Greenhouse Gardening Pest Control
Greenhouse gardening pest control is very important and it is becoming a big issue as this will ensure that your plants’ state of health is good. Read on below to learn about this topic and the potential pests you may come across.
Greenhouses provide the warmth and humidity so that plants can have optimum growth. However, gardening problems like having garden pests in the greenhouse are very likely as well because they enjoy the conditions within the greenhouse. They often sneak into the greenhouse via holes and small gaps.
So firstly, lets get familiar with some of the pests you may encounter.
Now, without further ado, let`s look at some greenhouse gardening pest control measures that you can apply as soon as possible so that the comfort bed of your plants will not be destroyed by these notorious creatures.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Just like any other gardening tools, your greenhouse requires cleaning and maintenance as well. Be sure to give dirty spots some scrubbing so that fungus and bacteria will not have a chance of breeding.
In addition to this, it would be very beneficial to schedule an annual greenhouse cleaning routine (best done in the summer). For this, you need to transfer all the plants and equipments out. Clean the walls, corners, racks, secluded spots and floor using detergent and warm water so that insects, germs and bacteria will be killed.
Sorry for over-exaggerating the process but you need to make sure that your plants are free from pests infestation before you move them into your greenhouse because once in there, pests will breed at optimum speed.
If there are any stems or leaves that are damaged, remove them from the plants. You can also place your plants in water in order to drown these creatures.
Chill Pests To Death
When you face pest infestation problems that are very serious, you may want to put your greenhouse into chilling effect during the winter so that pests, including their eggs, will be frozen to death.
Sterilize Your Gardening Materials
Again, this is not a hypocrite move if you really want to prevent any pests that our eyes cannot spot directly. Sterilize your gardening tools using a basic water-detergent solution.
Also, instead of using normal garden soil that might contain eggs or small pests, you should use potting soils that are purchased from nurseries as they are sterilized and full of nutrients.
While working on your garden everyday, you must also look out for the signs of pests. If you spot the normal characteristics of a plant being infested, you should immediately remove the plant from the greenhouse and treat it separately.
You may also want to segment out your greenhouse so that there is a space for you to treat infested plants. Most of the time, pests will release some kind of chemical substances to attract more of their species. Thus, moving your plants out of the greenhouse may not be the choice.
Mesh Screens To Stop Flying Pests
Another greenhouse gardening pest control measure would be to install mesh screens on all air ventilation facilities, if any. However, you must not seal out every air vent of your greenhouse.
Setting up mesh screens on all air vents can prevent flying pests such as roaches, hornets, moths and whiteflies from entering your greenhouse via the air vents.
Natural Biological Control
You can always combat pests by introducing their worst natural predator into your greenhouse habitat. You can always purchase ladybugs and praying mantis egg cases from your local garden center or online stores to be placed within your greenhouse.
Here comes the question. What if there is no more pests and your natural helper starts to outgrow the number of pests? Well, they will die off due to the lack of food. They don’t feast on your plants due to hunger so don’t worry about that.
Browse through our website for our range of bird netting and insect screening products to keep your greenhouse safe from pests. www.wintergardenz.co.nz
HOW TO USE ORGANIC SOIL IN YOUR GREENHOUSE
Using organic soil in a greenhouse is a wonderful way to produce organic vegetables for your home. Organic soil uses only those ingredients that are found in nature. This produces vegetables that are healthy and free of any chemicals that many people are trying to avoid.
What Makes Soil Organic?
The use of organic soils in the greenhouse isn’t enough to make your vegetables organic. You have to take care that everything you put in or on your soil is likewise organic in nature. If you use non-organic fertilizer, the chemicals in it will mix into your soil and ruin the organic composition.
Methods used to control bug populations must also be organic in nature. Especially chemicals that are sprayed onto the plants to promote growth, kill weeds, or dissuade insects will be absorbed by the plant. Chemicals that are absorbed by the plant will be passed onto the vegetables they produce. This will result in a failure to produce true organic vegetables. When you grow plants in your organic soil, those plants thrive by pulling the nutrients they need from your soil.
