The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - New Greenhouse - tips on how to set it up
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:09 pm 
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Hi all,

I am very, very new to Orchids so I don't have a vast amount of knowledge. So, I am probably asking some very basic questions. Anyhow, here goes......

I have inherited an aluminium greenhouse with our house which I scrubbed clean and jet washed this weekend ready to use. It came with various staging and a small paraffin heater.

How do I turn my greenhouse into a suitable environment for my ever growing collection of Orchids - they are currently kept in the house.

The greenhouse is facing east/west. It is behind a large tree so gets little light till after mid-day (we may cut the tree down)

Thank you for all of your comments in advance :-)

Zoe


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:49 pm 
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I haven't got a greenhouse set up (yet) but have been reading a bit, must say cleaning is always a good start. I am not sure about paraffin heaters, remembering reading something about Gas and the detrimental effects on bloom - but can't say for certain.

Questions for you to answer, that may help the more experienced growers here help you further.
1) Will you be growing: Cool, Intermediate or Warm growing orchids?
This will help with knowing what you need to make your greenhouse the best for what you have.

2) What is the size of your greenhouse?
Size matters as in that it may effect things such as heat loss and what sort of heating would be best.

3) How will you water the plants?
Simple, but you may be considering some sort of over head or automated system.

4) Do you intend to use a misting system?
Again, there are different ways t deal with humidity. From the basics hand mister, to drenching the floors, to having an automated mister. This, if considered, would effect how much water the plants will require once set up.

5) Will you be adding fans for air movement?
How much space you have, the orchids you keep, and so on will determine how much you have to consider some sort of fan set up. Many Orchids quite like the moving air over still.

There's probably questions I have missed :) Keep us up to date on your progress too!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:43 pm 
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Hi
I grow all my orchids in my greenhouse at home I will be starting renovating my greenhouse this summer.

I am more than happy to answer any questions you have about greenhouse growing.

Also I am only down the road in Atherstone if you wanted to speak in person if that would be easier.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:23 pm 
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Hi Zoe,

You probably need to start thinking about insulation and heating for next winter if you want to keep them outside all year. The parrafin heater will not be enough for most orchids (there are a few which will be ok if its just frost free, but its a relatively small number).

You will find electric heaters are typically cheaper to run than parrafin, and less hassle. Some folks prefer bottled gas, but again electric is often cheaper.

Im sure people here can answer all you questions.



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:56 pm 
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Michele, I will try to answer your questions
Quote:
Questions for you to answer, that may help the more experienced growers here help you further.
1) Will you be growing: Cool, Intermediate or Warm growing orchids?
This will help with knowing what you need to make your greenhouse the best for what you have.

2) What is the size of your greenhouse?
Size matters as in that it may effect things such as heat loss and what sort of heating would be best.

3) How will you water the plants?
Simple, but you may be considering some sort of over head or automated system.

4) Do you intend to use a misting system?
Again, there are different ways t deal with humidity. From the basics hand mister, to drenching the floors, to having an automated mister. This, if considered, would effect how much water the plants will require once set up.

5) Will you be adding fans for air movement?
How much space you have, the orchids you keep, and so on will determine how much you have to consider some sort of fan set up. Many Orchids quite like the moving air over still.


1) I am currently growing cool Orchids but may want to progress....

2) I am unable to tell you the size of the greenhouse as my husband broke the tape measure and hasn't replaced it yet :oops: However, I have attached a picture for your information

3) Ideas on watering systems would appreciated???

4) A misting system would be good but I am working on a budget at the moment so that may have to come down the line.

5) Do you think I need fans in this size of greenhouse? I can add fans??

Thanks for your help :D

Quote:
Also I am only down the road in Atherstone if you wanted to speak in person if that would be easier.


I would love to meet a fellow enthusiast and Atherstone is very close to me :-)

Zoe


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:02 pm 
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Looking at your slabs I would say you have a 8 by 10 as rough guild as long as those slabs are 2 by 2 slabs.

