Fertilizer?

Discussion in 'Slipper Orchid Culture' started by Heather, Aug 10, 2019.

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  1. Aug 10, 2019 #1

    Heather

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    So what’s the latest and greatest fertilizer people are using as just a basic go to? Is MSU even still around? Just repotted and I am thinking I should really care to put a little more effort into these things...lol.
     
  2. Aug 10, 2019 #2

    CarlG

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    I use K-Lite and R/O water (at all waterings). Forget the exact levels, but I mix 172g in 1.75 liters water, then use a 1oz booze bottle pourer to dose the concentrate into my watering can (as I only have a small collection).
     
  3. Aug 10, 2019 #3

    troy

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    I've been experimenting using silkworm & hornworm frass with ro water mix rate of 1 cup frass per 5 gallon ro water alternated with 15-5-15 jacks cal mag, 2 tblsp. in ro water ph buffered with wood ash at 1 tblsp. Per 5 gallon ro water
     
  4. Aug 11, 2019 #4

    abax

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    I've been using K-Lite for years and have found
    nothing better...and I've tried many over the
    years.
     
  5. Aug 11, 2019 #5

    Linus_Cello

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    Hornworm fras? From your tomatoes?
     
  6. Aug 11, 2019 #6

    Ray

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    It would be interesting to send a sample of your frass solution to J R Peters lab for analysis.
     
  7. Aug 12, 2019 #7

    troy

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    Silkworm diet is mulberry leaves, the hornworms are fed a manmade chow although I havn't successfully bred hornworms yet, so mostly silkworm frass...jr peters would do an anylsis, I will check into that
     
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  8. Aug 12, 2019 #8

    NYEric

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    If you're repotting... :p
     
  9. Aug 13, 2019 #9

    troy

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    Jr peters responded back in 1 day about analyzing silkworm frass and said they couldn't, they are a great resource!!
     
  10. Aug 13, 2019 #10

    Ray

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    Maybe not, but they absolutely CAN analyze the solution you make up to apply (which is what I suggested), allowing you to see the nutrients you're applying.
     
  11. Aug 13, 2019 #11

    troy

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    In solution they said no
     
  12. Aug 13, 2019 #12

    Phred

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    I know many serious Orchid growers talk about Peters Lab but my experience was not so good... feel free to tell me if you think my interpretation of their advice is in correct. I had my tap water tested when I moved because I started losing a lot of Paphs I had for a long time. I had my water tested by QAL in Florida. I heard Peters could make fertilizer based on your water and needs so I sent them my results and asked if they had a fertilizer they could recommend and if not could they formulate one for me. They responded saying I should use there fertilizer for RO water. That didn’t make sense to me based on my test so I called them and spoke to the technician that made the recommendation. When I asked her why she thought I should use that formula she said because my water was so pure. I would send your frass water sample to QAL.The following is my tap water sample:
     
  13. Aug 13, 2019 #13

    Phred

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  14. Aug 14, 2019 #14

    Ray

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    Phred - I would agree with the Peters assessment; your tap water contains very little Ca or Mg, and that's precisely what the RO fertilizer formulas address. The "total alkalinity CaCO3" does not mean you have that much CaCO3 in your water, it means the alkalinity - resistance to pH change when adding an acid - is equivalent to a solution containing that much of it.

    Troy - You've GOT TO learn to stop asking permission! Pick a lab, put some filtered solution in a bottle, and send it in for a nutrient analysis. You're never going to know what you're doing until you do.
     
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  15. Aug 14, 2019 #15

    troy

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    Ok, I'll give it a try
     
  16. Aug 15, 2019 #16

    Phred

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    Hi Ray
    So then with the chemistry of my tap water would you recommend using K-Lite? Would you add anything else? How much per gallon? I water every four to six days.
     
  17. Aug 15, 2019 #17

    Ray

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    Sure. I prefer K-Lite, but it, MSU RO, or the Peters equivalent are all fine.

    For every 4-6 day feeding, I'd go with about 50 ppm N, which is about 1/3 tsp/gal for the first two. I don't know the nitrogen content of a Peters RO formula, so cannot comment.
     
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  18. Aug 16, 2019 #18

    Phred

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    Thanks Ray
    Should I add anything else... Calcium sulfate or magnesium sulfate?
     
  19. Aug 17, 2019 #19

    Ray

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    I don't bother. MSU RO has 8% Ca and 2% Mg. K-Lite, a derivative of it, has 10% Ca and 3% Mg.

    I used the latter with RO water for several years without issues up in PA. In NC, my tap water (alkalinity about 1) has plenty of Ca but no Mg, italso has seemed good for the last 3.
     
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  20. Aug 18, 2019 #20

    Stone

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    Time and time again, the best paphs I see here from various good growers are invariably fed with urea..(nitrate and ammonium is very low) Usually cheap house plant fertilizers. They have big deep green leaves with more offshoots and fantastic vigour, flower every year, and grow fast enough to require dividing regularly.
    In these fertilizers which are usually around 20-3-10 (aprox), the magnesium is often low. (it is assumed that there is enough in the water already) Most growers use magnesium sulphate a couple of times a year as a boost and they add dolomite on the p/mix surface from time to time. It's the direction I am going with fertilizing but I still like to use an organic fraction and I add nickel to the trace element mix because it is needed for the urea processing and the fertilizer people still have not realized this..
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019

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