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Old 11-04-2012, 04:55 PM
GirlGoneWild GirlGoneWild is offline

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 58
Help w/First Greenhouse please! Female
Talking Help w/First Greenhouse please!

Hi all! I wanted to call this thread "The Greenhouse the Hurricane Built," but that was a tad too long... LOL...

Our power went out when Hurricane Sandy hit, and the power company estimated it would be a week before it returned. Because I'm in a northern climate, all of my orchids are indoors, and I realized that many of them might not make it through the week without some drastic action on my part. I was initially going to pack up all 80+ orchids and take them to my in-laws house, but I sadly realized we just didn't have the space (and my in-laws might just refuse to take us in if we showed up with 80 orchids in tow!).

That's when I remembered about the greenhouse I had bought over the summer! It was a small, portable, easy-to-assemble structure that I had originally intended for the purpose of giving tender seedlings a stable environment when some of my crosses (hopefully) turned into actual baby plants.

I ran out to the garage and hastily assembled it as the house got colder. As my husband frantically tried to save our food from going bad by packing it in coolers to take to his parents' house (where there was a generator), I hauled the greenhouse up to my "grow area" and stuffed every plant inside that would reasonably fit.

Some of my larger phals were just too heavy and huge, so I left them where I thought they'd stay the warmest, and anything blooming didn't go in because it just wouldn't fit. But I was able to get ALL of my species phals in, along with a couple of valuable Norton crosses, a bunch of Catt seedlings, and all of my paphs. I took my Vandas with me, because I couldn't think of any way to water them while I'd be away.

I said a little prayer and zipped up the plastic cover, and just before we "abandoned ship," my husband snapped this pic of me with my babies. (I look like hell because we'd just endured a sleepless night huddled together in the basement, listening to the sounds of of falling trees and transformers exploding, praying that nothing big would fall on our house. Miraculously, nothing did.)

Anyway, when our power came back on and I arrived home, I was a bit afraid of what I would find. The house was freezing. I ran up to the greenhouse and was surprised to see everything inside looking happy and healthy! In fact, some of the plants seemed to have actually flourished in there, despite the cooler temps outside.

I expected my husband would ask me to take it back down now that the power was back on, but he surprisingly agreed to let it stand in my grow area....perhaps because it was the sole reason most of my plants made it through the week.

So now I have a greenhouse...IN my house. And I'm not quite sure how to manage it.

My strategy with my sun-lovers was always to put them on the windowsills where the sun would beat down on them ruthlessly through the afternoon. The catts, vandas and dends took this treatment quite well...all growing vigorously.

The greenhouse is a couple of feet back from the windows, so the plants won't get the intense sun inside the greenhouse that they'd get on the windowsills, but does that matter? Would my catts be just as happy in the greenhouse, a few feet from the window, receiving indirect light, as they were on the windowsill getting blasted by the sun?

I'm not quite sure how to adjust my routine to work the greenhouse in. I think my vandas will stay on the window ledges, since they REALLY like the hot sun, but I'm not sure what else (if anything) should come back out.

I'm leaving all delicate seedlings and species phals inside, as they are obviously MUCH happier in the greenhouse. But I don't know what to do with the catts and dens. What are your thoughts?

As this is my first greenhouse, and it's INDOORS, I have NO CLUE what I'm doing!

Oh, and I'm happy to report that not a single orchid perished as a result of the loss of power. Many of my bloomers had dropped their flowers by the time we returned home, but I suppose if that's the worst that happened, I can't be too upset.

OK...thanks for reading this ridiculously long post! Now I need some advice about what to do with my catts and dends! Please share your thoughts!

Thanks, friends!!
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:47 PM
nlm2951 nlm2951 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Miami
Posts: 277
Help w/First Greenhouse please! Female

Hi and I'm glad you are ok. I know what a hurricane is, we went with Andrew. Katrina and Wilma, not electricity for 2 weeks or more, we have a generator, but getting gas for it was really bad, anyway your orchids are going to be fine.norma
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