As autumn comes to an end and you can feel winter is approaching, it's very easy to retreat quickly indoors and forget about the whole thing until the sun shines again.
However, there are a number of jobs you could do that will make the beginning of the next season that bit easier, and one of them is sorting out and cleaning out your greenhouse in advance of the winter.
Preparing your greenhouse for the winter will not only this make working in there easier when the growing season rolls around, it will also mean your greenhouse will cope with the winter much better as will any plants you want to keep while its cold.
It also means the greenhouse will be more useful to you when you need it again, giving you time in spring to get on with gardening, and cleaning it may keep away pests that can get in there and make a home while you are away.
Try to do this on a day, or days, that are not too blustery or wet and wrap up in layers of old clothes to keep yourself warm (a flask of hot tea always helps too). Make sure you wear gardening glove and goggles are always useful if there are bits of soil, twigs or other detritus flying about.
1. Clearing out old pots, buts of wood, dead plants and so on is probably your first task. Use old plants, twigs and leaves for compost and clean and clean your empty pots, then stack them to re-use when you can you can.
Make absolutely sure that any diseased plants have been disposed of properly.
2. Any plants that are still viable and you are keeping, should be put in a sheltered place and maybe wrapped up to keep warm while you work.
3. Clean your tools thoroughly, then put them safely away in storage somewhere dry, wrapped up in rags and, preferably, with any blades or tines oiled.
4. Clean your surfaces thoroughly. Sweep or vacuum them of dust and detritus and then wipe them down with disinfectant or with soapy hot water mixed with a disinfectant. You could use a dedicated greenhouse cleaner if you wish.*
5. Wipe and clean the window frames, door-jambs and any other wooden or plastic supports, or parts.*
6. Check the doors and any opening panels. Make sure they're working properly. Many greenhouses feature sliding doors, so clean out the runner grooves and make sure nothing is bent out of shape.
7. Clean your glass panels, the outside and the inside, as if they were regular windows. This will allow the most light in during the cold months for your surviving plants. Again, hot water and a window cleaner will do the job. Have a good look at every glass panel to make sure they are intact. If there are cracks and, or broken panes, replace them if possible. Be VERY careful with the glass and ALWAYS wear protective gloves to handle the panes.*
8. Consider re-painting and/or waterproofing the timbers of your greenhouse, but do be careful not to drop any of your waterproofing agents or paint on any surviving plants.
* You could clean both your surfaces, your frames and even the glass panes with a pressure washer if you have one, but make sure it is on a very gentle setting or you could end up replacing a great deal of glass and wood.