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Temporary shade

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by hydrogardener, May 27, 2017.

  1. hydrogardener

    hydrogardener Super Gardener

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    I wanted to place my heat and light loving orchids in the greenhouse along with the tomatoes and peppers for the summer, however, the light levels were too high for Cattleyas, even with the 45% poly shade cloth on the greenhouse. After giving the problem some thought I came up with a workable solution: a temporary shade.
    Using a folding frame that I had for camping I made a tent of shade material that I had with a blow-away greenhouse some years ago.
    Now, under the temporary cover, the light level during mid-day is about 3,000 foot-candles, which is ideal for Cattleyas. It is not pretty, but it works.
    Currently, the greenhouse temperature is 72 degrees F, with the humidity at 60%, which is not ideal for orchids but it will have to do.

    shade.jpg
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Gardener

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      Hi,

      They look ok, but can I suggest that you need to make much better surroundings for them.

      I grew a mix of orchids for a few years in the greenhouse, but no way would they have survived long term in the same conditions as the toms and clearly so dry as you have, ie the phone in there .

      Can you section off the rear two foot of the greenhouse, insulate it well so you can control the light, temperature and ventilation properly.

      I used an air circulating fan 24/7 and one of the small ultrasonic steamers to keep the conditions good.

      Once you have the right conditions , its so easy to get hooked on more orchids...:)
       

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      • hydrogardener

        hydrogardener Super Gardener

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        Thanks for the advice.
         
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        • hydrogardener

          hydrogardener Super Gardener

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          Keeping it simple I placed four cup hooks into the wooden plant supports on the sides of the greenhouse to suspend the shade. It looks much better and gives me a lot more space for orchids, additionally, it is very easy to remove. Already I can see growth spurts in the plants and they have only been a short period of time in the greenhouse. Currently, it is 66 F with an RH of 73, with 3,000 foot-candles showing on the meter.

          Yesterday I visited Piping Rock Orchid greenhouses to discuss lighting and conditions with the owner. He has three large greenhouses and he could see no problems with my conditions, other than at times my light level might get too high. If it does I can easily suspend another level of shade, but so far the meter has not hit 5,000 foot-candles.

          shade.jpg
          Piping Rock.JPG
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          • ricky101

            ricky101 Gardener

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            I also used a lo cost light meter to get some idea of what low levels of light really meant vs bright direct sunlight.

            However, its really down to your skill and observations of how the plants are growing that really count; sounds like you have got it just right at the moment :)
             
          • hydrogardener

            hydrogardener Super Gardener

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            I am really trying to better control high light levels. The plant on the upper right has a red tinge on the end of some leaves, due to the light level being too high. That may have been due to the plant being under a huge LED growlight during the winter. I have seen red coloring disappear when levels are reduced. The greenhouse professional gave me some good advice; that in the greenhouse the plants will need more frequent watering and feeding because they will be growing much faster.

            In addition, I have many hybrid seedlings growing indoors under artificial lighting. These are new hybrids and I will not know if I have blue ribbon winners, or ugly ducklings, for at least a year or two. Controlling light on the seedlings is also essential.

            deflasked hybrids.jpg

            hybrid seedlings.jpg
             
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              Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
            • ricky101

              ricky101 Gardener

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              They all look very healthy.:smile:

              I only managed to keep established/grown orchids, never got involved in seedlings which seemed quiet specialized, needing a lot of skill and patience.

              Expect you have orchid forums over there ..? I joined the the main uk orchid forum (orchidforum.eu) which was a real help and also interesting to see other folks efforts in keeping them, ranging from difficult Vandas to the almost outdoor Cymbidiums.
               
            • hydrogardener

              hydrogardener Super Gardener

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              I have been a member of the Northeast Orchid Society for some time. We have an excellent care and culture resource on our site. Hydroponics is my real interest and I may grow some orchids hydroponically, as they are growing several at Piping Rock in the same system that I have. Also, I am into plant tissue culture and now have turned my attention to orchids and hybridizing them.

              The material in the flask is embryonic material from a green Phalaenopsis seedpod that I am experimenting with.

              Orchid Care & Culture

              seed fluff.jpg
               
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                Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
              • ruletheworld

                ruletheworld Apprentice Gardener

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                If you want to grow them properly you have to spend fortune on good shade and watering on time, that's really hard job to grow them.
                 
              • ricky101

                ricky101 Gardener

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                Hydroponics apart, growing normal potted orchids is not hard or that costly, its more about knowing how to care for them as they are quiet different from normal garden plants.

                Shading is quiet cheap but its ventilation in the summer thats equally important and heating/insulation in the winter than can be costly if you do not set things up properly.

                Just been getting back into growing a few orchids and ferns etc on a very small scale with some scavenged materials as the pic shows.

                Also a pic of a standard phal costing £5 from the supermarkets that used to repeat flower every six months for several years.

                Have you tried /wanted to grow orchids - phals are the ideal plant to start with.
                 

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              • Marley Farley

                Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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                Wow @hydrogardener you have some set up there, and what a fab size greenhouse.! :SUNsmile::thumbsup: I love orchids but don't have the right conditions to grow them.. You are way past us amateurs when it comes to,orchids I feel.. :thumbsup:
                 
              • CarolineL

                CarolineL Gardener

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                Hi @hydrogardener - re hydroponic orchids - were you planning to use one of those continuous flow systems? Any medium or just bare roots in a trough? I currently find my 2 vandas doing quite nicely in pure hortag in pots without holes. I fill the pot with water and dilute feed once a week, let them sit in it for a few hours till the roots go nice and green, then drain them and they go back on the windowsill. It's a sort of poor person's hydroponics! Just noticed a spike starting again today, so they like it. I need to find a better way to handle cattleyas than standard bark - I either get them too soggy or dried out...
                 
              • CarolineL

                CarolineL Gardener

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                Georgeous wardian case @ricky101! Is it independently heated or in a heated greenhous?
                 
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                • hydrogardener

                  hydrogardener Super Gardener

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                  View attachment 88963
                  I am really not growing the orchids hydronically, the tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse are grown hydronically. The orchids are being grown in the conventional method, but being fed weekly, weakly. I found that the tomato plants provide dappled shading, and between them and external shade cloth the lighting is ideal. So far, I am seeing a lot of growth on the smaller plants. The Cymbidium was in pretty poor shape when I got it, but has recovered nicely in only a few months in the sunny corner of the greenhouse.

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                  Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
                • hydrogardener

                  hydrogardener Super Gardener

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                  For the Cattleyas I have been using either a small or medium clean Fir bark, mixed four to one with charcoal and agricultural perlite, which works well for me. As for watering, in the greenhouse it is once a week, and I can tell if watering is needed by simply lifting the pot to see how heavy or light it is.


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                  Last edited: Aug 16, 2017

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