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2006 Archived Messages


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MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28
March 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 April 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
May 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 June 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
July 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 August 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
September 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 October 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
November 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 December 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31

June 1—7

From: francis quesada pallares
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Phallys
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 07:20

I can't remember who was wanting to buy phals, named
and/or unnamed hybrids and species. David Stead
Orchids is selling a lot of hybrids at the moment on
ebay. He lists his nursery link on the pages too, so
maybe it's worth a look?

The link is www.davidsteadorchids.co.uk

Francis.

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From: LEONARD HANDLEY
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Serimas.
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 11:45

Yes that's the stuff. Thanks for your comments,
Len

Roger Grier wrote:
Evenin' Len,

The Seramis that you speak of.........is it the type that is the colour of terra cotta, and is the size of large rice grains?

If so, then I can offer some information.

A friend of mine uses it extensively for potting his terrestrial orchids in, and he has great success.

The only reason that I would never use it for epiphytes is that it is so loose. The space between each grain is very small. I would rather use an inorganic medium that has larger air spaces.

Regards, Rocky.

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From: Anthony Page
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: perlite
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 16:25

I would be interested to know where you can buy 100ltrs of Perlite for £8.50. I am paying twice that.
Anthony Page

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Emailing: DSC00850.JPG
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 20:40

Hello all,Further to recent discussion re Phals in stones and water, this is one of mine to illustrate the point. This weighs in at 3lb 2.onz.Ronbow.

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From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Temperatures
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 20:55

The installations inside the new orchid house are almost complete and
hopefully will be finished by the weekend. Over the years I have acquired a
mixed bag of about 100 orchids mainly because I was impressed by their
flowers but sometimes because they were presents. The question regarding a
suitable temperature range is as follows:-

My automatic control system provides a drop of 15 degrees between minimum
day and night temperatures and presently I have it set to a daytime minimum
of 28 C which means a night-time minimum of 13 C. My favourite types are
Cattleya, Laelia, Phal's, Vandas & Dendrobiums. My question is:-

Will this be a suitable range for my favourites?

Advice, please!

Ron

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From: Rudolf Günnel
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Roots in water
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 21:00

Hello Len,

Please apologise my belated answer but I will report from my experiences
now.
I don't know whether 'Seramis' is really much cheaper here in Germany
therefore I looked for the prices in my region:
A bag with a content of 15 l costs ca. 10 Euro (6.90 GBP)
A bag with a content of 7.5 l costs ca. 6 Euro (4.20 GBP)
Regarding using it as potting medium I attempted it with different
success.
So far I grow all my Paphs successfully in 'Seramis'. But I grow them
conventionally not in hydroculture although I tried it some years ago
and it worked (but not with 'Seramis' as potting medium).
Before I use 'Seramis' I sieve away the tiny particles and flush all the
dust away under a tap water jet. At the beginning I used it 'pure' but
it becomes dense in time. Now I put a drainage layer on the bottom of
the pot and I mix 'Seramis' with some pieces of cut foam rubber (size of
a hazelnut).
My attempts with epiphyts or hydroculture and 'Seramis' were not that
successful. I wouldn't recommend it with epiphyts or hydroculture. I
think there are different reasons:
- As I know the pH factor of Seramis is light basic. Most Paphs like a
basic potting medium but nearly all epiphyts don't.
- 'Seramis`' is strong water retentive and in combination with
hydroculture it brings too much moisture to the neck of the plant. Roots
are able to adapt to any environment also to be always in water. But a
lot of epiphyts can't stand a permanent wet neck of the plant. I watched
rotting of new growths / sprouts as it's result.
- 'Seramis' in hydroculture gets soggy in time.

Best regards from Germany, Rudolf.

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Rewiring orckid house
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 21:35

Hello all,
I think I am going to have to rewire my greenhouse. The "sparks" man is coming on Tuesday for a 'look see'. It was professionally done, but many,(To many.) years ago. and now is carrying a much bigger load than it was designed for. I have seen pictures of various boards with switches and timers and so forth on them, but as one would expect I cannot find them now that I want them, but I do have the Simply Control suggestion. Is a pre-wired board better that a bespoke I wonder.I would be most grateful for any advice and comments from experienced members. For example, Is there anything that I should avoid doing I wonder and should the panel be enclosed and water proof?
My thanks in anticipation.

