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Discussion forum for the various methods and structures used for getting an early start on your growing season, extending it for several weeks or even year 'round.

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Old March 7, 2017   #1
charline
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Default Cleaning the plastic of a tunnel

I wonder which is the best way to clean the inside of a plastic tunnel. Spray and clean like a window? I dont want the liquid drop into the soil.
And what product do you use?

Please share your ideas, thank you
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Old March 7, 2017   #2
BigVanVader
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I don't clean mine other than a strong blast of water from the hose.
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Old March 7, 2017   #3
psa
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We just use water when necessary. Everything gets cleaned off and cleaned out in winter just before we start our winter/early spring production runs, including the plastic, but we don't generally need to clean anything but the sides during the year anyway.

Chemicals, soaps, and detergents can damage plastic, especially if you have IR/condensation control (and you really should--it's worth it).
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Old March 7, 2017   #4
whoose
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Default Spray with Water

Spray with a hose or hope for rain.
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Old March 7, 2017   #5
KarenO
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Every spring I used to wipe down the inside of my greenhouse and benches with dilute bleach rinse with a spray of plain water and let dry.
A clean greenhouse is a happy greenhouse
If you have had fungal problems like damping off, powdery mildew, grey mold etc. it`s a good idea I think.

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Old March 7, 2017   #6
Cole_Robbie
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When I first got my greenhouse, I read a long list of chemicals that were never supposed to touch it. I think over the past few years I have tried them all in small spots, and never noticed any damage. I made the mistake of using diluted latex paint as shade paint the first summer, but then could not get it to wash off, even with a pressure washer, so I had to remove my top layer of plastic. I have since recycled it into patches for holes and end walls of other structures.

I normally don't clean mine on the inside, and it's been up for six years now. I really don't need maximum light transmission, anyway, as I quickly get too hot in full sun, anyway.
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Old March 7, 2017   #7
AKmark
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I use a long handled flat dust mop looking thing, and spray it with Greenshield, every surface gets touched. You will destroy pathogens and will remove dust, algae, anything that can contaminate a crop. Scrubbing out the GH every year is a must for me. I also put away the brooms for sweeping, every surface that is solid gets a shop vac put on it so the particles are sucked away, not spread through the air.
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Old March 7, 2017   #8
Jimbotomateo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKmark View Post
I use a long handled flat dust mop looking thing, and spray it with Greenshield, every surface gets touched. You will destroy pathogens and will remove dust, algae, anything that can contaminate a crop. Scrubbing out the GH every year is a must for me. I also put away the brooms for sweeping, every surface that is solid gets a shop vac put on it so the particles are sucked away, not spread through the air.
Very smart Mark! Proactive is always better than reactive. I love using a shop vac for that very reason. When I was working in other people's homes it was a must. Imagine sweeping concrete dust and carpet molds around someone's home..
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Old March 7, 2017   #9
Cole_Robbie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKmark View Post
I use a long handled flat dust mop looking thing, and spray it with Greenshield, every surface gets touched. You will destroy pathogens and will remove dust, algae, anything that can contaminate a crop. Scrubbing out the GH every year is a must for me. I also put away the brooms for sweeping, every surface that is solid gets a shop vac put on it so the particles are sucked away, not spread through the air.
Do you keep your greenhouses heated to above freezing when not in use? I wonder if that makes a difference. I leave the doors open on mine all winter.
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Old March 7, 2017   #10
AKmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Do you keep your greenhouses heated to above freezing when not in use? I wonder if that makes a difference. I leave the doors open on mine all winter.
I let them freeze, and I do think most pathogens can winter over, even up here. I do know that powdery mildew has to have a host, not sure on the specifics of each disease though. I clean them in the fall, and again in the spring before planting. I also keep employees on daily cleaning schedules, that is going up a notch this year too. I have taken a zero tolerance approach to messy greenhouses.
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Old March 7, 2017   #11
GrowingCoastal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
Every spring I used to wipe down the inside of my greenhouse and benches with dilute bleach rinse with a spray of plain water and let dry.
A clean greenhouse is a happy greenhouse
If you have had fungal problems like damping off, powdery mildew, grey mold etc. it`s a good idea I think.

KarenO
I think so too, Karen, it is only common sense.

What do you make of the below on powdery mildew ? Seems a reputable source.
Quote:
these are obligate pathogens, thus they need living host plant tissue to survive (they cannot live in diseased crop debris over winter).
from here http://livegpath.cals.cornell.edu/ga...w-on-tomatoes/
in the paragraph above the image of a mildewed tomato plant.

Last edited by GrowingCoastal; March 7, 2017 at 08:08 PM. Reason: sp
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Old March 7, 2017   #12
KarenO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowingCoastal View Post
I think so too, Karen, it is only common sense.

What do you make of the below on powdery mildew ? Seems a reputable source.
from here http://livegpath.cals.cornell.edu/ga...w-on-tomatoes/
in the paragraph above the image of a mildewed tomato plant.
It certainly would be a reputable source of information.
Spores are tricky things and I don`t trust them not to overwinter in the protection of a greenhouse even in a northern garden. I think this article mainly is referring to outdoor conditions.
Cleaning and sanitizing a greenhouse, whether you are a pro like Mark who for sure knows how critical sanitation is in his professional greenhouses or a small greenhouse hobby gardener like myself it is a very important job.
I had a soil floor in my greenhouse but I did use a shop vac in the fall on and under the shelves, walls and in the corners to deal with cobwebs (and the dried up critters caught in them) .
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Old March 7, 2017   #13
clkeiper
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We clean with Oxidate. everything. and where there is algae growing I scrub it off with a broom after spraying with oxidate while I am rinsing it.
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