Author Topic: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????  (Read 521 times)

Daintree

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Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« on: October 31, 2023, 06:15:24 PM »
So, you would think with all my connections with local nurseries, being a Master Gardener, and belonging to two garden clubs, I could find a greenhouse sitter for when we are on vacation!

But, aaarrrggghhhh!

Lights are on automatic, ventilation is automatic, foggers/misters and watering, other than 10 minutes a day to hit small pots etc, is automatic. You DO have to hook up the drip once a week and manually turn the water on. Heat is mostly automatic but needs to be monitored twice daily in the winter.

But really, no matter what I do, the place is like a toddler, and needs constant aupervision. The drip system has helped, but isn't a total solution.

People I have had so far either are not reliable/can't follow instructions, or cost too much (the pet sitting service did a great job but they charge $50 per day!!!).

My ONLY sitter right now is my sister. She adores the birds, is free and super reliable, but has the worlds brownest thumb and can't tell when things are in trouble. Plus, we can't go anywhere together!

If we have to be gone for more than a week, it is a crapshoot as to what will die while I am gone.

Where do y'all get your greenhouse sitters and what do you pay (takes 30 minutes twice a day)?

Carolyn

K-Rimes

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Re: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2023, 07:20:33 PM »
I have a neighbor who has been an awesome helper with my greenhouse. I make sure to share plants, food, drinks, and offer to pay (which he always refuses) and he has been wonderful. Having a huge meaningful collection of rare plants is a serious weight on your shoulders... It's tough to leave and trust someone.

I offered to pay him $40 per day, it's an easy 1hr at my place on a hot day, even with drip irrigation installed.

My suggestion is to find someone who is really into plants of some kind. Houseplant people have WAY more challenging conditions in a lot of ways, some of those things are super picky. Maybe there is a club in your area? Anyone who has or takes care of pets also, is going to understand the conditions.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2023, 07:23:46 PM by K-Rimes »

Jaboticaba45

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Re: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2023, 08:21:40 PM »
I usually hit up my friends.
My friend Oatmeal learned well and did a great job watering my plants and even took care of $500 worth of jaboticabas I had shipped to him while I was gone for a month.
Now, he is not perfect either and I lost a rare yangmei, but who cares anyways? Yangmei is so overated. Out of my 100s of plants, I only lost that one.
So, I'd just hit up a good neighbor or friend that you know well and can trust. Make sure they are smart! Show them around and tell them what to exactly do.
Do them a good favor and you should be on good terms.


drymifolia

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Re: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2023, 09:46:51 PM »
I've done both a pet sitter (we do also have a cat that needs feeding) and a responsible friend of my 13 year old kid (cheaper!), but my greenhouse is pretty simple and really just needs to get watered with a hose once in awhile to supplement the drip lines from the rain barrels. Heating and cooling is fully automated.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2023, 09:52:43 PM by drymifolia »

roblack

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Re: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2023, 10:59:45 PM »
Pet sitters have been open to some simple plant care. Just add it to the bill.

NateTheGreat

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Re: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2023, 02:07:41 AM »
It sounds like you already have an awesome helper, but your system might be more complicated than it needs to be. Why can't you put the drip on a timer, with the water turned on by solenoid valve? And maybe you could add some sprayers on a valve to overhead water the potted plants, that you'd only turn on when you're going to be away. Not as good as hand watering, but I bet you could make it work. The heat, could you not put it on some sort of smart controller that you can monitor on your phone? Or a smart thermometer to alert you when there's an issue? Regarding your sister not recognizing if there's an issue, other than underwatering, what issue could she need to recognize if we're talking about a few weeks? As long as my plants are getting watered, there's not too much that could happen in a few weeks of me being gone. You could even put cameras in, so you could check remotely for issues.

The way you describe it, like a toddler, needing constant supervision, it sounds like you may be in an abusive relationship with your plants. Somewhat joking, but somewhat serious. And if you are injured and off your feet for weeks or months, how much time each day will it take your family to take care of things, and will you be jeopardizing your recovery trying to move around in there doing things yourself when you should be in bed? I'm sorry to get so serious, but I think anything you can do now to make it more on autopilot is worth doing.

Personally, I just don't leave for more than a few days in the summer, or a week in the winter. I know it's a labor of love for me, but I can't expect other people to care. Last couple trips I went on I came back to plants looking like they would've died if I'd been a few hours longer. But once I get a permanent place, I hope to get things automated like I preach.

$50 doesn't sound bad, for two 30 minute visits. If it takes 15 minutes to get there, that's two hours total. And that gas costs money, etc.

And Ryan, I love that your friend is named Oatmeal. It'd be awesome if he found a girl named Raisin.

Daintree

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Re: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2023, 10:41:23 AM »
Thanks for the tips!
Looks like my choices are pretty much a combination of friends, hired help and automation.
At least finally getting drip set up (after 14 years...) helps!
Now I just need to get another hose and timer.
Can't figure out how to monitor the furnaces. They are just the wall-mounted open flame gas heaters...

Carolyn

elouicious

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Re: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2023, 12:59:37 PM »
Try the local high schools for some cheap labor?

again would be worth it to find someone who was into botany/horticulture

0hip

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Re: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2023, 06:18:09 PM »
try find a lawn mowing or other general garden service company and pay them however much they want. probably cost a bit more though

Daintree

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Re: Tips for finding a "Greenhouse sitter"????
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2023, 06:29:51 PM »
Oh, I hadn't thought of our lawn guy!

 

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