Ronbow.

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From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Rewiring orckid house
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 23:05

My new greenhouse has been professionally wired and everything electrical is
waterproofed.

Ron

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From: John Stanley
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Temperature and temperatures
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 00:30

Hi Ron,
You don't say where your thermostat's sensor is and whether or not you manage to keep the air stirred up sufficiently for those temperatures to apply at all levels. I can't imagine an absence of layering between roof and floor and in the day I'd be surprised if there wasn't a wider range vertically. Also, what kind of thermostat (simple on/off or incremental) and what is the range between it switching on (min) and off (max). Do you have thermally controlled vents?

We have between 350 and 400 orchids (and interlopers of other groups) in a 10 x 8 feet greenhouse adequate for . . .oh . . . about 50 to 70! I daren't tell you how cramped they are and I sometimes think they're close enough to keep each other warm! But they flower − although usually not to show perfection. On the whole our plants tolerate us. The nearest to disaster was when we were given forty big species Cattleyas and had to do a big 'squeeze 'em in' job to accomodate quickly (we could hardly have refused!!) We have lost just one of those, probably from poor location.(they were previously the sole inhabitants of a greenhouse marginally bigger than ours!)

We must be breaking all the golden rules except for trying to locate cool plants where the heating is least efficient and the hot ones where it is best. However, there is also the humidity problem and the difficulty of persuading fog to stay where you want it! Not to mention the added choosiness these plants have for light or shade.We don't engineer a temperature drop at night but it happens − by about 5 to 8 degrees Celsius

We have three largish fans (about 40cm diameter); one on the floor blowing a gale in the opposite direction to that in a fan heater (at face height), and one in a cool section simply stirring up the air.These are all on all the time except when a human is tending the plants.

Don't interpret this as a recommendation !; it simply shows how tolerant and flexible many orchids are. We started with good intentions but don't like discarding plants (or killing 'em!

John

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Perlite
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 08:50

I did say that I am just buying , and at that point the order was in, but
not sent. In fact I ended up not buying from them for reasons explained
below , but am following up other leads.. However, the link to that source
is :-

www.jfcmonro.co.uk

They offer free delivery of orders over £50 ( + VAT, in Cornwall, Devon,
Somerset and Dorset only ) . And of course the carriage cost can be quite a
lot ; so I made an order up, adding in 25Kg of this and the same of that (
some garden stuff and Calcium Nitrate − also a tiny fraction of the Orchid
Sundries price ) . The snag was that I am at the wrong end of Dorset ,
outside their free delivery area, and so the cost of sending this rather
heavy load was to be £31. Still a bargain .

However, they were kind enough to tell me of an associated but independent
firm with a similar name , at Chichester , offering similar goods/prices,
and I may be inside their free delivery area . I am investigating, and
anyway would be happy to drive and fetch it from there ( I would not be
happy to drive to West Cornwall to fetch it ). This firm are putting their
catalogue in the post to me , they don‹t have a website/order portaI . I‹ll
let you know how I get on.

However, I used to get a similar price for Silvaperl coarsest grade from the
Avon firm, near the old Bob Dadd nursery (Greenaway Orchids) in North
Somerset when I lived in the Cotswolds , and before that from LBG near
Evesham, when I lived in Worcestershire , neither of these firms do
mail-order , both were happy to sell the smallest quantity over the counter
to customers who collected, both sold at realistic trade prices ( 1/3rd the
price of the garden centre , in some cases ) − and both delivered free
inside their own local area.

So what you have to find, I think , although you might be happy to pay the
carriage from Cornwall , is a local supplier whose customers are the local
nurseries who are raising plants in large quantities. Try the Horticultural
Trades Association website, maybe ?

Geoff

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Roots in water
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 08:55

Rudolf − can you put a figure to the pH level that you have in mind when you
say "light basic" ?
That is, do you think Seramis has a natural pH of say 6.0 ? Or do you think
that Paphs need that kind of pH , etc ?

You may recall the figures I found for the soil around some paph species,
growing wild in Thailand , and I'll remind you later if you want − but am
interested to hear further of your views on this subject.

Geoff.

