Greenhouse Maintenance Checklist

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Greenhouse maintenance is important, not only for increasing the lifespan of the structure, but also in maximizing profits for the grower. For example, something as little as losing one drop of water per second from a leak can add up to 113 gallons of water each month. In addition, a 2% increase in heating efficiency for a 30’ X 100’ greenhouse is equivalent to saving 285 therms of natural gas, 330 gallons of propane, or 200 gallons of fuel. It is best practice to routinely inspect the greenhouse structure, equipment, and systems at least once a month. Below is an informative video on greenhouse maintenance developed by the Ohio State University, the State University of New Jersey, and the University of Arizona:

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The video suggests that it is best practice to develop and use maintenance checklists for:

  • Structure:
    • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) (clean surfaces, remove contaminated plants)
    • Safety equipment (first aid, gloves, eye protection)
    • Fire safety (extinguishers, exit plans, smoke detectors)
    • Glazing (fading, punctures, color, peeling paint, air leaks)
    • Wiring (corrosion, smell, damaged wire)
    • Plumbing (drainage, leaks, rust)
    • Concrete deterioration (check structure foundation, bench foundation, walkways)
  • Environmental Control Equipment:
    • Heating (pilot lights, venting, electrical, gas lines)
    • Cooling (fans, vents, lubricate shutters, electrical)
    • Censors (calibration, power connection, damages)
  • Irrigation:
    • Misting equipment (valves, motors, fluid flow, punctured liners, filters)
    • Pumps (electrical, smell, lubrication, filters)
    • Drippers (clogs, fluid flow, kinks, filters)
    • Fertigation systems (flush once a month, sample emitters, injectors)
  • Material Handling:
    • Pot fillers (motors, belts, lubrication, noises, professional maintenance)
    • Seeders (motors, belts, lubrication, noises, professional maintenance)
    • Electrical wiring (corrosion, connections, replacement)
  • Always Record Repairs and Potential Issues During the Maintenance Checklist

There may be more or less items on your checklist depending on your scenario, but everyone should consider a pre-heating and pre-cooling season checklist to decrease the risk of a system failure that could destroy their garden. Running an efficient greenhouse is the opportunity to maximize profits. Routine maintenance will help ensure that you achieve an efficient and sustainable environment that could possibly give you a competitive advantage over the competition.

Do you have any experience with this topic? Any items to add to the checklist? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

 

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Author: Daniel Monk

Need light-deprivation, rolling benches, a greenhouse or greenhouse accessories? Let me know, and I will get you connected with the right people. Email: ContactDanielMonk@gmail.com Twitter: @DanJMonk Blog: www.DanielJmonk.com - Greenhouse Industry Problems | Solutions | Opportunities

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