Greenhouse Gardening Pest Control
Greenhouse gardening pest control is very important and it is becoming a big issue as this will ensure that your plants’ state of health is good. Read on below to learn about this topic and the potential pests you may come across.
Greenhouses provide the warmth and humidity so that plants can have optimum growth. However, gardening problems like having garden pests in the greenhouse are very likely as well because they enjoy the conditions within the greenhouse. They often sneak into the greenhouse via holes and small gaps.
So firstly, lets get familiar with some of the pests you may encounter.
Now, without further ado, let`s look at some greenhouse gardening pest control measures that you can apply as soon as possible so that the comfort bed of your plants will not be destroyed by these notorious creatures.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Just like any other gardening tools, your greenhouse requires cleaning and maintenance as well. Be sure to give dirty spots some scrubbing so that fungus and bacteria will not have a chance of breeding.
In addition to this, it would be very beneficial to schedule an annual greenhouse cleaning routine (best done in the summer). For this, you need to transfer all the plants and equipments out. Clean the walls, corners, racks, secluded spots and floor using detergent and warm water so that insects, germs and bacteria will be killed.
Sorry for over-exaggerating the process but you need to make sure that your plants are free from pests infestation before you move them into your greenhouse because once in there, pests will breed at optimum speed.
If there are any stems or leaves that are damaged, remove them from the plants. You can also place your plants in water in order to drown these creatures.
Chill Pests To Death
When you face pest infestation problems that are very serious, you may want to put your greenhouse into chilling effect during the winter so that pests, including their eggs, will be frozen to death.
Sterilize Your Gardening Materials
Again, this is not a hypocrite move if you really want to prevent any pests that our eyes cannot spot directly. Sterilize your gardening tools using a basic water-detergent solution.
Also, instead of using normal garden soil that might contain eggs or small pests, you should use potting soils that are purchased from nurseries as they are sterilized and full of nutrients.
While working on your garden everyday, you must also look out for the signs of pests. If you spot the normal characteristics of a plant being infested, you should immediately remove the plant from the greenhouse and treat it separately.
You may also want to segment out your greenhouse so that there is a space for you to treat infested plants. Most of the time, pests will release some kind of chemical substances to attract more of their species. Thus, moving your plants out of the greenhouse may not be the choice.
Mesh Screens To Stop Flying Pests
Another greenhouse gardening pest control measure would be to install mesh screens on all air ventilation facilities, if any. However, you must not seal out every air vent of your greenhouse.
Setting up mesh screens on all air vents can prevent flying pests such as roaches, hornets, moths and whiteflies from entering your greenhouse via the air vents.
Natural Biological Control
You can always combat pests by introducing their worst natural predator into your greenhouse habitat. You can always purchase ladybugs and praying mantis egg cases from your local garden center or online stores to be placed within your greenhouse.
Here comes the question. What if there is no more pests and your natural helper starts to outgrow the number of pests? Well, they will die off due to the lack of food. They don’t feast on your plants due to hunger so don’t worry about that.
Browse through our website for our range of bird netting and insect screening products to keep your greenhouse safe from pests. www.wintergardenz.com.au
3 Exotic Greenhouse Crops
If you’d like to find something a little more exciting when you open the greenhouse door, these unusual crops will appreciate the extra heat.
Difficult to grow outside, melons enjoy the heat and humidity of the greenhouse. They are grown in the same way as cucumbers, trailing or climbing up nets, and are best planted on a mound, as they don’t like getting their stems wet.
You’ll need to prune them to encourage a good crop of fruit. Start by pinching out the growing tip to make the plant bushy, then restrict the plant to four lateral stems and pinch out their growing tips when they have six leaves. Plants fruit on sub-laterals formed on these lateral stems. You’ll also need to feed your plants and keep them very well watered once they start to flower and fruit.
Naranjilla, also known as the apricot tomato, is a cousin of tomatoes. Originating from South America, Naranjilla fruit are orange (naranjilla means “little orange” in Spanish) and the size of a small tomato. They are covered with short brittle hairs that repel insects and are easily removed by rubbing. Naranjilla are finicky plants. They don’t tolerate frost and don’t like really hot temperatures.
Therefore, best bet is to start them early in a pot in your home or a greenhouse. Once the weather is warm enough, set out the seedlings six to eight feet apart, preferably in well-composted soil in an area with some shade. With generous watering, the plants will grow into a spreading shrub up to eight feet tall. A healthy plant yields up to 150 fruit per year. Once ripe, the fruits are about two inches in diameter, with a greenish pulp.
Their taste has been described as a mix between tomatoes, apricots, and pineapple. Although occasionally eaten raw, traditionally the fruits have been used to make a refreshing summer drink or even fermented into wine.
Chili peppers make a great greenhouse crop, enjoying the extra light and heat. They’re treated in much the same way as tomatoes, you`ll be able to buy plants at your local garden centre and there’s a large range of varieties available mail order.
Peppers need to be given a feed every week once they start to flower and form fruits. And like tomatoes, they need to be kept consistently damp to perform at their best. The ‘heat’ of a chilli depends on a number of factors, including the variety you choose and the weather – so in the event that we have a long, hot summer, handle with caution!
Most peppers grown in NZ are Capsicum annum species, but if you can take the heat and don’t mind a bit of hunting around you can often find seeds and plants for some of the less well-known species, including Rocotos (or Lotocos).
Don`t have a greenhouse yet? Check out our greenhouse range on our website to get you growing! www.wintergardenz.com.au.