If you have an extensive greenhouse on your property, prepping for winter can be an extensive chore. However, with the right materials and planning, you should be able to easily get your greenhouse ready for the cooler months while also preparing for the spring planting season. Here are some tips to make packing up and storing your greenhouse easier.
1. Invest in industrial storage solutions.
You want to carefully pack items like watering hoses, sprinkler heads, tarps, seeds, and shelving pieces carefully. A typical tote or box will not be up to this task year after year. Instead, spend a little more on heavy duty storage bins, preferably made from metal or heavy plastic. These are more weather resistant, which means you can keep most items in your greenhouse itself without needing to find indoor storage for your portable greenhouse items. Contact a company like Garland's, Inc. to buy bulk bins for storage.
2. Use pallets and moving equipment.
Many greenhouses are equipped with heavy shelving, pots, and tarps that need to be carefully folded and packed. The best way to pack and store large greenhouse parts is on a pallet, shrink wrapped. The wrap prevents any parts from getting loose or lost in storage, and the pallet keeps it off the ground. Furthermore, a single pallet with all your greenhouse parts (if it is non-permanent) is easier to move with a pallet jack. Pallets are also a great way to store things like extra bags of peat moss and garden soil -- the bags won't rip or burst when moved, and you can move many more bags at a time.
3. Properly prep water supplies.
Many greenhouses use a slow-drip watering system for flowers, vegetables, and shrubs. If you have watering hoses, be sure they are fully drained before they are coiled and packed, especially if you are storing them outdoors. Water freezing in the hose will weaken it and cause the hose to take on the shape of the coil, making it more difficult to use in the future. Sprinkler heads should be taken apart and carefully cleaned before they are packed. Take the time to fix any broken heads before packing, so you have ready-to-use sprinklers come spring.
4. Seal and insulate your greenhouse.
If you are not taking your greenhouse down for the winter, but instead want to keep it open to grow plants through the winter months, as is possible in some climates, repair any cracked glass. If you have a dirt foundation instead of concrete, lay new wood chips or straw on the greenhouse floor for extra insulation. Seal any cracks in the doors, windows, or where the walls meet the ground to help reduce draftiness and keep the interior warm. You can increase insulation by layering bubble wrap over glass and plastic panels.
Be sure your circulation fans are working properly. When visiting your greenhouse, allow for fresh air to move into the space by leaving the door open and running a fan. If you won't be visiting often, make sure your greenhouse still gets fresh air by placing an automated fan that will occasionally blow new air into the space.
5. Make room for outdoor plants.
If you're storing outdoor plants inside the greenhouse during the winter, you'll need extra shelving. It's best to use portable shelving that can be maneuvered around the greenhouse. Choose metal shelving that comes on steel casters for ease of movement in the space. You can also make room for wintering perennials by clearing out annual plants and packing old pots, watering hoses, and tools that aren't needed for winter gardening.
For more information about using industrial storage solutions for your winter greenhouse needs, contact a supplier in your area.