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Messages - Daintree

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I wish I could afford some fancy automated covering system!
I have seen some in greenhouse catalogues.

And yeah, my previous back fence neighbors did complain about light from my greenhouse. However, she also said that my greenhouse plants were causing her allergies, so...

We have geothermal in parts of Boise, but not where we live. That would be so cool!

So, my greenhouse pond is about a hundred gallons, and I mostly use it for watering plants in the winter. Even with heat tape, the hose water is too cold. So I heat the pond with a 500 watt aquarium heater so my ultra-tropicals don't get cold feet when I water them.  I have tried goldfish and tilapia in the pond, but since I use it for watering, the fish don't like getting fresh cold water all the time.  Plus, being a lazy fertilizer, I tend to just put MiracleGro in the pond and water/fertilize at the same time using a sump pump.  So I kept having to catch the fish, put them in a bucket, hose out the pond when I was done watering, etc. Got old real fast! I would love to put in a second pond just for fish, if I can figure out where to put it.


Yeah, heat is the big thing with greenhouses! I tried the water barrels, but the second the sun quits hitting them they would release their heat, and by 11:00 pm I was heating the air AND the water, since water always equalizes to the air temp.

We too have cheap natural gas here. My 700 sf greenhouse costs $42 per month to heat. However, we are on a year-round payment system, so even in the summer with the furnace off it is $42. Not complaining though!

I have fiddled with so many things for heat - thermal blankets that you have to put on every night and then get shredded by the wind and used as nesting material by squirrels; hot composting, which took up half the greenhouse and required a lot of "food" and babysitting; the above-mentioned barrels; bubble wrap which filled with water, turned green then fell down; those emergency mylar blankets on the north wall; heating my greenhouse pond to hot-tub temp with a homemade heater that shocked the sh1t out of me, and probably some  other things I have blocked from my mind.

 Insulating the foundation, a thick layer of bark on the floor (gravel froze my bare feet at night and baked them in the  daytime so I knew it was having the same effect on potted plant roots), and pay the gas bill has been the best thing for me.  Funny thing, we actually inherited a natural gas well in Texas, and payments from that offset about half of the heat bill!

Cooling in the summer is way easier. Though we are at 2800 ft and have no clouds in the summer, I have found that a good coating of shade paint, a mister system and massive airflow works better than shade cloth. The cloth helped shade it, but the plants hated it. Just sat there and stared at me all summer, refusing to bloom.

Cheers, Carolyn

What fun! I wish I could grow things in the ground, but I cant even dig down a few inches because of massive maple tree roots all through the yard. That being said, I have several plants that have put roots through the bottoms of their pots and and are tunneling their way to freedom.  My vanilla vines have a mat of aeirial roots that have gone to ground that are at least three feet in diameter.
I love everyone's pics of their setups, and boy am I jealous of the 1700 sf one in Texas! I'd have it filled in no time! I just can't resist trying new things.
Love the converted garage idea too!
I used to have tropicals in the house, and watering took so long, mostly because I couldn't get to the back of the room without moving pots.
There are so many problems, and advantages, that are specific to greenhouses, container growing, and indoor cultivation!

Cheers, Carolyn
PS - if anybody is ever near Boise Idaho, give a shout and you'll get a greenhouse tour! Maybe I'll even have a batch of ripe bananas.

So, in some of the latest discussions with Plantinyum and Tropicaltoba, it made me wonder how many folks have tropical gardens under glass, or even in their houses.

I know TropicalFruitHunters is in Ohio (still have my shirt!), we just picked up someone in Virgina, there are people in Tennessee, and I think more than one in Canada. Plantinyum is in Bulgaris. And let's not forget Iceland!!!

So let's hear it if you are a greenhouse or indoor gardener, your zone, and a little about what you grow.
If someone knows how to use YouTube (which is not me, that's for sure!) I thought maybe it would be fun if we could have virtual tours of our setups...

Carolyn -
Boise Idaho, 700 s.f. greenhouse, zone 6,
I grow any tropical and sub-tropical edible that I can get my hands on!

