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A polycarbonate greenhouse is a solid structure that can serve a summer resident for growing thermophilic crops for more than one season.
But, to keep it in working order and successfully grow vegetables in it, the greenhouse needs care at different times of the year.
In this article, we will tell you how to prepare your greenhouse in the fall for a successful winter, and also talk about what you need to do in the spring before the season starts.
Preparing the greenhouse for winter
So, where does the care of a polycarbonate greenhouse begin? Since summer cottages of this type are most often not dismantled for the winter, preparatory measures must be taken to preserve them in the winter. The greenhouse needs a general cleaning at the end of the summer season.
Sometimes polycarbonate sheets are removed for the winter. But this is done most often by those summer residents who do not appear on the site in the winter season. They do not have the ability to free the structure from the snow, and besides, they are afraid that the polycarbonate sheets will be stolen.
Preparation begins with a thorough cleaning of all plant residues... If various items were used inside: barrels, shelves, racks - they must be taken out.
The next step is to work with the soil. In its upper layer, all pathogenic microbes and larvae of insect pests are well preserved. Therefore, it is advisable to remove the topsoil 5-7 centimeters high to destroy the entire infection. If there is no way to remove the soil layer, it should be treated with a disinfecting solution.
The walls and supports of the greenhouse, from the outside and from the inside, are thoroughly washed with soapy water... It is not worth washing polycarbonate walls with any chemical agents, since it is not known how they will affect the properties of the material.
They can disrupt the surface, which will further lead to the destruction of the material. For washing, use an exceptionally soft cloth or sponge without an abrasive coating. The joints and seams should be washed especially thoroughly, because bacteria, debris are clogged in them, and insects can lay eggs.
IMPORTANT. Do not use rigid materials, as they can scratch the coating and impair its light transmission.
If any dirt is not removed immediately, do not scrape it off, but simply moisten it and wait for a while. After that, they can be easily washed off the surface. To destroy the spores of fungal diseases, the walls are sprayed with a solution of copper sulfate using a sprayer.
After washing and treatment with a disinfectant solution, the greenhouse is left open so that all structures dry well.
Methods for strengthening the structure
Some, especially reinforced polycarbonate greenhouse structures, do not require any reinforcement for the winter. But there are also frames that, without additional reinforcement, can collapse under the weight of snow in winter.
To avoid such a development of events, the structure must be given additional strength. This is done by installing supports under the frame. Wooden or metal props are installed under the supporting structureswhich will be subjected to the greatest stress.
The upper end of the bars or metal fittings is installed directly under the frame elements. The lower ends are placed on a brick or plank base. You can't just stick them into the ground, since the soil will settle after freezing and the support will fall through.
Greenhouse doors and vents in winter
And now let's try to figure out whether to open a polycarbonate greenhouse in winter or not, and what is the maintenance of the greenhouse in winter.
It is advisable to remove all opening elements of the greenhouse for the winter.so that their moving parts remain operational. This is especially true for piston mechanisms, which suffer especially severely with a combination of frost and thaw. Therefore, it is recommended to store them in a dry, warm room.
If the vents are built into the structure and cannot be removed, it is worth strengthening and fixing them properly. Otherwise, they may suffer from strong gusts of wind.
If the doors and vents cannot be removed or it is too burdensome for you, it is better to leave it open. Just be sure to fix the door so that it is not flapped by gusts of wind.
Open or removed doors contribute to further disinfection of the room. During the winter, all pests and diseases not killed during autumn disinfection will die from frost and will not harm in the new season.
It is also worth opening the greenhouse for the winter in order to preserve the polycarbonate.... In the closed state, condensation accumulates inside the polycarbonate honeycomb and this can violate its light transmission.
Look at the photo: spring processing of a polycarbonate greenhouse, how to prepare a greenhouse for the new season, disinfection of a polycarbonate greenhouse
Snow inside and outside
Snow cover can be a real enemy of the greenhouse... Of course, the smoothness of the coating and the structural features of the arched greenhouse can help to roll off excess snow. But sometimes, during heavy snowfall, the thickness of the snow on the roof can threaten its integrity.
That is why it is necessary to remove snow from the greenhouse. This should be done with the utmost care. Do not use a shovel or other metal objects for cleaning..
Frozen polycarbonate can be easily damaged by a careless blow. Better to use a broom tied to a long stick. Snow can be dumped by lightly tapping on the frame from the inside of the greenhouse.
In addition to removing snow from the roof, you also need to throw it away from the walls at a distance of about a meter. Large snowdrifts will press on the walls and the frame may deform.
IMPORTANT. Do not scrape off the ice from the walls, this will most likely damage the coating.
To moisten the soil inside the greenhouse, you need to throw some snow into it in winter.... There is no need to pour huge snowdrifts inside - they will melt for too long in spring, and the timing of planting will be postponed.
You should not throw snow inside the greenhouse if groundwater is located close to the surface on your site. In this case, in the spring, a swamp forms inside, and the greenhouse will not be suitable for use for a long time.
ATTENTION. You should not throw snow into the greenhouse if you have not treated it from pests in the fall and removed the top layer of soil. All pests and diseases that could die from frost without it successfully winter under the snow.
Now you have an idea of how polycarbonate greenhouses hibernate, as well as how to strengthen, how to maintain in winter, how to maintain structures of this type.
Preparing the greenhouse for use in spring
Many gardeners are very interested in how to disinfect a polycarbonate greenhouse in the spring. First of all, before using it, you need to wash it well again, inside and out. If this is not done, then the light transmission of the walls will decrease, and the plants will experience a lack of sunlight.
After showering, inspect the frame carefully for rust. All places affected by corrosion must be cleaned and painted. If this is not done, then the frame will gradually deteriorate.
A polycarbonate greenhouse sulfur checker is what you need to use in the spring. Experienced gardeners are confident that this technique will finally get rid of all diseases and pests that survived after the autumn processing.
ATTENTION. It is impossible to use an ordinary sulfur checker intended for processing cellars in a polycarbonate greenhouse. The coating will suffer from such treatment - it will become cloudy and no longer transmit light.
There is only one kind of checkers that can be used for polycarbonate... Checker "Whist", with the active substance tibendazole. For every 20 square meters of space, one checker is required. She is set on fire with closed doors and windows. After processing, the greenhouse must be ventilated for at least two days.
Compliance with all recommendations for the care of the greenhouse will allow you to maximize its use and avoid additional costs for repairs or the purchase of a new facility for growing thermophilic crops.
Watch the video: how to care for a polycarbonate greenhouse