Ask a Question forum: Do pests get in your greenhouses?

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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 3:34 PM CST
Out of curiosity, do any of you get pests in your greenhouses that attack your plants like the way way pests get on outdoor harvests?
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 23, 2017 4:51 PM CST
I find the pests are much worse in my greenhouse. Outdoors the natural predators seem to take care of most pests. In the GH I have had had lots of aphids, white flies, fungus gnats, and spider mites. I've also had crickets, pill bugs, beetles and slugs eating leaves and roots. I usually just use Neem oil and Safer's Soap. It's a continual battle. I don't want to use anything stronger because I have earthworms in my raised beds.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 23, 2017 5:07 PM CST
Renae,

Find some tree frogs and lizards and transplant them to your greenhouse. When I lived in Oakdale, the tree frogs and lizards moved in on their own. Never a bug. Slugs and snails are a different problem. I used to go out in the middle of the night with my flashlight to go on snail hunts. The kids thought it was fun.
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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 5:24 PM CST
That sounds harsh plantmanager. I didn't know it could get like that.

Thanks daisyl, I'm not sure where I'll find tree frogs or lizards. Maybe petsmart will have lizards, but I don't know about tree frogs. I mean there's lots of wild lizards in the park by my house, but they're very fast. My s.o. also thinks my gardening plans are a lot of work, but supports that it's something I enjoy. I have plans when we move to our new place for how I want to set up my greenhouse, but I hadn't taken into consideration the pests. I also want to look into hydroponics and aquaponics. Some Koi's would be a lovely edition to a yard.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 23, 2017 5:30 PM CST
RenaeC, What kind of greenhouse do you have?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 23, 2017 5:40 PM CST
I think the insect problem was my biggest surprise, but I'm not able to be around full time. I leave for up to 2 weeks at a time. I beat the bugs back when I'm here, and they take off and flourish when I'm gone. If you are full time with your GH it should be much better.

I've never seen a tree frog where we've lived: CA, AZ, NM and CO. We didn't even have them in the Marshall Islands. We do have lizards so I'll try to get some in. Good suggestion! I also have let loose purchased ladybugs, but they were all gone by about a month. I guess they took off for greener pastures.

I had a toad inside last summer, but haven't seen him since then. I'm hoping he buried himself in my beds and will come out when it warms up.

I love my greenhouse, and do have a pond in it to help keep it warmer. I started out with fancy gold fish, but they didn't last past the first summer and Fall. I only heat it to 60F. I now have mosquito fish in it, and they've been breeding and very happy. They don't mind the cold water and lack of aeration when it's not sunny enough to run the solar waterfall.
Here are my fish before they bit the dust.

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I forgot to say we have also fought mice, rats, and ground squirrels inside. They came in the open vents. We have not screened the vents with hardware cloth and solved that problem. Now they just come in the open door in summer. We need a screen door before summer.
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[Last edited by plantmanager - Jan 23, 2017 5:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 23, 2017 6:05 PM CST
My tree frogs and lizards came on their own. No screens either.

I have a turtle living in my GH in Reno (its too cold outside for him here) and I accidently brought frogs from CA four years ago. I still see them in there once in awhile. The tree frogs lay their eggs in the plant saucers - I just have to remember to keep them full in the springtime.

Karen, I like your pond set-up. I had koi until a raccoon came in the window last spring. Here's a photo of my pond. The orange spots in the bottom pond are goldfish that have been living with the turtle for a few years. He doesn't eat them as he is fat and lazy. Smiling

Thumb of 2017-01-24/DaisyI/5cf317

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 6:06 PM CST
Greene, my green house is not set up yet until we move because the occasional vermin that sneak in the yard, but I have the materials in my garage for a pvc pipe green house and raised garden beds

plantmanager, your garden is lovely! Smiling Did you know rats teeth actually never stop growing. They're so strong they can chew through metal and concrete, so I don't know how well a door would be. If they smell something and they want it bad enough, they'll find a way. They always do...Gross little creatures. I don't mind squirrels so much though. Our park has a lot of ground squirrels. I also don't think I will be full time with my greenhouse or gardening, but I should be able to tend to them most of the days of the week.
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 6:11 PM CST
A raccoon took your Koi that's awful! We get occasional possums, owls, and skunks, but never raccoons. I'll be sure to gate my fish if I decide to build an aquaponic
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 23, 2017 6:29 PM CST
Daisy, love your pond with the fish and turtle

Yes, protect your fish if you have them, Renae. We used to have an outdoor pond and we had herons and sandhill cranes come and eat all of them.

We do know that rats can eat thought most things. I had saved a lifetime of photos and newspaper cuttings for my oldest daughter. She put them in a plastic bin in her garden shed, and found out too late that mice or rats had gone through the plastic, and eaten everything. They made nests out of all of the mementos.
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California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 7:24 PM CST
I'm unsure what kind of fish we will put inside the tanks. More research is to be done, before I start purchasing the stuff for them, but i will be sure to put a gate around them. But I will probably set up a little area inside the greenhouse with a lamp and such for a frog or lizard or some kind of amphibian so they can roam the greenhouse as they please, but have their little set up just for them to sleep in. Maybe a chameleon would help with the bugs and slugs.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 23, 2017 7:42 PM CST
One thing you will need in the San Joaquin Valley in the summertime is open windows and doors and a lot of fans. Unless you have screens, all your cute added critters will leave. That's why the natives are so much better, they can come and go as they please.

