Shadehouse Ideas

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On a recent society shadehouse visit, we visited the home of Barry and Ann Kable of Peters Glen Shadehouses.  Barry proudly showed us around his orchid collection where he grows his two loves, orchids and Bromeliaeds. It was great to see Barry's orchids all spaced the correct foot apart and beautifully arranged evenly in straight rows. Barry also showed us a few of his ideas to help growing orchids.

Shadehouse Ideas

Installed under all the benches was an irrigation system to spray the gravel floors to increase humidity in Summer. Continuing this theme, Barry has also sewn into the shadecloth walls at the top of the walls, leaky pipe (usually installed underground as a watering system) which, when turned on, dribbled water onto the shade cloth walls. This water both increased humidity in the shade house and also cools the shade house as with the old cloth walled meat safes.

Another simple idea was Barry's idea of using a coiled (like a spring) air hose for his watering hose. The water inlet was in the centre of the roof and Barry just pulled the hose wherever he required it in the shadehouse. As he pulled, the hose uncoiled but it remained high in the air, thus not knocking over pots or doing any other damage. When no longer needed, the hose is merely hung from a hook on the roof, easy to get to, but out of the way.

Another idea Barry used was to put solarweave plastic under the benches under which he grew Paphs. The plastic still allowed light to the Paphs, but kept water dripping from the plants on the benches onto the Paphs. This allowed Barry to control the water to the Paphs plus prevented any fungal or disease problems being caused by water dripping from the plants above onto the Paphs below. Lastly, Barry used a spring system to control the flower spikes on his Cymbidiums. Barry has purchased a number of small spring loaded winders with a hook on each end. This winder is hung from the roof by one hook and the other hook is connected to a flower at the end of the flower spike. The spring tension keeps the flower spike straight and vertical. As the spike grows, the spring keeps the tension continuous thus producing a nice straight spike without continuously adjusting stakes. For pendulous spikes, the hook is placed towards the lower end of the spike to keep the spike up for a nice display but still allow the spike to arch over into the perfect pendulous shape. This looks like a great idea for Cymbidium growers.

Next, Barry showed us his other love, his Bromeliaeds. Barry has a large collection that he grows on the floor buried in the gravel. Barry digs a hole in the gravel and buries the pot in the gravel. This keeps the pot cool, moist and most importantly stops the top heavy pots falling over. Barry is currently experimenting with growing his Broms directly in the gravel with no pot or mix. This seems to be giving excellent growth so looks promising, although, I don't know how he will go showing his Broms at the Brom society…

 

Home ] Equitant Oncidiums ] Mini-Cattleyas ] Growing Sarcochilus ] Growing Phalaenopsis ] Paph. Culture ] Paphs My Way ] Orchids that Attack ] Phaleonopsis ] Den. teretifolium ] Cool-Growing Dens ] Onc. sphacelatum ] Isochilus linearis ] Stanhopea ] Flasking Orchids ] Deflasking ] More Deflasking ] Orchids from Seed ] Orchid Nomenclature ] Record Keeping ] Labelling ] Paph Classes ] Dendrobium Beetles ] Scanning Orchids ] [ Shadehouse Ideas ] Bug Traps ] Digital Cameras ]