I grow intermediate and am able to grow most orchids in there with relative ease.

There is some where a thread with my greenhouse in it. Well I am nor than happy to show you greenhouse to give you some ideas and pointers on what to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:41 am 
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I would say looking at the panes of glass it's a 6x8 standard glass is 60cms or 2 ft so 4 down the side makes 8 3 across the front makes 6


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:22 am 
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Zopoll wrote:
1) I am currently growing cool Orchids but may want to progress....

2) I am unable to tell you the size of the greenhouse as my husband broke the tape measure and hasn't replaced it yet :oops: However, I have attached a picture for your information

3) Ideas on watering systems would appreciated???

4) A misting system would be good but I am working on a budget at the moment so that may have to come down the line.

5) Do you think I need fans in this size of greenhouse? I can add fans??


1) There are many warm growers that do well enough in a home environment. But if you wanted to progress to warm, or even intermediate, outside you may end up wanting a second greenhouse. Not sure on the logistics or possibilities of different heat ranges in the same environment.

2) Agree with the guys above. Just be warned, from what other growers say, it will never be big enough! Even if you grow them in home, many orchids growers will find/make space... I know I am considering selling/donating many of my ornaments just to make space for plants. ;)

3/4) Watering and misting systems I wont be able to give any advice on. But they do exist. It would be worth, if considering a system for either, checking out what's on the market and what people here, and other growers have used and recommend.

5) Considering you are growing cool orchids, a fan or two wouldn't go amiss. Getting to see another Orchid growers set up is also invaluable, so that offer from Blondie is rather good :)
With fans you do not have to go over board, but a couple to a few basic desk or clip fans should do the trick. I have even seen people convert computer fans, but not sure they would be good enough for a greenhouse (usually see them in terrariums). It will be useful to consider as the weather gets hotter, otherwise the green house may become too hot for cool orchids. It also helps reduce risk of things such as rot. All I know is the more I look into growing orchids, the general consensus of air movement is that it is important and often those growers with a fan set up often have quite happy plants.

That's a nice looking greenhouse. Looking forward to seeing it when it's full! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:20 pm 
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To be brief, these are basic greenhouses and you will need to seriously insulate it before the winter sets in. This means possibly thick bubble wrap on the inside throughout as a minimum. To grow intermediate to warm you will need a serious heater to keep the temps constant. I'm not a fan of paraffin due to the fumes etc, so keeping it at the right temps could be costly. I grow intermediate as I grow multi paphs etc and my min is 15C min at night, 18C in the day in winter. If you grow cool you can go down to around 7-8C but in any case, I would always have serious air movement which could reduce varying problems. Humidity is only a problem in the summer months so if your on a budget, wetting the floor regularly will help. Otherwise your talking a hydrofogger and more expense. You will be Ok during the next 3-4 months at least with most types of orchids in the greenhouse so use it. They will definitely benefit by the extra light compared to being indoors but take care of direct sunlight which will damage your plants so shading may be needed for protection.

Gary



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:29 pm 
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As a first step i would think about temperature requirements and light levels, the two hardest things to get right.

Fans are not neccessary at all and neither is a fancy msting system, although both can be added later.

Get a good quality auto-vent for the windows to prevent excessively high summer temperatures, you may need some shade netting as well.

A water butt to collect rainwater may be usefull, if tap water is soft enough that works as well.



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:03 pm 
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SilverShaded wrote:
As a first step i would think about temperature requirements and light levels, the two hardest things to get right.

Fans are not neccessary at all and neither is a fancy msting system, although both can be added later.

Get a good quality auto-vent for the windows to prevent excessively high summer temperatures, you may need some shade netting as well.

A water butt to collect rainwater may be usefull, if tap water is soft enough that works as well.



