How to deal with whiteflies in a greenhouse — Questions and answers

How to deal with whiteflies in a greenhouse

I have been growing tomatoes in a greenhouse for three years. Everything was always good. And this year, the whitefly appeared in the greenhouse. Of course, I immediately processed tomatoes with a phytofarm, but this didn’t lead to anything. And the tomatoes have just begun to bear fruit. They say that the pest will quickly eat them. Tell me what should I do? How to deal with whitefly?


Natalia, I’ll tell you right away that getting rid of whiteflies is very difficult. She gets used to pesticides very quickly, so they need to be alternated. You can first spray the tomatoes with Actellic four times, if it does not help, then treat the tomatoes with Verticillin, Confidor. But keep in mind that the whitefly is very nimble and processing is very, very difficult, so I advise you to use sticky yellow traps as well, it flies to them by itself. Thanks to such complex measures, you can get rid of pests.

How to Raise Raspberries in a Greenhouse

Greenhouses provide gardeners with a lucrative raspberry crop during the off season.

Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images

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Raspberries are well suited to greenhouse production during the off-season. They do not require supplemental lights and grow well in relatively cool temperatures. A greenhouse temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for raspberry production. Greenhouse raspberry plants must be started outside and not moved into the greenhouse until a chilling period is complete.

Purchase raspberry canes from a reputable garden supplier in the early spring. Plant each cane in a 3-gallon pot and a simple, well-drained potting mix. Mix 4 parts sterilized soil with 1 part vermiculite and 1 part 10-10-10 fertilizer. Place the new, potted raspberry plants outside where they will receive as much sunlight as possible.

Set up a drip-irrigation system for your potted raspberries. Cornell researcher Dr. Marvin Pritts recommends a drip irrigation system even while the raspberries are outside. Purchase a drip irrigation system kit and hose at a garden supply center. Follow the instructions for punching holes in the irrigation hose and inserting the spouts that come with the system kit. Run the hose over the potted raspberries so that each plant has a drip valve over it. Turn the water on low so that water drips into each pot. During the spring and summer, each plant should receive 1 1/2 inches of water per week. Follow the directions on your kit to determine how long the water should be on; for example, you may need to run the water for one hour two times per week.

Maintain the plants through the summer. Make sure they remain moist. After three months, start supplementing their potting soil with more fertilizer. Mix liquid plant food into a spray bottle with water according to manufacturer’s directions, and spray the soil once per week.

Keep the plants outside during the fall and continue to fertilize weekly. Raspberries must enter a dormant rest period during cold weather before they may bear fruit.

Move the plants into the greenhouse in mid-December. Check the soil for moisture on a weekly basis. Continue to water and fertilize the plants as needed with just enough water to keep the soil moist. If the greenhouse is less than 65 F., consider heating your greenhouse.

2-for-1 Deal: A Greenhouse Garage

Before I retired, I spent 12 summer vacations building a cabin in a remote part of Montana that’s 35 miles off the electric grid. The cabin features large windows with mountain views, a woodstove, and solar panels with storage batteries. I needed to construct two more buildings to make my homestead complete — a garage to park my truck in during winter months, and a greenhouse to grow vegetables in during spring, summer, and fall. Because I had limited funds for these projects, I designed one multipurpose building to fit both needs.

I constructed the “greenhouse garage” using lumber that had been harvested from my neighbor’s land and cut using my neighbor’s sawmill. I hired three friends and worked with them to build the structure. My design includes two gravel paths in the interior of the building. When the structure is functioning as a greenhouse, the two gravel tracks serve as pathways between garden beds. When it’s acting as a garage, I use the tracks as parking pads. I filled the garden beds with about a foot of topsoil each and hauled in gravel for the paths.

To moderate the hot temperatures that can build up inside the greenhouse garage on long, sun-soaked summer days, a solar-powered fan comes on automatically when the temperature reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I can also open windows on the west and east walls, and the greenhouse design incorporates vents along the bottom of the building to create air flow. In our northern area, the cool summer nights — which dip into the 40s and even 30s — can also cause a problem for plants, so I watch the thermometer and close up the greenhouse after the sun goes down to trap the heat for as long as possible. If I’m diligent about managing the greenhouse, the indeterminate tomatoes grow as high as the rafters by the end of August and bear a bounty of ripe, colorful fruits. At the end of each growing season, I clear out the plants and the greenhouse becomes a garage once more.

