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Green Houses/ Winter Maintenance

Supplier: David Gill Greenhouses

The most important ingredient for winter production is light, without good quality light you are wasting good dollars with heating costs and maximising on normally higher product prices through the winter months.

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Winter maintenance chores

The most important ingredient for winter production is light, without good quality light you are wasting good dollars with heating costs and maximising on normally higher product prices through the winter months.

The following are a list of items that I believe to be important to maintain good winter production and avoid unnecessary costs through lack of maintenance.

1. WASH YOUR ROOFS

Plastic, polycarb and glass rooved greenhouses all need to be washed in the late autumn to increase light levels inside your greenhouse during the winter months.

Depending on how much dust and mould are on the outside of the roof will correlate to how much your production increases.

Dust and pollution form the atmosphere that fall on the roof of your greenhouse will block 10/15 % of light from your crop, as it still costs the same dollars in over heads to produce a crop in a greenhouse, 10/15 % are dollars you can’t afford to lose.

If your greenhouse film is more than 3 years old you will need to check whether it is worth washing or just replace it.

To wash your roofs all you need is water, brooms, hession or sponge mops, 3 to 4 men with water proofs on.

Hose the roof in front of the hession so it runs on both sides of the roof, the hession needs to be long enough to go from one side of the roof to the other so that 2 men can see saw it backwards and forwards as you work your way along the roof you need to hose behind the hession to rinse the dirt from the roof.

A man each side with a broom or mop can clean the bottom of the plastic.

2. PLASTIC REPLACEMENT

  • There are three main reasons that usually determine when you recover your poly film.
  • Greenhouse film has gone brittle and is starting to break down.
  • Greenhouses film has been washed and it is still too dark inside the greenhouse for good winter production.
  • It is a good growing practise to replace your covers every three to four years before they deteriorate too far and blow off in a storm, when this happens it can be very costly as you could have your greenhouses for some time waiting to get the right weather to cover your greenhouse. The best time of the year to recover is in the autumn when the weather is a lot calmer.

3. DRIVE SYSTEM FOR THE VENTILATOR

  •  Check the oil levels in your motors and gear boxes and top up if they are low.
  • Keep duplex chains on motors and gear boxes well oiled so that they are easily removed if necessary.
  •  Check that racks, housings, bearings and all moveable parts are not worn and bolts are tight.

4. STRUCTURE

  • Check that all connecting bolts are tight and not broken.
  • If your greenhouse posts are concreted into the ground you need to check that they have not corroded at ground level, this can be a disaster in a storm if your connecting posts are rusted through. New greenhouses should be set on top of a pedestal footing, to prevent this from happening.

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