Ask a Question forum: inside greenhouse

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Name: Terry Jeffrey
CENTRAL BRIDGE NY (Zone 5a)
tabjeffrey
Mar 4, 2015 9:03 AM CST
I HAVE A (SMALL) GREEN HOUSE IN MY KITCHEN. THERE SEEMS TO BE A WHITE COBWEBBISH GROWING OVER THE DIRT .
ALSO THERE IS LITTLE BUGS IN THE DIRT ,HOW DO I GE T RID OF THEM? IAM NEW AT THIS GARDENING THING JUST LEARNING..
WHICH I LOVE DOING...
THANK YOU ,
TERRY
TERRY A JEFFREY
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
Mar 4, 2015 9:12 AM CST
Hi and Welcome!
Some insect pests such as spider mites form a web to protect themselves, but the web usually starts where they are feeding, such as undersides of leaves and the growing tips of the plants. Is there any webbing on the plants in your greenhouse?
In the soil, a common houseplant pest is fungus gnats, which are small flies that crawl around on the soil.
Regardless of what pest you have, I would recommend spraying with houseplant insecticide inside the greenhouse, covering both plants and soil, at least once a week until the insects have gone.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Mar 4, 2015 9:23 AM CST
Hi Terry, welcome to ATP.

Sometimes white cobwebby stuff can grow when there's a lack of proper air circulation. Is your GH kept closed? If so, open it to fresh air daily and that should clear it up very quickly.

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 4, 2015 12:01 PM CST
Hi & welcome!

A 3rd thing to investigate might be a 'regular' spider making a living eating fungus gnats trapped in its' web.

If you are able to add a pic, somebody should recognize what's going on.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Mar 5, 2015 11:14 AM CST
Some people use those small, computer fans in their tiny greenhouses and say they circulate the air just fine. Air movement is really important to keep pests under control. I am certain, since I don't use pesticide drenches/sprays of any kind in my greenhouses and have no particular problem with pests there, the air movement from all my fans is the reason. Thumbs up
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Mar 5, 2015 1:03 PM CST
I agree

Mine's a 4" that will even hang on the edge of something, if necessary. In my case, it hangs from the edge of a tub that's being used as a mini greenhouse. Smiling

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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 5, 2015 1:27 PM CST
Thumbs up
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Mar 6, 2015 11:19 AM CST
Hi Terry, and welcome to ATP. I hope you enjoy gardening for decades to come.

What you described does sound more like bugs than fungus. Probably the LEAST toxic of insecticides is "insecticidal soap" like Safer's.

I don't know ways of dealing with bugs, unless they happen to be there because they are dining on fungus or dining on smaller bugs that are dining on fungus.

If the problem WERE fungus:

Air movement will help fight fungus.

Drier air inside the greenhouse will help fight fungus (vent it more often).

You can water with 0.2% hydrogen peroxide instead of tap water
(one ounce of drugstore peroxide per quart or
1/2 cup drugstore peroxide per gallon).

You can sprinkle cinnamon on the soil surface (cheapest at the Dollar Store)

You can make chamomile tea and water with that.

You can make the soil surface drier by:
- - bottom-watering instead of watering from the top (*)
- - covering the soil surface with something that drains and dries out fast, like coarse bark chunks or coarse grit
- - next time you re-pot something, use a potting mix that drains faster and has open air spaces to help the surface (and the rest of the soil) dry out

If fungus is being stimulated and fed by a very organic potting mix, you might use a mix that is less organic, like less or no compost.

Often containers need something that drains faster than, and resists compaction better than, soil-soil. Many people use a soilless mix for plants in containers.

That's mostly a suggestion for the next time you re-pot or start a new plant, but you MIGHT be able to scrape some soil from the surface, and replace it with a less-organic and less-water-retaining mix. However, containers usually do better if the potting mix is uniform from top to bottom instead of having layers with very different drainage. If the mix is uniform, capillary action makes it all one layer and water tends to drain DOWN from both gravity and capillary action.

If there is a mis-matched layer, the capillary connection may not span the interface, so that water pools and "perches" in the higher layer. If that keeps you soil surface too wet, it would encourage fungus and might encourage roots to rot.

Have you gotten into seed starting? It might be more challenging than growing on plants that someone else started, but you have the satisfaction of "creating life" from seeds. I think that starting seeds indoors teaches how to make well-draining soilless mixes because tiny seedlings are very vulnerable to damping-off fungus.

(*)
I was never able to bottom-water my seedling trays without clogging the bathtub's drain, until I stumbled on the idea of sitting the trays on top of cotton flannel in a 1020 tray. Then I could just keep the flannel damp, avoid standing water completely, and trust to seedling roots and soilless mix to wick up enough water to keep the plants happy but not enough to exclude air and drown the roots.

http://garden.org/ideas/view/RickCorey/646/Bottom-Watering-S...
[Last edited by RickCorey - Mar 6, 2015 11:22 AM (+)]
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