Mornings are getting cooler. This means that summer is over and cold season is already around the corner. Each of us is trying to find time to prepare his household for winter. Of course, this winterizing of your home should include also the greenhouse preparation for the coming winter.
At first glance, preparing a greenhouse for the winter is not too difficult. However, the main role of a greenhouse is to protect your plants from cold temperatures. Therefore, greenhouses that are not prepared for the cold season and leak are not able to protect your plants, however. Taking time to winterize the greenhouse will help your flowers and plants survive even the lowest temperatures. Here are just a few tips how to prepare your greenhouse for the upcoming winter.
Declutter Your Greenhouse
During the summer, your greenhouse can turn into a storage for yard tools, empty pots, soil and fertilizer bags, and other supplies. Winterizing your greenhouse should start with the removing of anything that clutters the space and does not belong there. So remove and carry them away to their proper place.
It is also a good idea, to take the opportunity and wash out and air-dry your trays, the empty starter and flower pots. In this way, they will be ready for use next spring.
Clean Your Greenhouse from Bottom to Top
Clean thoroughly the glass walls of your greenhouse to remove grime, dirt and dust from them. If you scrub well the glass walls your plants will have a maximum sun exposure during the winter.
You need also, to clean all your greenhouse shelves with detergent and warm water.
Repair Vents, Siding and Doors
If you want your plants to survive the cold months, the green house should maintain a quite steady temperature around 60 degrees (about 16 Celsius degrees) and even higher. Therefore, you need to repair and replace all the weather stripping around the vents and door, to repair the damaged siding and to caulk if it is needed. However, for large gaps you should use a foam sealing that will keep the heat inside.
Beef Up Your Greenhouse Insulation
A good insulation is vital for your greenhouse. Its main role is to retain the warmth generated by the lamps and sun and protect your plants from frost. A bubble insulation can provide an important heat saving. You need only to apply a bubble insulation sheet to the inside of the roof and walls. This transparent bubble sheet can reduce significant your heating cost by at least 45%. In the spring, you can easily remove it. You need only to roll it up and store in a corner until needed again. The life span of the bubble insulation is approximately 4 years.
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to provide heat can be thermal storage. The principle is indeed extremely simple and is based on the thermal properties of different materials. You need only dense thermal-mass materials such as rocks, bricks or water able to store the solar heat during the day. This heat will be release slowly at night.
Check the Electricity Panel and Lights
Make sure everything is in order with the electrical panel and lights. You do not want to have an unpleasant surprise, such as a short circuit on a frosty winter night, do you? However, a battery-operated alarm is critical in case of a power outage. It is always good to have a backup such as a gas heater that can save your plants in emergencies.