Increaseing light and feed on cattleyas

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Carmella.carey

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So, since the cattleyas came in the house in October I have started giving them more light on brighter windows than they got last winter and supplementing with Mars hydro grow lights I have also started putting a teaspoon of Espoma Organic Bio-Tone starter a garden plant feed on top of the pots and increaseing my dose of the MSU formula and now that the growing season is here I've really been pushing hard with caution of course and the results are here I have gotten multiple new growths instead of where there was only one last spring. even my two lead plants have split in four leads and more flowers per spike I am vary happy with the results and will do updates through the year.
Patrick
 

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Ray

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@Carmella.carey

TDS meters are notoriously inaccurate. They are a reasonable tool for determining consistency between dilutions of the same fertilizer, but poor for determining true absolute values.

The reason is that they are inexpensive EC meters with a built-in “conversion factor”, and that’s a problem, because different ions in solution contribute differently to the EC. Plus, they are usually “calibrated” using a NaCl solution, which bears no resemblance to fertilizers.

MSU fertilizers @ 100 ppm N - a good amount for weekly feeding - have true TDS levels (i.e., the mg of fertilizer per kg of water) of 530 ppm (MSU WW) and 740 ppm (MSU RO). I had two TDS meters (before throwing them away) that displayed about 375 ppm and 500 ppm in that truly-740 ppm MSU RO solution made with RO water (don’t forget that the dissolved solids in the water contribute to the TDS as well).

If you really want to have knowledgeable control over your feeding, makeup a solution by weighing the powder for a known target concentration, the measure the TDS of that. From then on, you can use the TDS meter to make sure you’re mixing it the same, no matter what the numbers say. If you switch formulas, you’ll have to repeat the process.
 
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@Carmella.carey

If you really want to have knowledgeable control over your feeding, makeup a solution by weighing the powder for a known target concentration, the measure the TDS of that. From then on, you can use the TDS meter to make sure you’re mixing it the same, no matter what the numbers say. If you switch formulas, you’ll have to repeat the process.

Ray, if one’s powder has absorbed water, (thinking here of my Cal-Mag 15-5-15 granules; a sloppy mess) how much does that water weight skew the outcome?
 

Ray

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I would think it would affect it pretty significantly, but obviously cannot say how much. You have three alternatives: throw it away (no), heat it to about 325°F to to drive off the water (maybe), or go to volumetric estimates, as that has probably not changed a great deal (which is what I do).

For any fertilizer, if you divide 8 be the %N of the fertilizer, the result is teaspoons-per-gallon for 100 ppm N (9.2/%N gives it in ml/L). So... 8/15=0.5333, so I'd just use 1/2 tsp/gal, weekly, double that for every two weeks, halve that for 2x/week.
 
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I would think it would affect it pretty significantly, but obviously cannot say how much. You have three alternatives: throw it away (no), heat it to about 325°F to to drive off the water (maybe), or go to volumetric estimates, as that has probably not changed a great deal (which is what I do).

For any fertilizer, if you divide 8 be the %N of the fertilizer, the result is teaspoons-per-gallon for 100 ppm N (9.2/%N gives it in ml/L). So... 8/15=0.5333, so I'd just use 1/2 tsp/gal, weekly, double that for every two weeks, halve that for 2x/week.
Very good. Thank you, Ray!
 

Carmella.carey

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So, not a whole lot has changed for these plants they went into the greenhouse the second of May with 50% shade I have increased the amount of feed a bit more since we're in the active growing season and feed with some Epsom salts every few watering for calcium and magnesium the growths are coming on well almost all with sheeths none of these plants have flowered since the initial look in March but the first B.nodosa has a spike!
Patrick
 

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Carmella.carey

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Everyone here has to go on to YouTube and watch this video created by a channel called Bio Leaf plant nutrients Ltd. And the video is titled "What do orchids eat? Are your orchids addicted to potassium"
It's a very good video although a bit long but a good coffee watch.
Patrick
 
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Patrick, a handful of years ago Rick L, doing the Youtube video, initiated an extensive, complex, and controversial discussion about lowering potassium in orchid feeding. The formula is also lower in phosphate. One end result was that Ray Barklow (FirstRays) worked with Greencare to produce K-Lite fertilizer. FirstRays still sells it and Waldors has it under an Orchid Nerd label. Many of us use it periodically or regularly, at least hedging that the science has practical applications.
 

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Rick and I collaborated on the concept, which ironically, came about from two, totally non-plant origins. Rick is a microbiologist who was working on potassium toxicity in fresh water mollusks, I am a ceramic engineer with knowledge of how K can affect the properties of glass and ceramic bodies. We put our heads together and “what about plants?” came up.

A bit of research later - analyses of wild-collected plants and the solutions that feed them - suggested that we might be on the right track, so that’s when I contacted the PhD who formulated the MSU ferts and sought his opinion. He didn’t see any major “red flags” in the concept and derived what is now K-Lite from the MSU RO formula for me more than a decade ago. He did warn me about potential P and K deficiencies and their symptoms, but to-date, I have yet to personally see or even hear a valid complaint of them, and I have used it as my only fertilizer since the first trials.
 

Carmella.carey

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Rick and I collaborated on the concept, which ironically, came about from two, totally non-plant origins. Rick is a microbiologist who was working on potassium toxicity in fresh water mollusks, I am a ceramic engineer with knowledge of how K can affect the properties of glass and ceramic bodies. We put our heads together and “what about plants?” came up.

A bit of research later - analyses of wild-collected plants and the solutions that feed them - suggested that we might be on the right track, so that’s when I contacted the PhD who formulated the MSU ferts and sought his opinion. He didn’t see any major “red flags” in the concept and derived what is now K-Lite from the MSU RO formula for me more than a decade ago. He did warn me about potential P and K deficiencies and their symptoms, but to-date, I have yet to personally see or even hear a valid complaint of them, and I have used it as my only fertilizer since the first trials.
Well after seeing that zoom call on YouTube it just clicked in my brain that the K might be the reason some plants just slowly but surely go down hill until their demise so I've gone to use very low amounts of
K-lite with every watering. I think that is one of the reasons William Green of my green pets Mr. Cattleya rex has such success. And end what ever happened to Rick?
Patrick
 

Ray

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Rick is still growing orchids. He contacted me late last year to remind me it was the 10-year anniversary of K-Lite’s creation.

I guess “real life” is just keeping him too busy for forums.
 
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