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Temperatures
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:25

This is a much larger day/night difference than I have ever aimed at. 15
degrees Fahrenheit difference , yes. Fifteen degrees Centrigade ? Wow !
It may be quite natural, and may give very good results ; but I have no
experience.
Five is a figure I have used , but I admit that I am influenced by cost.

However , as far as Cattleyas are concerned , I had a long chat with the
grower of the French national Collection, when in Paris last year , and as a
result turned UP my night ’stat setting to 18 ,C , which was ›about the
minimum mon amiŶ.“ On that basis , 13 ? No !

Laelias are a bit cooler, and you may succeeed , so they say , at 14 or 15
night , but this is not something I have experimented with. There certainly
are some Laelias from the top of the hill , growing cooler, but it is said
that when a LC or BLC or SLC is made, it is the Cattleya input which
determines growing needs.

Big flowered Vandas always have some V.coerulea genes , which gives ability
to withstand and maybe appreciate a cooler season , but too much slows them
down and stops growth , which may be difficult to restart ( says Martin
Motes , Vanda breeder in Florida)but 13 si just about feasible ; again I‹d
prefer 15 and they seem to like my 18Ŷ.

Phals are happy in domestic centrally heated houses going down below 13 -
but do they actually grow new leaves at that ? I expect everyone will have
an input about that , I can only say that my phals are growing more
perceptibly since I turned up the wick.

Dendrobes cover such a huge range of conditions. 13 is plenty for nobile
types ; inadequate for the tip-bearing ones based on Dendrobiujm biggibum,
D.phalaenopiss, etc.

Geoff.

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Rewiring orckid house
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:35

For heating, fans, foggers etc which are left switched on all the time, then
I would think that hard- wired back to a board is the best thing.

I find that the theoretical problem ( theoretical in that I have not had a
shock so far in my rather large number of greenhouses , over the years maybe
as many as 20 different ones, almost invariably D-I-Y wired to my won
amateur design for reasons of cost − ) is in connection with things I want
to switch on and off for short periods , especially pumps since I am always
moving rain-water from primary collection tanks to storage tanks, and from
storage tanks into the reservoir used for spraying or lance watering via a
large pump, or into buckets for hand dipping plants and so on. I have at
least half a dozen pumps and if they were all hard wired back to a board ,
the wiring would be quite complex , so I actually use a ring main of
ordinary double 13A sockets, wired back to a sensitive circuit breaker (
residual current CB) so that there is always a socket somewhere near where
I want to make a power connection, and have a flap of plastic hanging over
each socket to avoid water dripping from plants onto the sockets, resulting
in a tripped-out circuit.

But if you have a pro coming , he can give you better advice than I can.

Geoff.

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From: Jean Lewis
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: seramis
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 11:35

As I can no longer buy locally in any Garden Centre I now buy Seramis from
Seramis Hydroponics and will put the url below. It is more expensive of
course because of the delivery charge but it is the easiest source I can
find. I grew a 'first prize' winning Streptocarpus in this medium and grow
several in it. They grow much larger than one would expect. Mine dwarfed the
other plants on display. I haven't found it so good with orchids though. I
now use it mainly as grit mixed with other orchid mediums. − Jean
http://www.seramishydroponics.com/

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From: John Stanley
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Rewiring orckid house
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 11:45

Ron,
In these days of H&S legislation rendering the killing of mealy bug with alcohol a criminal offence (although you can legally clean your plants with it!) it would be legally hazardous for any of we amateur DIYers to make recommendations other than "consult a qualified electrician"!
However, there are some general points worth making;
(1) make sure your qualified man knows exactly how much or how little water will be (or could be) sloshing about and that you also use sprayers and probably foggers and drippers too!
(2) Work out the number of sockets needed and the amp requirements and then double it!
(3) since you are dealing with living things, a power failure (caused at your end) could be fatal for the plants. If you can go to having twin circuits, in the event of a disaster you can switch to the other while the first is being dealt with.
(4) almost certainly, the recommendation will be for outdoor spec socketry and residual current trips. However, like so many "safe" devices we can get complacent, They can be misused by not closing flaps etc. whereas, in the old days, we would make personally sure a poly flap (a la Geoff style) was working!

But you aren't new to greenhouses, water and electricity and, as far as I know, you don't yet wear a white dress with attached wings and a halo, therefore you have survived and must have some appreciation of the hazards. After all, probably most of us did our own leccy jobs before the new regulations and our survival has been as much through knowing what we were doing as by good luck . . . or rubber wellies . . hasn't it?

