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  #1  
Old 12-14-2010, 09:46 AM
got ants got ants is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Zone: 10b
Location: Hollywood, FL
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31% this morn...WTH?? Male
Default 31% this morn...WTH??

Damn Al Gore, why did he have to mess with Mother Nature? Low this morning was 31% F, and expected to be close to that tomorrow.

I mean, I love my orchids, but they've taken over my house. They're on the dining room table, kitchen counters, heck, I have the doors open to the china cabinet so they can hang from there. The garage is filled and has it's own heater going in there.

In the 51 years living here, I cannot for the life of me remember it getting to freezing temps this early in the winter. We're not hardly the second week of december. Last year was brutal, but I thought that was a fluke. Is this a trend that will continue? Should I change growing zone on my orchidboard user profile (s'posed to be 10b)
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2010, 10:20 AM
Daethen Daethen is offline
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31% this morn...WTH?? Female
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We woke up to -16F. But, we expect it in Wisconsin.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:18 PM
fotofashion fotofashion is offline
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31% this morn...WTH?? Female
Default 31 this morn...

Time for a greenhouse. Protecting your investment is the smart thing to do. If the temps we had last winter and so far this winter are any indication of future winters, then it is time to make whatever sacrifice necessary toward that end.
It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive either. Just something you can store your plants in where they will get the necessary light and heat for the short time they will be there. Meanwhile, you will have some togetherness with your plants and maybe can inspect them up close to see what they might need...repotting, dividing, etc.
Beverly A.
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2010, 10:05 PM
got ants got ants is offline
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Thanks for the advice Bev.

A lot of commercial growers down here use the white plastic covering. It has some shade and keeps all rain out, so your waterings are better metered. Great for growing orchids, but ugly for a backyard setting.

Traditional greenhouses are too hot for good growing. They are generally not needed but for a few days in a year.

What I'll probably be doing is investing in a heavy plastic that can be wrapped around a growing area, and easily removed, or rolled up. Maybe a clear poly tarp of 8mm or more. Might even keep it on top so I can keep the torrential rains off my chids, but I still want to veiw them while enjoying my backyard.

And if needed, I have a oil filled space heater, that could be placed inside, like if I wrap my wooden pergola.

Last edited by got ants; 12-14-2010 at 10:14 PM..
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2010, 11:01 PM
Junebug Junebug is offline
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I live in Central Florida, zone 9b and it was below 30 last night with a wind chill in the teens. My house is full of chids and potted tropicals. I wrapped up what I could outdoors but there was nothing I could do to protect the larger citrus trees. Last year my banana trees and passiflora edulis were completely fried by the cold. Also hit hard was my 5' avocado tree. She lost every leaf and rallied all summer to produce just one 18" growth. After this cold spell she's probably doomed.

Florida freezes devistate fruit and vegetable crops and this situation ultimately trickles down to loss of jobs and increased prices at the grocery store.

Greenhouses are great for cold protection but Florida's sweltering, humid summers make them impractical for year round use.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2010, 08:17 PM
fotofashion fotofashion is offline
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My point exactly when I mentioned that nothing fancy was necessary for the short time the plants would be in the GH. If you all noticed, I live just east of Houston, zone 9a. Yes it gets too hot for everything except the desert cacti so my orchids, ferns and ripsalis spend the rest of the year outdoors. I just put everything into the GH the last of November. The GH makes it easier to water and care for the plants and wrappings do not have to be removed and put back every time a cold snap comes. JMHO
Beverly A.
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2010, 08:42 AM
Junebug Junebug is offline
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In Florida the average lot size is pretty small. I don't know about Ants growing area, but my chids are growing in an 8' x 16' slatted shadehouse that barely fits in the corner of the backyard. There's no space left for a greenhouse. We have to deal with a lot of city and community code restrictions too. I took a chance with my shadehouse and built it without a permit from the city. Also, the property between homes is very narrow and front yard structures are a definite no no. Another issue we have is finding a well lit spot in our yards. Tall vegetation or a sprawling oak from a neighbor's house can dash the average Florida property owner's dream for any shadehouse or greenhouse structure. Greenhouses really aren't practical down here, especially when you factor in the expense of building one (if you have the space for one) for such short term use.
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2010, 01:52 AM
got ants got ants is offline
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Good points June! What I might do down the road, is build a small commercial type grow house with the white plastic visqueen. It won't look nice, but I'lll plant some stuff in front to lesson it's fugly.

It really is the optimum way to grow orchids down here, but you just can't sit in the backyard and admire your orchids. But, I can take those that are blooming and hang them under my wooden slatted roof pergola (7' X 16')

Greenhouses really have no purpose down here. Heck, even in our winter, you still need to shade them a bit.
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2010, 02:30 PM
TropiCool TropiCool is offline
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31% this morn...WTH??
Default shade house wrap

Just a thought, but if it was me, I'd find a way to wrap my shadehouse in poly for the winter, maybe a double skin, one attached to the outside and one to the inside of the structure, leaving an airspace between the skins for insulation. Could that work for you and Ants?

Erik

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junebug View Post
In Florida the average lot size is pretty small. I don't know about Ants growing area, but my chids are growing in an 8' x 16' slatted shadehouse that barely fits in the corner of the backyard. There's no space left for a greenhouse.....
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2010, 08:23 PM
fotofashion fotofashion is offline
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Then, for those of you who have a shadehouse....how about flat plastic covered panels that can be removed for warm weather and stored somewhere.
Beverly A.
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