HOPEFULLY, following Hurricane Henry you have not lost many panes of glass.

It is important to keep your glasshouse clean and tidy as best you can, so that it is easy and pleasant to work in.

It also makes it better to look at too.

Some people say the downside of a glasshouse is that you don’t have anywhere to hide things away.

This means there shouldn’t be any clutter and less chance of you stumbling over things or damaging your plants.

To keep on top of things it is best if you brush up or hose down any spillages of compost as soon as possible.

In the winter when there isn’t much growing in the glasshouse you should give it a proper clear out and clean.

Using a disinfectant is an excellent way of getting rid of the hidden dirt that may have been missed throughout the year.

As well as removing rubbish and tidying up it is as important to remove all the weeds that are growing in and around the glasshouse.

This keeps the area tidy and gives the plants you actually want a better chance of surviving.

Weeds can quickly take over the area as the heat and moisture levels give them the perfect growing conditions.

Hand weeding is probably the best way to rid the area of them as you can get as much as, if not all, their roots and collect any seed heads that may have set.

If you attack the weeds with a hoe you may just scatter the seeds and simply make a clean cut ready for new growth to appear.

It is not good to use weed killer inside a glasshouse as it is a confined space therefore there is a higher chance of your crops being hit too.

If you keep up the general housekeeping rules with regards to excess dirt, rubbish and weeds, you will help to lessen the chance of pests and diseases attacking your crops.

As with weeds the warm, humid conditions are ideal for pests like Whitefly and Greenfly.

They can destroy crops in no time at all, so you should try to rid the area of them as soon as you notice them.

There are insecticides available on the market specifically for indoor plants, if you choose to use them it is important to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for applying.

However, if you don’t want to use chemicals you could use soapy water, which when sprayed onto the plants makes them too slippery for the pests to cling on.

Another pest that loves the conditions is the Red Spider Mite, this burrows itself in the nooks and crannies of the glasshouse throughout the winter.

One of the best ways to rid the area of them is to give the glasshouse a good wash down with disinfectant and mend any gaps or broken areas.

Most of the diseases present in glasshouses are airborne, so attacks take place through the vents or doors when they are open.

The worst one making a re-appearance is Blight.

This affects tomato crops and potatoes, the Solanacea family, and if your glasshouse is affected by this it can be devastating as it sweeps through the plants.

Any affected plants have to be taken away and destroyed, don’t put them in the compost bin as you will spread the disease further.