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Setting up a Greenhouse!!

This is a discussion on Setting up a Greenhouse!! within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I am waiting for the approval from HOA to build a 8.5'x12.5' greenhouse. In the ...

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  1. #1
    Lizgeo is offline Senior Member
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    Default Setting up a Greenhouse!!

    I am waiting for the approval from HOA to build a 8.5'x12.5' greenhouse. In the meanwhile, I am reading/researching on the greenhouse setup. I have questions for you guys:
    1. Besides misting system, do I still need sprinkling system in the greenhouse to water the orchids, in case I will be out of town for 2-3 weeks? Or orchids will do fine with misting alone?
    2. The vendor is offering optional door at the end of the greenhouse. I assume dual doors will allow max air flow during hot summer, but the end door instead of wall leaves no room to install exhaust fans. Which one would be better solution, door or exhaust fans?

    Thank you for your help! I am sure I will have more questions after the project starts. I hope to have the greenhouse up before the Thanksgiving so I have time to move the orchids

  2. #2
    Alplily NH's Avatar
    Alplily NH is offline Senior Member
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    Can't help with your tech questions... but boy am I green with envy! Congratulations!

  3. #3
    etex's Avatar
    etex is offline Senior Member
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    Congratulations.I am not so subtly filling windows,sunroom and porch with orchids, hoping my hubby will decide I need a greenhouse. The house is looking pretty jungly as I have no problems buying orchids. Keep us posted on your greenhouse

  4. #4
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    I an not sure about the sprinkling system. I like to have someone come by and water the orchids at the pot level and a sprinkler (without lots of air movement) could cause more problems that it would help.

    About the extra door versus an exhaust fan. Go for the fan. The door alone is not going to increase air movement that much and a fan will pull air across your orchids and the heat out. JMHO

    I am so excited for you!!

    Cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
    tdwin1453's Avatar
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    Post Exhaust Fans! (Or, maybe an evaporated cooling system . . .)

    Congratulations! . . . . Indeed, this post is quite timely for me as well, because I just advanced into the very early stages of designing an orchid greenhouse. I am expecting an initial array of "quotes" at the end of this week.

    As stated in my introduction to this forum, the goal for me is to construct a structure that also serves a fitting tribute to my mother, who passed away last early March. In this situation, currently I am not quite thinking of certain, more properly functional details of the greenhouse structure . . . so as to entertain a number of key design issues, such as siting in relationship to light exposure, orientation towards the house and other focal points of the landscape, material choice of the greenhouse and knee-wall, etc.

    I see that you are building in Houston, Texas; where likely Summer growing conditions, at least, are not too different from that of Virginia Beach, Va (USA). That is, we are both grow orchids in a warm to hot climate regimes, though you have likely warmer conditions than me. In your post, you speak of a ventilation system strategy utilizing the presence of either a second door or exhaust fan.

    In my research, it would seem that, because on hot Summer days the interior space of a greenhouse can get up to somewhere around 120F (48.9C), a more "natural" ventilation system, even if modified by the presence of a second door, alone would not be sufficient for your needs in Houston.

    It seems to me that the exhaust fans, rather than a second door, are a better way to go! I mean further that in this "fan" strategy the use of a combination of exhaust fans, shutter-cooling, and shade cloth would drop the temperatures inside to a more reasonable, but still hot growing level. Here, according to the my source, which I can share with you privately through email, an outside temperature of around 95F (35C) would only produce an estimated 98F (36.7C) inside.

    The greenhouse company that is to design and build my structure recommends using an evaporated cooling system to lower the heat levels, alongside proper air circulation created by an efficient ventilation system, for the climate here in Virginia Beach, VA. In the source I am presently looking at online, as mentioned above, the diagram clearly states that an evaporated cooling system would bring growing temperatures to a much more tolerable and flexible level for the orchids you might intend to grow. On this same 95F (35C) degree Summer day, the inside temperatures for both (1) a "positive pressure" AND (2) a "fan and pad" evaporated cooling system would be 10F-15F degrees lower than the outside temperature at around 80F (26.7C)!

    That seems more than ideal! but I imagine it to be expensive. . . . Again I am waiting various "quotes" for the cost of the 12' x 16' greenhouse I am looking at constructing, which will include an evaporating system. With regard to the independent online source I have noted; the diagram delineates the advantages of a "fan," as well as an "evaporative cooling," strategy over a more "natural" strategy making use of a second door. I currently unaware of the expense it would take to achieve either strategy in terms of a concrete price. The online source, however, does provide for prices of either system. I have not looked at them yet to know what the bottom line would be with regard to a 8.5' x 12.5 or a 12' x 16' greenhouse.

    Whatever the price, it seems irrelevant to your essential question. If I were in your shoes, I would clearly opt for the exhaust fans, as has been recommended in the other posts above. Where cost becomes a factor is with regard to the advice I was given regarding an evaporative cooling system being critical to the abating the Summer heat for warm to hot growing climates, like Virginia Beach or Houston. Also I should think much depends on what kind of orchids you are planning to cultivate. Note, in addition, I also observed in my research, but have not yet fleshed it out more detail, the option of a "portable" evaporative cooling system.

    In any case, email me and I will give you the hyperlink to the diagram I based my advise on currently. I am sure it will help inasmuch as the replies to the post will.

    Tim

  6. #6
    pavel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alplily NH View Post
    Can't help with your tech questions... but boy am I green with envy! Congratulations!
    I'll 2nd that!

  7. #7
    orchidgirl is offline Senior Member
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    congrats!your sooo lucky!!!I want a greenhouse so bad! im stuck with a 980 sq ft sunroom!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by orchidgirl View Post
    congrats!your sooo lucky!!!I want a greenhouse so bad! im stuck with a 980 sq ft sunroom!
    Wow Jen, your sunroom is 300 sq feet larger than my whole house!

    Congrats on the new greenhouse, Lizgeo!

  9. #9
    Lizgeo is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Thanks for your feedback. I will stick to the wall and exhausting fan. I am not planning on evaporating cooler, yet.

  10. #10
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    I've been reading through old posts on watering. With the new room on a truck and headed this way soon...I was wondering about the Misting VS Drip System for when I go away.
    So, if I hear you all correctly, misting would be best with a friend to water every so often. Yes??
    So how often should the misting system go off? Twice a day? Three times? And then the "watering friend"....with the misting, how long could I go without actual watering being done? Two weeks?
    I've been brainstorming...this is the first of many questions I'm sure!

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