Debo Powers
Northwest Montanta

How Do You Maintain a Greenhouse?

As much as every gardener loves digging the flower beds inside the greenhouse at any weather not everyone would like to spend a day cleaning one.

There is no doubt that regular clean ups and good greenhouse maintenance will keep your greenhouse functioning for years to come.

However, where do you get started? I will tech you how to maintain a greenhouse.

So, there are times when you have to pay extra attention to the functioning of your greenhouse. However, for a complete beginner it might not be clear when is the best time to have major cleaning sessions.

Step 1 – Start with a greenhouse cleaning

When do I have to clean my greenhouse?

If you are using your greenhouse throughout the year, have some deep cleans through the year.

For example, in preparation for winter clean your greenhouse and check all the facilities in fall.

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Choose a warm breezy day for a deep clean before it is getting cold. A little bit of wind will help to dry your greenhouse faster.

I think October is a perfect time for it. You will also improve the light transmission which is crucial for growing during the colder months.

In preparation for the summer, especially if you are cropping tomatoes, clean in winter when the crop has been cleared.

Then, if you are planting periodic and successive crops or raising seedlings, you might want to clean in periods between crops.

In addition to fall this will take place in spring as well. For example, schedule a huge clean in April and then add some small ones as required.

I would highly recommend to clean your greenhouse just before spring to get rid of diseases and pests accumulated through the winter. Also, greenhouse will probably be much emptier at this time of the year.

Step 2 – Inspect the greenhouse panels

Pay attention to the glazing panels of your greenhouse. If you noticed that any of the panels are broken or cracked, replace them.

There are different handling precautions according to the type of glazing you have in your greenhouse.

The most common glazing types are glass panes and polycarbonate panels. If you want to know more about the rest of the glazing options, read this article.

Greenhouse Panel Replacement:

Always wear gloves to protect your hands when handling panels, especially glass ones. First, you might want to take the notes of the dimension of your panel which you are going to replace.

Second, decide on which material you want to use as a replacement. For example, if you had annealed glass panes which break into dangerous long sharp shards, consider replacing them with toughened or tempered glass.

You can find more information on different types of glass glazing here. Finally, it’s time to remove the broken panel.

Step 3 – Check for slipped greenhouse panels

OK, let’s discuss how do you need to check if the glazing panels are secured properly. Check the connections of the panels to the frame.

To aluminum greenhouse panels are typically secured with clips. These have to be in place and it is recommended to have one clip every 12″ of the panel on each side to withstand winds.

Also, bear in mind that panels can be slipping. This is due to the moving of the frame which is caused by winds and expansion/contraction resulted in temperature changes.

You can easily fix it! Just use ‘S’ clips and place them at overlapping joint to minimize slipping.

If you have a wooden greenhouse you also need to check the connections of the glazing panels. These are slightly different.

Panels are typically bedded onto putty or mastic and held in place by glazing brads into the wooden frame.

You need to check that all the brads are held in place and, if necessary, add new ones. Even if you have a wooden frame it doesn’t prevent glazing panes from slipping.

That is why you need to check the connections regularly. Panels on the wooden frame are slipping because the bond between the putty and a panel has weakened.

How can I fix it? In this case you need to take off the panels and bed them on new putty and hold it in place with new brads.

Step 4 – check the greenhouse frame

Different frame materials require a specific maintenance checklist. Today I will concentrate on two of the most popular framing options: aluminum and wooden.

Restoring an aluminum greenhouse frame:

When checking the aluminum frame, pay attention to joints and take a note of any loose bolts, damaged or missing ones.

In a few year time these bolts tend to seize, so you have to tighten them. There might be some physical damage at low levels and in the corners.

As I have already mentioned, check that all of the clips are holding the glazing panels in place and in the correct positions.

Wooden frame requires a little more attention. Depending on the timber you used, this has to be repainted every other year or so.

Also, you need to check on any signs of rot and woodworm. Similarly to the aluminum frame you have to check the joints which in this case are nailed.

Another major problem with wooden frame is damp and mold. You can find how to eliminate this problem and many more tips on the wooden frame maintenance here.

Step 5 – Maintain a greenhouse base

The perfect time to check the base of your greenhouse is during a deep clean when it is empty and as clean as possible.

