Can anyone recommend a good fogger.

orchidnickJuly 3, 2010

I need to increase the humidity in my cold greenhouse without soaking the plants. I spray the gravel floor several times with water but that does not raise the humidity high enough. I can never get it above 50, would like to be closer to 70% to 80%.

Charlie's Greenhouse lists a fogger for about $350, I had one of these before and was not really satisfied as the droplets were large enough to wet the plants. I know someone who has a fogger which produces true fog. You think you were in the rain forest. She paid $700 for that one, too expensive for me.

Does anyone know where I can get a used one or does anyone have a lead on a true fogger for somewhat less.

Nick

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stitzelweller(Md)

Nick, I used to work with powerful (and very expensive) foggers for professional uses that were unrelated to horticulture. You want a fogger with a sensor which shuts the machine off whenever a desired level is achieved. Try searching for equipment outside of the plant business.

Good Luck finding one for "somewhat less" than $700 which satisfies your needs. Maybe, your Mexican friends can help you here, too!

--Stitz--

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 6:42AM
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orchidnick

I have been to the industrial sites. Good stuff but expensive. I have a humidistat and will probably get the usual hermidifyer for around $300 unless I find something soon. It's about to get real hot and dry in SOCAL.

I got a fogg-it nozzle which sprays 1/2 gallon of very fine misty water per minute, recommended by terpguy, it's a great way to water but I want fog. I'm not planning to wast my money on Telipogon, Andy is the only one I know who successfully grows them, but I want to grow Draculas and other rain forest plants well. We had a recent talk by Gary Meyer from Northern California, who said that Draculas like humidity from 70% to 80%. They will grow in less but to get a bundle of flowers and really grow them well you need that humidity. This guy grows over 200 of them, his specialty. I'm looking forward to visiting his place in about 2 month. Need a full pocket to go there as I don't want to return empty handed. As a matter of fact, I will email him and see what he uses.

Nick

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 9:40AM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Just curious, apart from the 70 to 80% humidity/fog what sort temperatures do the mythical Draculas like? I might have mentioned that i've only ever seen one outside of a book and it was visibly wilting outside its home.

Lucky i didn't fall in love with it as one of the pleasures of life is visiting a nice warm sunny glasshouse (in winter) where i control the humidity with a cheapskate humidifier (the hose).

But seriously, if you only want to grow a few of these mythical beasts maybe some sort of terrarium setup might be the answer.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 3:08PM
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orchidnick

They like it cool, below 75 in the Summer with a good day/night difference. A happy Dracula will put on a great display. I had a Drac Vampire once that had about 6 flowers at the same time. I took it to a society meeting in a box like setting draped with wet beach towels. It went on display (without the beach towels) and got the Ohhs and Ahhs it deserved. By the end of the meeting the flowers were wilting. That's why you'll never see them at an orchid show.

A terrarium is much to small as there a couple of hundred different Dracula (including hybrids, many of them natural), even more Masdevallias, hundreds of Pleurothallids, Lepanthes, Stelis, Dendrobium cuthbersonii, Odontoglossum and the list goes on. A year from now the cold greenhouse will be as full as the warm one and much more interesting to the species buff as not to many people down here can be bothered with these plants. They are commonly seen in the San Francisco area where Terpguy grows D cuthbersonii in his backyard along with the Dandelions. Here in the desert climate of SOCAL it takes an effort to grow these things but is very worthwhile.

Nick

PS No disrespect intended, Terpguy, even in your climate it is an achievement to successfully grow these little jewels.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 3:33PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

If you do the touristy thing and visit glasshouses here and there they are mostly
set up for something like tropical lowland. The one in the Sydney Botanical Gardens has two divisions. Tropical and tropical montane, in the montane section, you are aware of of this fine mist that is so fine it is almost non wetting.

Is tropical montane the same as cloud forest?

It is ironic that it is much easier to grow things when you have to do warming up rather than cooling down. Cooling down being much more expensive.

Socal has a mediterranean climate according to a map on the wall of a glasshouse in Wales set to those conditions.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 6:34PM
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orchidnick

The further inland you are the hotter the Summers and the cooler the Winters are. I'm about 15 miles inland from the ocean and will get close to 100F several times a year. Is that still within the range of Mediterranean?

You are right, it is harder to keep them cool than to keep them warm.

Nick

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 6:58PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Not sure about the definition. The map had part of South Africa, parts of Southern Australia, parts of Southern California and of course the Mediterranean.

It was like visiting San Diego in Wales, a very different glasshouse to the usual tropical stuff.

I think you a right, from a purely orchid growing point of view it might be better to live next door to Terpguy.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:16PM
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orchidnick

The power of the internet!! At this point have located the following choices listed in decreasing cost:

1) Industrial foggers which start at $700, no longer a consideration.

2) Minihydrofogger, http://carelusa.com/mc.htm This probably makes the most sense.