John

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From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Temperature and temperatures
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 23:05

Hi John

I have thermally controlled windows in the shady side of the roof but I have
not managed to get them to work properly yet, i.e. they will not yet close
at the desired temperatures. The installation is not complete yet so the 2
fans, 1 for heating, thermostatically controlled, the other a permanent wind
machine, that I brought over from Portugal have not yet been installed but
are planned for tomorrow.

But perhaps it will be more helpful if I add the message that I have just
sent to Ronbow:-

Ronbow, I am no technician but I can tell you what I specified/bought.

The orchid house is aluminium framed and 'glazed' with a double glazed
plastic (Polycarbonate).

Heating is by electricity, i.e. 2 tubes along the side walls, supplemented
by a fan heater, and controlled by a thermostat which provides for a 15
degree drop in the minimum temperature at night from whatever daytime
minimum you set.

Humidity is maintained at whatever humidity you set on the controller by
means of two jets which project very fine sprays of water. This is mains
water. I also have a rainwater system which collects the water from the
house and pumps it up to a butt standing just outside the orchid house from
where it can be pumped to another butt standing inside the orchid house.
This enables me to supply water to the orchids at room temperature,
containing the appropriate nutrients.

I also have an embryonic shading system (of green plastic netting) which
eventually will allow me to provide partial shading during sunny days. I
wanted to do something automatic but have not found anything suitable yet.

I hope that this will be helpful but, if you desire further clarification,
just ask.

Cheers

Ron

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From: P G Hieke
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Temperatures
Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2006 10:50

13 degrees is far too low for most orchids, especially Phallies.
You may get away for Dendrobiums, some Cattleyas, possibly Laelias,
definitely not Vandas.
My Phallies grow in 20º C at night and daytime around 30º C. depending
on the sunshine.
Regards
Peter from Bloubergstrand

Ron Newstead wrote:

The installations inside the new orchid house are almost complete and hopefully will be finished by the weekend. Over the years I have acquired a mixed bag of about 100 orchids mainly because I was impressed by their flowers but sometimes because they were presents. The question regarding a suitable temperature range is as follows:-

My automatic control system provides a drop of 15 degrees between minimum day and night temperatures and presently I have it set to a daytime minimum of 28 C which means a night-time minimum of 13 C. My favourite types are Cattleya, Laelia, Phal's, Vandas & Dendrobiums. My question is:-

Will this be a suitable range for my favourites?

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From: Andy Mckeown
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Temperatures
Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2006 11:55

I grow with a winter night minimum of 13 degrees and I have about 100
thriving cattleyas both species and hybrids. The only one I struggle with
is C bicolor and I don't think that it can but about the temp as it is one
of the cooler growing sorts according to IOSPE. The others flower and
increase every year with no signs of stress, so I'd say yes to 13 for catts.
Increasing the temp to 18 min would just about double the cost and also
change what I could grow with them − I find Laelias and catts grow happily
together. I wonder too if it might shorten flower life − might be an
interesting experiment. This is particularly on my mind as I have a Den
thyrsiflorum with 4 fantastic spikes just opening and I am keeping it as
cool as I can so that it may be good for next Saturday's show! (Withshire
Orchid Society Show, Assembly Rooms, Warminster. June 10th 11.00 − 4.00)

I have also about 30 dends of various kinds but not phalaenopsis types. I
agree they need much warmer temps.

I don't grow many phals though bizarrely some of the best ones live in the
coolest room indoors − I doubt if the MWNT gets into double figures there!
Theoretically they shouldn't survive at all.

Interestingly when I was away in Feb a "helpful" neighbour managed to trip
the power to my orchid house resulting in no heat for just over a week.
Result − lots of flower spikes aborted, leaf necrotic spots on a few reed
stem epis and a couple of Brassias, and Cattleya labiata lost all its
leaves but now has a huge new growth. No other problems at all evident
though I am not recommending you try this at home!

Regarding temp ranges generally I notice that when I started growing in the
early 80s books gave cool to be down to 10 degrees, intermediate 13 and warm
15. Now I see cool is 12, intermediate 15 and warm 18. Is this inflation?