My daughter has an aquaponics system in a temperate GH - she only heats it to keep it above freezing. She is growing koi in the water reservoir and herbs and vegetables in the bins.

Are you planning to heat your greenhouse? In Oakdale (Zone 8), I heated mine with 6 brooder heat lamps. It was 12 x 16 feet. The heat lamps kept it above about 40.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Dee Moore
Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 9a)
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DomehomeDee
Jan 23, 2017 8:07 PM CST
I'm glad to say I do not have gnats, spider mites, or aphids in my greenhouse. I do get ants, which I mostly use ant bait to get rid of them, I don't like them in my pots! I do get an occasional lizard or tree frog, who I consider royalty and try not to scare them off. I made the mistake of using some poison on the ground to get rid of the ants last week and I found a bunch of worms had died, I won't do that again. That's what so nice about using bait, it targets just the ants.
I have a 12' X 30' hoop house. I don't heat, I do use two fans and a ceiling vent.


California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 8:12 PM CST
My green house materials are pvc pipping and I had planed to place a pvc door on the green house. How did your daughter's aquaponic turn out? I don't think I'm going to heat the GH, but I might have one or two gardening lamps and a fan since it does get cold here at night and it does get really hot during the summers. The aquaponic being heated also, depends on the fish we get. There are only 4 fish in mind at the moment for the aquaponic tank which are Koi (not for eating), angelfish (not for eating), talapia, or catfish.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 23, 2017 9:07 PM CST
My daughter has been running her aquaponics system for 2 years now. Her biggest problem is keeping roots from blocking the out take valves. Causes floods and lack of water for her Koi. Smiling

Your fish choices:

Koi - readily available, cold temps not a problem but need constantly moving water (lots of oxygen)

Anglefish - not a chance unless you can keep the water at 80* winter and summer (I raised them to sell to pet shops in my college years)

Tilapia - you need a permit to even buy them. And they're so PRETTY! But also need 80*

Catfish - free in the river (can handle low oxygen)



Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 23, 2017 9:14 PM CST
I only have a growcamp, mostly to protect my orchids and tillandsias I grow here during the warm months, and during winter, if needed, I can use it to hide some succulents.

I know I got some little slugs before, but caught them in time, other than that, the growcamp is free of pests, it is not sitting direct in ground, elevated on a platform and there is a screen cover on both sides, so there is continuous airflow.

The problem I do encounter here is extreme dry conditions, so hard to keep moisture up, thankfully, the orchids inside apparently are happier with air flow and shade, and I just have to give more frequent watering during the long dry months, just no way around it. I don't have misters, and I was trying to abide by drought reststrictions. I used to run my fountain to help in moisture, but have turned it off due to the ongoing drought issues recently.
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 9:40 PM CST
I have a fishing permit, but I need to renew it. I don't really fish for catfish. I've usually just always bought it from the store growing up. I'm not even sure if my SO has tried catfish before. Even so I would still need female and male catfishes and I doubt I'd be able to catch both in the same day for an aquaponic system so they can repopulate.
California, San Joaquin valley (Zone 9b)
RenaeC
Jan 23, 2017 9:46 PM CST
Tarev, why don't you invest in a solar panel water fountain system? this way you can still keep your fountain running when it's sunny out and it doesn't waste water.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 23, 2017 10:06 PM CST
Except for the 5 months of fog every winter. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 24, 2017 10:08 AM CST
RenaeC, I used to have that kind of solar panel fountain system, it does not work here, due to the awkward position of my garden. Needs to be hit by the sun consistently to charge those panels, otherwise will have to plug in power. I converted my clay containers that came with it instead to succulent containers. Smiling

When our city trees are wide awake in late Spring, we get more shade here. Before I used to lament that too much shade, then I realized, it protects my plants, helps them endure the onerous afternoon heat. I get a couple of hours of morning sun, and still get a little spot where there is a bit more south facing sun, so that's where my heat loving succulents stay. I have learned to accept too, our intense heat here is just baking weather once it exceeds 90F, that most plants do not like, and will require a lot of water. By then plants are just in dormant mode, as the heat intensifies and plants wait patiently for cooler conditions and some rain return in mid to late Fall.

So I concentrate more on succulents and drought tolerant plants, that way even in winter, there is something green left in the garden. . Such is the limitations of my gardening here..thankfully there are plants that can endure the heat, just got to help them get their much needed moisture during those long dry days. Glad I did find some orchids I can grow in this gardening limitation, and get my lovely blooms indoors during winter. That's how my growcamp helps them, giving them all the warm, good airflow during late Spring to late Fall and easier to water them outdoors.

The other fountain I used to run, requires daily refill, evaporation happens just so fast. Such a challenge to keep water at a good level during 6 months of super dry conditions.

Good luck on your greenhouse project! I always like reading about projects and learn from it too.

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