Unsure about the fan quote as air movement is possibly the second most important factor to transpiration for keeping a plant cool. Vents will pull air through to help keep the greenhouse cooler. It could get seriously hot in there and the plants could become easily damaged due to excess heat. Temps above 85F are under risk and a series a small measures will all help to control the greenhouse environment. I wouldn't do without any which I've experimented on over many years to help reduce the loss of plants and damage. Wetting the floor regularly on hot days will also minimise risk. Poor air movements can cause fungal problems, rots etc so care must be taken at all times.

Gary


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:56 pm 
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carper715 wrote:
SilverShaded wrote:
As a first step i would think about temperature requirements and light levels, the two hardest things to get right.

Fans are not neccessary at all and neither is a fancy msting system, although both can be added later.

Get a good quality auto-vent for the windows to prevent excessively high summer temperatures, you may need some shade netting as well.

A water butt to collect rainwater may be usefull, if tap water is soft enough that works as well.



Unsure about the fan quote as air movement is possibly the second most important factor to transpiration for keeping a plant cool. Vents will pull air through to help keep the greenhouse cooler. It could get seriously hot in there and the plants could become easily damaged due to excess heat. Temps above 85F are under risk and a series a small measures will all help to control the greenhouse environment. I wouldn't do without any which I've experimented on over many years to help reduce the loss of plants and damage. Wetting the floor regularly on hot days will also minimise risk. Poor air movements can cause fungal problems, rots etc so care must be taken at all times.

Gary


Gary, a lot of what you say is conventional wisdom. I think a lot depends on other factors in the greenhouse, personally we don't use fans, either in the greenhouse or in terrariums with very high humidity. We often water late at night and let the plants dry out the following day. Pretty much as per what they get in the natural environment (at least for the plants we have). Fans lower the effective humidity far too much for my liking.

That said, I believe most folks use fans so fair enough.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:40 pm 
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SilverShaded wrote:
carper715 wrote:
SilverShaded wrote:
As a first step i would think about temperature requirements and light levels, the two hardest things to get right.

Fans are not neccessary at all and neither is a fancy msting system, although both can be added later.

Get a good quality auto-vent for the windows to prevent excessively high summer temperatures, you may need some shade netting as well.

A water butt to collect rainwater may be usefull, if tap water is soft enough that works as well.



Unsure about the fan quote as air movement is possibly the second most important factor to transpiration for keeping a plant cool. Vents will pull air through to help keep the greenhouse cooler. It could get seriously hot in there and the plants could become easily damaged due to excess heat. Temps above 85F are under risk and a series a small measures will all help to control the greenhouse environment. I wouldn't do without any which I've experimented on over many years to help reduce the loss of plants and damage. Wetting the floor regularly on hot days will also minimise risk. Poor air movements can cause fungal problems, rots etc so care must be taken at all times.

Gary


Gary, a lot of what you say is conventional wisdom. I think a lot depends on other factors in the greenhouse, personally we don't use fans, either in the greenhouse or in terrariums with very high humidity. We often water late at night and let the plants dry out the following day. Pretty much as per what they get in the natural environment (at least for the plants we have). Fans lower the effective humidity far too much for my liking.

That said, I believe most folks use fans so fair enough.


As mentioned above, a lot does depend on the individuals factors in their own growing environment as they all vary. As far as "conventional wisdom" is concerned, I base all my own judgements based on my own experimentation and nothing else. What works for one may not for another. My own growing environment is all based on my own experiments overs many years, what problems have occurred, the benefits etc. I keep my humidity around the 70% mark and let my plants dry throughout before watering again. I also foliar feed and require the plants dry before night time temp drops, so the strong air movement for me is essential. I only grow paphs mainly but my environment is also based around other factors including feed strength, light etc. Most growers will experiment and adapt the best ways in which to grow their plants and it's good if they can be different and successful. We, as successful growers can only give the inexperienced, ideas, but they will themselves will have to decide what they need.

Gary


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:43 am 
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Paphs do seem very sensitive to having water resting in the crown, i had to re-arrange our greenhouse so that ours were not sitting under the bulbophyllum baskets and getting constantly dripped on.


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