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Need critique of my greenhouse

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by Markedg, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Markedg

    Markedg New Member

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    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    I have been looking at some member's grow areas/greenhouses, and I am jealous. I would like to have your opinion on how, if anything, could be improved. I have had my greenhouse for about a year and a half and I have had a few issues which look like being finally resolved. My greenhouse is a 10x12' and it gets full sun from late winter to just beginning of December. Here in Ireland, it rarely ever gets about 75F and before this winter, below 25F. In summer, it is daylight until about 11pm, winter about 4pm.

    I got a new electric heater which draws in the greenhouse air, adds any required heat to keep it at the desired temperature, which at the moment is about 60F. It send out the heated air via a perforated plastic tube and it keeps the greenhouse at an even temperature. I also have lined it with bubblewrap(which I leave up all year). I have noticed that without any supplemental humidity, that the greenhouse stays at about 75-85% and when I water, it can go as high as 95%. As it gets a bit drier in our summer, I was thinking of getting a small hydrofogger, connected to my rain barrel. The plants are doing ok. My cattleyas, paphiopedilums, and others are looking healthy and some are starting to flower. I would like to get people's opinions on what else I would need to do to get that exuberance I see in some peoples plants.

    I have attached a few pics of my greenhouse. Apologies for the quality.
    P2250141.JPG P2250143.JPG P2250144.JPG
     
  2. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    Location:
    Duluth, Georgia USA
    You don't mention fans for circulating air.
    Do you have fans?
     
  3. Markedg

    Markedg New Member

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    Fans

    This particular heater has a very good fan on it. It has a Fan output 415cu meters per hr. I am going to put on some shadeing and 50% shade cloth in the next week or so. I do have a fan which you can probably barely see in the picture. I will see how I get on and may put it on when the weather gets warmer.
     
  4. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    Your plants all look happy. Maybe what is needed is patience? LOL. Seriously, you have a nice looking group of plants.
    Maybe someone with a greenhouse will chime in with more suggestions.
     
  5. T&J San Antonio

    T&J San Antonio New Member

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    Location:
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    Still, your plants need air circulation. Consider some additional fans. You should feel air movement in all areas of the greenhouse at all times. My one greenhouse 28'X14' has six sixteen inch oscilating fans running 24 hours a day 7 days a week. During the time when the cooling system (water-wall) is in operation I have four 20" box fans infront of the cooling pads running during the daylight hours. Air movement is essential for keeping scale and thrip from getting out of control.

    Considering your environment, I think you have done well. you might want to check into some supplimental lighting during ovecast days. What little light gets through the bubble wrap is not nearly enough to do you plants much good. Plants will generally survive in low light conditions but may not reach thier full potential.

    But then what do I know? I'm just a silly old man who loves his orchids and his Pomeranians

    just tom
     
  6. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

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    Location:
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    Looks good.

    How do you handle the prolonged and reduced light? Do you have a way to block out the light in the summer? Or add more in the winter? Plants are quite good at adapting but the closer we can get to their natural conditions the better they will do.
     
  7. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    Location:
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    What about night/day and seasonal temperature differentials? Most plants require temperature differences.
     
  8. Markedg

    Markedg New Member

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    Location:
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    Temperatures

    Forest, Jon,
    The temperatures right now have ranged from about 53-55F at night and on a cloudy day approx 65F and when the sun comes out, 85F or so. I will shortly paint on some shading and also put on 50% shade cloth. If I did not have it, the temperatures would go up to 120F. With it, about 85 or so and it would go down to about 60 or so in the summer. Daytime temperatures in our summer, rarely get above 75F and lows in the mid 50's. In the winter, they tend to go a bit dormant . With this heater, I goes to about 63F winter day and about 53F winter nights.