7 Spring Cleaning Tips For Commercial Greenhouses

Hairnets and hand sanitation are required upon entry to the growing area.During every busy shipping season, you invariably run into issues that would have been eliminated had a little spring cleaning taken place. This encompasses more than just a cleaning perspective. It also involves planning ahead and taking care of business concerns so they don’t interfere with the busy season. Here are a few points you may want to consider before spring shipping rolls around:

1. Review Inventory Supply

A good time to take stock of inventory is before the busy shipping period. There’s nothing worse than finding out you are short of shipping trays in the middle of a large order. Don’t confine your inventory to just shipping material — have a look at production material, as well. The less concern around ordering material, the easier time you will have when the product is flying out the door.

2. Rotate Sensitive Product

A system should always be in place to use older product first, from cardboard to growing mixes. Get your departments using a continuous rotation of material, so as not to be surprised when you have the least amount of time to deal with it. Growing mixes, for example, generally have a shelf-life of three months. After that, the wetting agent is less effective, resulting in watering issues. Some operations color code their loads of growing mixes so the staff knows which to use first. It also helps if you have a stringent ordering procedure so you are never over- or under-supplied with material. Putting these measures in place will ensure that you are not dealing with surprise issues when you can least afford it.

3. Eliminate Clutter

It’s surprising how much constant clutter can affect the efficiencies of any greenhouse operation. A well-organized shipping area free of infringements can greatly increase the chances of making those time-sensitive deadlines that are so often imposed. Take time when you are able to review shipping and production areas to make sure that inventory is neat and located in an area to maximize efficiency for the busy times. Sometimes the slightest change can save hours of labor.

4. Schedule End Of Winter Maintenance

There are obvious maintenance issues that need to be scheduled within the greenhouse environment, but there are issues that are particularly important when you are moving into the spring season. If your greenhouse has a cooling system, you should be looking at this system prior to its demand. Be sure all pumps are in proper working order, as are all other aspects of the cooling system.

Winter damage to the greenhouse structure is always an area of concern. As soon as weather allows, you should do an in-depth perimeter check of the entire greenhouse and deal with any found issues right away. Blackout and shading systems should be serviced before the spring season as well. With with long-days approaching, blackout systems are vitally important for plants needing short-day conditions to flower.

5. Take Measures Early To Lessen Pest Infestation In Warmer Months

The arrival of warmer weather in the spring also brings pests. Certain precautions both in and around the greenhouse can reduce the severity. Removal of internal weeds before the change of season, as well as drench and spray preventatives, can accomplish this. Look in your chemical cabinets and check inventory. Make sure that the pesticides are in inventory before they are necessary. This, again, will lend more concentration to the jobs at hand during the busy season.

Herbicides for areas directly in contact with greenhouse exteriors are also a necessary element for keeping pests out of the greenhouse. Pests will live in the grass and weeds around the greenhouse perimeter, and eliminating this environment drastically decimates the numbers of pests entering the greenhouse. Make sure enough herbicide is on hand to handle at least the first spring spray.

6. Review Climate Controls

Instead of waiting until the warmer weather arrives, have plans in place that remind you ahead of time when climate controls need to be tweaked. Chances are when the changes will be required, your workload will be drastically increased. Day lengths and temperatures change. Settings for venting shading and blackout all need to be adjusted to meet the changing climate conditions. Keeping records from previous years will aid in this changeover.

7. Whitewash The Exterior

If you are planning to whitewash your greenhouse, get plans and material orders in place before busy times. Depending on your method of application, this could take a great deal of planning just to arrange adequate labor.

Read more from the staff of GGS Structures on the GGS Structures blog.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Structures...
Bell Nursery Panorama Photo

May 24, 2017

Sustainability in the Greenhouse is More Than Just About Dollars and Cents

Bell Nursery has taken several steps over the years to make our operation more sustainable from a technological standpoint. Here’s how we are doing it.

Read More
Irrigation boom at Cavicchio Greenhouses

May 23, 2017

The Road to Sustainability at Cavicchio Greenhouses

Incremental changes to reduce its carbon footprint have paid off in greater efficiency and public recognition for this Massachusetts greenhouse grower.

Read More
SBI New Mobi App

May 17, 2017

SBI’s New App Helps Greenhouse Growers Improve Customer Visits

Mobi Merchandiser is a management tool and mobile app that greenhouse growers can use for planning recurring store visits, repetitive store tasks, picture requirements, and automating buyer reporting.

