hen

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  1. Hi there, I'm trying to do some research for a school technology project and was wondering if any mini-greenhouse, step-in greenhouse or coldframe growers could fill out a short questionaire for me? I'm designing a mini greenhouse and so I need a section in the project folder for market research from unbiased users of the products. if anyone would be willing to answer the questions below i'd really appreciate it. If you can, try to elaborate a bit as 'yes' or 'no' answeres aren't quite as useful. Also, if you've used more than one type of greenhouse, or used the same one in different situations try to include that in your answers: which model of mini-greenhouse are you using? (e.g. brand, size...) why did you choose it over other available products such as coldframes or a full-sized greenhouse? (e.g. cost, budget...) What kinds of plants do you grow in the greenhouse? Where do you use it and for what period(s) of the year? (is it used outdoors in spring? indoors all year? do you move it in occasionally?) Do you think the size and shape of the product lend themselves to... its position in the house or garden? (does it fit well on a window ledge/in the corner by the window?) aesthetic appeal? the plants it is used to grow? Do you think that suitable or sensible materials have been used to manufacture the product? In terms of temperature, light levels, humidity and ventilation, are you able to easily keep a stable and suitable environment for the particular plants you grow? (just as the product came to you, without any additions you may have made) If the answer to the previous question was 'no', what steps have you taken (additions or modifications to the product) to make it more useable? Do you think it would be a good idea to include any of these extra features as standard with the product? Are there any other comments you would like to make about the product or other ideas about how to improve on its design? if you would prefer not to post your answers on the forum, you can PM or preferably email them to me and i'd really appreciate it. Cheers!
  2. I have to agree with manders, looks like x coccinea (at least, the red pitchered plant is - maybe two different hybrids in one pot??). coccinea is another hybrid which is occasionally sold at garden centres: http://www.forumcarnivore.org/album_pic.php?pic_id=1392 http://www.forumcarnivore.org/album_pic.php?pic_id=1394 (just thought i'd add that these aren't my photos, found them with bob z's photo finder)
  3. In the greenhouse I use 'kitchen-devils' (hard wearing scissors). Every day something needs old leaves chopped back or stems cut down, these are good for both tiny delicate leaves and hard, thick stems. They're made to cut through chicken bone so are basically all in one pruners! For indoors, I'm never without the surgical tweezers - use them for everything! I don't know if it really counts but the pond pump I use to get water from the butts into a hose has made my watering easier for years. haven't used the watering can for ages.
  4. I got mine that way, I took a lot of pictures of how it all fit together, numbered some of the beams then took the whole thing apart. I managed to keep the two arches together and with four people dismatling, managed to get it done in about 45mins.
  5. hen

