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Thread: Greenhouse management help

  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    After moving away from Savannah, GA to the Piedmont of SC, I am having to build a small 8x12 foot greenhouse to protect my orchids, and hopefully facilitate a better growing environment for my Neps. I am having a hard time finding information related to temperature, light, and humidity management philosophies and techniques to sustain my tropical plants during the winter.

    Do any of you have any recommendations as to resources out there that may help me through the winter? I have not decided on a heating and ventilation system yet, and I don't want to lose my plants this winter because of a misjudgment or an experiment gone bad.

    I am inclined to seal the greenhouse, and use a space-heater and fan to warm and circulate the air.

    I would also love to see other's notes/journals on their own trials and tribulations as I know very little about managing a hobby greenhouse.

    Glenn
    Columbia, South Carolina.
    Spartanburg, SC/ Amelia Island, FL USA

  2. #2
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Hey Gringo, you'll definetley want heat if your going for orchids and neps. A ventilation system I would purchase in the spring if you plan to build the gh now. And all planning where to put this system (the fan, t-stat, and vents or evaporative pads.)

    As far as heating I use Kerosene. It's very efficent in the unit I have MPI 441 model. More info can be found at Monitor Website about these heaters.

    My unit's rated output is around 43,000 BTU's which is well over the limit, I could heat another greenhouse if it was practical! You can also go to LP (propane) which is just as about efficent as kerosene is and can be a little mroe expensive depending on the Co. you are dealing with. It's about $2.20 a gallon here while Kero is $1.44 a gallon. I've also attached a picture of my right side of the greenhouse where the swamp cooler, monitor (white machine under the swamp cooler pads) and plants growing well. I also use a poly inflation blower to maintain airspace between the two poly layers which provides about 15-20% heat cost savings. I'm also in the process of resealing the greenhouse with "Great Stuff" the inflating foam in an aerosol can. Any other things you want to know just say so. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] Also I have 2 circulation fans which are not in view in the picture.

    [img]http://home.**********.com/nepenthesgracilis/gh.JPG[/img]

  3. #3

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    I want to come across country and visit your greenhouse, NepG! Wow! If that's only a portion of you collection, you must be a serious, long-term, extremely dedicated hobbyist/collector!

    SF

  4. #4
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Snowyfalcon, many thanks for the compliments on the greenhouse and plants.

    Most people think of me as a small yet dedicated grower, but my collection is growing as we speak! This summer I will be doing some serious adding now that I have near perfect conditions for the plants. Now my misting system (you can see the little blue things on the wood rafters) is running for about 1 minute every 15 to 45 mintues which is giving me over 50% all the time, it's usually in the 70 and higher range, sometimes on a sunny day it is hard to inhale!

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