A checklist for preparing your greenhouse for winter

A checklist for preparing your greenhouse for winter

The first day of winter is right around the corner, and preparing your greenhouse for the changing of the season is both an inexpensive and effortless way to maximize profits and limit potential damage. Preparation is the key to reducing equipment failure and improving equipment efficiency. Did you know that every degree of accuracy in heating or cooling can save an operation 3% to 5% of its energy costs?

It is no secret that proactively addressing small problems in your operation can improve your product yield in the long run. To prepare for the winter and its unpredictable weather, greenhouse operators should develop and follow a maintenance checklist for their greenhouse structure, environmental control equipment, and irrigation systems.

Your greenhouse checklist should include the following:

  • Examine concrete piers/structure for deterioration: structure/bench foundation, walkways
  • Glazing: punctures, inflation, light transmission, cracking, general conditions (also check update replacement history)
  • Gutters: cleaning and inspecting for rust and leaks. Examine downspouts to make sure they are clear
  • Vents: lubrication, operation, and motors. When it comes to vents, check along the entire length of each closed vent to ensure a tight seal and, if necessary, adjust for gaps. Clean the rack with a cloth to remove all dirt and apply a small amount of lubricant. Manually run the vent machines to make sure the rack and pinions are aligned and running smoothly. Some growers may also elect to lock down vents and turn off toggle switches if not needed for winter ventilation.
  • Plumbing: drainage, leaks, rust
  • Wiring: corrosion, damaged wires
  • Fire Safety: extinguishers, smoke detectors, exit plans, locating and removing potential hazards
  • Safety Equipment: eye protection, first aid
  • Heating (this should be the prime focus for your fall/winter tune-up): Furnace cleaning, pilot lights, electrical, gas lines, venting, and energy curtain. Check for tears or poor seals in energy curtains and consider programming your curtain system to pause as it uncovers to avoid rapid chilly air quickly penetrating the crop.
  • Lubricate pumps and motor bearings. Consider setting all walkways/doors to cooler temperatures than the greenhouse to save energy.

Continue reading.

Image by drobotdean on Freepik



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