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Thread: Pineapple's Greenhouse

  1. #121

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    You greenhouse may no be leaking due to cracks its just the heating and cooling process like in a car. No matter how hot it is in a car within an hour or so its back down to outside temps and a car has alittle more insulation then your greenhouse. For water barrels you should be able to find blue ones for some what cheap. 10 to 20 each paint them black and cut the tops off of them. This will heat and humidify your greenhouse. Also to keep the water warmer you can add bubble wrap to the inside b4 you fill it so allow it to cool off faster. A clear silicon on the outside of the building so stop air and water from leaking in but you will also have to do the inside as well. This will prevent you from ever taking it down with out but if you ever have. To then you may have to take a razor blade and cut along the grooves of every panel. It get really expensive to heat during the winter months no matter what climate your in but a somewhat cheap method would be to bubble wrap then plastic poly the outside during these months. Note plastic poly should be 6 to 10 mill thick. The thicker the better as well with the bubble wrap. I know it may not look astetically appealing but it will help keep more heat in. If I may ask did you purchase greenhouse from harbor freight

  2. #122
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    You realize that the walls of your greenhouse have a Rfactor of about 2?? So even with every crack and crevice sealed they at best will hold heat for about 30 minutes...

    Best way to hold heat is a thermal blanket on top, but you would have to toss it on every night. bubble wrap layer on the inside would help.. Polyfilm on the outside wouldn't do much unless you can double layer it and inflate it, which would be difficult with your setup. But even with added insulation you might be looking at an Rfactor of around 3.5 - 4.. There is a reason building walls are thick and hard to see through ;>
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  3. #123
    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    As others have said, the R-value of the double wall polycarbonate is very low; much of your heat is leaking through these panels, not through cracks. Its unavoidable.
    Now, I don't mean to be unkind or anything, but I did say to you weeks ago that your vision of a "passive" climate control greenhouse would likely prove to be unrealistic. If you want the greenhouse to stay reasonably warm at night through the winter, then you have to add heat. If you expect to cool it to under 85F when things warm up, then you will have to enable a cooling system. If you want to maintain high humidity, then you have to put water into the air. Sorry, but there is no escaping it; you can't rely completely on passive systems to do all the tasks you need to maintain an ideal Nepenthes grow space.

    That said, heating a small grow space in a mild climate like yours isn't going to break your budget, I wouldn't think, anyway. I have a modest 9 X 12 foot house that is heated by propane, in zone 8a Oregon. Winter nights here are typically between 28F and 40F, with the majority hovering a few degrees above freezing. I keep the propane heater on the low setting during most daytime periods to bring the temperature up to at least the low 70s. (some days I kick it up to the high setting if its really grey and cold) Some days are mild enough that I can turn the heat off during the afternoon and modest solar gain warms the space up to as high as 78F for a time. On nights when temps drop below 27F (or thereabouts), I throw a couple of old comforters over the roof of the house to help hold in heat. Greenhouse supply companies make six foot wide rolls of bubble wrap insulation specifically for insulating greenhouses, if you want to look into that, but the stuff ain't cheap: expect to pay about a dollar a foot, perhaps more. You can buy a lot pf propane for the cost of a 50 foot roll of insulation wrap!

    During December and January, my fuel costs to maintain a near-ideal highland/intermediate Nepenthes environment have been about $25 a week. I consider this to be a very reasonable heating cost. I spend more than that amount on coffee alone every week, so twenty-five bucks seems very reasonable, in my estimation. Perhaps you thought it would be far more expensive than that? FYI the propane heater itself wasn't very expensive: about $299 if I remember correctly. You can obtain a tank for a reasonable price as well.

    As for keeping temps from exceeding the high end of tolerance, you need to be ready to deal with that also. I don't think you can afford to opt for a passive system and expect to get the job done. You can keep a lot of excess heat from building up in the grow space by getting shade cloth for the house; it will go a long way towards keeping things cooler. I'm sure the house came with louvers for venting excess heat, which will be helpful, but probably won't do 100% of the job. You should likely consider installing a thermostat driven exhaust fan, so that when temps hit, say, 85F, the fan kicks on and starts drawing hot air out of the house. This will have the secondary effect of bringing in drier air from outside, and you will want to address that problem as well. There are numerous options for misting systems and humidifiers, you just need to select one that is appropriate for a space your size.

    One other note: If you seal up every single crack and leak in that greenhouse, you are introducing another potential problem, should you decide to acquire a small propane heater; you can't completely seal up such a small space when operating a propane device, because there must be some air exchange, or you will create a situation that could be dangerous to YOU. Burn up all the oxygen and you can suffocate yourself. Its probably not good for the plants either.

    If you want specific recommendations/suggestions for reliable-but-not-too-expensive hardware for any of these tasks, feel free to ask.

    PS: Don't let these technical problems discourage you. You just need to realize that all greenhouses built for specific genera (especially ones that have fairly exacting climate requirements) need to be equipped to make those conditions happen, reliably and unerringly.

  4. #124
    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    What I will do is seal off every single possible crack from the inside and outside with foil tape. That will solve the issue for sure. Since that will water-proof the greenhouse, I can then add a heater and a swamp cooler, hooked up to a thermostat.

    Also... Humidity. It stays around 50% during the day, and when the greenhouse heats up to around 85, it can drop to 30%. How do I keep the air really humid? I'm thinking of getting two, 15" wide, 6' (appox.) long containers if I can find them, filling them with water, and sticking them under the two shelves on the sides. Will this raise the humidity in the greenhouse sufficiently? What else can I do to raise it to around 80% inside the greenhouse? I just don't understand it. At the greenhouse at the nep store, it's extremely humid, without standing water or a fogger or any sort. There are some high humidity requiring neps that pitcher just fine there.

    ---------- Post added at 07:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:57 PM ----------

    I was kind of getting worried that the N. jacquelineae was going to be green, but sure enough, it pulled through at the last minute.



    The new Pasian Highlands N. truncata pitcher is about to open! And another growth tip popped out and is now forming a leaf!



    N. densiflora x spectabilis is coming right along, though it's a rather slow grower... The new leaf that was forming has been unfolding for the last few weeks. It's not even 10% open yet...



    And last, but not least, the new pitcher of my N. x 'Peter D'amato' x maxima, which has been forming since I got it. It's a quickly growing plant and has grown and opened an entire new leaf. The pitcher is kinda slowly forming, though the lid isn't suffering from tiny lid syndrome, which tells me it's a pretty hardy plant. I just can't wait to see what the upper pitchers look like, because the lower pitchers look amazing, and N. x 'Peter D'amato' has Lowii in it, so it should look really chill.

    ...You can also see the newest N. singalana 'Belirang' pitcher to the left and the N. jacquelineae pitcher that is forming above and behind the N. x 'Peter D'amato' x maxima pitcher...


  5. #125
    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Not sure if I mentioned it, but I'm using a 20g glass tank in my greenhouse as a terrarium for frogs. Until I get them, it will be housing my two newest members of the greenhouse clan. I'll be setting up the terrarium this weekend... A thick layer of aquarium gravel for drainage, topped with a thick layer of dead sphag that I can plant neps and other tropicals in, topped with my current live sphagnum moss.

    Two newest members, which should turn into fifty new members in a few months...



    O_o & =_=

  6. #126
    sarracenia lover dionae's Avatar
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    Beautiful neps and nice fish Pineapple!

  7. #127
    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dionae View Post
    Beautiful neps and nice fish Pineapple!
    Thanks!

  8. #128
    Peatmoss's Avatar
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    You caught on to the whole Nepenthes thing really fast, seems like you have them growing really well!

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