Cleaning Rituals Exposed
After covering the greenhouse with the new Solexx panels, it quickly became a haven for over-wintering plants through the snow covered drifts of December. A myriad of tools, supplies, books, pots, and bird seed were clumsily stacked high and piled in corners. Tropical plants crowded and jammed the floor covered in frost cloth. Plants were moved onto the patio and the spring ritual of cleansing began.
Sweeping Out the Past
The sand and crushed gravel floor of the greenhouse is enclosed by gray cement pavers down the middle. The sides were choked with volunteer weeds. The pavers got swept. Weeds pulled. Spider egg sacs and cobwebs gathered and gently placed under rocks in the garden. Benches and racks cleaned with Windex and old dish rags. An inventory list of what each bench houses is prepared and my chicken scratch typed into Excel. The printed list will be posted on the greenhouse wall so I can quickly find or replace commonly used items. Materials or supplies stored year-over-year collecting dust will be donated to Goodwill or set aside for the yearly garage sale.
Inspected for cracks, broken containers are placed in a shard pile for future use in bottom of pots. Dirt encrusted pots are cleaned with a weak solution of bleach, dish soap and water. Sparkling clean and neatly stacked containers are easier to locate by size and color. Potting media is kept off the ground by stacking on a wooden bench.
Handles and Tools
Linseed oil is applied to all wooden tool handles. A new bucket of builder’s sand and a quart of motor oil mixed together will keep larger tool blades clean and rust free. Cotton rounds soaked in isopropyl alcohol rubbed on hand tools blades prevents diseases from spreading from one plant to another. I prefer cotton rounds over cotton balls as they bend around blade edges easily and protect my fingers. The cotton rounds also work better on jagged pruning saw edges.
Walk around the greenhouse. Check the panels and screw entry points. Tighten or loosen screws as needed. Open the base vents to let fresh air inside. Clean any mold forming on the panels – especially the roof – with weak mixture of bleach, dish soap and water.
Prepping for the New Growing Season
A sparkling clean 6×8 greenhouse can be readied for starting seeds in one day’s time. There is nothing like opening the greenhouse door and actually being able to walk inside. It smells fresh and beckons to grow. For the first time in over seven years, the seed bench is actually being used for its intended purpose.
Follow the germination ruminations as the seeds push through the handmade potting soil and chick grit in the weeks to come!