Orchids forum: Where Do You Grow Them??

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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 8, 2010 1:26 PM CST
We are all looking for ways to make our set ups more efficient. Here we can share our solutions.

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Name: Lynn
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
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plantgoddess
Feb 9, 2010 6:56 PM CST
I have an attached sun room where the 'climate' can be controlled. I would love to have more areas to hang things but rely on what is available. Wish we had a longer growing season, that's for sure!

What I have used this past year is a two gallon sprayer to mist and or water the plants. It's just the right size and it's easy for either 1 or 2 gallons of water or fertilizer. What makes things easier for me is the ceramic tile for flooring. And racks. And plant stands.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 9, 2010 7:26 PM CST
Of course I made my office have wall to wall over that hard concrete floor of the barn. Little did I know that the orchid obsession would take over my life. I now have vinyl remnants everywhere with trays set under shelving. I bought a professional clothing hanging thingy for my big mounts and some shelves are covered with wire mesh so the little guys won't tip and then I can hang the miniatures all around the edges of the mesh. Time to take pics. But I can't upload till my computer gets fixed in a few days. I'm on my DBF's computer.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 10, 2010 9:47 AM CST
If you were in a position to start from scratch in building your orchid environment , what would you do? I can see that I'm headed down the orchid obsession path and it won't be long before I outgrow the bathroom window sill!
lindsey
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 10, 2010 10:04 AM CST
Well of course I'd have a greenhouse and live where I wouldn't have to heat it (like Ursula with it built over the garage as a solar gain to the heating bill) (or Patti's attached GH). If not, I would find a south wall and put a huge window in. I would have a good linoleum or vinyl floor in any case. Use shelves that don't rust like mine and a tray under that's the right size to place the shelves into (I have a link Patti bbrookrd sent me on my computer not this one, sorry) with a drain plug! so I could empty it. Or I would wet/dry vacuum it out periodically. I would have a rod to hang vandas near the window. A fan or two. A humidifier if the trays didn't do enough. If I couldn't put in a large south window for enough winter light, I would get lights above the shelves. If you can't visualize this, let me know. Oh and they would go in the shade outside for the summer. Ursula has a huge cage to (I think) keep her squirrels out. In NC you could easily burn the leaves so you'd need to cover them with a screen (I use a plastic 40-50% screen cloth I got at HD) if they are in the sun.
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
Daylilies Roses Orchids Miniature Gardening Lilies Irises
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sandnsea2
Feb 10, 2010 10:39 AM CST
Sugarcane, I just saw that there will be an orchid show in Asheville, at the NC Arboretum on March 27-28.
There may be vendors there for shelving/accessories/greenhouses.
You can go to [url=www.wncos.org]www.wncos.org[/url] for info.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 10, 2010 11:18 AM CST
I keep hearing about that show on Twitter, etc. Sounds like you should go and take pics for all of us!!!

I'll start a show thread. I'll need it myself after this weekend. What you can do is upload pics to Photoworks, Picassa, or flikr. Then post a few of your favorites on the thread to get us hungry for more, then add your link to the rest of your pics on the thread. It's less labor intensive this way!
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 10, 2010 11:20 AM CST
Thank you both,
I like the solar gain on the heating bill concept, might be easier to sell to my husband as well!
Sand, I was just googling NC orchid shows and saw that one, I was hoping to find one closer , Ashville's out there!
I'll keep looking though. We have a couple of options, to add a greenhouse on to our screened porch, or to add a
lean-to type greenhouse off the garage. I didn't realize that squirrels like orchids, that would drive me crazy! If I
had Ursula's collection, I'de be out there with a gun!
lindsey
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 10, 2010 11:24 AM CST
Ha, ha!!!
I had a mouse or two this fall that ate several important big deal buds in the cold room. They are not alive anymore......
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Feb 10, 2010 12:56 PM CST

