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Author Topic: It's enough to break an old man's heart  (Read 895 times)
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splinter1804
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« on: August 21, 2015, 22:36:36 »

Hi everyone - I must say I'm feeling a bit down after the recent cold damage to my Neoregelias.

Each winter I usually get the odd garden plant with a bit of cold spotting but this winter (which was the worst I can ever remember) the damage is much worse and I'm attaching a few pic's to show what I mean.

These plants were all under 75% beige shade cloth which I thought would have offered some protection. Even the plants in the garden came out of it better than the ones in the shade house, so I'll have to re-think my cultural methods and just what I'm doing wrong.

I did have one thought though and that is the changes I made to my benches; because a lot of the smaller pots kept toppling over on the mesh benches, I covered the mesh with "mini orb" which is a galvanised iron sheeting with small corrugations. This solved the problem of them toppling over, but I'm now wondering if the reduced air circulation may be the cause of the cold damage.

The puzzling thing is though, that I did the same thing in another shade house and the plants there didn't get any cold damage and these shade houses are virtually side by side. Any suggestions are as usual, gratefully received.

The only "up side" is (and we all know this) that most of these plants will survive by producing some pups, however that means I have longer to wait to  get an adult plant.

All the best, Nev.

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jaga
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2015, 07:55:46 »

Nev sorry to see this, thought those plants were covered ?, must have been quite severe ?. No better with plants at my parents place just down the road Im afraid, you at least have some chance, theres in many cases will not survive at all with little to no chance of pups. Plants are now black and rotting. That frost was -4 here, Peter + Joc at 'totara waters' got -6.

Neo's are tuff and will be a good test of there growing strength. Spring can not come soon enough for us this year of all years! as you may also have seen in my Face Book post recently re my health, its a winter to forget for us.

I will be interested to see how they are fearing Nev in a month, sure they wont be perfect but will probably look much like most of mine, just a bit knocked about.

Take in some deep breaths and relax, that's been my modus,
Cheers Jaga

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Kayleen C
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2015, 12:02:47 »

Sorry to see that damage to your plants Nev. As you said it could have been the sheeting as the plants under the bench probably would have made a different mini climate.
You said the shade houses are side by side, but is one side of one of them near a fence or shrubs? This would have made a difference.
One of our members had a bad frost in April last year. His plants turned to mush or the leaves were very badly damaged.
He left them until frost danger was over then cleaned them up. It is amazing how a lot of his plants put out pups but also there was a lot he lost.
He put beige plastic over the shade houses this year and found he could grow his plants all through winter as it was so warm under the plastic. He lifted the sides most days for circulation.
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chefofthebush
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 21:31:20 »

Eina! Nev ( That means "Ouch!" ) My heart felt sympathies. Enough to make me cry. Grateful am I as the weather here is very mild and almost tropical-  and getting warmer every year.

I hope that that stress will induce lots of pup formation.

I also hope your weather lighten up.

Best wishes,

Conrad
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splinter1804
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 23:40:30 »

Hi everyone.

What I have to do now is work out what went wrong and why. True, it's the coldest winter I've ever experienced in the 45 years I've been living here and true, I'm not the only grower with cold damage; but I thought being under shade cloth would have given much better protection.

Initially I thought it was because I put mini orb on the benches which cut down on air circulation, but when I think about it, many of the large brom nurseries just put weed mat on the floor and sit their plants on that so the air circulation would be about the same and surely plants on the floor would be colder than those on a bench.

Someone on another forum suggest it may be that the mini orb because it's steel and it would have retained the cold.

The upside is that of all of the plants I have hanging up, very few have any damage except for a few bits of spotting here and there, so the extra air circulation and height has obviously helped them, but then they are closer to the roof where the cold comes in?Huh??

My big mistake was doing all of my benches in that way, I should have just done one bench and given it a trial period of 12 months to see how things went before deciding whether to do the others.

It's a big job for me to take it all off again so as a trial I'm going to put some sheets of white polystyrene on top of the mini orb on one of the benches and see what that does. At least the pots won't be sitting on cold metal and there will be a degree of reflection from below which I'm hoping will help as well.

The other thing I though was to gradually take off the mini orb and replace it with those pot holding trays which are plastic and hold about a dozen pots so they don't fall over. I bought about twenty of them second hand from a nursery that was closing down and now I'm wishing I had bought the lot as they were going for just 50c each, however I didn't know this was going to happen either.

If anyone has any ideas I'd be glad to hear them. I know a fine mesh on the bench would be the best of the lot as my main problem was pots toppling or being blown over, but the cost puts it right out of the question on a pensioner's budget.

All the best, Nev.

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jaga
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 02:07:42 »

Nev, maybe simply try polystyrene sheet over the orb for winter, alternatively have a sprinkler mist system that keeps temp constant set to go off below 2 degrees.

Cheers Jaga
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jaga
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2015, 00:02:57 »

Nev how do your plants look now ?

Jaga
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splinter1804
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2015, 22:08:46 »

Hi everyone.

Jaga - My plants don't seems to have suffered any further damage and it was obviously those three very low temperatures in a row that caused all of  the damage.

I'm frantically searching through them to try to find something good enough for exhibiting at our show this weekend as we're going to be very short of plants as most of our members are in the same situation as me. However, each time I select what seems like a suitable plant, there is some sort of cold damage in a prominent spot that can't be trimmed out as it's usually on a newer tender central leaves

On an "up note" almost all plants have nice pups appearing, but that doesn't help this year's show or the members' garden visits next month. I guess I'll just have to accept I've lost a years growth and it all starts over again from pups, or chuck the lot in the skip and just look at pictures of brom's on the forums.

All the best, Nev.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 22:27:32 by splinter1804 » Logged
jaga
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2015, 06:35:53 »

Nev, get those pups potted up.
Cheers Jaga
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