Keeping the Soil Full of Nutrients
In order to keep the soil in your greenhouse full of nutrients, you will need to treat it frequently. The health of your plants depends on having nutrient-rich soil available to them at all times. To replace the nutrients in your soil, you should spread fresh compost on the soil surface every couple of weeks. Making soil compost for your greenhouse is easily done by yourself, and will save you a lot of money instead of buying it. To make your own compost pile, you will need to build a small box in a sunny area of your garden that is at least three square feet .
Composting material can be found in anything from garden clippings to fallen leaves or branches. The balance between types of materials is important and will determine the type of soil you ultimately create. For more information on this, recipes for your compost piles can be found online. Make sure to turn the contents of the compost pile every two weeks if your pile is in your garden. If you are making soil in a composting device, the process is greatly sped up and in that case turning should be done once a day. You should also learn about what should not be composted and why you should compost.
Feeding Your Greenhouse Residents
One of the best ways to keep your plants well fed is to keep nutrients in the soil by composting. If you feel that your plants need an extra boost, you still have multiple organic options available to you. You can find organic plant food to feed your plants. These mixes are often found in stores, and many can be attached to a garden hose to make distributing them easier.
If you would like to create your own plant food, there are many ingredients available. Common ingredients that can be spread liberally over the soil include: cottonseed, worm castings, peat, seaweed, fish meal, and manure.
However, make sure that the food you feed to your greenhouse plants is completely organic. If you are buying the ingredients to mix or add straight, look over the ingredient list to check that nothing except the ingredient is included in the package.
Organic Situation Control
Like with anything else in your organic greenhouse, the choices you make regarding weed control will affect the overall organic nature of your garden. The best method to control weeds without chemicals is to pull them by hand. Also make sure to keep the soil in between plants loose and turned frequently and to control any pests that may get into your greenhouse make sure that any sprays you purchase are organic.
For other pests and plant diseases you could even introduce predators like spiders into your greenhouse. These predators will take care of all the pests for you without the use of harmful chemicals.
These methods will leave your greenhouse garden soil in its original organic state and still keep your plants healthy. www.wintergardenz.co.nz.
With spring and summer often comes the desire to plant things. If you are someone who enjoys growing and preserving your own food but you’re also someone who just doesn’t have the outdoor garden space that you need, we’ve got a great collection of projects for you.
We’ve found some fruits and vegetables that you can grow in containers. These range from herbs and, fruits to tomatoes, cucumbers, and just about anything else that you would normally plant in a larger garden.
The difference is, you can grow these on the deck or porch or wherever you have room because they’re all in some sort of container. Plus, these foods grow very well in containers so there are no worries of getting smaller than average tomatoes. If you want a huge beefsteak tomato in a container, that’s just what you’ll get. So whether you have a huge gardening space or not, if you want to grow your own foods, you can and we’ve got the perfect foods for you to grow in those containers. Take a look, pick out your favorites, and DIY your way to more homegrown food on the table all year long.
It’s not surprise that tomatoes grow well in containers. After all, they do sell them in those upside down growing containers, right? If you love fresh tomatoes throughout the year, you can easily grow them in just about any sized container, depending on the variety of tomato that you want to grow. You will want to be sure that the container is large enough to handle the plant and you can begin with seeds or starter plants, whichever you prefer. Also, add a cage to the outside of the container for extra support as the plant gets taller.
You can grow basil indoors or out and it’s great for adding to soups and other recipes. Even if you don’t have an all-out herb garden, you can grow a bit of basil for your favorite dishes. You’ll need a six inch planter, some fresh potting soil, and of course, the basil. Keep in mind that when you water basil, you need to avoid getting the leaves and stem wet. It’s best to pour water directly onto the soil. You also need to provide it with a bit of direct sunlight every day so if you are planning to grow it indoors, make sure that you use containers that you can easily move to the deck during the sunniest part of the day.
