Greenhouse Troubleshooting: Learn About Problems With Greenhouse Gardening

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Greenhousesare fantastic tools for the enthusiastic grower and extend the garden seasonwell beyond the temperature. That said, there may be any number of greenhousegrowing issues to contend with. Greenhouse problems can stem from faultyequipment, pests or diseases running rampant, a lack of cleanliness, or acombination of all three. Getting a handle on any problems with regulargreenhouse maintenance will help keep order in what can be a messy environment.

Greenhouse Growing Issues

The number one problem with greenhouse maintenance is lackof cleanliness. Growers are likely to have mechanical issues fixed immediatelybut less likely to tackle cleaning projects, preferring to postpone them untillater.

Procrastinating about the greenhouse problem of cleanlinessis a recipe for disaster. Not only are you surrounded by dirt, but moistureallows that dirt to cling to everything. Standing water encourages fungalgrowth and attracts pests.

Along with all of the above, aging equipment and greenhousestructures contribute to the filth. Window and doors that don’t seal bring inthe weather as well as possible disease and pests. Greenhouse troubleshootingis easier if there is consistent inspection of not only plants for potentialdisease and pests, but of the structure and equipment as well.

How to Check for Problems with Greenhouses

Over time, equipment gets weathered. As mentioned, checkdoor and window seals frequently, along with other ventilation equipment.Inspect screens for any holes.

Test temperature control equipment on a schedule.Maintaining temperature in the greenhouse can mean life or death to yourplants. Clean and lubricate heater and fan components and test backupequipment. Heaters tend to corrode when pipes leak and it’s less expensive andeasier to catch an early leak.

Other greenhouse problems involve irrigation. Examine tubingand hoses for cracks or leaks and repair or replace accordingly. Check nozzlesto be sure they aren’t clogged and that water flows freely. Take time toinspect the irrigation system; sometimes leaks are hard to find.

Greenhouse Troubleshooting Tips

Keep necessary replacement parts on hand, such as screens orhoses. Stock the greenhouse with extra fuel if need be or a backup heater.

Create a checklist to ensure that necessary maintenance andcleaning has been attended to on a regular basis. Stick to the routineinspection schedule; it will keep you from having to do advanced, expensiverepairs. Small greenhouse problems can easily turn into large, pricey ones and,as they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Lastly, and I can’t say it enough, stay clean! Propersanitation reduces pest issues and diseases, which decreases the need forpesticides and results in healthier plants. Remove weeds from beneath benchesand along the perimeter of the greenhouse. Disinfect benches, tools, pots andflats. Keep pest infested or weak plants away from healthy plants. Clean out drains.And stay on top of the cleaning.

Do some greenhousecleaning every day, on a schedule ideally, and then it won’t overwhelm youor turn into bigger, costlier greenhouse problems.


A greenhouse (also called a glasshouse, or, if with sufficient heating, a hothouse) is a structure with walls and roof made chiefly of transparent material, such as glass, in which plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are grown. [1] These structures range in size from small sheds to industrial-sized buildings. A miniature greenhouse is known as a cold frame. The interior of a greenhouse exposed to sunlight becomes significantly warmer than the external temperature, protecting its contents in cold weather. [2]

Many commercial glass greenhouses or hothouses are high tech production facilities for vegetables, flowers or fruits. The glass greenhouses are filled with equipment including screening installations, heating, cooling, lighting, and may be controlled by a computer to optimize conditions for plant growth. Different techniques are then used to evaluate optimality degrees and comfort ratio of greenhouses, such as air temperature, relative humidity and vapour-pressure deficit, in order to reduce production risk prior to cultivation of a specific crop.

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How NASA is Involved

NASA, with its Eyes on the Earth and wealth of knowledge on the Earth’s climate system and its components, is one of the world’s experts in climate science. NASA’s purview is to provide the robust scientific data needed to understand climate change. For example, data from the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) missions and from radar instruments in space have shown rapid changes in the Earth's great ice sheets. The Jason-3, Jason-2/OSTM Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) and Jason-1 missions have documented an increasing sea level since 1992.

NASA makes detailed climate data available to the global community – the public, policy- and decision-makers and scientific and planning agencies around the world. It is not NASA’s role to set climate policy or prescribe particular responses or solutions to climate change. NASA is one of 13 U.S. government agencies that form part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which has a legal mandate to help the nation and the world understand, assess, predict and respond to global change. These U.S. partner agencies include the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, each of which has a different purview depending on their area of expertise.

Started in 2010, NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) is a forward-looking initiative established under direction by the U.S. government. The CMS is improving the monitoring of global carbon stocks (where carbon is stored around the planet) and fluxes (how carbon is cycled from one stock to the next). The ultimate goal is to make breakthroughs in quantifying, understanding and predicting how worldwide carbon sources and sinks are changing, since this could have major ramifications for how our planet will respond to increasing emissions and/or efforts to combat climate change. The work will also help inform near-term policy development and planning.

NASA’s related Megacities Carbon Project is focused on the problem of accurately measuring and monitoring greenhouse-gas emissions from the world’s biggest cities. About three-quarters of fossil-fuel carbon dioxide emissions come from about 2 percent of the land surface – the cities and the power plants that feed them. At present the focus is on pilot projects in Los Angeles and Paris that sample the air there. The goal is to add other cities around the world and to ultimately deploy a worldwide urban carbon monitoring system that will enable local policymakers to fully account for the many sources and sinks of carbon and how they change over time.

Although NASA’s main focus is not on energy-technology research and development, work is being done around the agency and by/with various partners and collaborators to find viable alternative sources of energy to power our needs. These sources of energy include the wind, waves, the Sun and biofuels.

Watch the video: What Type of Greenhouse Should You Build?


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