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  Greenhouse growing
From: Brian Williams <pugturd at alltel.net> on 2004.10.04 at 01:26:35(12245)
Here are some basic things that should be looked into. Heat and cooling
are the two biggest problems. 68f is probably the best temp for just
about all aroids to survive in. I have gas heat back ups in each
greenhouse just in case I forget to load the furnace. The furnace which
you maybe able to find small ones fairly cheep burns wood and heats the
water to 180f . The heated water is then pumped into tubes under the
greenhouse floor or tables and back to the furnace. The wood for us is
free and the only trouble is loading the furnace in the middle of winter
at night. This is called radiant heat and is extremely effective because
as the hot air rises it heats the actual roots and bulbs of the plants.
I have seen actual fog in many of these type greenhouses were the floor
is wet and then heated. Not mist but actual fog. Once you have your
heating system in place it is best to figure which plants you would like
to grow. For Amorphophallus and such planting the bulbs in raised beds
with the soil heated from below is amazing. I use regular KY soil rather
than pro mix which I use in pots. The soil is amazing for bulbs as they
seem to be perfectly safe from rot in this soil. The winter all goes
dormant and the kempferias amorphos and caladiums all in the same beds
will sleep for the winter in a very dry bed. The soil actually may crack
but if you dig in it a bit you can see it is a bit moist like clay. For
the Philodendrons and others. I enjoy growing most climber and epiphytes
in my greenhouse in hanging baskets with totem poles for each one to
climb. The baskets are hung up and a drip line is run to each totem so
it stays fairly moist. The humidity stays very high in this section of
the greenhouse and is watered regularly. I have 4 fans each with small
misters on the front of them. This can bring the humidity up very high.
The structure of many of our greenhouses are very simple a common
greenhouse frame with double poly over the frame. The poly is snaped air
tight with a simple bracket. Then a small air pump is placed into the
poly which feels the two poly covers with air. This makes a dead air
space of about 6 inches. It is ten times better than glass less
expensive last around 8 to 9 years and can let in tons of light. Your
cooling system could be as simple as removing the poly in summer and
adding a shade cloth. Or as complex as getting a wet wall to keep
humidity high and temps lower in the summer months. The cooling system
should be which ever best suits your plants. Anthuriums usually like it
a bit cooler and humid than alocasias or more bulbous plants. So you
should think what it is you want your greenhouse to do for your plants.
Do you want it to stay cool and dry to keep things dormant do you want
it hot humid for tropical tropical plants? You can do both by splitting
the greenhouse into sections but this usually only works well with
larger greenhouses. I for one enjoy natural looking collections or
displays were the plants are free of pots and containers. This is good
in someways but some plants may need to be kept in check. I must add
that capulary mats have worked great for me with philos and anthuirums.
It plastic placed over the table then the capulary matting which is a
cloth like material. Once it gets wet it stays damp and keeps humidity
up around the plants constantly. I have found it almost to good as many
plants have grown to it and ferns spores and moss growing all over it as
well. Well these are some things I have learned over the years growing
in greenhouses. I must say your greenhouse will never be large enough
and never be finished so good luck!!!
From: MossyTrail at cs.com on 2004.10.06 at 07:07:09(12253)
Brian Williams wrote:

>I have gas heat back ups in each
>greenhouse just in case I forget to load the furnace. The furnace which
>you maybe able to find small ones fairly cheep burns wood and heats the
>water to 180f.

From: "MJ Hatfield" <mjhatfield at oneota.org> on 2004.10.07 at 02:57:32(12255)
Wow Brian,
Lots of good information. However, I don't think you've got what I'd call a
"hobby greenhouse."
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