It does sometimes drip from the top. The ceiling is 45 degree so it usually rounds down the walls. I actually got a proper thermally broken frame and I run a dehumidifier in the winter (dessicant so also heats) so water only condenses at -10c outside and the frame will frost/freeze up at -25c. I have a ceiling fan that gives good flow so I donít usually have any fungal issues at colder temps. I did have butter lettuce rot and get fungus this year as near the windows where itís cold (55f) and 85% rh. Rocket and arugula did fine though. The only Fungus issue I have (it may be that some other growing issues are from Fungus?) is ancathranose with some mangos.
Different climates sure have their own challenges! You have a DEhumidifier, and here in the high desert, I have to run a HUMIDifier!!


I was totally plagued by both hard scale on my citrus, and soft mealybugs. I have had very good luck with imidicloprid systemic. You just pour it into the soil.  Takes a couple weeks to work, but it has kept my greenhouse "clean" for years. It is toxic to bees, but I have none in my greenhouse.

I know some people worry that it travels to the fruit, but the evidence that I have that it DOESN'T affect the fruit is that imidicloprid does not kill fruit-eating insects such as apple worms.

It won't kill spider mites either, so I still have to keep up with those. But I am happily scale-free, and I don't have to spray anything around that could get on my birds, or that they might ingest.


My quail only seem interested in things that move. Watching them leap up to grab moths is hilarious.  I have never found anything good for scale except systemics like imidicloprid. Because I don't have bees in there I don't feel bad using it.


I'm wondering how you move around in there! Do your pots go outside in the summer? I used to, but things are too big now.
Even down here, I have a hard time getting enough light on my citrus in the winter. And yeah, the heat can be pricey! Our natural gas in Idaho is cheap, so that is my heat source. Whenever people ask how much, I always say "it's way cheaper than showing horses!"
Here is my setup -

The seating area, a.k.a. The Laughing Impala Pub

Cacao, cinnamon, vanilla

One of my sweet Bourkes parrots that live out there

One of the two gas furnaces. I move the air around with cheap little fans

The pathway through the tropics

Hi Tropicaltoba!
I am not nearly as cold as you, but in Idaho I do have to have a greenhouse and all my tropicals are in pots.
I have not had great luck with organic fertilizers in pots, because there isn't any "soil" in them so to speak, and organics have to be broken down by soil microbes before being available for the plants to use. It takes a long time, so you have to be patient to see results, and adding beneficial fungi and microbes is really important.
I am lazy and impatient by nature, and just use MiracleGro mostly, although "The Bobs", aka my worm composting setup, contributes a lot.
Can we see pics of your greenhouse???


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pot size for atemoyas and sugar apples
« on: January 12, 2023, 10:32:29 PM »
I have mine in 20 gallon pots and they fruit, though often drop the fruit early, probably a sunlight thing...


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: TROPICAL FRUIT FORUM OLYMPICS! - 2023
« on: January 12, 2023, 10:31:13 PM »
That's hard!!! I didn't vote for the couple that I have never tasted...


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Selling durian plant pair lol
« on: January 09, 2023, 09:19:28 AM »
I have over 70 species of tropical trees and plants in my greenhouse, and the majority will never fruit. But when I am out there on a snowy morning with my steaming cup of coffee, with my little birds chirping, the foggers running, and the smell of orange blossoms in the air, it just doesn't matter.

I looked at the colored rubber bark chip mulch for my greenhouse, but didn't care for the fumes it released. Also, my parrots are like puppies and put everything in their mouths.
Aren't they doing some toxicity research on the crumb rubber they put in artificial turf?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Online Vendor - Restoring Eden Opinions
« on: December 29, 2022, 11:33:36 AM »
I have not ordered by mail but I've been there in person. Really nice little place in basically a back yard. Good, healthy plants. Sort of a smaller version of One Green World in Portland, which is my go-to place whenever I am in the area.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Troubled pitangatuba in grow room
« on: December 23, 2022, 07:08:49 PM »
Bone meal might not be your best choice, since it takes months to break down. I'd go with a synthetic fertilizer that has phosphorus in it.  Some people may shoot me, but I like Miracle Grow.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Colder than normal winter in Florida 22/23?
« on: December 22, 2022, 04:15:06 PM »
Although I love to read through it, the farmers almanac, and the old farmers almanac also, rates no more than chance (52%) in it's predictions.