    The True VFT Giant

    I think Ingens is latin, Musa ingens is the giant banana species so maybe it relates to large size or prehistoric origin?
  6. Wow! I really like the look of the plants grown naturalistically like that, shows them off nicely! They seem to get good results from it too. Does anyone have experience of growing neps in beds? I have a few beds in the greenhouse but I haven't tried any CPs in them. I suppose you would have to dig out a large area and line it with pond liner/weed fabric then fill it with a peaty spagnum mix. This is something I'd quite like to try at some point, anyone got any ideas on how they do it successfully? Thanks for the excellent pics!
  7. When you say "waterlogged" do you literally mean sitting in water? This could be why the pitchers are dropping early?
  8. Very Nice Pictures! The Bromeliads look like they could be V.imperialis
  9. Hey Joel, My greenhouse at the moment is 10 x 8 and I grow a few neps inside. I house electrics by using an extension cord from the house which Is wrapped in a clear, tough plastic bag. You can unplug/plug things in through the plastic so you wont have to worry about splashing the plugs. I just use an aros £10 fan heater and a small convection heater for winter months aswell. I always have a rotating fan running 12months of the year. It keeps the air moving and allows the heat to spread evenly through the greenhouse and doesn't leave any standing air. You also get a nice effect of all the branches and leaves swaying in a breeze (very natural looking). In my opinion it works better than an extrator fan which I find tends to shock plants a bit by blowing air from outside straight onto them, whereas the standing fan brings air in to the greenhouse through natural air circulation. I would definately take Dicon's advice, buying proper equipment is good idea. This winter alone I've had two powercuts due to blown fuses and come very near electric shocks many more times! I used to plug the extension into an outside terminal right near the greenhouse. One day I found the power had cut out, went to check the plug and found that the socket had begun to melt, the plastic casing on the plug had melted back in on itself and some loud crackling sounds could be heard! I tried to yank the plug out by its cord in my panic, at which the cables came out of the plug and were clearly rusted. Ever since last winter I have had the cord that runs outside threaded through a reinforced hose pipe, a powercut last year revealed that the cord had been chewed through by mice! I'm just moving things into my new homemade 20' x 10' x 9' greenhouse which is built as a three-quarter span up against a 6ft wall. It has some electrical terminals inside but it will all be heated by a large heated pond. I'm using an immersion heater and header tank running with a pump to keep it heated. I'm hoping to not have to use any extension cords, just weather proof terminals. If you haven't already, use something like large stone tiles on a gravel underlay or simply cemented in as a flooring. Damping down is the most useful humidity tool and nothing rivals its effectiveness. I used to use a fogger with a fan but found that the cool, cloud like humidity wasn't particularly effective. Do you plan to only grow Nepenthes? because if you're going to grow other tropicals it will help with humidity alot. I don't have any benches in my greenhouse but have a lot of large leaved plants which helps to create a micro-climate. You may have a lot of potted nepenthes which need bench space so I appreciate that your space could be limited. If you can, you could try using victorian style gravel benches. These can be damped down and retain their moisture but let water drain from the pots easily. You could also try growing some ground cover under the benches: something like Trandescantia zebrina is perfect and will keep humidity up if you damp it down along with the floor (I've got heaps of spare Tradescantia and probably some little bromeliads etc if you need any? PM or email me if you want any). Lastly, If at all possible, try to have some sort of pond in there. Even if it's simply a long, open waterbutt underneath a bench. It will really help the humidity on hot days and will also act as a thermal regulator, letting heat off at night. As for temperature, some people seem to suggest that 5C will be ok for highland nepenthes. But last powerfailure the greenhouse only went to 7C, yet all of my neps (including burbidgea and ventricosa) are showing some browning on leaves. 10C is a safe bet and allows you to grow a wide range of tropical plants, some anthuriums, orchids or other stove plants will probably need temperatures 15C and above though. As you seem to already be suggesting, greenhouses are very much down to trial and error, sometimes methods change depending on the part of the country you live in or what your housing situation is. Some people prefer to use a lot of automated controls to keep everything running smoothly, personally I like to do a lot by hand as that way I can tell what particular plants' needs are. I also like a natural look to the greenhouse so I mount quite a lot of plants to logs and use a bit of landscaping. Others prefer a far more controlled atmosphere in the greenhouse, more like a terrarium where they can keep tabs on every plant easily and cater to its needs. When I started with my greenhouse I lost plenty of plants, but with advice from the forum there's no reason you can't get it right first time. good luck!
  10. Excellent! thanks Vic! I've been looking for this for quite some time! Just going off to call the supplier now, Bracknell is only a 10 min drive from here (thanks for finding my closest dealer too)
  11. Does anyone know any suppliers of coarse peat? I got a small bit from a friend to pot some orchids and bromeliads and now I can't get enough of it! I've potted two Cattleyas in sifted coarse peat (using the chunky part) and three others in pure Sphagnum, the ones in peat are now showing signs of flowering whereas the sphagnum plants are only just showing shoots. I'm planning to make some bromeliad beds from it so now I need a lot! I've seen that Hampshire carnivorous plants sell small bags of 'german peat' but its very expensive for the size you get. Does anyone else use this compost or have any idea of suppliers?? Thanks,
  12. hen

    A. titanum at Kew

    theyre researching (quite successfully I think) a way to propagate them through leaf cuttings. Should hopefully bring down the price of these giants by a fair bit.
  13. Only very occasionally do the pitchers need filling up, when they have been spilled is really the only time it's neccessary. I'm guessing that you picked yours up at hampton court on the weekend from Matthew Soper?? (I got one too, most of the pitchers were empty so i have filled a couple back up a very small amount) Some people say that nepenthes will tolerate tapwater, personally i don't think it does them any good, rainwater or sometimes riverwater is all i use for neps (that goes for misting and filling pitchers too ;)) Give it a go on that windowsill, the pitchers will shrivel and drop soon while the plant acclimatises to its new environment. In a month or two it'll have some new ones opening. If you think that after a few months it looks a bit weak, take it somewhere slightly brighter. good luck ;)
  14. exactly the same thing happened to my griffithii after i got it. I potted it in a more perlite based mix but it hasn't yet grown back. :?
  15. hen

    3 Questions

    Definately agree with that one! H.garderianum is beggining to take over the greenhouse and really helps with the 'jungly' feel. I've only had one bloom but the scent filled the entire greenhouse! I tried cardamoms from the dried pods, if you soak them in water for a few days they go soft and actually looked quite viable. I didn't have any luck but i've been meaning to try it again. try typing Elettaria cardamomum into the RHS plant finder and you'll find quite a few suppliers. I've been successful with quite a few supermarket buys. Yams and sweet potatoes are great greenhouse climbers. Also taro from ASDA grows some nice C.esculenta, I have tried arbi (which i think is probably similar to galangal) but it just rotted very quickly. These have been a great success however: grown from the seeds in a dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) ;)