The perfect base for the greenhouse should be solid with the securely fixed frame.

The most common problem with the frame is development of small gaps. These can be a habitat for pests but, also, can serve as a source of droughts.

Whether the base is made of the blocks and bricks or maybe metal it can become sound and rigid. Loose base can lead to the rigidity of the whole greenhouse structure.

Moreover, flexing greenhouse framework will make the joints much weaker and can result in the breakage of glazing panels.

Step 6 – Pay attention to the greenhouse ventilation

Ventilation plays an important role in creating a safe environment for your plants. In your greenhouse you can either have automatic or manual vent openers.

Automatic opener can be placed to windows or vents to open by itself when the temperature inside gets too high.

It can be quite tricky to actually check the functioning of the automatic openers but eventually you will be aware of any dis-function.

If you noticed that it is damaged, replace it immediately.If you don’t have automatic openers, be sure to open the windows and vents regularly.

Don’t forget about the louvers (air vents found at the base of the greenhouse). These draw in cool air to create a constant air flow.

It is important to check the hinges and catches on windows, vents and louvers which you need to open manually.

You have to make sure that these are held in place securely and are not binding. If any of them is damage, you have to replace it.

Also, to improve their maintenance you can add some oil to the linkages. Do so for the automatic openers as well.

The last but not least, you have to make sure that you have enough air vents in your greenhouse. Refer to your manufacture and confirm the numbers of vents for your greenhouse.

Step 7 – Look for greenhouse shading options

Shading can protect your plants in the summer when the temperature gets too high. Gardener prefer to use old net curtains, roll-up shades and opaque plastic to cover the glazing.

Also, you can apply shading wash in the summer and wash it off in the fall. I personally use a shade cloth which is made of the plastic and is resistant to dirt and moisture.

Shade cloth requires a minimum of care and maintenance. Check the care instructions from your manufacturer.

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Typically, you just need to use a mild detergent applied on a soft scrubbing brush with a low pressure water hose.

Step 8 – Greenhouse door replacements

There are two types of doors you can have in your greenhouse – hinged and sliding doors.

How to maintain a greenhouse door?

If you have hinged doors, make sure to check that the hinges are securely hold in place on the door and door frame.

The door should be opening freely and should not catch on the ground. As with the vent openers you need to oil the linkages.

If you have sliding doors, these normally contain a nylon glide running in a channel. This can get blocked with grit and dirt.

As a result, doors get stuck and nylon wears out. That is why you need to clean the top and bottom channels.

You can also oil the rollers and door catch, however, DO NOT oil nylon glide. Perfectly functioning sliding doors should slide easily between the fully open and locked positions. There must not be any sort of catching.

Step 9 – Pests Control in the Greenhouse

Oh My God! Pests can be a real pain to deal with (personal experience). These little monsters will do anything to eat your beloved plants. And I am going to share with you my top tricks which I am using to win this war.

How to Keep Wild Animals out of Your Greenhouse

Wild animals are always on the lookout for warm places with food available. If you have a greenhouse in your yard where you grow flowers or vegetables, it is an attractive place for wild animals. Here are some steps you can take to keep wildlife from sneaking into your greenhouse and eating your plants.

It is best to avoid using poisons to keep wild animals such as rats out of your greenhouse. This can be cruel and can also make your pets sick if they consume them.

One of the best ways to discourage animals from entering your greenhouse is to spend a lot of time there. Tending to your plants on a daily basis may be enough to frighten away wild animals and prevent them from creating nests and disturbing your plants.

Keep your greenhouse neat. There should not be any piles of equipment or trash, stores of seeds, animal food, or other sources of food in places where wild animals could get to them.

Check your greenhouse for holes that wild animals could use to gain access. If you find any, plug them with coarse steel wool, wadded up aluminum foil, or metal mesh designed to exclude animals. If your greenhouse has dirt floors, cover them with concrete, sheet metal, or another material so that animals cannot burrow through them.

Electronic ultrasound devices can repel some animals. Keep fresh batteries in the devices or wire them directly into the electrical system. These may not keep all animals out of your greenhouse.

