Sunday, April 06, 2008

Barbara Pierrou's orchid greenhouse...

"Barbara Pierrou...
greenhouses.. both built from kits.

One greenhouse is primarily used to house the majority of Barbara's orchid collection... about 250 plants. 8-by-12-foot free-standing structure...

a number of home greenhouse kits come with detailed instructions so buyers can put them together themselves.
The couple and their adult daughter assembled the second greenhouse themselves.

Barbara Pierrou's orchid greenhouse...
free-standing, straight-eave model with a green metal frame and polycarbonate walls. It's outfitted with a fogger, exhaust fan, regular fans, a swamp cooler that cools it during the summer and heater for winter months.

The fogger, heating and cooling systems are on automatic systems to keep the greenhouse conditions stable. Each is connected to sensors. For
example, when humidity drops below a certain level, the fogger comes on automatically.

Several small fans are situated throughout the greenhouse... You need air movement because without it, you'll get mold on the plants...

The structure did not come with shelves...

The second greenhouse is similar in size but cost less because of its wood frame...
includes a portable sink, as well as shelves...

if you're in the market for a greenhouse. The American Orchid Society... a list of tips:

Determine your needs and space requirements.
Greenhouses range from large, elegant conservatories to compact window greenhouses that fit snugly into a kitchen window frame. If your plant collection will expand, get one large enough to accommodate the additional
plants. It's easier to buy something slightly larger than to expand the greenhouse...

There are three major types to consider: lean-to, attached and free-standing greenhouses.
A lean-to is typically small, about 6 to 10 feet long, with one of its long sides formed by the side of the house to which it is attached.

An attached greenhouse is an extension of one's home that is connected at the narrow end instead of the long side. It's larger than a lean-to, so
it's better equipped to provide more control of humidity, ventilation and expansion problems.

Free-standing greenhouses... are unattached on all four sides. While they are more expensive than the first two options, they offer maximum light to
plants and better humidity control. Price can range from $50 [!!!] to several thousand dollars.

Pick a location in the yard that will capture maximum light. Avoid a spot near shade trees or other structures that can block light. While certain
plants, especially orchids, thrive in well-lighted conditions, they should not be exposed to direct sun. That can be easily fixed by putting a tarp
over the top.

Shelves should be built with convenience in mind. A good size is 30 inches tall and 33 inches wide. Aluminum mesh or steel mesh benches allows air to
better circulate. If you choose wood, select treated lumber that is moisture-resistant.

Consider heating and cooling needs.
A heating system is necessary in areas where temperatures dip below 45 degrees. Orchids do best in 60 to 80 degrees.
A cooling system is likely needed for a greenhouse in this region because of the hot summer months.
Automatic humidifiers should be paired with an adequate ventilation mechanism. Many greenhouses are equipped with side and roof vents that operate
automatically or manually. Add a few fans to keep air moving.

For more information about... buying and/or building a greenhouse check out...

"How to Build Your Own Greenhouse," by Roger Marshall (Storey Publishing...)"


photo : [caption : "Barbara Pierrou... her home greenhouse"



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