Although temp and humidity are important − and easily measured − parameters
affecting plant distribution thay are not the only ones. There can be subtle
effects -less easily measured- pollinators, pests and competitors and three
which spring to mind which may be just as important. In general I tend to
have a go even if I don't have the exact theoretical conditions, it's part
of the challenge.

Andy

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From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Oops! − Temperatures
Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2006 13:30

Especially for John, Ronbow and Geoff:-

I have re-checked the information on the heating control and the reduction
to night temperatures is 5 degrees C, not 15!

I cannot understand where the 15 came from because I knew that orchids
prefer a temperature drop of 5 degrees C.

My thanks to the various people who expressed polite surprise.

Ron N

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Temperatures
Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2006 16:50

I found your message very interesting Andy ; just a few comments from me.

1. When we are reporting our temperatures we are of course taking our
thermometers and thermostats as "gospel truth". However , I once made the
simple test of collecting all my thermometers − and that was maybe half a
dozen from the various greenhouses and cold-frames etc, and putting them all
in a bucket of water for an hour. They must have been subject to the same
temperature , but when I took them out there was a 4 degree difference
between the highest and lowest readings .
I repeated the test with the same instruments at a different temperature,
and found a small difference between the highest and lowest . That was done
30 years ago − I can't remember now whether I read F or C then − probably F
? The conclusion however is that ordinary commercial instruments are simply
not very accurate − your 13 could be my 15 for example !

2. It is well known that many orchids can be grown in many different ways ;
and if anyone is succeeding , then why change ? And if anyone does decide
to change, maybe doing so a little at a time would be better than making a
big change all in one go.

3. When I started growing the temperatures were 50, 55 and 60 (F) for cool
,intermediate and warm − which are about 10,12.5 and 15 C , but it was said
that "up north" − where the best odonts come from , cool means 45 ; and for
masedevallias, cold is 40, cool is 45, and so on. And of course many books
emphasised that these were winter night minimum temps reached on cold nights
, and that on less cold nights the temperature would not fall so low − hence
the higher numbers might mean average rather than minimum ?

4. And maybe the same applies to my 18 minimum . My heating apparatus is
fine for a bit of frost , but if we have the minus 20 which I saw in
Warwickshire in the winter of 82-83, I think I should be struggling to keep
double figures !

Geoff.

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From: Rudolf Günnel
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Roots in water
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2006 13:25

Hello Geoff,

I was told about the natural pH factor of 'Seramis' by another orchid
grower two or three years ago. I took it for granted without asking for
exact figures. But your mail made me curious myself and I tried to find
out on the web site of the producer. But without success! I called the
producer and the nice and friendly lady told me that these figures will
be published only on enquiry and the response to my enquiry will take
ca. one week. But contrary to expectations yesterday a letter with the
data sheet of 'Seramis' was in my letter box.
Here are some of the more important figures:
pH-factor target 6.2-7.5 Is (reached) 7.0
CaO mg/100g
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Roots in water
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2006 21:50

Hi Gordon

I have put plants straight into this system when I have deflasked them and they have been fine. I use a layer of gravel on top of the perlite so the crown of the plant is not wet. I don't think the depth of roots is critical. When you repot into this system it's likely that a lot of the old roots will die and it will grow new ones.

Andy

Gordon Walker wrote:

This is aimed at those growing orchids in the one inch of water.
Do you have a particular depth for the roots in the pot and do you still have the neck of the plant above the medium? Further at what age do you put the plants in this system of growing?
Gordon.

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From: Andy Mckeown
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: phals
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2006 22:50

For those of you interested in Phals, I notice that Nardotte have just added about 20 new hybrids to their catalogue:

http://www.nardottoecapello.it/catalogo.asp?folder=7&pn=1&ss=ALL+IMAGES

Andy

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From: JIM MATEOSKY
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Temperatures − substitute light for temp.
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 01:55

Hi all,

I am not a pointy headed PHD just a grower, I have talked to many lab coated weanies that have told me where I live (in costa rica) I can not grow that there. I have 40,000 orchids of 50 species growing well.

Cats alot of the weanies said they will not grow in my green house (13 C cold 11C coldest) I try to give my cats more light as a trade offo for less temperature.

I know many people that have green houses near the beach where it is hot hot hot and they find ways to use moisture to trade off fon temperature along with less light.