You can also use smells to keep animals away. Soak cotton balls or cotton cosmetic pads in peppermint oil or another product designed to repel wild animals. Place them throughout the greenhouse, including on shelves and between plants. Place them close together to create even, heavy coverage throughout the structure. Apply more peppermint oil when the scent starts to fade. Check the label on other products to see how often to refresh them.

A cat in the greenhouse can be another effective way to keep wild animals out. It is best to have the cat live exclusively in the greenhouse. A cat that roams outside can bring insects into the greenhouse that could harm your plants.

How to Seal Your Greenhouse

By: Alexis Lawrence

21 September, 2017

The proper sealing and insulating of your greenhouse protects the plants inside from a variety of potential hazards. During the winter months, a good seal keeps the cold air from leaking in and causing a possible freeze. Throughout the rest of the year, the seal on your greenhouse can prevent large pests from getting in and prevent the warm air circulating through the greenhouse from escaping.

Check the caulking around the foundation of any type of greenhouse. The gaps where the frame of the greenhouse and the foundation meet should be caulked upon installation. If you have a glass greenhouse, fill in any gaps or holes in the frame with caulking to seal the greenhouse.

Hold the bottom of the plastic down in curtain-style greenhouses with a heavy block of wood or piece of metal on each side. Purchase a piece of metal the same length as the side so that the metal reaches across the entire bottom, or cut a block of wood the same length as the side so that it fits across the bottom. Fold the bottom of the curtain inward so that the bottom lies on the ground, and place the metal or wood across the bottom to seal it against the ground.

Install Velcro strips on the frame of curtain-style plastic greenhouses. Run the Velcro strips down the entire length of each vertical corner post in the greenhouse frame. Leave the two halves of the Velcro strips attached to each other when sticking the strips to the frame.

Peel off the backing on the exposed side of the Velcro strips, one at a time, and press the plastic curtains against the adhesive backing. Put pressure on the plastic until it sticks to the Velcro strip from the top to the bottom. To open the plastic curtains, peel the Velcro apart.

Do not seal your greenhouse airtight, even during the winter months. Leave the greenhouse vents open for air circulation. Closing off the greenhouse completely leads to mold and mildew, which can kill the plants inside. In freezing temperatures, you can close the events overnight to help prevent frost.

Is Palram Nature Series Hybrid The Best Hobby Greenhouse?

I often get asked which greenhouse would I recommend to purchase if you are just getting started and want it to be your hobby. Of course, there are tons of cheap and easy DIY projects which you can follow to build your own greenhouse.

However, if you are not that good in building something yourself (I can relate to that) then buying a greenhouse sounds like a good idea.

Some providers offer support services in assembling a greenhouse for you but usually it isn’t that hard to do it yourself with a little bit of help from your family members.

Palram Nature Series Hybrid Review

So, I am going to review the functionality of this model based on the size, shape, frame material, glazing material and price.

If you need more information on how to choose a greenhouse these are my top 14 tips to help you do so.

Okay, I am done with rambling let’s get started!

Greenhouse Size

A Palram Nature Series Hybrid Hobby Greenhouse comes in a variety of sizes. Starting with the smallest one which is 6’x4’x7′ and the biggest option of 6’x14’x7′.

You are probably thinking that the bigger greenhouse the better it is. However, if you take into consideration the heating costs, your growing plans and space in your garden the size of the desired greenhouse will significantly decrease.

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Bear in mind that your plants are going to grow so you need to triple the space required for each plant. If you go for the smallest option it leaves you with the 24 sq. feet of growing space.

Greenhouse Accessories

Remember that you will need space to move around in the greenhouse. It is a good idea to use additional accessories to maximize the use of the available space.

For example, you can place a two-tier bench on one side and on the opposite side leave space for a row of tomatoes.

You can also use a twin shelf kit for the upper space and heavy duty shelves are ideal for heavy pots on the bottom.

So, it is important to evaluate your growing expectations and available space to choose the biggest greenhouse possible.

Greenhouse Shape

The right shape of the greenhouse will definitely increase the growing space. That’s why I like a Palram Nature Series Hybrid model.

It’s a freestanding greenhouse meaning that there is more space for growing. Also, the model is in a traditional even-span shape which again is very spacious.

It gives you an additional space for hanging plants in a head room. Moreover, this shape strengthens the whole structure and can hold up to 35 pounds per square foot snow load.

