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Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by KellyW, Jun 6, 2015.
Here is my cramped little greenhouse a few minutes ago.
You have the pretty well packed in there! What is the size of the greenhouse?
8x16'. Yes, it's very packed. I am slowly dividing the big ones and giving, trading and selling the divisions. Also going to get rid of a few that don't perform for me.
Kelly- looks like you could use a little bigger green house, or a few less plants.. Looks really good and healthy. John
Wow, that looks amazing Kelly! When can I move in?
Looks really packed but nice like a jungle, does this affect your orchids in anyway as far as their growing habits? I head that if orchids are over crowded they don't do so well, is that true?
John, my biggest problem is arranging the plants so that they get appropriate light. Everything seems to be doing OK. The dense population makes it harder to maintain good air circulation and more difficult to combat insects. I will be adding another fan and cutting down on the size of the specimens.
One of the benefits of mounting plants is being able to fully utilize all 3 dimensions and not just 2.
The reason I asked is because I grow 40 orchids indoors under lights by a west window on a two section rack with three different levels which I can adjust to fit the orchids according to size. The thing is that the whole setup is only 3 x 4 foot big and it is so cramped up that the orchids a touching the leafs. I have great air circulation and no insects to worry about, but do you think that they are competing for growing space because they all seem to want to grow upwards, especially my Paphs & Phals.
That's fantastic. So jealous. I want a greenhouse when I grow up. (Meaning that's probably never going to happen.)
John, I have never grown under lights so keep that in mind when reading my response.
In general, plants will grow toward the light source if the light is inadequate elsewhere. If your plants are close enough that they are are unable to get adequate light from the side they would tend to lengthen toward the light, IMO. As discussed in your thread about this problem, I tend to agree with the other posters that inadequate light is your biggest issue. Being too cramped may be exacerbating the problem. Or, you may have an adequate light source with just too many plants.
To reference an example from my profession .... a forest that is too dense will create far too many trees that are too tall for their diameter, weak and with too little crown (live top). In nature, they compete for all required resources and eventually only the strongest ones will survive. In your situation you are providing all of their essential resources but they are competing for the limiting factor ... light. Again, in nature, you can't increase the light so we have to reduce the number of plants (trees) competing for it. The end result is a stronger and healthier population. This is the exact reason that I am reducing the size and number of plants I have in my greenhouse.
Good luck and let us know what you decide to do and the results.
What is your profession Kelly?
I am currently CEO of my backyard (retired). For 35 years I worked in various aspects of land management for the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Initially I was a Forester and lastly a manager for an 18,000 acre natural area on the Sacramento River north of Red Bluff. My degree is in Forest Management.
The light situation and overcrowding does make sense, so I guess that I will have to invest in more lights and also add 1-2 more humidifiers. I think the major problem is that I live in a small apartment with only 2 windows, a east window in the living room which only gets about 1 hour sunlight in the morning and a west window which gets sunlight from 3:00 in the afternoon to 9:00 in the evening depending on the length of days, so I naturally picked the west window. I guess the only thing I can do is to separate the orchids which need less light and place them by the east window with more lights and a humidifier. Kelly. I will let you know when I am finished with this project.
OK a different story, remember the division of a Maxillaria tenuifolia you gave me last year? Well after almost loosing it, the plant revived and is now on its second pseudo bulb with 2 more new smaller growths. I think that I will have a flower or two on one of the newer bulbs because it is sending out sheaths on each side of the bulb, the other new bulb is catching up quickly with possibly more flowers this year. I rally love that plant. Thanks Kelly for the plant, your time and suggestions.
John, I'm happy to hear that the Maxillaria is rebounding and getting ready to bloom. Mine is blooming now, too.
Good luck with the project.
As for humidifiers, I used to have multiples going as well but I realized it was cheaper and easier to use one large console one. I have a 9 gallon one from Lasko and I love it. It easily kept my old 700 sq ft apartment with 9 ft ceilings at 50-60% RH all winter on only the lowest fan speed and I only have to fill it once every two or three days. It recirculates the water so I have no problems with algae build up. It think mine was 80 or 90 on Amazon
Kelly, I will post a photo of the Max if and when it blooms, hopefully this year.
I live in a 720 sq ft apartment with a 8 ft ceiling using two 1 gal humidifiers which give me 50-100% RH for my orchids at the west window, and on the other side of the apartment by the east window I still get 50-60 RH which I guess is pretty good, they cost 40 bucks each, the only thing is that I have to fill them 2-3 times a day which is ok because I am retired and I can spent time with my orchids all day if I have to. If I move half of my orchids to the east window I will probably still get 1-2 more humidifies to be on the save side. I like the smaller humidifiers because I can adjust them when the fans are running.
Kelly thats looks great, some how its remember mine, but your plants are healthier, bigger and older than mine. I hope some day i will have them like that. by the moment i am taken a degree of orchid killer, but i am working hard to learn. Right know, i want to remodel my GH. taller and bigger. Do you know some books i can read?
Juan, we all kill a few orchids along the learning path. Don't feel alone there.
As for books, I really don't have any suggestions. I suggest you do a separate post here in this "Growing Areas" forum and ask the question. I know there is a lot of information on-line, too.
I will make some draft drawings and make a post. Just to get some opinions. It true that I learn a lot this years ...when see other cultivators plants I realize that my collection it's to young