Spring cleaning is very important in your greenhouse. During every shipping season, you may realize that there are several things that could have been prevented if you had done some spring cleaning in advance. Spring cleaning is much more than just cleaning. It means planning in advance, organizing and taking care of the business aspects too, so that the busy season is not interrupted with issues. Some points that you must take care of before the spring season arrives:
Checking the supplies inventory
- Before the busy season arrives, it is a great idea to undertake a stock check of the inventory.
- Nothing can be more difficult than you finding that you don’t have enough shipping trays in midst of a large order.
- Not only should you take stock of the inventory of the shipping material, but also the production material.
- When your entire inventory is available and you don’t have to order at the last minute, shipping will be effortless.
Rotating products that are time-sensitive
- Always ensure that the older stock is used up first, i.e. from growing mixes to cardboard.
- Rotate the material usage continually and do not let the stock become old and reach their expiry date. For instance, growing mixes have a shelf-life of around 3 months after which it becomes less effective and results in watering problems.
- You could use a system of color-coding the various loads of mixes, so that your staff will know which to use first.
- Also, follow a strict re-ordering process so that at any point of time you do not have under or over supply of any product.
- These measures can help you be prepared when you are facing a busy time and you will not have to deal with any nasty surprises.
- Clutter can affect the efficiency of your greenhouse operations.
- A well-organized and clutter-free shipping area without any obstacles can increase your chances of meeting the most stringent delivery deadlines.
- During the free season or whenever you have the time, check the production and shipping areas to ensure that the entire inventory is placed neatly so that you are able to maximize efficiency during the busy times.
- The smallest of the reorganizing efforts can help to save hours of unnecessary labor.
Maintenance at the end of the winter season
- There are many regular maintenance issues that you must take care of in the greenhouse environment, but there are some particular things that you must take into consideration when you are approaching the spring season.
- If your greenhouse has a cooling area, then check the cooling system before you need to use it.
- Check all pumps and other equipment of the cooling system to ensure that the system is working properly.
- A great area of concern is the damage to the greenhouse that may have occurred during the winter season. So, as soon as the weather permits, conduct an in-depth check of the perimeter of the entire greenhouse and if you find any problems, get them rectified immediately.
- The shading and blackout systems must be serviced properly before the spring season as these systems are critical for the plants that require short-day conditions.
- Shipping times will be so busy that these maintenance concerns will take back seat.
Taking measures against pests
- The spring season brings along with it warmer conditions and also pests. So, taking precautions in and around the greenhouse can help to reduce the severity of the pests.
- Pests are usually found in the weeds and grass around the greenhouse perimeter and removing the weeds and grass can reduce the number of pests drastically.
- Removing weeds, as well as, spraying insecticides can help to reduce pests.
- You will also need herbicides for the exterior areas that are in contact with the greenhouse in order to keep the pests from entering the greenhouse.
- Check if your inventory of pesticides and herbicides are stocked up before they become necessary.
Reviewing climate control
- Plan ahead and check the climate controls and make adjustments wherever required, ahead of the arrival of the warm weather.
- You must make the necessary adjustments in the temperature, day lengths and the blackout and venting shading settings must all be adjusted to accommodate the change in the weather conditions.
- To help you accomplish this changeover easily, keeping records from the previous years can help.
Whitewashing the exterior
- If you plan of getting your greenhouse whitewashed, get all the materials and plans in place before the busy time begins.
- Planning the labor for the whitewashing could itself take a lot of time and planning will also depend on which application method you will be employing.
A few steps of planning, organizing things and “spring cleaning” of the greenhouse in advance can go a long way in making things effortless and stress-free during the busy shipping season.