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Please welcome new members here and if you have not introduced yourself yet, take a minute to let people know a little bit about yourself.

Welcome Ohiojay from Columbus

Postby Ohiojay » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:47 pm

Ohiojay
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:10 pm
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 6
I'm from beautiful, sunny, and warm Columbus, Ohio... just kidding... nothing beautiful, sunny, or warm about it. As a matter of fact, we are getting our first real snow of the season and it sucks. So I find myself very climate zone challenged since I have a deep love of the rare tropical fruits. Having a wife from Thailand and going back to visit relatives does not help such an addiction. It just sinks me in even deeper than before.

I always enjoyed growing things and probably got this from my fraternal grandparents...who always had a garden going during the summers. I started my own and was soon into making and canning salsa. I soon began trying different varieties of tomatoes and peppers each year and really enjoy the variety. I'm into growing all sorts of hot chilies and experiment with new ones each year. I have a ghost chili plant going strong in the greenhouse. I grow apples, cherries, paw paws, peaches, pears, and plums outside as well. I have one apple tree that I cut way back and started to graft a bunch of old time varieties onto. I've done the same to the pear and plum tree. This soon led to growing citrus and then my first mango. I then had to plant every darn seed that came out of a tropical fruit. I turned a spare bedroom into a nursery complete with a 1000W metal halide light...which lit the back yard up more than any floodlights I could have installed. Never once did a sheriff or police officer stop and question the light! Sort of disappointing really.

My love for rare tropical fruit gravitated to the even more rare and more difficult to not only obtain, but to grow as well. So I built a greenhouse which is attached to the back of our home. I can now grow many of the fruits I fell in love with and share that passion with the many thrips, aphids, and any number of other pests which decided to make their home in my greenhouse. I love the garcinias and grow several varieties...none of which have fruited yet. Others include pulasan, rambutan, maprangs, and lately...durian. What a challenge they are! Successes include various bananas, carambola, mangos, grumichama, dragon fruit, sugar apples, cherimoya, longan, guava, miracle fruit, wax jambu, sapodilla. I have a gold nugget jackfruit that should/better be blooming quite soon. Not everything works out. There have been many failures along the way but I hopefully have learned some things during these mishaps...always expensive mishaps. I also enjoy trying my hand at grafting and do so with many of my trees.

I go to Thailand every few years with my wife...only at the height of fruiting season of course. The folks are starting to share my love of growing and indulge me during the visits by taking us to fruit farms and fruit festivals. I also have started a yearly trip to Puerto Rico, again...during fruiting season. I've made many friends down there who have fruit farms and spend the week trekking up and down their jungles. I can't think of a better way to spend a vacation.

Bell carambola
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Nam doc mai
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Namwah
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Gold nugget jack
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sugar apple
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Our land in Thailand
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Picking pulasan in PR
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Yellow rambutan on a farm in PR
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Marang right from the tree at another farm in PR
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Re: It's time for introductions!

Postby Axel » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:45 am

User avatar
Axel
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3533
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: Hanalei Bay, HI & Fallbrook, CA
Climate Zone: 12b/H2 & 10b/S23
Jay, that's amazing what you have done, and this in Ohio of all places. That's not a bad idea to just attach the greenhouse right to the house. Your bananas look impressive, what variety are they? I can't even grow half the things you grow, it's too cold here during the Summer. But soon I will get a greenhouse.

I also like to travel to Thailand, it's one of my favorite destinations.

Come on, everyone else, there are now only 3 introductions, with 72 reads.
Tropical gardening in both Kaua'i windward Sunset H2/USDA 12b and Fallbrook Sunset 23/USDA 10b.

Re: Welcome Ohiojay from Columbus

Postby Ohiojay » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:57 pm

Ohiojay
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:10 pm
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 6
Thanks Axel for the kind and encouraging words. When the wind chill is currently hovering below zero, those words warm the heart! And I'll take all the warmth I can get right now.

I decided upon the attached greenhouse for two big reasons...cost and cost! The first being it was one less glass wall and ceiling I had to purchase...and construct. The second being that no matter where or how I put it in the yard, that north wall would have been a waste. Now, being up against the house, it saves me lots on heating...and I still have some backyard left. If I had my way, the entire back and side yards would be under glass!

I currently have Namwah planted in the ground in that corner. I have a super dwarf in container. I did have cavendish, which also fruited, but dug them out after a few bunches realizing that they tasted no different than what I found at the store. They took up a lot of room too. I've since thinned out the mat and will continue to do so until only a few Namwah remain. We really like this banana, taste and texture. However, as some of my more priority listed plants gain size, others further down the list will be sacrificed.

Re: Welcome Ohiojay from Columbus

Postby DavidLJ48 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:27 pm

DavidLJ48
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 2282
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: San Joaquin Valley, CA
Climate Zone: Sunset Zone 14, USDA zone 9b
Ohiojay wrote:Thanks Axel for the kind and encouraging words. When the wind chill is currently hovering below zero, those words warm the heart! And I'll take all the warmth I can get right now.

