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Plants in the Alpine House or Cold Frame: Cleaning alpine house

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Started by: Norman Wood

Go to latest contribution by Helen Johnstone, 24 October 2014, 17:59. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Norman Wood 22 October 2014, 19:26top / bottom of page

What is the best product to use for cleaning the inside of a alpine house. I have in the past used Armilltox, be my local garden centre said that this product is no longer available. Has any body got any suggestions.


Contribution from Martin Rogerson 23 October 2014, 10:25top / bottom of page

Hi Norman, you should still be able to buy Armillatox although it is now described as a 'soap based outdoor cleaner' as it is no longer approved as an insecticide. The company decided it could not afford the complicated process to have it reapproved for use in the EU. Mind you the only ad I've found quickly this morning was £80 for 5 litres!!!! so perhaps the availability is more theoretical than practical!

My suggestion for a reasonably priced and practical alternative cleaner would be Jeye's fluid, just make sure the greenhouse is well ventilated though as the smell does linger and is quite powerful..

Contribution from Norman Wood 23 October 2014, 18:32top / bottom of page

Thanks Martin for that imformation.  I wonder  if a similar thing is happen with a systemic fungicide I use. I have varies garden centres and no one seems to stock striaght forward systemic fungicide.

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 23 October 2014, 19:46top / bottom of page

Not sure when I last saw a truly systemic fungicide in a garden centre. I try to keep things clear of grey moulds, etc by keeping old desk fans running in the greenhouses and application of sulphur powder at the first signs of attack. Mind you I'm not sure even that's legal now!

Contribution from Norman Wood 24 October 2014, 08:59top / bottom of page

Hi Martin Thank you for your advice I do try to keep maximum ventilation. But use a fungcide as precaution  on some plants prone to disease example Dionysia.

Contribution from Helen Johnstone 24 October 2014, 12:37top / bottom of page

Am using my greenhouse as an alpine house but it is small with no ventilation apart from leaving the door open.  I used to keep it frost free in the winter with an electric heater with a thermostat but am not sure if I need to do this for pots of bulbs and primulas? Should I leave the door open during the day even in winter, presumably this is Ok as the bulbs etc will welcome the cold and I dont want leggy plants.  Any advice would be welcome

Contribution from David Nicholson 24 October 2014, 13:19top / bottom of page

Helen, so you can compare.

My greenhouse 8 x 6 has two roof vents open fully all year round apart from when heavy snow is about; two louvre vents in the sides always fully open and two panels of glass taken out of the door a covered with shade netting instead to keep the cats out. I grow mainly Primulas and bulbs.

There is no need for heat, or even frost free for most Primulas and Autumn/Spring flowering bulbs indeed my Primulas always flower better if they have had a good. frosting. I take my dormant Summer flowering bulbs into the garage and keep them in a couple of old propogating trays. If the conditions are really bad and I think the pots might freeze I cover the plants with a good layer of horticultural fleece

Contribution from Helen Johnstone 24 October 2014, 14:16top / bottom of page

Thank you David that is very helpful and as I suspected but it is reassuring to hear it from someone.  I will move all the tenderish non alpines into the garage and adopt your approach.  I wish I could remove some of the glass particularly in the summer but I dont think given the size (6 x 4) the frame would cope!!

Contribution from Margaret Young 24 October 2014, 17:34top / bottom of page

Helen: I understand your concern about the strength of the frame if glass is removed. I way round this - and a good ploy anyway to keep cats and birds out - is to replace the pane of glass with a piece of rigid weld-mesh. This can be kept in place using the same clips that are used to keep the glass in place.  We have done this along the sides of  8' x 6' glasshouses to great effect in keeping  good air movement.

Contribution from Helen Johnstone 24 October 2014, 17:59top / bottom of page

Thanks Margaret, I might try that in the summer

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