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My greenhouse in winter - a pictorial guide !

This is a discussion on My greenhouse in winter - a pictorial guide ! within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; One picture is worth a thousand words, so I don't need to say any more. ...

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  1. #1
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is offline Senior Member
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    Default My greenhouse in winter - a pictorial guide !

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    Name:  My-greenhouse-in-winter-1..jpg
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    One picture is worth a thousand words, so I don't need to say any more. But I will try and answer questions, if any.

  2. #2
    cdayinflorida's Avatar
    cdayinflorida is offline Senior Member
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    WOW...that is a setup for sure. Thanks for posting the pictures. I was wondering how you got the Vanda types to bloom with typical gray days of winter.

  3. #3
    cdayinflorida's Avatar
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    I just reread you post and the lights only run for six hours? That is amazing.

  4. #4
    Dorsetman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdayinflorida View Post
    WOW...that is a setup for sure. Thanks for posting the pictures. I was wondering how you got the Vanda types to bloom with typical gray days of winter.
    Actually, the large flowered Vandas themselves are above the lights, extending up to the glass and seem to get enough to flower all the year round ; it is the smaller stuff mostly which is under the lights - a matter of headroom !

  5. #5
    cdayinflorida's Avatar
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    I just don't know if I could be that dedicated. Growing them in Florida where they can pretty much grow oustside year around can be a big headache and a massive chore. Kudos to you and the rest of the folks like Naoki that grow them so well under lights.
    I do imagine that being in the greenhouse with the lights has got to be a boost for those gray days. I'm such a solar-powered person it would give me a lift.

  6. #6
    Dorsetman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdayinflorida View Post
    I just reread you post and the lights only run for six hours? That is amazing.
    Using lights all the time is easy, no problem – apart from the capital equipment cost, and the running cost. Actually 400 watt HID lamps don’t use 400watt except at start-up, but they still use an awful lot of power when you multiply by four lamps, and by the number of hours per day.
    But using them as supplementary lighting – as I do – is not easy. Ideally, p-e switches would bring them on when the daylight fell below a preset value , but after going through all the p-e switches which are readily available , I never found ones which worked reliably.
    So I went to preset times instead. Even then, with the power costas it is and going up all the time, I don’t want to run them in the summer !
    We get a 17 hour day here in June and except on rainy days the light level is good enough for all my orchids.
    I have tried varying the lit day length , going up from 3 hours in September to 11 in December and back down, but end up living only for the timer switches and forever fiddling with them , and there are enough minor equipment problems with this stuff, one way and another, without that. So this year’s solution is switch them off from 1st April to 1st October, and have 6 hours per day – in the middle of the day, the rest of the time. I did try 3 hours first thing and then another three at the end of the day, to extend the natural daylight, but the orchids showed their disapproval of that quite quickly.
    Maybe I’;ll have another brainwave by next September !

  7. #7
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    Thanks for sharing.

  8. #8
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    thanks for sharing and totally admire the effort you had put in taking care of those orchids

    i too dream of a green house but i think much smaller in scale, dun think i have the dedication for such a huge collection. yours is amazing


  9. #9
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    I sell industrial supplies and have sold more than my fair share of lighting. Yours is impressive. I know the amount of electricity they pull and I can well imagine the expense. I know florescent is going up 30% across the board here in the states. The mining of rare earth minerals was left to one country and they have decide to pull back and upcharge.
    Lovely greenhouse and the techno setup is awesome. A big wow from here in Florida.

  10. #10
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    Okay, Geoff, I see no alternative but to sell my soul to Mephistopheles in return for a nice country cottage (near a major urban center, of course) and a right-sized, properly mechanized greenhouse, where I shall discover, on a daily basis, that many more plants have bloomed overnight. I believe the term is 34 years of this paradise prior to eternity in flames - sounds fair to me!

    Seriously, what an impressive set-up! I believe you could show the Orchid Conservatory here in Atlanta a few ways to upgrade their collection. I realize that you have been at this for decades, but the real point is how very much you have to show in terms of experience with just about every combination of orchids and their care under the sun. (And, I have to remind myself that time just takes time, and there's no substitute for that.) Thank you for putting in the time and work to take us through your greenhouse. I always learn something from you, even if it's something I'd rather not know.

    I am profoundly handicapped by my "growing area" - which doubles as the brighter half of my living room - but that just provides the opportunity for more and more ingenious strategies. At least, that's how I think of it on my more optimistic days. Needless to say, my orchid habitat is about 180 degrees opposite of yours. And yet, it seems possible that I can actually grow, and bloom, at least a few of the plans that you have in such copious quantities. I suppose that's one of the mysteries underlying orchid obsessions. I'm working on adapting some of your techniques to fit my situation. I don't have HID lights, but I do have fluorescent daylight spectrum lamps trained on my plants in every direction I can fit them - just as an adjunct to the natural light. Whether that's bright enough to tide them through to early February remains to be seen.

    Instead of trying to describe my set-up, I'll try to post some photos of it when I have a chance. Right now, I'm in the midst of moving everything around - which would not make for a good photo for the record!

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