ANy thoughts???

Jim Mateosky

Costa Rica

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Roots in water
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 10:35

I have not yet found my notebooks containing the details which I recorded
when examining colonies of Paph concolor and Paph bellatulum , in Thailand -
but my distinct recollection is that the soil around the roots showed
acidity − not alkalinity. The pH was between 5.5 and 6 − as I remember it.
I got these figures by taking small quantities of the soil and swilling in
de-ionised water , allowing the sediment to settle, and then using a Hannah
pH meter probe dipped into that water. I do not know how accurately this
reflects the pH − but it is the same technique used in soil testing kits
sold for use by gardeners.

The bellatulum "soil" was probably humus − i.e. decomposed vegetable matter
which had collected in crevices of the Karst rock [ metamorphic (?)
limestone, rather like a marble − very hard and dense] .

The concolor soil was more like a gritty mud from a decomposing
sedimentary rock of pink colour − which I thought of as "sandstone" − but
this is a ( very ) amateur geologists guess and no more.

Geoff.

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From: Rudolf Günnel
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Roots in water
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 10:40

Hello Andy,

Since about half a year I do it in the same way. I put a 1-1.5 cm thick
layer of pebbles on the surface of the potting medium. I do it in this
way with plants in hydroculture as well as with Paphs in 'Seramis'.
The advantage is besides keeping the neck of the plant out of the
(sometimes) moist potting medium the prevention of algae growing on the
surface (Pebbles keep the light away).
Haven't written here about that subject because of the short period I do
it.

Best regards from Germany, Rudolf.

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Perlite sources
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 11:00

The firm I ordered from in Cornwall is , I think, JFC Monro.

The 'firm with a similar name and similar products' turns out to be
'Monrosouth', with 4 addresses as below :-

Kent- (Maidstone) , 01622 717373

West Sussex , (Chichester) , 01243 533700

Cambs ,( Wisbech ) , 01945 463999

Oxon (Enstone) 0870 242 1090

The catalogue , which arrived today after being misdelivered , Post Office
fault not Monro's , lists Perlite in 4 grades inc. supercoarse , but has no
prices (for anything) . But currently it seems the price is £8.12 + VAT
for small numbers of 100 litre bags, coming down to £7 for more than 30 bags
or £6 for more than a hundred , not likely to be of interest to all the
window sill growers ! Carriage will no doubt depend on address and
quantity.

The web-site for the catalogue and the above addresses is :-

www.monrosouth.co.uk

Geoffrey Hands

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 13:50

Hello Ron,
Whilst I address this response to Ron, N. I would be obliged if all of the list members who responded to my request for advice re a rewire will accept this general reply and with my thanks.
May I first get it clear that when I refer to a temperature I mean Farenheight. I am too old to get my head around this Centigrade lark, for since I could talk or understand any thing, temperature was a frequent topic of conversation in the house hold, my Father being as he was, a commercial grower. I have it firmly fixed in my head that 32f is cold, (Freezing.) Less than that is colder, 60 is warm and more than that is warmer or ever hot. When I see or hear a temp ref in C. it conveys little to my brain.I still have to double it and add 30 to get an idea or indicate the state of things in or around the to me, and wether I am in the comfort zone or not, and should I feel cold or not. Also, I think that each degree C. is too wide, and too big a differential. I was concerned in particular to the 15C degrees, as for the last 2 -3 weeks I have been trying to get my night temp down more that the 10f or so that I normally do. I must say that I find it extremely difficult to get a 15f drop let alone 15 C. In the event before I could respond Ron cleared the matter up. I find it difficult because I cannot find a thermostat with more that a few degrees f. margin. Sure, I could do it were the ambient temperatures low enough, but at this time of the year they just are not. So Ron, if you have found such a Statt for your new house please point me in that direction.
I have mentioned before that my Greenhouse (GH) is old and made from Timber. Pitch Pine infact, hand build with good sized thickness of timber.and whilst there is the odd bit of rot, nothing that needs attention. Timber Houses certainly do retain the heat better than metal house and in addition mine is well sheltered.
Yes Geoff I do have a ring main running round the house as well as night store, Thank you those who mention it for I do not have RCB, and must say that I never thought of such. I do not have a Mister or a fogger, in the main, because I think it would accelerate the deterationof the timber and in effect I don't feel the cost of a new house at my age is justified. Added to which I doubt if I want or could handle the hassle involved. If needs must, well, OK. Another reason for not having Mist or Fog is that I grow under lights, the high powered and hot Sons and the like, and I just do not know what the effect of the water vapour would be. I may well be wrong, but I have just not seen these devises in operation, and infact I have not been in any Orchid growers house other than my own. Further comment would be welcome. I have taken onboard and have listed all your comments and will present them to my "Sparks man on Tuesday.
Again, thanks to all.
Ronbow

Ron Newstead wrote:

Especially for John, Ronbow and Geoff:-

I have re-checked the information on the heating control and the reduction to night temperatures is 5 degrees C, not 15!

I cannot understand where the 15 came from because I knew that orchids prefer a temperature drop of 5 degrees C.

My thanks to the various people who expressed polite surprise.

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Temperatures − substitute light for temp.
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 14:00

Hello Jim,
40,000. Wow!
What do you do with them.
Ronbow.

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From: dennis READ
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Temperatures − substitute light for temp.
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 19:30

Jim, Hello, I've just returned from a 2 wk tour of Ecuador and I am trying to reconcile growind orchids in the U.K. compared to the conditions in South America.
The main item we miss is sunshine 12hrs a day 365 days a year. We also miss the constant high humidity and the same temperature each day and each night.
We overcome the temperature problem with heaters and thermostats. I beleive we compensate for lack of light with the use of fertilisers instead of photosynthesis.
Here I have two houses -one at 12.5C min and the other at 15C min. My Cats. grow in the warmer conpensating for lack of light and my Anguloas and Lycastes are in the intermediate house.
To compare the way orchids are grown in N. America, Canada, S. America, Europe, Australia, Far East etc (sorry for those I missed out) would make an interesting study. As a start it would be interesting to compare definitions of Cool, Intermediate and Warm. I have always understood Cool to be a Min Night temp of 10C or 50F. Intermediate a Min of 12.5C or 55F and warm to be 15C or 60F all aproximations. Any comments from our members across the various ponds? Regards

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 08:10

I think that you are right not to worry about a fogger Ron , in view of all
you say.
And when I think of the Dutch plant factories that I went into ( with the
other Ron (-Newstead) a few years ago , growing fantastic orchids very
rapidly , I don‹t remember foggers being in sight ? They were of course
much larger structures , and much of our difficulty comes from growing in
small houses , so that may be the difference.
But RCD ,if that is the right abbreviation − yes, that is a must !

Geoff.

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From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 09:40

Well, Ronbow, I have the opposite problem. I went off to S. America in 1950
and am in the process of returning. Consequently, I had to convert to
Centigrade and now find it very difficult to think in anything else.

And while we are on the subject, I have had difficulty in finding a
consensus about what figure constitutes 'warm' in the orchid world. Is it
min night of 15C, 16C, or 17C?

Ron

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From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 10:10

In order to be freed from the prospect of tossing and turning in bed
tonight, I hope that you will please tell me what RCD is!

Ron N

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 16:50

According to Wikipedia RCD is Residual-current Device. Click the link for a
lot of information.

And sleep well!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_fault_circuit_interrupter

--

Tricia

Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Minimum night winter temperature.
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 17:30

Hello Ron,

You asked about the minimum night winter temperature. 15, 16 or 17 degrees Celsius.

What the hell Ron, ha, ha. At our age, and having been growing orchids for a very long time I guess it does not matter that much.........this statement of mine will no doubt bring lots of response, but to be very truthful, when we have very cold nights here in the Northern hemisphere if the temperature does not fluctuate a degree or more, then the heating system must be punching out much heat to keep it exactly constant. And it don't do that in nature old pal!!!

There are some crackers flowering in the New Forest at the moment.

Kind regards, Rocky.

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Ascofinetia.
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 17:35

Hi all,

MyAscofinetia never fails to flower and is growing a few side shoots.

A couple of photos for you to look at.

Rocky.

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Minimum night winter temperature.
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 17:45

Roger gets it right, I think. Thermostats do not cut in and out at exact
temperatures , and there is usually a couple of degrees- so that if the
falling temperature brings the heat on , then it may have to rise a couple
of degrees before it switches off.

