Greenhouses forum: How to water plants in GH

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Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
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Ecscuba
Nov 7, 2014 11:55 PM CST
Since this is my first GH ever I am learning a lot. I have noticed my plants aren't drying out very quickly. Of course when they were on the patio they were trying to survive 100 degree days and they soaked automatically from the irrigation system twice a week. Since moving into the GH a week ago it's cooled down a LOT, even some 40 degree nights. And we had a couple rainy days. I watered for the first time today and hesitated to water too heavily since I was also treating a mildew/mold problem (which has responded nicely to the chamomile tea spray recommend on this site). It was warm enough to have the widows open today and a fan going to help dry the air after all the rain.

But I do wonder if I should usually water sparingly or should I soak them them thoroughly but less frequently??
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Nov 8, 2014 8:10 AM CST
GH's in our zone can be tricky because of drastic warm ups and cool downs. Air circulation is very important in a GH so keep that fan going 24/7 if you get a lot of condensation inside. You might also discover algae growing on top of your soil as well, fooling you into thinking the plants don't need water. I essentially water on demand. I'll either stick my finger into the pot a few inches to see if it's dry or lift it to see if it's light. When I do water, anything in a pot larger than a one gallon pot gets drenched with the hose until it's coming out the bottom. Everything else I use a watering can. I also only do heavy duty watering in the morning on days when I can open up my greenhouse completely. Also, nothing sits directly on the ground so air can flow underneath the pots.

You'll want to keep an eagle eye out for spider mites. I check everyday.

Is yours heated?

Thumb of 2014-11-08/Xeramtheum/22d113

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[Last edited by Xeramtheum - Nov 8, 2014 9:31 AM (+)]
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 9, 2014 1:04 PM CST
I check the soil in my GH plants regularly. Probably more than I check when the plants are outside. They just tend to dry out less with the high humidity inside. Also some of my plants like my plumeria, some Elephant Ears, and gingers will receive no water at all so as to not risk rot as they go dormant. I'd have to say the GH is high maintenance when it comes to watering, misting, and monitoring humidity etc. But it's worth it to me to over winter my Pretties so I can have bigger.. lush plants in the spring.
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Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
Herbs Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Ecscuba
Nov 9, 2014 11:13 PM CST
ZERAMTHEUM thanks for your answer. My GH will have a little heater on nights when it freezes, which is about 12 nights here in Central Texas. We do get a lot of nights down in the 30s, just above freezing. I will probably use mylar blankets and 65 watt bulb for those nights. So far when it's been in the 40s this method has kept the GH about 10 degrees warmer than outside. Have yet to go thru my first full winter as we just got the GH installed. So there may be surprises. It's just the 6 x 8 and now I wish it was the 8 x 10 it's so much fun. Will have to keep an eye out for algae. Haven't seen any although I had some white mold looking stuff that I think is because the compost I had been making and used wasn't quite ready. Sprayed it with chamomile tea as someone on this site recommended and its disappeared. I have been running the Clip on fan 24/7 , but glad you mentioned it because I was beginning to question if I should turn it off at night. Spider mites. Hum. Not sure I'd recognize them. I will google and take a look. I do have a couple spiders but I hope they are eating any little bugs that might be in there.

The pic of your greenhouse makes me envious. Must be the 8 x 10 !
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My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.
Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
Herbs Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Ecscuba
Nov 9, 2014 11:16 PM CST
SHADYGREENTHUMB. Thanks for the info. Appreciate it. :)
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My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
Pollen collector Morning Glories Greenhouse Bookworm Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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Xeramtheum
Nov 9, 2014 11:30 PM CST
You're welcome. I have my box fan on a timer and it runs mostly at night. When you do run your heater also run the fan and set it up so it's like mine - fan a bit higher than the heat:

Thumb of 2014-11-10/Xeramtheum/c7bce9

My heater is a forced fan milkhouse heater and is on a portable thermostat and is set to go on when the temp gets below 40 degrees. You can get the thermostat here:

http://www.kkontrols.com/poth8ftco.html

You might also consider using passive solar heating. It's simply 2ltr soda bottles painted black, filled with water. I'll sit my extra tropicals on top of them and it will keep the soil temperature about 5 degrees warmer than everything else. They collect heat in the daytime and release it at night.

Thumb of 2014-11-10/Xeramtheum/6c6e50

As to Spider Mites, what you want to look for is miniature spider webs surrounding leaves. When they start to show up it's an indication that there is not enough humidity. I usually start seeing them in January so when the humidity starts to get low, get to misting everything daily.

GH's are a LOT of work to run and maintain but a must for people like me that love the tropical plants!

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Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
Herbs Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Ecscuba
Nov 10, 2014 8:26 AM CST
XERTHam thanks again! I will look up the fan and make a note on Hurray! the moisture and spider mites. I want to keep them out of there! Hurray!
[url=Www.carolmedfordart.com]Www.carolmedfordart.com[/url]
My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.
Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
Herbs Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Ecscuba
Nov 10, 2014 8:30 AM CST
XERAM re the black bottles. I've put a few in there cause I had read about them. I'm not sure mine are collecting much warmth. Maybe I'm expecting too much but they feel cool to the touch to me. Mine are right up next to the wall where the sun hits them. I will have to take their temperature and see.
[url=Www.carolmedfordart.com]Www.carolmedfordart.com[/url]
My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.

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