse.
Remember greenhouse cleaning prevents pests and diseases, so be really thorough.
Depending on where you live, the greenhouse season will be long or short. In Denmark, the season typically last from March to October but since March and April can be really cold, delicate plants like tomato, cucumber, aubergine melon and chilli will have to wait until May before being planted. However, I like to clean my greenhouse in March, giving me two months to enjoy the warmth, even on rainy days.
Where to start
Start with removing any left plants. If you are lucky enough to have a climate that allows plants to hibernate, keep them under fleece protection in a sheltered area while cleaning the greenhouse. Sweep the floor and rid of leaves, moss and dead bugs. Remember to clean the window panes. They are usually filled with dried algae. I like to use a vacuum cleaner as well but make sure the vacuum cleaner is suited for the task. Do not use your ordinary vacuum cleaner.
Next get dressed for the occasion. Wear a waterproof jacket and some eye protection. I like to use my goggles. They prevent detergent from hitting my eyes.
A good cleaning
Bring out a hose or a pressure washer and rinse the inside of the greenhouse. You don’t need a pressure washer but it makes the job a lot easier – and more fun!
Mix water and disinfectant or detergent in a bucket. Be absolutely sure that the product is suited for greenhouse cleaning and strictly follow any guidelines. Don’t be tempted to make the mixture a little more potent. It might damage the greenhouse, or worse, you.
Use a soft brush and clean the structural parts as well as the windows. Remove filth, algae and moss. Do two or three windows at a time, then rinse with water. Remember to remove dirt between the panes. Give the greenhouse a final rinse with water and allow it to dry. Leave the door and windows wide open to help the drying process.
When dry, sweep the floor one last time. You will probably find a lot of dead spiders, algae and some moss.
Get you favourite chair, make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy the smell of freshly cleaned greenhouse, and spring.