How To Clean Your Polytunnel or Greenhouse


If you have not yet got around the cleaning your polytunnel or greenhouse then you should make that a priority. Spring cleaning is as essential in your covered garden growing spaces as it is inside your home. Not only will cleaning your polytunnel or greenhouse help to prolong the life of the structure, it will also help reduce any incidence of disease as the year wears on. It will also make sure that your plants are still able to get all the light they need to grow.

PolytunnelThe first thing to do is to have a good tidy up. Wash out any old pots and remove any detritus that is lying around from the year before. Clutter will make it more difficult to use your polytunnel or greenhouse and it could become a harbouring ground for a variety of pests. Rationalise all the items kept in the space and clear it of anything that is not currently needed. If you have not already done so, clear the space of any dead or diseased plant material left over from last year.

Are any repairs required? If so, make sure that these are attended to before you begin properly cleaning the structure. Any cracks, rips, tears or rot should be repaired as soon as they become visible so that they do not get any worse and threaten the integrity of the structure.

Brush out dust and debris from the paths/ floor and clean out the corners. Make sure that staging – shelves, benches etc. is free from dirt and dust. Before doing this, it is a good idea to make a thorough check for weeds and remove these along with any other unwanted items.

Bucket and hoseNext, it is time to clean the glass or plastic. Take a bucket of water and a gentle cloth and clean off any discolouration or algae on the inside. If you wish you may use a gentle, ecologically friendly soap, though do make sure that is is safe to use in locations where food is grown and that is will do no harm to beneficial insects or other wildlife. Leave the doors open so as to prevent the humidity from rising too much, especially if you currently have some growing plants in place.

The outside of the structure will not need such careful treatment. Use a forceful jet of water from your hose to clean the outside of your polytunnel or greenhouse. You may need to long-handled brush to reach up and remove stuck-on dirt. Just take care not to break any glass or damage the plastic of your structure. At this stage, make sure that no branches are fouling the top and that nothing is in danger of falling onto the structure in a high wind.

Cleaning your polytunnel or greenhouse is not rocket science. But this is your chance to check everything over properly and thoughtfully, so it is a good idea to take your time and do it properly to reduce the chance of something going wrong later in the year.