Moderator

I thought my ears were wringing and sure enough my name had popped up in this thread a couple of times. Smiling

In a nut shell - during the early years I was fortunate to have my husband setting me up in an unused small lab adjoining his office. ( we worked for a Pharmaceutical company until we retired) I had there a huge South facing window and could water with the help of a small hose, the orchids sat on trays. Whatever bloomed moved downstairs into a similar window set up so the whole group could enjoy the blooms. I made sure there was always something pretty flowering throughout the indoor season. We always brought the plants home in the Spring and summered them outside in the backyard.
Retirement loomed at the horizon and and so we had a greenhouse built in 2001. In addition the Orchid collection had been growing by now a lot and it was simply not practical anymore to move the plants around as before.
I walk in from an upstairs room. Here is how it ties in with the rest of the house.

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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Feb 10, 2010 1:06 PM CST

Moderator

We have a LOT of pesky Squirrels in our backyard. I used to place bird-netting over the racks and tables outside in Summer, but keeping Squirrels out of my stuff was almost impossible. And whatever the Squirrels dumped onto the floor was a tasty treat for the numerous Rabbits. DH came again to the rescue and set me up with a 30 foot cage in our backyard. NO MORE Squirrels!! Hurray!
The cage had a previous life as a tool bin and was a discard. I love it!! I painted it green with rustoleum paint.
I could imagine that one could easily turn this into an all year greenhouse by covering it in Fall. (The panels came originally from wirecrafters.com)


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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 10, 2010 1:47 PM CST
Thanks for the illustrations to my descriptions and for being psychic. I guess I often talk behind your back but always in a good way of course. Rolling my eyes.

I always love to see your house, Ursula! It's one of my fav places to go to (we have been there twice and Ursula and DH to our house once for a big orchid buying spree).
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 10, 2010 3:34 PM CST
Your pictures are amazing..The 30ft cage...I'm speechless!
lindsey
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
Daylilies Roses Orchids Miniature Gardening Lilies Irises
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sandnsea2
Feb 10, 2010 6:10 PM CST
Ursula, thanks for sharing the photos. Perfection! How long have you been growing orchids, may I ask?
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Feb 10, 2010 7:15 PM CST

Moderator

I started in the early nineties. I had lots of help to get addicted, slowly, gradually.....
Name: Laurel
Georgia
Maypoplaurel
Feb 12, 2010 2:59 PM CST
We added a S.E. by S.W. facing space for orchids to winter when we built on to our house many years ago. It opens on to the family room/kitchen. I can see the plants while I work in the kitchen. I wander in there constantly. It has fieldstone floors, multi-story glass walls with all windows operational, water with a dragonfly faucet, an adjustable spray wand, ceiling fan that runs continuously and ventilating skylights with auto-shades. It's tiny, at under a 100 s.f. but very efficient. I like the stone floors because they can be sprayed down to increase the humidity in winter and that the plants are integrated into our family life.

Here's a photo from May when the room is pretty emptied out. There are black rods that span the room (not visible) for mounts and baskets.

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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 12, 2010 3:07 PM CST
Great shot Laurel. It really gets the "living with them" across.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
Image
Ursula
Feb 12, 2010 4:41 PM CST

Moderator

Looks good!!
Name: Laurel
Georgia
Maypoplaurel
Feb 12, 2010 6:24 PM CST
I don't know what happened to the photos of the mini slathouse we built last May. I'll poke around for those.

Ursula, at first the squirrels were not a problem here but they became more destructive as fall approached. I found pots and plants tossed every which way. Chipmunks were in collusion. I recall looking down from the bedroom window one morning and seeing a chipmunk sitting up in an eight inch pot. I later found the half eaten orchid tossed over the deck. I'm going to try deer netting this summer.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 12, 2010 6:28 PM CST
My favorite netting is tobacco nets that I use for high bush blueberries. All the other nets I've used catch animals and birds legs and they die a slow death (more than I can bear).

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