Well…that’s the winter pretty much done with and as I look out into the back garden, I see the greenhouse of dread.
When I say dread, I don’t mean that growing plants and eating their fruits etc is dreadful.
No no no…What I am referring to is the fact that due to my lackadaisical attitude to closing the greenhouse for the winter and concentrating on getting to know our lovely new baby Albi, I inadvertently allowed the full extent of my laziness to reap what it sowed, (pardon the greenhouse pun if you will).
Now black mould, unwanted plants, moss and grass have been allowed to have their own winter long party in the green house.
I can just imagine them looking back at me and laughing, saying to each other “if he thinks I’m leaving he’ll have to throw me out himself”, then turning round and dancing on.
“Ha!!” I say…well it’s me that has a Spring on my side and with the bad weather behind us, that means a full strip out and clean down for you guys.
Don’t get me wrong, this clean happens every year, but usually in November or December and usually without the extra couple of months of fungal and vegetative growth,
so this time it’s actually going to be hard work, as they’ve had a bit longer to party. Ha Ha Ha
So, in my quest for cleanliness and a mould free environment for the chillies and various other plants to thrive in, I’ve bought myself some thick gloves, a (proper) face mask, some scourers, white vinegar and a load of time. Oh Yeah... I’m dressed for anti-fungal war.
First of all, I need to start by removing all the lose items, such as pots, tools and benches, plus last year’s compost to clear my way for cleaning down the glass and aluminium frame.
Next up is to scrape out all the small plants, moss and grasses between the paving slabs.
Then… fill a spray bottle with the vinegar. Spray from top to bottom, all around the inside of the greenhouse plus all the items, then leave for an hour or so to kill off all the mould before my next manoeuvre.
The deep clean… I mix soapy warm water and grab a sponge/scourer and work from the top down, cleaning as I go in a circular motion, then get my mop and squeegee to give a good old window cleaner’s clean to the glass inside and out, this includes the louvre windows and brackets, the sliders for the door and all nuts and bolts.
Once that’s all done, it’s time to tackle the pots, tools and benches that were left outside with the soapy water, then rinse and leave to air dry.
Now…you may not think of this, but if you have a fan circulating the air in your greenhouse, due to it being in an area where wind doesn’t circulate very well, even with all the windows and door open, that too will need to be cleaned in the very same way as everything else. So that’s a strip and clean too, or we would just be recirculating the mould spores like before.
At this point I’m thinking I’m such a fool for leaving it to get in such a bad state and that I should give up growing plants forever. Like that’s ever going to happen. Ha ha ha
Now the benches are cleaned off and dry, they can go back inside the greenhouse.
Next, I’m brushing on three coats of clear varnish to seal them, as I don’t really want to have such a mission at the end of the next growing season.
Now that’s all done, I put everything back in the greenhouse and arrange everything the way I like it to be. I can get my little potting area sorted on the bench and ready for potting on (which I absolutely love doing btw), it makes me feel like a proper gardener, but I do find it really therapeutic and very satisfying. (He says with a smile from ear to ear).
Well…now my green house is looking tip top and ready for the season, plus I can look at it with a lot more pride and smiles than I could before starting the dreaded clean down.
So, when my seedlings grow into plants and are ready to be potted on, they will now have a lovely clean environment to thrive in.
Imagine me now… sat on my greenhouse chair, with my legs stretched out, a cuppa in hand and a great big, satisfied smile on my face, with a deep breath saying, “aaahhh, that’s better”.
So, remember to not let things get too out of hand.
Eat the frog and do that thing you dislike most of all first, for it’s often doing those very things you dislike, that enables you to do the things you love and hey, you may even grow to actually like those once dreaded tasks.
Most of all…Keep on Chimpin’ and Scream if you wanna go hotter.