Tips on Working in a Greenhouse

A greenhouse is a magical place that comes alive in the spring. The better a greenhouse is cared for and maintained, the more food and flowers it will offer through the season. Whether you want to work in your own home greenhouse or work for somebody else in a commercial greenhouse, some basic principles of hygiene and organization apply.

Annual Preparation

Greenhouses must be cleaned every winter to retard the growth of any mold or moss inside. Every December or January, take out all of the shelves and wipe them down with warm water and a biodegradable soap. Wash down the inside walls of a glass- or polycarbonate-walled greenhouse. This will ensure you can work in the greenhouse year after year with success. The outside glass or polycarbonate walls should also be cleaned with warm water and biodegradable soap. Dirt or anything that darkens the glass keeps sunlight out and may retard plant growth.

Daily Mindfulness

Never leave tools in the greenhouse. Pruning shears and other tools will become rusty in the humidity of a greenhouse. Be mindful of what you bring inside a greenhouse. For example, dropping or forgetting about a candy wrapper in the greenhouse invites trouble. Rats and other undesirable guests may find a way in to get to the wrapper.

Personal Safety

Regardless of how hot it is inside or out, closed-toe shoes are essential for personal safety. A pair of shears falling off a rolling cart could mean one less toe. Work gloves are also essential for personal safety. People new to working in greenhouses may find callouses an blisters rapidly developing on their hands. Have a bottle of water handy. You may become dehydrated and will need access to water. Some greenhouses have fertilizer (or even pesticides) added to the water in some of the hoses, so make sure you have a clean source of drinking water handy.


Set up racks on either end of the greenhouse with a walkway for you in the center. You can set up a rack at the back end of the greenhouse unless you have a second door in the back wall. Racks can have two or three sets of stacked shelves. Some greenhouses have hooks in places on the ceiling for hanging plants; this is a great space saver. Label everything. Use a permanent marker an either plant stakes or paper labels. Write down what you plant, when you plant it, and how long it needs before being transplanted outdoors (if that is your plan). Organization leads to success.

Keywords: greenhouse gardening, gardening tips, working greenhouse

About this Author

Samantha Hanly earned her education in both the United States and the United Kingdom. After earning her bachelor's degree she embarked on a career teaching dramatic arts, arts and crafts, and languages. She became a professional writer in the year 2000 writing curricula for other teachers to use with gifted students.