3) Steamer http://cgi.ebay.com/General-Aire-DS20-Steam-Humidifier-/170506826564?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0amp;hash=item27b2ffb344 This would work but HAS to have city water as it does not work with RO.

4) Air atomizing mist head http://cgi.ebay.com/Carel-MC2000-Air-Atomizing-Mist-Head-Humidifier-/170506827619?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0amp;hash=item27b2ffb763 This works best with RO water but requires an air compressor, small one, 2 sfm/40 psig. Additional cost about $50

5) Small ultrasonic humidifier, http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-AIR-O-SWISS-AOS-7146-TRAVEL-ULTRASONIC-Humidifier-/130351763169?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0amp;hash=item1e59920ee1 This is by far the cheapest and would probably work.

Interesting journey, need to make a decision.

Nick

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 4:27PM
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orchidnick

Oops, posted the wrong link. #2, the one that may make the most sense is a minifogger and the correct link is:

http://www.hydrofogger.com/inc/sdetail/152

At this point I'm leaning towards #4 even tough it is more complicated. The trick really is to produce fog rather than mist. This atomizer promises water particles of 10 microns or less. That's called 'Fog'. Anything over 50 microns will settle out , it's called 'Mist'.

Even fog will wet the room if the temperature rises above the dew point. I put in queries to the makers of #2 and #5 to find out the size of their water particles. Remember the link posted with #2 above is incorrect.

Nick

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 5:28PM
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orchidnick

The minifogger (#2) produces droplet sizes of 20 microns so it would definitely work well. The atomizing nozzle (#4), at 1/2 the cost, would be slightly superior with 10 micron droplets but a pain in the butt as one would have to have an air compressor to make it work. Those suckers are noisy, would have to build a Styrofoam box to limit the noise.

Nick

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 5:37PM
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orchidnick

OK, the jury is in. The atomizing nozzle was pobably the best, but there was vigorous bidding for it. New they are between $400 and $600. By the time I had gotten the aircompressor, the water pressure valve etc it would have cost me $250. A plug in minifogger is $300 and change, the difference is not worth the hassle. The last item, the mister, is just that, a mister that would wet the plants.

I'll get the minifogger, it makes most sense.

Nick

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 3:30PM
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stitzelweller(Md)

Nick, I am happy for you that you found the best apparatus to suit YOUR conditions.

--Stitz--

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 5:08PM
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orchidnick

I'm a sucker for the unusual. I got a second chance offer for the atomizing nozzle as the buyer who outbid me did not come through. I could not resist it, it's just too Rube Goldberg and way out there. It should also turn my cool GH into a cloud forest. I need to get an air compressor (HD $59) which, along with the nozzle at $130, will then be the total cost.

My marine engineer son and I will rig it up and should have some fun. If it works out, 80% humidity will be enjoyed by not only LeBron James but also by my Dracula, Pleuros and D cuthbersonii. I will report.

Nick

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 12:09AM
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stitzelweller(Md)

Nick, I have several years of "hands-on" experience using powerful, industrial foggers with formaldehyde if you need any advice....

80% R.H. ? whew, GOOD LUCK! I hope that you have some POWERFUL fans with exhaust!! :)

--Stitz--

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 2:32PM
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orchidnick

The room is 12' x 14' x 8'. A 1/3 HP swamp cooler blows air under the bench in one corner. 2 fans set up a circular motion. On the opposite wall, on top, there is a 1' x 3' opening into the warm GH allowing the swamper to breathe. It will also help keep the warm GH from over heating in the summer.

This is a work in progress, continuous tweaking is taking place.

Nick

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 3:04PM
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orchidnick

The project is essentially complete. It took a little engineering to make it work right. The nozzle is a piece of work, very solid steel, looks indestructible. I had it all apart and changing gaskets every couple of years should take no more than 20 minutes.

Air has to be delivered at a set pressure. Increase the air pressure and the water output per minute increases to a maximum of 2 gallons/hour. Water pressure determines the droplet size, the more water pressure, the larger the droplets. Can be decreased to a droplet size of 10 microns.

Had it going all day yesterday and it really made the room cool and super moist. The only problem is the noise of the air compressor. It goes on every 5 minutes for 1 minute. Even on a Sunday morning I find it a soothing background noise knowing the beautiful moisture it delivers to my plants. My neighbors think other wise. They told me I could stay but the compressor had to go. If you live next to a free way, after a month or so, you don't hear the noise anymore. I told them that the compressor noise is an acquired taste and that after a while they will be able to set their clocks by it. Not too much understanding there so this afternoon I get to build a soundproof box for the compressor.

It's not for everyone, certainly for from a plug-in unit, but it sure cranks out the moisture. It was a fun learning experience.

