Greenhouse Plastic Removal Versus Snow Removal

Should I pull my greenhouse plastic off at the end of the season?

When greenhouses are located in an area that receives snow, they are at risk of collapsing under this excess weight. There are many ways to prevent snow build-up and greenhouse collapse. Here are some greenhouse plastic tips for winter to help keep your glazing in good shape. Removing greenhouse plastic at the end of the is one of the worst options, but there are many alternatives to consider.

Choosing the Right Greenhouse Frame

If you are located in an area with snowfall, your best option is to get a semi-gable greenhouse frame. The steep peak of the semi-gable frame helps to naturally shed snow. Quonset greenhouse frames will not be nearly as effective and will be more likely to warp and have plastic collapse under the weight of snow.

Choosing Greenhouse Glazing for Winter

Not all greenhouse plastics are equal when it comes to withstanding snow. You will want to consider your options carefully to make sure you select a more heavy-duty greenhouse covering material and may want to consider polycarbonate panels over plastic greenhouse films.

Manual Snow Removal 

This method requires a ton of labor! The easiest way is to go inside with a long pole and push against the snow. This is physically exhausting, and it is tough to remove all of the snow, especially at the peak.

Adding Truss Webbing

To handle more snow load, install a truss webbing kit to your existing structure.  This web disperses the weight across the entire width of the structure to increase snow load capacity.

Running Greenhouse Heaters

If greenhouse heaters are installed on the structure, simply turn the heat on before the storm just enough for the snow to melt as it lands on the greenhouse plastic. This fuel expense is very minimal compared to the cost of labor to remove or the cost of a structure collapse!

Add a Poly Inflation Kit

A poly inflation kit consists of two layers of plastic with a small fan the blows air from the greenhouse into the plastics layers. This vibration helps jiggle the plastic and allow the snow to shed better.

Removing Greenhouse Plastic

If none of the options are possible, then the plastic should be removed at the end of the season. This is labor-intensive and rapidly decreases the life of the plastic.

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