I don't think anyone can really predict the weather more then 10 days out. It is just too complex of a system...


Citrus General Discussion / Re: forced air heating and citrus trees
« on: December 20, 2022, 09:37:01 PM »

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Bloody orange
« on: December 20, 2022, 09:35:41 PM »
Looks yummy! I love the variegated flesh.


I have quail and parrots in my greenhouse, so I am super careful what I use out there. For insecticide I use systemics (imidicloprid). My birds don't eat the plants so I don't have to worry.  Sometimes if some plants get spider mites I will spray with pyrethrin, but I try to take the plant outside or in the house. If it is too big I shut the birds in the other section of the greenhouse until it is dry.  For fungal problems I use physan, and once again, I only treat whichever plant is having problems.

I have found that by increasing air circulation A LOT, it almost totally eliminated the need for fungicides.  I patrol for insects every day and try to treat before things get out of hand. I have hundreds of plants, so it takes a while, but it is my relaxation, so...

I also worry about my birds drinking drops of water off the floor that may have fertilizer in it. I use Miracle Grow and feed and water at the same time. I water one section of the greenhouse, then immediately hose it down with plain water.  I have a bark floor so it doesn't take much to wash the fertilizer beyond their reach.  I also dump any standing water out of saucers in case it has fertilizer in it.

Haven't lost any birds to poisoning, and my oldest parrot has been out there for 13 years.  The quail only live 5-8 years anyway so it is harder to tell, but I haven't had any die young.

My grandson and a baby Bourkes parrot

Sorry, the quail won't hold still for pictures!

I always keep a spray bottle with diluted physan (also called consan) on hand. Works great for damping off and other fungal problems when sprouting seeds.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Monstera deliciosa
« on: November 08, 2022, 10:18:17 AM »
I used to grow them in my greenhouse and they always fruited. A lot. But they were also a weed, and just took over. I loved the fruit, and would ripen them in paper bags to avoid "the tingles". 

I think one key factor may be to let the aerial roots "go to ground", which mine did in a big way. Once that happens, they seemed to fruit continuously.  When I pulled mine out, there must have been a mat of forty feet of aerial roots under the bark on my greenhouse floor.

In addition to being a weed, they were mealy bug magnets. Then my birds discovered the fruit... apparently parrots are not sensitive to oxalates!

Now I just pick up baby plants real cheap, throw them into pots and jump back. When they hit about 4 ft tall I sell them as houseplants.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Soursop observations
« on: October 22, 2022, 09:05:39 PM »
I used to worry that my soursop hardly fruited, until my daughter-in-law said she REALLY wants the leaves, for tea! Mine grows like a weed, so every time I prune it I dry the leaves for her. Win-win!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango leaf diagnosis
« on: October 22, 2022, 08:59:48 PM »
Yes, I was going to say it looks like anthracnose...


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Citrus/Tropical greenhouse zone7b
« on: October 22, 2022, 08:52:34 PM »
It looks awesome! My first thought is that you must do a serious ballet to move around in there!  I still have all my greenhouse trees in pots. I can't dig down two inches becuase of our maple tree roots.

I tried bubble wrap with very poor results - the bubbles got all full of condensation and then got moldy, then it all fell down.

You will probably find the water jugs inadequate.  The second the sun quits hitting them they start releasing their heat, and even boiling water is the temperature of the ambient air in two hours.  Then the greenhouse is trying to heat the air AND the water.

I tried several ways to help keep my greenhouse warm, and really, insulation and just an outside heat source (like the propane heater) were the only things that worked. 

Of course, I have over a hundred REALLY tropical plants, like cacao, so I just bit the bullet and pay for the natural gas bill.  You are warmer down there, though, so it may be a bit easier.  A good insulating blanket would probably work well. They make a type of heavy duty bubble wrap just for greenhouses.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Germinating dried guava seed
« on: October 10, 2022, 09:34:39 AM »
I have had this problem with some seeds, and I take a pair of needle nose pliers and very carefully squueze the seed helmet until it splits.  Then I just leave it and the seedling is usually able to get the cotyledons out of the seed once it is split.


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