All types of squash grow well in containers, particularly summer squash. Squash will actually grow just about anywhere you plan it. It’s a very hardy and versatile plant so if you want to add fresh summer squash to your dinner table, grab a few containers and plant those seeds. Keep in mind that you will need to harvest the squash regularly when it begins to grow so that the plants don’t get bogged down. You should be able to get about three squashes each week when they start growing so be sure to get them off the plant to make room for new growth.
Parsley grows very well in containers so if you love adding fresh parsley to your dishes, this is the perfect herb to grow on the balcony or porch. Parsley grows well in small containers and only requires partial sunlight so it’s the perfect food to grow in apartments or other tight spaces. You will need to keep the soil moist for the best results and take care that you don’t overwater your plants. It grows best in temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees which makes it perfect for winter container gardens. Just remember to bring it indoors at night so that it doesn’t get too cold.
Strawberries actually thrive in containers despite being known as a plant that needs plenty of room to grow. They are actually one of the best plants to grow in pots and they thrive even indoors so you can grow your own fresh strawberries all year long. You need to choose a sunny spot and this can be by a window. Strawberries can also be supplemented with artificial sunlight, which makes them perfect for winter growing. You do need to choose a container large enough to handle them and make sure that you harvest them regularly when they begin to produce to make room for additional growth.
You can enjoy pineapple any time during the year by growing it yourself, even if you don’t live in a tropical area. Start with a fresh pineapple and cut off the crown, leaving a bit of fruit at the top. You’ll want to soak the crown for a day or so in water to allow it to soak up moisture and then plant in a gallon sized plastic container. You will want to choose a warm, sunny spot for your pineapple which makes it a great choice for balconies and decks. If you are growing during the winter, be sure to bring the plant in at night.
Oregano is a very popular choice for container herbs and it grows very well in any sort of container. In fact, growing oregano in a container helps to prevent spreading so if you want to keep your oregano under control, containers are actually recommended by most expert gardeners. You just need a small container for each plant and a bit of potting soil. Oregano is an easy to grow herb and it’s very hardy so you should have no trouble getting it to grow well. Choose a sunny spot to put your oregano during the day and then bring it in at night, especially if you are growing it during winter.
Having an herb garden doesn’t actually mean having a large garden space. You can grow many herbs in containers and rosemary is one that does very well with regards to container gardening. Choose potting soil that has a minimum of peat moss. Rosemary prefers alkaline pH so the acid is great for helping it to thrive. You’ll want a bit of sand in the bottom of the container for drainage and the surface should be allowed to dry out just a bit between waterings although it should never be completely dry.
Sweet peppers really thrive in containers so if you love adding red, yellow, or green peppers to your favorite foods, you can grow them easily even without a garden space. Choosing the right size container is important here. You want the peppers to have room to grow and not be squashed. Smaller peppers will require at least a 2 gallon container while larger varieties will need a 5 or 10 gallon pot. You will want to allow the peppers at least 8 hours of sunlight each day when possible so choose a spot that gets plenty of direct sunlight. You can bring them in at night if you want, just take them back out each morning for full sunlight.
Chives are without a doubt, one of the hardiest herbs that you can plant. They grow very well in containers or just about anywhere else you want to plant them. Chives are great for adding flavor to soups, dips, and of course, baked potatoes. Chives are also perennials so once you plant them, they’ll come back year after year. You can move them indoors if you want to keep your harvest going all year long, but they do prefer a bit of sunlight throughout the day so choose a spot where they can get some sun at least through a window during the winter.
If you are considering buying a Greenhouse it pays to do your research and ask the right questions such as...
Where is the Greenhouse made?