Nick

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 2:30PM
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orchidnick

Gave up on the atomizer. It works great and I still have that nozzle if anyone wants it. Could not limit the noise of the compressor to an acceptable level so could only run the unit during certain hours and even then it was an annoyance to my neighbors.

So I finally called it quits and got the minifogger which also works great but is nice and quiet. $250 out the window! Oh well, it's only money, thank God the government is printing more every day, hope they'll send some my way.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 11:35AM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

Sounds like an environmental conservation research project. Write it up and ask for a grant to finish it. Ask for $250,000.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 1:28PM
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orchidnick

More like an enviromental conversation project since my neighbors can talk to each other again. I'm sure our government is doing reasearch to find out why frogs have sex with each other so they'll probably fund me, I just have to include the words freedom and liberty in the prospectus.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 3:16PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

When I used to grow orchids in UK I tried several times using foggers. I never found a good one that did not break down and spent a ridiculous amount of money. In the end I bought an old tea urn at a car boot sale. You know, the sort they use at the WI. Not only did it fog, it heated as well. The only problem was, it worked too damn well. The windows in the greenhouse were constantly wet and algae became a serious problem. Then it broke down and I decided to move to Brazil.Well that wasn't the reason....but....

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 6:15PM
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orchidnick

I'm using RO water with no nutritional value what so ever. So far there has not been any algae. Don't know if that is the reason, when it's cranking you think you are in the rainforest of Costa Rico. The wood is constantly moist so no doubt that will affect it's longivity. As long as the Draculas are blooming, I don't care.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 9:16PM
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highjack(z6 KY)

Nick you won't have an algae problem for a long time. You live in a very dry climate so the air sucks the moisture out. Eventually you will get it and with your structure having a wood frame, it will be very hard to eliminate.

I don't use a fogger but after a couple of years I started getting it on the lower half of the poly where the natural humidity gathers. It is easy to remove - it is having to crawl under the tables with the bucket and sponge that is the hard part.

I can't imagine how much RO water you run through with the fogger. I would be too cheap to waste 2/3 of the water. It would be cheaper to replace the fogger.

Brooke

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 6:08AM
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orchidnick

Tell me about it! My water bill is scary. My oldest son lives in Redding, Northern California and I keep reminding him to flush the toilet twice as we need more water down here.

If you use tap water, you get white 'dusting' on the leaves. The waste water ends up in a long tube which I use to water other garden plants. Move it every day to spread the love, it's not wasted.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:33AM
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orchidnick

Tell me about it! My water bill is scary. My oldest son lives in Redding, Northern California and I keep reminding him to flush the toilet twice as we need more water down here.

If you use tap water, you get white 'dusting' on the leaves. The waste water ends up in a long tube which I use to water other garden plants. Move it every day to spread the love, it's not wasted.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:34AM
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orchidnick

Tell me about it! My water bill is scary. My oldest son lives in Redding, Northern California and I keep reminding him to flush the toilet twice as we need more water down here.

If you use tap water, you get white 'dusting' on the leaves. The waste water ends up in a long tube which I use to water other garden plants. Move it every day to spread the love, it's not wasted.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:35AM
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orchidnick

Tell me about it! My water bill is scary. My oldest son lives in Redding, Northern California and I keep reminding him to flush the toilet twice as we need more water down here.

If you use tap water, you get white 'dusting' on the leaves. The waste water ends up in a long tube which I use to water other garden plants. Move it every day to spread the love, it's not wasted.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:36AM
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highjack(z6 KY)

You are stuttering :>)

You must have a big garden. For every r/o gallon two gallons are wasted. My water is probably the cheapest in the nation and I couldn't make enough to run a fogger and also water a large g/h. You must have an industrial size system to use.

Brooke

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 2:10PM
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orchidnick

My RO unit makes 40 gallons/day which is enough for the fogger, to water all the species and to make water changes for 2 x 200 gallon Discus tanks. There is plenty left over. Nothing indudtrial about it.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 2:40PM
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highjack(z6 KY)

Really? I use that amount for my mounts. I must be doing something wrong if you can do all that with 40 gallons. On a really heavy watering day I can go through 200 gallons.

Brooke

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 6:08PM
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orchidnick

The warnm greenhouswe is 12' x 18', it's full of plants. The cold greenhouse is 12' x 14' and only half full. That's the area which gets treated to RO, everythinig else gets city tap water. 40 gallons/day RO is more than enough.

Nick

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 7:56PM
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ken_ny(Z10FL)

Why not use a plumbed in humidifier. Years ago, when I grew under HID lights in NY, I used a herrmidifier 500 humidifier in a 10 x 18 converted portion of a tandem garage to maintain about 65-70% humidity. FWIW, It helped enable me to win the 1995 Vice Presidents best in show award for plants grown under lights or on windowsills at the GNYOS show at the World Financial Center in NYC. The orchid that won was a pluerothallis tribuloides.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 11:18AM
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