Greenhouses are wonderful inventions that allow extended planting seasons, and even growth of plants not common to a particular zone. They are popular with commercial growers and home gardeners alike and come in many sizes and structure types. Greenhouses also keep gardeners comfortable in all weather when caring for their plants. But some specific problems greenhouse plants have require proper care and maintenance.
Thrips, a small, slender mite, are the leading cause of transmission for many greenhouse viruses and disease. Thrips can even infect humans by biting and getting under the skin. They get in through infected shipments. They cause their own damage as well as bringing in disease by burrowing into buds and eating from the inside out. Thrips exist both indoors and outdoors, but greenhouse environments provide a perfect environment for them to thrive. The first step in thrip removal is to isolate all infected plants if possible. Once contained, spray the infected plants with an insect growth inhibitor. The thrip life cycle is 10 days. In order to get rid of infestations, apply insecticide in a 10-day rotation.
Mold and mildew are both common greenhouse diseases. Fungus is at the heart of the cause of mold and mildew. The main causes of fungus are humidity and heat. Careful regulation of temperature and humidity and proper ventilation are vital in the closed in environment of a greenhouse. Proper sanitation also is important in keeping fungus under control. Never leave old plant matter lying around. Dispose of it immediately by burying it or burning it. Wash all tools with a solution of 9 parts water to1 part bleach before using on different plants.
Failure to Fruit
Many vegetables are heat and sun lovers that thrive in the warm environment of a greenhouse. But even those plants have trouble if the heat levels get too high. Tomatoes, peppers, and melons may fail to produce fruit, or have lower yields if the temperatures reach levels above 90 degrees during the daytime and/or remain over 70 at night.