Is it manufactured locally or imported? Remember locally made Greenhouses are often better suited to local conditions (i.e. wind, sun, hail, snow, earthquakes etc…) while imported Greenhouses are often mass-produced at a very low cost from low-quality materials to provide a good profit margin for ‘the importers’.
What sort of guarantee does the Greenhouse have?
When you buy a Greenhouse, you want peace of mind that it will last for many years. Ask details of any guarantees, and ensure the glazing is covered by the guarantee. Ask how long the company you are purchasing from has been in business and consider the likelihood of them staying in business further down the track for after sales support and fulfillment of any guarantees.
Do they specialise in Greenhouses?
It is always better to buy from a company that specialises in Greenhouses than a general importer/merchant trader. The knowledge base within a specialist company will be greater, which will help when choosing the right Greenhouse to suit your needs and with after sales support.
What size Greenhouse will best suit my needs?
‘Try before you buy’, or ‘test-drive’ a Greenhouse. When you attempt to visualise the size of a Greenhouse from dimensions you’ve read, compared to stepping inside a Greenhouse, the latter will always prevail. If you are considering buying a Greenhouse, walking inside varying sizes of Greenhouse will help establish the right size for you. Spend some time planning the rough layout of your ideal Greenhouse (including fully grown plants with appropriate dimensions). The width and length are a major factor in determining the most suitable size, but you might wish to also consider the height of the Greenhouse (usually at the eave) to ensure it will accommodate the height of the plants you plan on growing. Find a Winter Gardenz Greenhouse on display near you here.
What glazing will best suit my conditions?
Glass, polycarbonate, flexible plastic film (polyethylene)… there are various glazing options available. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages. For example glass looks great and lasts the longest, but doesn't perform as well as polycarbonate in the colder, ‘frost-prone’ regions. Polycarbonate lasts well (16-20+ years provided it’s a premium grade from a trusted manufacturer) and provides superior growing results, thermal efficiency and frost protection, while poly-ethylene offers a lower-cost covering option per square meter while still lasting approximately 3-5 years before replacement is required. Most importantly it is worth noting whichever option you decide, a high-quality glazing product from a reputable manufacturer will serve you better (in both performance and longevity) than cheap ‘non-branded’ glazing that usually only lasts a fraction of what it should. Find a detailed comparison of glazing options here.
Does the Greenhouse come with good assembly instructions?
Don’t take their word for it, ask to see the instructions! The assembly instructions should be written in plain English with a clear step-by-step process. You should be able to erect the Greenhouse without any specialised skills, tools or equipment. If you can’t understand the instructions, or would rather not attempt the assembly yourself, ask if they provide an assembly service in your area.
Replacement parts, accessories and local support… Are they available?
Just in case the unimaginable happens and you require a replacement part or something doesn’t fit as you think it should, will the company you purchased from be able to assist? Often additional vents, shade-covers, shelving etc… are required further down the track once you’ve got your greenhouse up and running. Are these accessories available, and if so, can they be retro-fitted to an already erected Greenhouse?
Our best top tips...
There are many cheap, poor quality Greenhouses imported into New Zealand every year and most of them don’t last more than 18 months. Make an informed decision based on over-all value for money.
And remember… ‘you get what you pay for'
Click here to see what happens when you buy a cheap imported Greenhouse!
Written by Steve Wratten, From the Christchurch Press 27th September 2014
Glass vs. Polycarbonate vs. Plastic Film
There is a range of different glazing options for greenhouses and to be honest they all have advantages and disadvantages when compared. The right glazing for your greenhouse will be determined by your requirements, personal preferences, climate and budget.
So, what are the main differences at a glance?
To read the full detailed report click here...
How do I choose the best position for my Winter Gardenz Greenhouse
For more information please visit www.wintergardenz.co.nz/position-guide
Winter Gardenz Greenhouses New Zealand
New Zealand’s Leading Manufacturer of Innovative, Award Winning Domestic & Commercial Quality Greenhouses & Accessories