Monday, February 21, 2011

It's Time To Clean Out The Green House

This is the time of year to pull the dead tomato vines, clear out all the containers and basically remove everything from the green house that could hide mites, slugs, fungi or other nasties. I will empty it down to the wire metal shelves and the pavers on the floor.  I will then sweep the floor and then do a light power wash followed  with a weak mixture of bleach and water on the entire inside.  I will leave the doors open half way to allow it to vent and dry.  This will kill any mold spores and piss off anything else that thought my greenhouse would make a good place to live. 
All opened bags of potting soil will be used in the outside garden and will not be reintroduced to the green house this year.  I'll let the place sit and air out after this for at least a week before planting a beer slug trap and getting things in order for this years planting.  Mold can be a problem if there is not proper air circulation.  My dad planted the tomatoes last year and didn't use any wire baskets for them to climb on.  They took over the entire floor.  This allowed a little mold to grow and made it hard to pick the tomatoes. The experts say to bag up and throw away any old vines or burn them.  They would probably have a problem with my using bleach to clean the panels, shelves and floor.  I welcome alternate suggestions for this as I won't be doing it until next weekend.
 I have new baskets and am preparing to move the pavers over one row so that I don't plant in the same soil as last year.  We plant the tomatoes right in ground inside the green house.  I will also install a fan to move the air a bit like pot farmers use.  Another change is, I want to do drip irrigation for the tomatoes that are in the ground to avoid watering any of the leaves.
I am excited about this years crop.  I found three almost ripe tomatoes when I went to pull the vines this weekend, three weeks into February!

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