I have to add that the even-span greenhouse utilizes the maximum amount of sunlight. To find in more details about the different types of the greenhouse structures go to this article.

Greenhouse Frame Material

A frame of the greenhouse plays a vital role in the durability of the whole structure. Moreover, it serves as a source of the insulation.

A Palram Nature Series Hybrid Hobby greenhouse is made of the aluminum frame which is rust resistant.

In terms of insulation aluminum is not as good as wood, for example, meaning that it does let some amount of heat out.

I love aluminum frame because it’s maintenance free, easy to install (lightweight) and is very durable.

This model comes with the smart panel slide and lock system. These are designed to connect the frame precisely and quickly into place.

In the article about greenhouse frame materials I am talking about the issues with aluminum frame if your greenhouse doesn’t have a sturdy base.

You don’t need to worry about it if you purchase a Palram greenhouse. It comes with the heavy-duty galvanized steel base.

You can install it directly on the ground or foundation. However, if you live in the area with strong winds I would recommend getting an anchor kit.

It is very easy to install on any type of ground and can withstand winds up to 75 mph.

Greenhouse Frame Color – Green vs Silver?

I have noticed that a Forest Green model is approximately 96$ more than a Silver one. Why is that? Green color is a powder coat finish over the aluminum frame.

Hence, the silver option is just a frame made of aluminum. You might ask what is the advantage of the powder coating and is it worth paying extra money.

Well, the main reason why aluminum greenhouses are powder coated with green finish is because it blends in with the natural garden surrounding.

Once the greenhouse is powder coated you never need to re-paint it again. The powder coated greenhouse is protected against the elements, however you need to clean it regularly to maintain the high quality finish.

The typical guarantee for powder coating is 10 years but from what I have seen it tends to last for about 15 to 25 years. So, it is for you to decide which design you want and if you are willing to pay extra for it.

Greenhouse Glazing material

I am a big fan of the pairs of frame and glazing material. I love a combo of wood and glass, PVC pipe and polyethylene film and so on.

So, when I found that this model comes with aluminum frame and polycarbonate I was beyond happy. Polycarbonate is very safe.

It won’t break into dangerous sharp strands as glass will. Particularly in this model the roof is made of the 4 mm twin-wall polycarbonate panels which block up to 99% of harmful UV radiation.

For the side panels crystal clear polycarbonate sheets were used to transmit 90% of the sunlight inside the greenhouse.

However, I have some issues with the durability of the polycarbonate glazing. It tends to last for about 10 years.

Also, an exposure to UV radiation can yellow the plastic and it can pop out of the frame. However, this greenhouse is made only of the virgin materials and claims not to break or discolor over prolonged periods of time.

Ease of setting up a greenhouse

The manufacturer provides you with the instructions of how to assemble a greenhouse. These are not the written instructions but drawings which are quite easy to understand according to the reviews of buyers.

In the guidelines it says that the installation does take on average 5 hours which is very good in comparison to other models.

Also, you are the most likely to set it up yourself or with one extra person. This is due to the smart panel slide and lock system which connects the frame into the place and polycarbonate panels slide easily into profile channels.

5 years limited warranty and US customer service

Additional Features

Greenhouse Ventilation

As you already know guys it is very important to ventilate your greenhouse for a successful growth. Palram Nature Series Hybrid comes with a single roof vent which you can place on either side of the greenhouse.

The vent comes with the manual opening mechanism which you need to remember to close or open.

Of course, you can purchase an auto vent kit which opens automatically when the temperature in your greenhouse rises. Moreover, the door with magnetic catch keeps the air flowing.

Here you can find more information on how to ventilate a greenhouse in winter.

Rain gutters in a greenhouse

Another striking feature of this greenhouse is integrated rain gutters which dispense the rain water to the ends of the greenhouse.

That way you can collect rain water which you can use to water plants in your greenhouse. Many plants will actually grow better when you use fresh rainwater rather than the tap water!

Palram Nature Series Hybrid Price

Whilst comparing this greenhouse with other models of the same size I found it to be quite cheap including the features it has.

Most of the buyers in their reviews mentioned that the greenhouse is totally worth the money. It is currently on sale and is the best deal on the market at the moment.

I hope you found this review helpful and let me know if you have purchased this greenhouse along with your honest opinion.

Please let me know in the comments section if you have any questions about ‘greenhousing’.

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