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It's been almost one year since i updated this thread last, so here's a little update of what i've been up to over the quiet winter days...

 

My other half has given up her side of the greenhouse at last, as i'll be building her a little timber framed affair in the garden this Spring. So it was time to start with nepenthes expansion project ! :biggrin:

Well that's not strictly true, as my new planting layout will mean i will have to lose about 30 plants from my collection. It might be a case of only growing Species, with a handful of choice hybrids that i like.

The plants that were growing under the original bench (where the water barrels were removed from) suffered a bit this winter, as they just weren't getting enough light under the shade of the 2ft deep bench. So i wanted a new design for the other side of the greenhouse, based on the centre console unit i built last year. What i ended up doing was building two single row tiers with an open plan bed at the bottom. The top tier runs the full 12ft 6 inches of the greenhouse length, the middle tier is 9ft long and stops short of the potting bench (which was cut in half from it's original length to accomodate this), and the bottom tier is a 2ft x 10ft open bed.

 

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I've started repotting the plants from underneath the bench into fresh media and relocated on the new staging. Three plants have also been planted direct into the open bed so far. The original bench is looking a right mess now as all the sphagnum top dressing has been removed from all the baskets and used in the mix for the repotted plants on the new side.

 

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The plan for the coming weeks is to remove the original bench and build an identical 3 tier unit on that side. It will also mean removing all the branches i had used for 'visual effect' (maybe a silly idea in the first place). There is no misting system on the new side yet, so hand watering is required. I won't expand the current misting system to this side until i've finished building the new unit where the bench is, as i plan to upgrade from 4mm to 13mm supply throughout the greenhouse, and also upgrade from plastic to brass nozzles. The centre console unit may also be altered from 2 tiers to 3.

Stay tuned !

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Great to see an update, love the new staging. It reminds me of the type of staging that was in one of the nep houses at Chester zoo, they had a rows in the middle of the glasshouse that had a profile of a triangle. I'll try and find a pic of it I remember there were a few young robcantleyi plants on it.

Mark

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Cheers Mark.

Yeah, i think i know what you mean, i remember seeing something similar in some of Mander's photos from Chester zoo. Hopefully this ill be a better way of growing my plants, as it'll allow the leaves and tendrils to fall over both sides of the staging and not get squashed up against the sides of the greenhouse, making cleaning the bubblewrap impossible in places. Plants below will also be able to vine up past the tier above. Even though this design will drastically cut my collection down, i'm hoping it will be a better way of displaying my plants, especially the bigger ones.

 

I also forgot to mention in my update about the hydrofogger. Not so long ago i said i was going to site the fogger half way down the greenhouse on the lefthand side, but this plan obviously had to be changed for the new design. I had to dig out the cable duct from under the path and re-route the supply from the hygrostat all the way back along the roof apex back to under the main potting bench. You can see the new fogger position in the last photo above.... under the bench right next to the 3kw heater !!! :blink:. Everything should be fine though as all the gadgets are at least IP65 rated. It'll have to be, as there is nowhere else to site the fogger.

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Here's a few photos taken this morning of the current state of chaos...

 

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If you look closely at the first photo, you can see my very first lemon ripe for picking and a second on the way :smile:

Edited by Welshy
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Latest state of play...

The bench has been cut down to 4ft long and the remaining 8ft of bench has been moved out into the garden. We want to build an outdoor potting area hidden away behind the greenhouse where the compost bins and garden tools are stored, so the offcut of bench will be re-used there.

I've started removing the shade netting and given all the bubblewrap a good scrub and it's coming up ok as can be seen on the lower sections i've done already. I used to scrub down as best i could 3 or 4 times a year, when the bench and underbench started greening up, adding to the gloomyness. This is how bad it had gotten after the last clean back in November. I think the new tier system is going to make regular cleaning much easier, as there will be no pots touching the sides any more.

The bench will have to be removed temporarily so i can complete the cleaning, and then i can start building the new staging. Hopefully i'll get it finished within the next week or two and have some photos to show you.

 

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The original side of the greenhouse has now had it's new staging finished and I've also converted the centre console from 2 to 3 tier. I'm much happier with this layout as i think it'll display my plants better, and it also allows more elbow and arse room. I now also have two 'nursey' areas for seeds and cutings on the remaining short side benches either side of the main potting bench at the rear.

 

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I've totally removed the 4mm misting system and the solenoids are temporarily isolated. Hand watering is required until the next stage of the ugrade to 13mm which i hope to get completed this month ready for Spring.

Edited by Welshy
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Good lord Tony! Your GH looks amazing with the new layout! Congratulations! :Laie_95:

 

I might copy some of your ideas in my GH "work in progress

"

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Cheers for the compliment James. If i've given you any ideas, then all good ! :good2:

Two photos i forgot to upload yesterday was of how i boxed the baskets, which may interest you. I didn't want to use a timber base for the tiers and instead opted for PVC mesh (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261506121620). My thinking being, that this will allow better airflow around the roots, not to mention rising warmth too, with  the obvious benefit being superior drainage which should help prolong the life of the timber. My misting system runs once a day between spring and autumn (once a week through winter) so there shouldn't be any issues with the pots drying out. So i need to concentrate on getting the 13mm irrigation pipework upgrade done next.

The lips of the 23cm baskets sit on the top edge of the decking boards and the bottom of the baskets sit perfectly on the mesh, so the timber is actually taking 90% of the weight. The mesh is just held in place with 12mm galvanised felt roofing nails.

 

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Edited by Welshy
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Hi Welshy 

 

Will have another read through  , its just awesome with what you have done,  the stone floor to capture the heat is very clever

 

How has the greenhouse stood up to the weather would be useful to know as planing to get a new one later in the Autumn when they have the sales but I grow all sorts  , and does a tomato plant sneak in over the summer months   :sun_bespectacled:

 

 

RR 

Edited by Rocki Road

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