Read More
Latest Stories
GGS Cannabis Production

April 19, 2017

Suppliers Can Offer Technical Solutions for New Cannabi…

Here’s a look at how a few manufacturers have partnered with growers to make their transition into cannabis a smooth one, whether it’s through hands-on guidance or partnering with other industry leaders.

Read More
GrowSpan Series 1000 Greenhouse (GrowSpan) feature

March 24, 2017

New Greenhouse Structure Models Emphasize Crop Protecti…

Manufacturers of new structure models say they are responding to grower concerns with designs that focus on ventilation, maximizing your space, and incorporating a wide range of crops. Here’s a look at some of their latest offerings.

Read More
Brian Munchel

March 18, 2017

Brian Munchel of Ludy Greenhouse Manufacturing Dies at …

Munchel, a long-time member of the National Greenhouse Manufacturing Association, worked at Ludy Greenhouse Manufacturing for more than 30 years and was a computer-aided draftsman.

Read More
Nexus Atrium for Prides Corner

March 15, 2017

How Tech Suppliers Are Helping Growers Find Solutions

Greenhouse structures and components manufacturers highlight some of their most recent projects.

Read More

February 15, 2017

Growers Planning to Invest in Structures in 2017

Data from this year’s Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry survey indicates that growers are planning to make major investments in structures and facility upgrades this year.

Read More
NVAC Greenhouse prototype

February 15, 2017

New Greenhouse Cooling System in Development for Hot-Cl…

Researchers at McGill University in Quebec have developed an alternative evaporative cooling solution for greenhouses in warm climates, and are now seeking commercial partners.

Read More

February 15, 2017

Registration Open for NGMA Spring Meeting

The annual gathering of the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association will feature a look at green industry trends, emerging market opportunities, and more.

Read More
EFTE Film

January 18, 2017

Looking at Glass or Polyethylene for Your New Structure…

Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene, also known as EFTE, is a fluorine-based material that looks like a standard polyethylene greenhouse film but offers high light transmittance.

Read More
Nadia Sabeh, CEAC

January 18, 2017

Upcoming Seminars to Focus on Managing the Greenhouse E…

The seminars, which will also be accessible online, are presented by the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center.

Read More

November 16, 2016

Stay Up To Date On Greenhouse Structures And Materials

eGro, an online resource for greenhouse growers, features a series of video lectures and tutorials on a wide variety of topics, including greenhouse structures and terminology, heating and cooling, and more.

Read More
Dual Atrium Greenhouse (Nexus)

October 12, 2016

Gibraltar Industries Acquires Nexus Corporation

The building manufacturer and distributor strengthens its position in the U.S. greenhouse market, complementing its RBI greenhouse company with the aquisition of Nexus Corp.

Read More
Gotham Greens Atrium Style Greenhouse Chicago

September 14, 2016

How An Energy Audit Of Your Greenhouse Can Save You Mon…

Is your greenhouse utility bill getting you down? Consider an energy audit to evaluate potential energy savings.

Read More
JGS Structure at Vineland

September 14, 2016

Take A Virtual Tour Of Canada’s Vineland Greenhouse Tec…

The one-of-a-kind research greenhouse project was completed by JGS Limited and features 40,000 square feet of horticultural research space.

Read More
Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing's Rainbow Super Structure

September 14, 2016

NGMA Contributes Revisions And Updates To Building Code…

The revisions cover the definition of a greenhouse, improved efficiencies in making greenhouse code changes, and more.

Read More
GrowSpan Light Deprivation Greenhouse

August 25, 2016

New Light Deprivation Greenhouses Help With Light Manag…

The GrowSpan light deprivation greenhouse from Growers Supply is outfitted with a blackout system that provides growers with control over the light cycle.

Read More
Cannabis Structure

August 23, 2016

5 Factors To Consider In Your Cannabis Structure

Along with the size and specs of your greenhouse, it's also important to focus on ventilation, light deprivation, benching, irrigation, and odor control.

Read More
Nexus Dual Atrium at Lucas Greenhouses

August 15, 2016

6 Ways Greenhouse Suppliers Are Partnering With Produce…

Greenhouse and equipment manufacturers share how they work with growers to provide customized solutions.

Read More
Cannabis Structure

July 28, 2016

How To Maximize The Efficiency Of Your Cannabis Structu…

The up-front costs of creating your cannabis facility may be high, but at least one expert says making the investment now will be well worth it down the road.

Read More