Orchids forum: Calling all engineers!

Views: 337, Replies: 19 » Jump to the end
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
sugarcane
Dec 4, 2015 10:04 AM CST
I just love my new outdoor orchid benches!
But... Despite having houses 10 feet on either side of me and a line of trees I'm getting enough wind in the sails of my big Catts... That's causing them to jump off the bench ..smashing the clay pots on the patio. For the plants in bud or bloom I've hung them on those clips we talked about last week.



Thumb of 2015-12-04/sugarcane/48dea5

The plants on top of the bench are still vulnerable... I came up with this solution using those metal landscape pins..:
Thumb of 2015-12-04/sugarcane/bc1467
Thumb of 2015-12-04/sugarcane/a43365
Can you think of anything that might be better? Putting up a windscreen with lattice is an option... But WAY down on the house projects list... I've GOT to replace my house electrical panel first!

lindsey
[Last edited by sugarcane - Dec 4, 2015 10:15 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1000550 (1)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 4, 2015 10:23 AM CST
I like your tie-down method - bungie cords from Harbor Frieght?

Still think you do need a windscreen, though Lindsey. Even if you keep the pots on the bench, having the leaves whipping around in the wind isn't good for them. If the roots are rubbed as the plants move, it can kill off the little tips of the growing roots which sets back the plants a lot. (this from Martin Motes' book, not just from me btw)

A 4ft. x 8ft. sheet of lattice can be had from Home Depot or Lowe's. No idea of the price but not terribly expensive as I recall. Just put it up temporarily if needs be, and then get fence posts installed once you've got your electricals fixed up.

OR another idea, that would be very cheap - a panel of wood fencing 8ft. by 6ft costs around $38. Tack it to the back of one of your benches as a wind block?

My DH (who is an engineer, as it happens) says "How about a sail?" if you have a way to fasten it down on a slant to make it just deflect the wind (but of course it would have to not flap). In-ground anchors that you screw into the soil are available at hardware stores for $10 or so . . .
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
sugarcane
Dec 4, 2015 3:00 PM CST
thanks for all these great tips, Elaine...I like the bungee cord idea...had not even considered that!
I think the reason ( besides the budget ) I'm stalling on the wind screen concept is that I'm hoping
that this is not the norm as far as the wind goes...My plants stayed out in Eastern NC from April to
sometimes early December..there were some windy days..but not constantly from 9 am to 6pm...like
I've been seeing here north of Tampa. Do you remember the wire grid display that Krull Smith had?
They had some plants hanging off of it in the cashiers area?...I wonder if that ,with all my vandas
hanging on it would block the wind enough for the plants on the bench?
lindsey
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 4, 2015 6:15 PM CST
Lindsey, I'd be worried that the Vandas would get beaten to a pulp by the wind through the wire, too. That's why I thought of wood lattice instead, it offers more protection as well as a place to hang some orchids. That wire frame did look wonderful, I'm thinking about using it on the inside of my pool cage for hanging orchids, too. It was what is referred to as "cattle panel" and very cheap at places like Tractor Supply. But I have trees all around so no problems with wind generally.

As far as a 'norm' goes . . . well . . . this IS a major El Nino year and the weather sure has been far from normal. But in a 'normal' year we do get a weather front every week or two, all through the fall/winter/spring. The wind goes from south ahead of the front to northwest (strong and chilly sometimes) then turns to the east as the front leaves which (I think?) is the wind you've been having trouble with. If the front gets 'stuck' or just hangs around very long, it can keep blowing easterly for a few days. If you're going to think about wind mitigation, blocking both the north and east sides of your growing area would be a good idea.

Long term, planting a couple of small trees upwind, or a few sturdy shrubs is probably the most dependable and aesthetically pleasing solution. But it will take a while. A clump of bamboo makes a fabulous windbreak, too. It sounds delightful when the wind blows through it.

I have an unlimited supply of 2in. thick bamboo poles if you'd like to come get some? They might make a pretty lattice/screen for a temporary solution.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
sugarcane
Dec 4, 2015 7:07 PM CST
The wind here reminds me of NYC.. It swirls around... I have houses on each side with
(Literally) 10 feet between us... There's a mature line of oaks on the eastern line. This afternoon I stood out there and watched the leaves on the patio going in circles as the pots jumped from south to north... Lost 2 more clay pots but no damage to the plants ( thank goodness!). I am restricted by HOA for fences. The pots that I secured stayed put , do that's one positive!
lindsey
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
Image
ardesia
Dec 5, 2015 1:52 PM CST
I like Elaine's idea of the bamboo poles. Technically it wouldn't really be a fence and you could weave more slender bamboo between the uprights. Bamboo is super strong and if all intersections were tied I think it would be strong enough to hang plants from.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
sugarcane
Dec 5, 2015 3:37 PM CST
I found the down side to my solution today...I am 'trying' to be better about fertilizing Glare and I've always alternated between Bayer 3 in 1 and regular liquid orchid fertilizer ...when I do the Bayer..I submerge the whole pot and let it soak in as well as spray the leaves and pbulbs..kind of hard to undo all that wire and put it back...so I'm only going to wire the pots on the patio edge...and use big pots that I can set the blooming pots into for display. Meanwhile..( back at the bench) Elaine, if your bamboo is around 7' tall...I may take you up on that offer!
lindsey
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 5, 2015 4:07 PM CST
Ho, Lindsey my bamboo is 35ft. tall. We can cut it any length you want! Got a roof rack for your Mini?

