Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Greenhouse

My greenhouse is just outside my back door. It was constructed by enclosing part of my patio cover. This picture was taken just before I started moving in my plants.

Up to this time I had been an indoor grower. One of my bedrooms was the orchid room with a full array of shelves, lights and humidity trays. During the summer months I moved most of the plants outside. But as the summer was coming to an end I could see I was going to have a problem.

The number of orchids in the collection had grown. I had too many to bring back into the house for the winter. I realized that I had to decide if I was a serious orchid hobbyist and build a greenhouse or scale back considerably and be a windowsill grower.

The greenhouse is set up to take care of itself. It has water, electricity and natural gas. There is a heater, an exhaust fan, four air circulation fans, and both watering and misting. It is a manageable size, 9' wide x 12' long x 9' high. The walls are recycled windows and are vertical. The roof is a double layer of fiberglass with an air space between. There are dowels for hanging plants over the whole roof area.

The minumum temperature in winter is 60 degrees, the minimum humidity 45% and maximum temperature 90 degrees. Exposure is north, west and south. Light level tops out at 4000 foot candles with areas shaded down to 2000.

I have a great setup with with automatic watering and temperature control. I can be away and know the plants will be alive when I get back. I visit the orchids daily and watch each development with interest. At the same time care is minimal. I enjoy the plants and putter without the maintenance becoming tedious.

4 comments:

  1. Very nice greenhouse! Why not post some photos of it full of orchids now?

    Great new blog - keep it up!

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  2. Thanks for the comment. I will post some interior pictures pretty soon.

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  3. Can you recommend a commercial contractor for fabrication? How long did it take to build? I'm not sure I will have room to grow my plants inside again this winter?

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  4. Since my greenhouse really had no option as to where it would be placed or the shape, it was all custom work and cost more than double what a kit would have. The work was done by a local contractor. It took about 6 weeks.

    I can't help, I'm afraid, but I saw some attractive ads for kits in the AOS Magazine.

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