5 Tips to Maintain Your Greenhouse Cover Year-Round
Greenhouse growers know their greenhouses offer several advantages over planting in normal open-air beds. For starters, your crops are protected in a covered, controlled setting, so growing consistent and healthy yields is easier. Greenhouses allow you to extend growing seasons and give you flexibility in managing growing conditions.
Investing in a high-quality greenhouse cover is the first step toward creating an environment in which your crops can thrive. The second step is taking the proper measures to maintain that cover. Here are five tips to ensure you get the maximum life expectancy out of your greenhouse cover.
1. Make Sure Your Plastic Sheeting is Suitable as a Greenhouse Cover
Greenhouse maintenance starts with high-quality greenhouse covering material. While there are several different types of greenhouse coverings, the most versatile and cost-effective solution is heavy-duty polyethylene sheeting.
Polyethylene or “poly” sheeting comes in a wide variety of thicknesses and with various features such as puncture and UV resistance, anti-drip/anti-condensate additives and more. A light-deprivation cover will also give you greater control over the amount of sunlight your plants receive. Discover the full range of Americover polyethylene greenhouse covers.
2. Know When it’s Time to Say Goodbye to Your Greenhouse Cover
While polyethylene greenhouse covers sourced from a reputable supplier are built to last, at some point, you’ll need to replace yours. Most greenhouse covers last somewhere between one and five years, but the life expectancy of yours will vary depending on the specific material, application, and climate.
No matter the level of UV resistance, the lifespan of your greenhouse cover is limited—and with time, the material will begin to wear and show obvious signs of deterioration, such as scratching, yellowing and, in some cases, cracking. While some defects are cosmetic or minor enough to be repaired, more severe damage to your greenhouse covering can affect light transmission, which can be detrimental to your plants. Using the same cover for longer than its intended lifespan could also contribute to damaging issues like mold, pest infestations, heat loss and more.
3. With Greenhouse Repair Tape, Small Repairs Can Buy You Time
Mother nature will inevitably take her toll on your greenhouse cover, but as long as the damage isn’t extensive, minor holes can be patched. Greenhouse repair tape is a UV-resistant, polyethylene-backed tape engineered for outdoor use on greenhouse covers. It’s highly puncture-resistant, and is most suitable as a short-term solution. Think of the tape as an emergency bandage until you can replace your cover.
Americover Reinforced Greenhouse Repair Tape is a great solution if your greenhouse still has a few years left. It has
- UV and weather resistance for exceptional durability and strength
- High adhesion and cohesion.
- Aggressive adhesion to films.
- Conformability to irregular surfaces without additional screws or staples.
- The strength to withstand extended exposure to the elements.
4. Clean Your Greenhouse Cover at Least Once a Year
Depending on your region and the exact location of your greenhouse, the cover will attract everything from moss and algae to leaves that inhibit light from shining through. No matter where you live, your greenhouse is going to get dirty.
The best times of the year for greenhouse cleaning are usually in spring and fall—before and after winter takes its toll. In springtime, you’ll want to sanitize your greenhouse cover to rid it from the aftermath of winter; in fall, you’ll want to clean off all the leaves to maximize light transmission through winter (that is, if you plan to keep your cover on year-round).
5. Don’t Neglect the Greenhouse Frame
An improper or eroding greenhouse frame is often the unsuspecting culprit in the premature decline of a greenhouse cover. There are a variety of issues that can result from the type of greenhouse frame you use. Wood frames, for example, can be damaging to plastic sheeting, while also harboring unwanted pests. Metal and aluminum frames absorb heat from the sun and can literally melt the plastic sheeting at the touch points.
Additionally, PVC or polyvinyl chloride, is efficient, lightweight, flexible, and inexpensive, so it’s also a popular choice for greenhouses. However, when polyethylene with hydrocarbon derivatives come into contact with PVC, the PVC acts like a solvent. Over time, when exposed to high temperatures and UV radiation, the PVC can chemically react and release hydrogen chloride acid, which damages the polyethylene or greenhouse cover touching the PVC.
Painting the PVC white with an acrylic-based paint or applying white felt tape to the greenhouse structure can reduce damage by preventing the migration of chemicals from PVC piping to the greenhouse cover. Using white felt tape is a great solution, and will also:
- Prevent greenhouse cover damage during installation.
- Prevent metal or galvanized steel from overheating and melting the greenhouse cover.
- Reduce friction against rough edges and splinters.
- Allow for easy movement of poly.
- Protect your investment.
Americover is Here to Help You Grow with Confidence
Whether you’re in the market for a greenhouse cover replacement or simply have questions about greenhouse plastic sheeting, our team of specialists is here to help you grow with confidence. Contact Americover today to discover why we are the leading source of top-quality, US-manufactured greenhouse covers and liners.
We offer special pricing, volume discounts, short lead times, and a dedicated account manager who will work with you to get exactly what you need. If you would like to speak with a representative, contact us at 760-388-6294 or email us at email@example.com.