I didn't think the Bayer 3-in-1 was a fertilizer, just fungicide, insecticide, miticide . . But I may be wrong. I don't have any right now.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Dec 5, 2015 4:10 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1001386 (8)
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
Image
ardesia
Dec 5, 2015 6:24 PM CST
I wondered about that 3 in 1 also.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
sugarcane
Dec 5, 2015 7:44 PM CST
35'??? holy Cow! My last mini had a roof rack this one does not..but if it's cut around 8'..1' in the ground and tacked to the bench , leaving 7' to buffer the breeze..should do the trick , wouldn't you think?
And I can just angle it out the window or leave the back door open.
The Bayer is 9-14-9. I used it twice a year at half strength in NC...I do need to find some little screen baskets for slow release pellets on the vandas..what do you guys use?
lindsey
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 5, 2015 8:25 PM CST
I use old panty hose, but my supply (from years ago when I actually wore them) is running low - would you be able to make tiny baskets out of window screening? That's going to be my next try. The panty hose started giving up and getting holes in the mesh before the fert was used up last summer. Probably the sun degraded the fabric.

Hmm, we could roll a little cigar sized roll of window screening, put in some pelleted fert and staple the ends of the little roll closed . . . they could even be re-used when the fert was gone! I'll try one in the morning and let you know. We have a roll of old screening out in the shop.

This is the Bayer 3-in-1 I've used before that has no fert in it. http://www.bayeradvanced.com/find-a-product/tree-shrub-care/... Are you using the Rose and Flower Care? That one has fert and also says it has the 3-in-1 systemic and fungus stuff.

You might want to look for fert with a low middle number, Lindsey. Your water undoubtedly already has pretty high phosphorus content in it, as does most water in Florida. Theory in the latest book I've been reading (Martin Motes' 'Florida Orchid Growing') is that too much can block the plant from taking up other nutrients. I'm using potassium nitrate for regular fertilizing now, with added magnesium (a tablespoon of Epsom salts) every second time. It's 14 - 0 - 46. My orchids have responded amazingly since I started using it.

You really want to drive on the freeway for an hour or so with bamboo poles sticking out the window? I have a better idea - see if you can snag Jim, pay for his gas to drive his truck down, we'll tour Selby on my membership, and maybe Tropiflora - they have a "Winter Sale" going on next weekend, Friday and Saturday. I'll supply lunch and your free Rolling on the floor laughing bamboo poles will get back almost to your place in Jim's pickup truck.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
DavidLMO
Dec 5, 2015 11:41 PM CST
Run some 2 x 4s or 2 x 6s across the bench and hold them in place with bungy cords. You still need to deal with the wind. Will think about that. BS in engineering. nodding
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
Image
ardesia
Dec 6, 2015 4:35 AM CST
Lindsay, Elaine really does come up with the best ideas. Smiling A trip to Selby would be like a Christmas gift to yourself.

I feel your angst with the wind, I have to secure all the containers on my deck to the railing because of wind, one gust can take everything out. One pot is a 10' bamboo palm, it is a bear to pick up. I use that green velcro tape, it is easy when I want to change things around.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 6, 2015 12:53 PM CST
Made a few new fertilizer sachets out of old window screening today. It's very easy and seems to work great. You could make them any size, but too much bigger than this, I'd roll the screening over one more time after you put the fert in, before you staple it shut. These have about a teaspoon (or less) in them.
Thumb of 2015-12-06/dyzzypyxxy/ee2fe2 Thumb of 2015-12-06/dyzzypyxxy/09d46e
Thumb of 2015-12-06/dyzzypyxxy/4fe3fa

I used some stainless steel seizing wire for a hanger because it's thin and doesn't show very much. I like to make a fairly long hanger for the sachet so that it waves around a bit and doesn't drop fert in the same place all the time.
Thumb of 2015-12-06/dyzzypyxxy/3a6eaf Thumb of 2015-12-06/dyzzypyxxy/3753a4

Now that I looked at that last picture, I think I'll hang it from the middle so that it hangs horzontal, again to spread the wealth around better.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
sugarcane
Dec 6, 2015 1:13 PM CST
Love this! Great idea!...
lindsey
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
Dec 6, 2015 2:49 PM CST

Moderator

I agree
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
Image
ardesia
Dec 6, 2015 5:11 PM CST
I agree also. Very clever idea that could be used for many different plants, it is a good way to keep those little pellets away from the trunks of sensitive plants.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
sugarcane
Dec 7, 2015 2:47 PM CST
Elaine, I'm new to Vanda's...I went and got some screen material and some galvanized wire..just need the pelleted food
( I assume that 15-9-12 Osmocote is not appropriate?) Looking at your last photo , you have it suspended at the top of the foliage ...not at the top of the roots? The fertilizer is more fully used this way?
lindsey
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 7, 2015 4:27 PM CST
Yes, I think so. It drips down onto the plant, sometimes hitting the leaves, and sometimes going on the roots. Just because orchids are bigtime foliar feeders, I figured this was better. Most of my sachets are at least a foot or so above the plant, so the drips will often land and splash around a little bit, too.

I use Osmocote in my veggie garden, but not for the orchids. Dynamite in the green container (at Lowe's or HD) is an 18-6-8 formula that says it's specially for Florida. Shrug! The regular weekly foliar spray is the 14-0-43 plus magnesium. Don't forget the magnesium! Plain old Epsom salts from the drugstore works fine.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
Image
ardesia
Dec 7, 2015 4:32 PM CST
Osmocote is activated by temperature, it is not at its best outside in winter. Dynamite is chemically activated ( it has to be in contact with both soil and water.) You might want to check the product you are using and see how it works.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Orchids forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Chrysanthemum"