Treatments for a Greenhouse

A staple in many gardens, a greenhouse offers its owner the ability to grow healthful garden vegetables and fruits even during colder months. Many perennial and annual plants purchased at your local nursery got their start in greenhouses weeks or even months before arriving at the store. With its warm, humid growing conditions, greenhouses require special care and treatments in order for plants to thrive.

Pest Treatments

Every plant species has at least one insect or animal pest. A few greenhouse pests include mice, mealybugs, snails, slugs, whiteflies, aphids and blackflies. When growing things in a greenhouse, we provide the perfect habitat for these invaders. A greenhouse, for the most part, is a protected habitat for insects--especially when gardeners use organic growing methods. Preventing insect damage means keeping greenhouses clean, providing ample airflow and ensuring plants remain healthy. A few insecticides used include pyrethrum, neem oil, copper and sulfur. Aluminum sulfate kills slugs, snails and other mollusks. Rodent control includes the use of traps and rat poison.

Disease Treatments

Diseases in greenhouses often include bacterial blight (Xanthomonas campestris); botrytis blight (Botrytis cinerea); powdery mildew (Erysiphe cichoraceaum); and root rot (Phytophthora spp.). The best way to fight these problems is through prevention. Keep everything clean; disinfect pots, surfaces and working utensils with bleach water. Provide good air circulation at all times. Consider destroying any plants that seem to “get sick” often. Many plants often grown in greenhouses do their best in fast draining soils that retain a bit of moisture. Prevent plants from sitting in water for extended periods, and allow foliage to dry after watering. When problems break out and these methods fail to work, try chemical control. A few chemical treatments used by professionals in gardens and greenhouses include, tebuconazole, propiconazole, mancozeb and triadimenol.

Structural Rot and Damage Prevention

Structural rot happens when greenhouses and their accessories built from untreated lumber, begin to break down from environmental moisture. Place greenhouses on well-drained sites that are never prone to flooding. When not in use, store portable greenhouses and their accessories away from direct light in a protected place. With all the watering going on and the humidity floating in the air, rot poses a potential problem. To prevent this situation use only lumber treated against rot. Paint or find some other way of waterproofing exposed wood surfaces. If using wood, try employing naturally rot-resistant wood. To prevent problems with PVC pipe structures, coat the pipe with latex paint to prevent gassing off and harm to the greenhouse plastic.

Keywords: greenhouse problem solutions, pests in greenhouses, diseases in greenhouses

About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. Her work appears on GardenGuides, eHow and her blog, FrugalGardeningMomma. She writes about gardening, nature conservation, pond care, aquariums, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well-known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas.