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2012 Archived Messages


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MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-29
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

March 8—14

From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: This is what you call a specimen plant.
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 07:40

This Neofinetia is growing on a large piece of rock. Great root system and just one or two flowers !

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Thunias
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 08:35

I don t repot until I can see the new shoots ; T.brymeriana is always the first, and that s the one I have repotted . The others- different species look as though they will be following quite soon. I don t water before new shoots.

geoff

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From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] question about growing with rock-wool cubes
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 10:30

PS/For Geoff, and any others interested, I have just spoken to Dennis Woodhouse about supplies of Epiphoam, he still has bulk stocks of materials and is still mixing and supplying the Epiphoam, he can also supply chopped foam. He was OK with me publishing his telephone number, 01328 820272.
Hope this helps,
Regards, Sheila

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] This is what you call a specimen plant.
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:05

Very interesting never seen anything like this . Tell us more ?

Your plant ? How long to get this big ; how do you grow it etc. ?

Geoff

Peter Fowler wrote re: [OrchidTalk] This is what you call a specimen plant.

This Neofinetia is growing on a large piece of rock. Great root system and just one or two flowers !

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From: tony garthwaite
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 15:15

Geoff,

Having read your comments below, I have to say, (with respect) that your conclusion is slightly flawed! Thermometers from the same batch may also vary!

Also, a 4 degree F range is not worth mentioning! I was on a very expensive insurance claim some years back and the Cargo Surveyors were taking temperatures alongside me. Their readings were much higher than mine, so, I got a jug of water with ice cubes well mixed and got all the Surveyors to put their temperature probes into the mixture. There were readings ranging from -1 C to +7 C. (In old money that s a range of 15 F!!!) The cargo value ran into 7 figures!!!

Anyway, I suppose my point is: use an ice and drinking water mixture to check the accuracy of the thermometer. It will always be 0 C. (You can ignore the dissolved salts!)This is closer to the range we are interested in than the boiling point of water, which can vary somewhat depending upon atmospheric pressure. Most digital thermometers will drift over a period of time, so occasional checks may be useful but I would suggest that an accuracy of 1 C is more than adequate for our purposes.

Regards from a (slightly) warmer Lincolnshire.

Tony G.

Geoff wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer+

Some years ago I shopped around for a supply I wanted to be able to leave thermometers in several different positions, and not keep moving one about ( to discover whether the ridge was the same temperatures as the bench, and the corners as the middle, and so on − no of course they are not , but that s another story).

I ended up buying a box of 10 for the same price as my garden centre wanted for just two. They were cheap and cheerful , sure the reading on both sides did not agree . But the interesting thing is that the reading on the right was exactly the same on all 10, ditto the reading on the left ( although different from the right). In other words they had a built in error, but it was reliable and predictable.

Some years before that I collected together the max/min thermometers from all my greenhouses and cold frames, garden spots etc. at least 7 or 8 of them, reset them all, and put them in a bucket of water and left it outside so that the temp. would vary, then after a week or so, looked at the results. They were all different in what they said the temperature was at that point, they all differed in what the max had been, ditto the min...... I also had a certified accurate quite expensive single ( not min/max) thermometer ( you buy them from lab equipment suppliers ) which I used for other purposes in my experiments, and I checked the readings against that... none agreed. The difference btw between the highest and lowest was an astonishing 4 degrees ( this was in the days of old money so deg.F.)

Conclusion take anything said about temperature with a degree of latitude ( otherwise known as a pinch of salt) , and if you want more than one, buy a batch of the same model.

Geoff

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 19:35

Some comments Tony ! Regards, Geoff.

> Having read your comments below, I have to say, (with respect)
> that your conclusion is slightly flawed! Thermometers from the
> same batch may also vary!

My point here is that different patterns of inexpensive thermometer are likely to vary more as to one from the next, than different examples of the same model. I maintain the truth of this.

> Also, a 4 degree F range is not worth mentioning!

I disagree. When I visited the French National Cattleya collection and had a discussion about temperatures, I was advised to turn up my thermostat by 2.5 degrees (C) you would say that I needn t bother because that is less than 4 ? It is hardly possible to have a sensible discussion about orchid growing temperatures if I take this seriously.

It is also true that I have to assume that we were both using reasonably accurate thermometers.( A big assumption , but again, one has to start somewhere ! )

> I was on a very expensive insurance claim some years back and the
> Cargo Surveyors were taking temperatures alongside me. Their
> readings were much higher than mine, so, I got a jug of water with
> ice cubes well mixed and got all the Surveyors to put their
> temperature probes into the mixture. There were readings ranging
> from -1 C to +7 C. (In old money that s a range of 15 F!!!) The
> cargo value ran into 7 figures!!!

> Anyway, I suppose my point is: use an ice and drinking water
> mixture to check the accuracy of the thermometer. It will always be
> 0 C. (You can ignore the dissolved salts!)This is closer to the
> range we are interested in than the boiling point of water, which
> can vary somewhat depending upon atmospheric pressure. Most digital
> thermometers will drift over a period of time, so occasional checks
> may be useful but I would suggest that an accuracy of 1 C is more
> than adequate for our purposes.

But accuracy at zero is not very important to me if my orchids have ice on them, to know it is at zero or minus 5 is no matter. It is accuracy in my growing range say 10-30 degrees C which matters !

Moreover, even the cheapest and nastiest thermometer may be made quite accurate at one temperature it is merely a matter of adjusting the position of the glass against the marks before fixing it in position. Accuracy at other points in the range will depend upon how well the glass tubing was made it is the internal diameter which is critical, not the exterior the latter is easily fixed by the die, as the glass is drawn, but the interior diameter depends on the glass composition and the temperature, and both must be controlled finely to give a reasonable chance. A certified accurate thermometer will have been checked at a whole series of points, and rejected if more than x out.

Apart from questions of exchanging information about growing temperatures, I recall that at the start of my orchid life being told that I could grow cool which meant a winter night temperature of 50 F, Intermediate (55) or warm (60) but every 5 degree increase would double my heating costs...Clearly , if I think I am growing at 50 and I am in fact growing at 55, then I want to turn my stat down hence the need for some accuracy in the system somewhere.

Geoff

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Thunias
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 20:25

Thank you Geoff − I will just have to be patient and not water anymore.
Regards, Alex

> I don't repot until I can see the new shoots ; T.brymeriana is always
> the first, and that's the one I have repotted . The others- different
> species - look as though they will be following quite soon. I don't
> water before new shoots.
>
> geoff

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] This is what you call a specimen plant.
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 20:35

Good grief Peter − I have never seen a N. falcata a fraction of that size
before. Is it in flower now or is it an old photo ?
Regards, Alex

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From: brian.gould83
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: rockwool show winners
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 20:45

Bournemouth show winners,all in rockwool
I sent these photos using Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) Elements 6.0. Find out more: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/

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From: francis quesada pallares
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2012 08:50

In response to the comments about a 4 degree F range not being worth mentioning, from a paleontological point of view, and taking into account that 4 degrees F are about 2.2 degrees C. It has been published in many scientific papers than a global temperature change of less than % degrees C is responsible for some of the 5 global mass extinctions that saw the dimisse of around 95% of living species in Earth in the past.

It may not be that important in a small greenhouse as to wipe out your entire colection of orchids, but I am sure that small temperature range will have a huge impact on the healthy growing of your plants, somehow.

Regards,

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

From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2012 13:30

and this is probably the reason that I don t have dinosaurs in the greenhouse either ?

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Geoff

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From: francis quesada pallares
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2012 15:45

Possibly, he he! ;-)

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From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Hand made Neofinetia Pots
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2012 14:30

Tricia, I am just sending 2 photos because of size. They are made by Rob Dunster, who makes Bonsai pots for the RHS. The chap on eBay who sells Neofinetia plants and expensive pots is going to buy from him, as at the moment he buys his pots from China, Japan, and Korea. If you want a special pot for a very special plant, the he can make it for you.
Peter F., Alton

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Hand made Neofinetia Pots
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2012 16:55

Peter, thanks for sending the pics at such a suitable size − much
appreciated.

--

Tricia

Well, Doctor, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years and I'm happy to report I finally won out over it.

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From: tony garthwaite
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 07:25

I just knew that this was a good topic!

Now ..what about the temperature gradient between the floor and apex of the orchid house? and just to make it a trifle more complicated .over a 24 hour period throughout the year ???

Only joking!!!

Tony G

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: pictures to start the week in orchidaceous fashion...
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 10:15
Source: mail.Orchid Talk List

Cattleya Ports of Paradise ' Green Ching Hwa';Has always had a rather
weak neck in my culture - when I can grow it to hold its head up without
assistance I'll know I am getting it right – or maybe that is
always too difficult with these huge heavy flowers ? Two flowers here -
but my fingers of one hand can only hold up one flower whilst the other
operates the camera .
Three spike Vanda
V. Pachera's Delight - I have several of this grex, sometimes slightly
different, so have given them clonal names. I think I showed this one
last year (?) and have it labelled as "Midnight Magic". Doing an
overhaul of a line of Vandas today I found it again - with 3 spikes
developing nicely. I have never had three perfect spikes on one plant -
two yes, but three no. On the odd occasion I have had three before, the
flowers have blasted, or buds dropped or something. Maybe again - which
is an excuse to show it now before it happens ; then you can all cross
your fingers for me...mine are already getting tired with being crossed
for a few hours ! and there are a few weeks to go, I think.


Ancistochilus rothschildiana
A plant I inherited from the late Joyce Stewart ( one-time Director,
Wisley RHS Garden, Chairperson WOC France 2007, author /co-author of
excellent books on Dendrobiums , African orchids generally, and most
recently Angraecoid orchids ). She left her few hundred plants to my
Society of which she was a long-time member. This is one I got as part
of my share. Being that good taxonomically etc does not necessarily make
one a great cultivator, and maybe time passed after her death before the
orchids came for attention - it often happens. Whatever, not a great
plant and not in v.g. condition. Just two little bulbs, the size of some
of the species crocus we grow - say 15-30mm dia, and even less high ,and
few leaves but I now learn that it is deciduous so its not my culture
which caused it to drop its leaves ! ( sigh of relief...) But I have
managed to flower it, and it definitely grows on me , i.e. I like it
more and more. The flowers are huge for the bulb size - maybe 2 inch
across, although they doubled in size after first opening. Perhaps going
over now- I had thought to grow it on for a few more years before
posting since the flowers were nothing much, but changed my mind at the
last minute. But rarely seen I think, so worth a show.
Cyrtorchis arcuata
I have seen this species in the wild , although not in flower - I relied
on the Ranger in a big cat game park in South Africa, up near the
Mozambique border, for the identification. It was growing epiphytically
in the forks of big trees, which I think were called honey locust (
looked very much like Robinia pseudoacacia , which I have grown as a
garden ornamental tree , and which incidentally is called the black
locust - perhaps a close relative)which were growing in "Sand Forest" (
for which there is a special name , which I can't quite bring to
mind – starts with a G ? ) - also home to giant clouds of
butterflies - hundreds of thousands in each swarm, which feed on the
nectar from the tree flowers.I was fortunate enough to see them too on
that visit. So when I saw this species on offer, some dozen years ago, I
bought it mainly for sentimental reasons I suppose. It has flowered
several times for me , usually producing spikes in each of several leaf
axils, and often some don't develop - only one spike did so this year
and one , maybe two others didn't. My culture must be a bit
deficient somewhere , but the plant can certainly do with some fresh
compost, which may give it a new lease of life – has done so
before..
Very curious lip - hardly different from the two petals - quite unusual
that. It is located, taxonomically in the Vandeae , but in sub-tribe
Angraeca rather than amongst the true Vandas - as you may guess from
that massive (presumably) nectary spur.
A delicate and slightly exotic scent but gets a lot stronger at night ,
but most of these white angraecoids are pollinated by night flying moths
perhaps. I won't say the perfume makes me think of "harems in far
Araby" or you'll get the wrong idea of how I spend my spare time - but
rosy-cheeked milk-maid it does not suggest ...

Lc Village Chief Parfum ~Orchis~
My cattleyas are in poor condition - I have got my vandaceous orchids
growing really well, located above them - mainly by spraying very
regularly, but at the expense of the plants below, which have been too
wet . I tried repotting in more open compost - still too wet , then in
6-8mm Perlite which I have long used for Hydroculture - still too wet,
so finally (since I can't think of anywhere else to go) moved all these
plants into S/H using 12-14mm Leca as the media. The idea is that the
large air spaces etc will prevent them being too wet. Too soon to know
if it is the answer, but plants too wet for a couple of years and
repotted three times in that time-span can't be expected to be good
...yet ( fingers crossed ! ) . So any flowers are doubly welcome.
Nicely scented this one –but more your girl next door than harem
content.

pictures to start the week in orchidaceous fashion...
https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid66cc6b7e29550ebd&pagebrowse
&resid66CC6B7E29550EBD!423&type5&authkey!ANe426WTu23o4mU&Bsrc
Photomail&BpubSDX.Photos
Geoff

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 10:25

A serious reply to your light-hearted suggestion Tony ;
that was the reason for buying 10 to hang them at different heights to see what the temp.gradient is and obviously they all need to read the same at the same height or the answer is meaningless.
And 24/365 ? That s what the data logger does , although if you insist on carrying on the test for that long and then want to show the results graphically on a single page, the result would be unreadable ( the temperature variation curve must have some lovely name I suppose sinusoidal bell-curve ? repeating every day of the year. For
just one week it is nice on the screen, but the more weeks you pile in, the more they are compressed laterally, until the whole page is solid ink.

Mind you , getting the kit and setting it up is where all the fun is . Look at the data once, and its interesting. After a bity it is just boring and soon gets forgotten !. By the time you have had an equipment failure and wildly wrong temperatures, you know all about it, without wanting to print it out and weep over it .

Geoff

tony garthwaite wrote RE: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer

I just knew that this was a good topic!

Now ..what about the temperature gradient between the floor and apex of the orchid house? and just to make it a trifle more complicated .over a 24 hour period throughout the year ???

Only joking!!!

Tony G

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From: francis quesada pallares
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 13:10

Hi Alex,

I have three thunias, 2 species and one hybrid (can't remember exactly which ones they are). They are all leafless canes and now signs of new growth yet. I have not started watering, but wonder if I should repot as two of them have been in the same compost for a couple of years.

Regards,

Francis

Alex wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums

[...]

BTW my thunia has 2 green leafless stems, the original having
withered away. I have given it some water a week ago but wondered if
that was too early or too late and should they be repotted annually?
I know Francis has one too, is yours waking up?
Regards, Alex

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Thunias
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:20

Mine is marshalliana I think − got it in the raffle table as a pencil
length wreck so one can never be sure. It has two plump green leafless
canes so I am hoping for new shoots soon but I am not going to repot until
I get a bit more experience with thunias. Let me know how yours go.
Regards, Alex

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Hand made Neofinetia Pots
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:05

I thought you grew Neofinetia falcata on rocks Peter :-)
Regards, Alex

> Tricia, I am just sending 2 photos because of size. They are made by
> Rob Dunster, who makes Bonsai pots for the RHS. The chap on eBay who sells
> Neofinetia plants and expensive pots is going to buy from him, as at the
> moment he buys his pots from China, Japan, and Korea. If you want a
> special pot for a very special plant, the he can make it for you.
> Peter F., Alton

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From: tony garthwaite
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 21:35

Geoff,

I have to confess to ordering one of those Data loggers last week, because, though I have an early version of an electronic temperature logger, the Humidity aspect is a bonus which I feel to be very desirable at the moment.

As you will remember, I ve got a replacement greenhouse and the section which now houses the tropical (should I say warm-growing ?) orchids has an exceedingly dry atmosphere. The collection is looking distinctly jaded though I do have some flowers and also new flower spikes showing, but it is very, very dry. My wife has been helping me today to put in two lots of pipework for water supply.

The first is to take rainwater from the barrels outside onto a submerged tank from where it will be pumped to give an overhead spray of soft water using a timer. The frequency of this spraying during the early part of the day will depend upon the time of year but past experience in the old house was about 4 0ne-minute sprays starting at 07.00hrs with the last one at around 14.00 hrs.

The second lot of pipework is to spray mains water under the benching in order to raise the humidity. The frequency of this will need good old Trial and Error to determine the best regime. If you have any suggestions or observations (this applies to anyone reading this .) I m a great believer in Not re-inventing the wheel if at all possible! .

Regards,

Tony G.

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From: John Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 23:35

Jumping in at the deep end, may I suggest that a comparison (albeit tongue-in-cheek) between global increase / decrease in temperature in a geological time context with a greenhouse is hardly valid. Not many folk in the UK would have been convinced about global warming last summer for example! Surely, global 'warming' is a simple way of expressing an increase in received solar energy − some of which is used in re-arranging global weather patterns in rather unexpected shivery ways (this winter, Greenland has sometimes been milder than Crewe!)!

On the other hand, temperature control in a greenhouse is a more direct issue. We used to have the (old) Arizona fan heater with a very precise incremental electronic thermostat which maintained a temperature within one or two degrees. After a wiring failure last March we have 'gone through' three superficially similar Phoenix heaters by the same excellent manufacturer but have found the temperature fluctuations between thermostatic 'ons' and 'offs' to be too great at up to 4C. Certainly, the orchids weren't happy. Maybe the problem was of our own making somehow (perhaps the location of the Arizona isn't ideal for the Phoenix or perhaps the Arizona's more remote thermostat is better for us). I have now re-wired our old Arizona and its thermostat connections and we are back into a much more stable temperature control.

I guess most members of this forum will know all about the problems of where and how the temperature is measured and where is the best place to have the thermostat sensor. I am coming to the conclusion that variations in temperature are less of an issue than is the rate at which fluctuations occur. It is really difficult, without personally camping out in one's greenhouse or having a large quantity of accurate max-min thermometers, to be sure how temperature fluctuations vary between (say) face level in mid position, face level near the sides or ends, in the ridge, near the floor and so on. Even with adequate fans for air circulation the job can become greater than the rest of all our black arts put together.

John Stanley.

On 9 Mar 2012, at 08:50, francis quesada pallares wrote:

> In response to the comments below about a 4 degree F range not being worth mentioning, from a paleontological point of view, and taking into account that 4 degrees F are about 2.2 degrees C. It has been published in many scientific papers than a global temperature change of less than % degrees C is responsible for some of the 5 global mass extinctions that saw the dimisse of around 95% of living species in Earth in the past.
>
> It may not be that important in a small greenhouse as to wipe out your entire colection of orchids, but I am sure that small temperature range will have a huge impact on the healthy growing of your plants, somehow.
>
> Regards,
>
> Francis

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From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Hand made Neofinetia Pots
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 08:25

Sadly the large plant on the rock is not my plant.
Peter

Alex wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Hand made Neofinetia Pots

I thought you grew Neofinetia falcata on rocks Peter :-)
Regards, Alex

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Shading
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 20:15

I seem to have started quite a debate when I asked about Max/mins − really interesting debate.

Now on to shade.
My greenhouses are lined with bubble stuff which not only insulates a bit but also disperses light. The only shade I have is that expensive white/aluminium strip shading on the outside.
This works extremely well in summer, letting in dappled light and reducing temperature.
So far so good.
I dutifully put the shade on about now when the sun raises temperatures inside, and it stays on until I remove it late September. I do not have the luxury of any mechanism to roll it up on dull days and down again on sunny days.
When installing it for the season this week it occurred to me that if I left it on continuously it might act to reduce heat loss during the winter by protecting the external surface of the glass from cold air. I ensure there is a gap of 2/3 inches between the glass and shade cloth.

What do others do? Would leaving this type of shade cloth on all year make it too dark for plants in winter even though the light which comes in is white light, and does it seem reasonable that leaving it would help reduce heat loss?

Views welcome.
Richard

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