I decided upon the attached greenhouse for two big reasons...cost and cost! The first being it was one less glass wall and ceiling I had to purchase...and construct. The second being that no matter where or how I put it in the yard, that north wall would have been a waste. Now, being up against the house, it saves me lots on heating...and I still have some backyard left. If I had my way, the entire back and side yards would be under glass!

I currently have Namwah planted in the ground in that corner. I have a super dwarf in container. I did have cavendish, which also fruited, but dug them out after a few bunches realizing that they tasted no different than what I found at the store. They took up a lot of room too. I've since thinned out the mat and will continue to do so until only a few Namwah remain. We really like this banana, taste and texture. However, as some of my more priority listed plants gain size, others further down the list will be sacrificed.


Jay, aren't you the one who showed us plans before you built your greenhouse here, or was it in a letter to the CRFG asking for advice and ideas. Your house, and greenhouse attachment looks very much like what I saw, and Jay seems familiar too.

You have done a nice job, how hard is it to keep it heated?

David
Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b

Re: It's time for introductions!

Postby Ohiojay » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:19 am

Ohiojay
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:10 pm
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 6
Thanks David. No...I don't believe that was me. I did consult with a few folks concerning a few items. I actually researched and pestered many manufacturers for a couple of years before actually deciding upon one. The plans/blueprints were enormous and were never shipped out anywhere. I may have shared the concept behind what I was planning...but did not write in to CRFG.

The double pane, insulated glass does very well keeping the heat in during the winter. The type of glazing was probably the most difficult decision...at least at first. Our Ohio winters can be brutal and I wanted something that would provide good insulation, good light, good viewing, and longevity. Only a higher quality glass would satisfy these requirements. A more expensive desision but I believe it was the best one.

The structure also has a thermal break which helps. I have two 30K natural gas heaters I hook up when it starts getting cold. They get quite a workout sometimes. The glass does well enough where snow will not melt off of the glass roof due to heat loss. I do have to keep a few windows cracked open to allow enough fresh air in or the heaters shut down...not something I like waking up to! I keep the greenhouse much warmer than many of my fellow greenhousers due to the types of plants I'm growing.

Re: It's time for introductions!

Postby DavidLJ48 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:11 am

DavidLJ48
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 2282
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: San Joaquin Valley, CA
Climate Zone: Sunset Zone 14, USDA zone 9b
You mentioned, "Only a higher quality glass would satisfy these requirements" I'm curious, what kind of higher quality glass ? And what kind of thermal break did you use?

Did you talk and show plans of your greenhouse here on Cloudforest a few years or so ago, as show and tell ? Maybe it was what I am actually remembering.

I remember that they mentioned, that it was quite a feat to even get a building permit through, there was so many concerns, including the extra humidity against the homes outside wall.

Anyway, looks really nice, your plants looks so nice too, my bananas are all sleeping for now, with burned off leaves from one bad arctic hit in Nov. down to 28F. Otherwise this has been one of the most mild winters I have had since moving here. I just have some creepy worries about spring, could get nasty cold, which has happened before after a mild winter.

David
Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b

Re: Welcome Ohiojay from Columbus

Postby Ohiojay » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:52 am

Ohiojay
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:10 pm
Climate Zone: USDA Zone 6
Hey David...the glass is low-e, double pane, and insulated. I forget what the "U" & "R" factors are but they were about the best numbers one could hope for...and still see out!! LOL!

It is actually a sunroom structure and is very beefy. Anywhere glass, doors, or anything that penetrated the aluminum structure had what they deemed a thermal break in the structure itself. Check out the following link and it somewhat describes what I'm trying to describe: http://www.akamgostar.com/news?p_p_id=extNewsArticles&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=maximized&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-2&p_p_col_count=1&_extNewsArticles_struts_action=%2Fext%2Fnews_articles%2Fview_news&_extNewsArticles_groupId=77170&_extNewsArticles_articleId=78014

I don't believe I did any show and tells. Though obtaining the building permit does still cause vivid night terrors! That was a pain in the butt. Lots of trips to the city inspection building dropping off this or that or asking questions... forget getting someone on the phone to answer a question.

There is always the concern about humidity. We had the back of the house wrapped. I have everything sealed as much as possible but I'm sure there is more that I can do and may. Of course...I welcome the humidity in the greenhouse. I have a big fogger that is connected to the greenhouse controller to keep the humidity high. I only have this on during the summer months.

I really do hate winter and seeing the sun once every thirty days it seems. Thanks.

Re: Welcome Ohiojay from Columbus

Postby DavidLJ48 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:33 am

DavidLJ48
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 2282
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: San Joaquin Valley, CA
Climate Zone: Sunset Zone 14, USDA zone 9b
Jay, ok I now understand what you mean, by thermal blocks, the pics jogged my memory. If you didn't show and tell your plans for a back of the house greenhouse someone did. Maybe it was someone like you, with the same ideas. I wish I had had the money to do one, attached to my home.

David
Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b


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