Inconsistent drying out

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Bolero

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Hi guys,

I have a number of seedling paphs in 2 inch pots in seedling trays. What I've noticed with the pots though is that some will dry out faster than others, it makes it very hard to water when some a almost dry and others are still wet from the previous watering.

All the pots are the same size and I use fine bark, perlite and charcoal as the medium. I really don't understand why some dry out and others don't, it has nothing to do with the position they're in because it varies greatly.

I've tried moving them around but it doesn't seem to help much. I guess I'm not really expecting any advice on this as it might be hard to guess why, but I am just wondering if anyone has experience this dilemma???

Thankfully it's summer or I would be really worried about the moisture.

Thanks

Darren
 

Roy

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Darren, put an inch of old fine bark in the bottom of the trays and sit the pots on that. The old bark will hold moisture and slow up the small pots drying out. It will also even up the ones holding moisture also.
 

Ray

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Sounds like differences in packing density: looser = more air = faster drying.
 
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etex

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Maybe the ones that dry out faster have a larger root mass and are more efficient at uptake of water? I recently potted up 2 compots and noticed that some had more roots than others. The littlest ones got planted 2 or 3 to a small pot.
 

Ray

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Good point, Diane.

When I split apart a flask or compot, I group the plants by size of the root system. It makes it easier to cater to the small populations.
 
B

Bolero

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Ah thanks everyone, never thought of that. It makes sense that larger roots could take up water faster and I also like the idea that Roy has put forward.

I will try doing both and see how that works.......thanks guys!!!
 
C

Choodles

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When I have plants drying faster than others, I add some stone (mostly granite, sifted from my back yard) or busted clay pots to the mix of the slow pokes to speed up drying. With a little luck, the "fast drying" ones dry at the same rate as the "stone+slow drying" ones. I choose the stone or clay pieces by size, trying to match to the largest particles in the bark/charcoal mix.
 
B

Bolero

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When I have plants drying faster than others, I add some stone (mostly granite, sifted from my back yard) or busted clay pots to the mix of the slow pokes to speed up drying. With a little luck, the "fast drying" ones dry at the same rate as the "stone+slow drying" ones. I choose the stone or clay pieces by size, trying to match to the largest particles in the bark/charcoal mix.
Ah ok, that makes sense too. I have just been out there trying to sort them out, thanks I will add that to my list of things to do with them. Hopefully by experimenting with different ideas here I can work out something that works well for me.
 
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Choodles

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I should note that I nicked the rocks idea from backbulb.com
 

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