BTW perhaps those of us who CAN do c0onversions should say 15C (60F) or
whatever, for the benefit of those of us who have problems ?

I'll try anyway.

Geoff.

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From: Rudolf Günnel
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] pH factor − was roots in water
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 18:40

Hello Geoff,

To be honest, I could only partially explain to myself where the
alkaline pH factor of the soil comes from in which is claimed that Paphs
grow.
Every source mentions that Paphs (apart from the epiphytic growing ones)
grow in leaf litter nests in crevices or holes on limestone
cliffs/slopes or in soft leaf humus on different subsoil (often
limestone). Mostly the limestone is karst and therefore porous and
rainwater seeps away.
The pH factor of decayed leaf litter is acid by nature.
Particles of limestone must go in solution in rainwater to chance its pH
factor to alkaline one.
As I see it the humus/soil can only be contacted by this alkaline water
on cliffs/slopes when it's rinsing over it. In any other case the
rainwater seeps firstly through the humus/soil and thereafter following
the gravity into the karst/limestone.
This would confirm your measurement.
However, so far my Paphs grow well in 'Seramis' as you can see on the
attached photos of Paph. armeniacum which is flowering right now.

Best regards from Germany, Rudolf

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From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Minimum night winter temperature.
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 20:10

Well, this all came about because of Regina Elsner's response when I was
considering buying some Phal's from her. She said that a minimum night temp
of 13 C would be far too cool

Ron N

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 20:10

What a coincidence, Tricia!
I was talking to the electrician who is installing the electrics of the new
orchid house and he said he had a problem with installing an old heating fan
that I had brought over from Portugal because it was setting off the RCD -
and he then explained what it was.
I already knew the device because our main switchbox in Portugal had one,
but I did not know the name and even less the initials!

Ron N

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From: John Stanley
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Polite surprise
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 23:45

Hi Ron,
As a rule of thumb, I think we can all be polite when surprised. The expletives emerge when the surprise is rather more sudden − as in shock! (especially the electric kind)
Therefore, it is good to hear that you will be having RCDs !
Good luck with refurbishment
(ps; sorry to poach your favouritr font but, for some reason, it won't alter to Arial or Times Roman in the usual fashion!)
John

Especially for John, Ronbow and Geoff:-

I have re-checked the information on the heating control and the reduction to night temperatures is 5 degrees C, not 15!

I cannot understand where the 15 came from because I knew that orchids prefer a temperature drop of 5 degrees C.

My thanks to the various people who expressed polite surprise.

Ron N

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: James H
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 01:05

im wondering if an RCD is the same thing as a GFI, im an apprentice
electrician in Canada and have never heard of an RCD but we have to use GFI
(Ground Fault Interupter) in our greenhouses, and now this year we have to
have Arc fault breakers in any room where someone could possibly sleep, so
bedrooms livingroom sparerooms ect.

what exactly does an RCD do?
GFI measures current in line in and line out and if they are out by .07A
then the breaker will trip.
James

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From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Minimum night winter temperature.
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 10:35

Yes, I am inclined to agree with Roger. In fact I have been surprised at how
well my orchids are recovering from the journey and the spell of rather
harsh treatment that followed.

I have had a lot of practice in the conversion world. If it was not
currencies, it was measurements. For your guidance, this conversion works as
follows:-

16C is exactly 15 X 9/5 or 27 + 32 or 59. (I thought that I had an equals
sign on this machine but I cannot find it)

And, as Geoff says, 60 is near enough.

Ron

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From: Geoffrey Hands
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 10:40

Sounds like "two nations divided by a common language" as Winston Churchill
said − in other words, surely, yes..

Geoff.

James H Wrote:

im wondering if an RCD is the same thing as a GFI...

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Ron Newstead
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 12:10

As my electrician explained it, James,, the RCD does exactly what your GFI
does..

Ron

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From: Ron Bower
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Oops! − Temperatures and my rewire.
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 14:05

Yes indeed and its supposed to do it quick enough to avoid you being electrocuted. Ronbow

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk list
Subject: Temperatures.
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 13:35

I remember an article from another orchid fan from down under. He told of the fact that if an orchid is grown in a less humid place, [ like in the house ] then the night temperature could drop 10 degrees Fahrenheit and cause the plant no problem at all.

Rocky.

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