Hello from Welling

New members, please take the time to introduce yourself and your collection.
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ian99
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Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Branch: MEDWAY TOWNS
Country: United Kingdom

Hello from Welling

Post by ian99 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:39 pm

Very pleased to have found the society and joined. My name's Ian , I'm in my late 50s , retired and a keen gardener but have always had an interest in cacti from when I was a boy where I grew a large Opuntia in a pot which later thrived when planted in the garden.

Over the last three years, I have been buying almost any cacti that took my fancy from supermarkets, plant shops, IKEA and more recently from Cactus Shop which has provided an excellent service. The collection has outgrown windowsills so I recently constructed my first cactus house in the sunny end of the garden using cast-off wood and a couple of glass doors I salvaged from an old cabinet. The house stands on an old double glazed kitchen door covered in washed sand and with a 35w heating cable through the sand which I switch on for cold nights. Everything seems to be growing great guns and I'm currently identifying my collection to see which are frost hardy and can stay in the house over winter and which ones will have to come into the house to keep a reasonable minimum temperature. I measure the temperature via a Lidl digital remote LCD thermometer and keep the doors open during hot days. It has gone up to 35 recently so I may need to add some sort of shading.

After browsing the forum I have also bought The Encyclopedia of Cacti, Cullmann. Gotz and Groner which I saw recommended on the forum which is proving most interesting and useful. I am now making my own soil mix with peat compost, washed sharp builder's sand and perlite which seems to be doing the job at a fraction of the price of the ready-made stuff.

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The cactus house lives on a raised concrete platform at the end of a 90foot SE facing garden which gets the sun all day. My Gymnocalcium / Echinopsis ragonesii has been pumping out beautiful red flowers for the last couple of weeks but I guess with no others in the area then she is probably waiting in vain for her love!

Finally, I got a very nice letter from Les Hewitt of the Dartford Branch welcoming me to the society and I hope to be going to a meeting very soon and of course Cactus Live in September.

Kind regards and hello to all, Ian in Welling - I look forward to meeting some of you in person in the near future.
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Tony R
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Re: Hello from Welling

Post by Tony R » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:55 pm

Hello Ian,

We look forward to welcoming you at the Dartford Branch.

Best wishes,
Tony Roberts
Chairman, BCSS Dartford Branch
Treasurer, Haworthia Society
Chairman, Tephrocactus Study Group
Moderator, BCSS Forum
Kent
(Gasteria, Mammillaria, small Opuntia, Cleistocactus and Sempervivum are my current special interests)
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ian99
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Joined: 19 Jun 2019
Branch: MEDWAY TOWNS
Country: United Kingdom

Re: Hello from Welling

Post by ian99 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:08 pm

Thanks, Tony hope to see you all soon.

Kind regards

Ian
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el48tel
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Re: Hello from Welling

Post by el48tel » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:54 pm

Welcome - that's an interesting cactus house you have built
Attempting to grow Echinopsis, Lithops, Aeoniums, Gymnocalycium, Rebutia, Sulcorebutia and Aylostera.
Just discovered Echinocereus.
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Chris in Leeds
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Re: Hello from Welling

Post by Chris in Leeds » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:14 pm

Welcome to the forum and you can't be too far from Kent cacti unlike me
Chris
BCSS MEMBER SINCE 2000 (NATIONAL SHOW)
FORUM MEMBER SINCE JUNE 2006
Interested in - TURBINICARPUS (Always looking for plants I don't have)
TEPHROCACTUS AND RELATED SPECIES
http://www.leeds.bcss.org.uk/ http://www.zone3.bcss.org.uk/
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ian99
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Re: Hello from Welling

Post by ian99 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:42 pm

el48tel wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:54 pm
Welcome - that's an interesting cactus house you have built
Thanks it's really an interim solution until I get a greenhouse - this hobby seems to take you over rather quickly. I use 2 * 2 treated timber for the frame and a mixture of 10mm polycarbonate sheeting leftover from a decking covering project and finally some clear thin square shed window plastic sheeting.

The heating is actually a 6m 50w heating cable buried in the sand floor. I put it on at night to take the chill off if necessary - but I should really get a thermostat. And I can remove a 20cm wide polycarb panel from the left side as I had to make do with scraps which can act as extra ventilation if needed. As the back is next to a fence I used cheap 10mm ply taped with 3m waterproof duct tape. And bitumen on the back to keep it waterproof. Sounds like I need to visit Kent Cacti. I reckon the hardy cacti will be fine unwatered in here for the winter.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/382753968344?ul_noapp=true
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Chez2
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Re: Hello from Welling

Post by Chez2 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:51 am

Hello. You have got the bug! Loving your garden and little cactus house.
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ian99
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Re: Hello from Welling

Post by ian99 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:10 am

Crikey got up to 50c yesterday - with both doors fully open and the side panel out. Though everything looks to be ok so far. I know not to water in the day as it could boil the roots. Should I shade it ?
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