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s/h watering practices

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Cinderella

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Just wondering what others watering practices are in s/h. How much do you water? Fill the reservoir or flush the whole container? If you just the the reservoir, do you flush with plain water monthly?
 

Heather

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Good question!
I look forward to others' responses but here's what I do.

Flush the pot twice with plain tap water, then flush once with tap water with MSU, KLN and Protekt added.

I would like to say I do this every time I water, but lately, only having one day off a week and not always being home on that day to spend the time with my plants, I have been known to just top off the resevoir so that at least the plants are getting some water. I try to fertilize at least every other watering though.

I would love to hear how others handle this as I would like to be able to continue to streamline my watering process so that I don't have to spend 4 hours or more doing it so manually.
 
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couscous74

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When I first started S/H, I manually flushed every pot at each watering. That just took too much time.

I have my pots over humidity trays so my streamlined watering technique now is to just overflow each reservoir a little where they sit over the humidity trays. Then just clean the humidity trays every few weeks. Watering can take less than 5 minutes a week this way.
 

Heather

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couscous74 said:
I have my pots over humidity trays so my streamlined watering technique now is to just overflow each reservoir a little where they sit over the humidity trays. Then just clean the humidity trays every few weeks. Watering can take less than 5 minutes a week this way.

That's what I do when I shortcut water (using my sprayer). It certainly is faster, but I always feel guilty - as if I am doing something I should not.

Have you found any problems with salt build up and do you ever flush completely? Also, do you fertilize every time you water, Marcus?

Walter (zapatito) said a few weeks ago that he wasn't completely flushing anymore either.
 
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couscous74

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I don't fertilize every watering. Less salt buildup that way, right? :wink:
 
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Cinderella

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Marcus what kind of humidity trays do you use and do you grow under lights?

I would love to hear what Walter's methodology is.
 

NYEric

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My method doesn't count since I use a mixed [non-inert] media and have water continuously flowing through bottoms of the pots. The adult plants I have received from people who had them in S/H seemed to be suffering from dryness. I have change the media in these to a mix w/ coconut chips and other ingredients and they dont seem as stressed. [For what that's work]
 

Heather

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NYEric said:
The adult plants I have received from people who had them in S/H seemed to be suffering from dryness.
You keep saying that Eric, but I completely disagree. Everything I read about S/H seems to point to, if anything, plants being too wet, not too dry.
I certainly don't see the dryness in my plants. The besseae I sold you (at severely discounted prices) were stressed from moving more than anything else.
 

Bob in Albany N.Y.

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Time to fess up. I have 700 or more plants in S/H growing in a green house. I also do not yet own a donsatron, so I just water with a hose with no fertilizer. At this time of year I'm doing it once a week. In the summer maybe every five days. Most of the larger ones I try to just keep the water flowing until I hear it hitting the floor, but for most of the plants I just water them from overhead. I water each bench from both sides. I'm assuming most of the pots get flushed completely and refilled. My homemade pots have 4 or 5 holes burned in them, not 2 like First Rays. I also grow some catts from seedling to resell and these are in regular plastic pots with holes on the bottom. These also are using the same media as the s/h pots. This works as good as the S/H pots for at least for the catts. The only plants not in s/h are phal seedling that are also grown to resell. These are in plastic pots with sphagnum moss.

In my defense, I am watering with well water and I assume the plants are getting some nutrients from that.
 
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gonewild

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NYEric said:
My method doesn't count since I use a mixed [non-inert] media and have water continuously flowing through bottoms of the pots. The adult plants I have received from people who had them in S/H seemed to be suffering from dryness. I have change the media in these to a mix w/ coconut chips and other ingredients and they dont seem as stressed. [For what that's work]
Eric, What kind of drainage holes do you have in the bottom of your pots to get the water to flow through?
 

gonewild

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Bob in Albany said:
Time to fess up. I have 700 or more plants in S/H growing in a green house. I also do not yet own a donsatron, so I just water with a hose with no fertilizer. At this time of year I'm doing it once a week. In the summer maybe every five days. Most of the larger ones I try to just keep the water flowing until I hear it hitting the floor, but for most of the plants I just water them from overhead. I water each bench from both sides. I'm assuming most of the pots get flushed completely and refilled. My homemade pots have 4 or 5 holes burned in them, not 2 like First Rays. I also grow some catts from seedling to resell and these are in regular plastic pots with holes on the bottom. These also are using the same media as the s/h pots. This works as good as the S/H pots for at least for the catts. The only plants not in s/h are phal seedling that are also grown to resell. These are in plastic pots with sphagnum moss.

In my defense, I am watering with well water and I assume the plants are getting some nutrients from that.
So you never apply any fertilizer? And your plants are growing good? The nitrate levels in your well water must be pretty high.
 

NYEric

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gonewild said:
Eric, What kind of drainage holes do you have in the bottom of your pots to get the water to flow through?
The ones I made from the soup containers from the restaurant, I cut triangular spaces in the bottom rim. in the others the roots are just growing out of the bottom holes that are in the pots. I haven't modified most pots the pumps are what's circulating the 1/8 - 1/2 inch of water the pots sit in.

Oh BTW, Heather, time will tell but that's my opinion.
 
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Park Bear

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I don't have as many plants as Bob, but most of my plants are in s/h. I tend to water once a week. I only have 1 hole in my homemade containers. My holes are about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. I add some fertilizer, sometimes rooting hormone, sometimes a pot ash supplement it just depends on what I have in the room. I spray the plants down daily to keep the humidity high, about 2 gallons.
 

Bob in Albany N.Y.

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Lance, they are growing pretty darn good. Most of my photo post should prove that out.

So does anyone out there have an easy way to fertilize 7 or 8 hundred plants with out the use of a donsatron? My only thoughts had been a submergable pump in a garbage can. That won't work for me due to the large amount of water needed. I'd need a few large garbage cans and don't really have the room for them.
 

gonewild

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Bob in Albany said:
Lance, they are growing pretty darn good. Most of my photo post should prove that out.

So does anyone out there have an easy way to fertilize 7 or 8 hundred plants with out the use of a donsatron? My only thoughts had been a submergable pump in a garbage can. That won't work for me due to the large amount of water needed. I'd need a few large garbage cans and don't really have the room for them.
Your plants are growing good, that's why I commented your well water must be high in nitrates. But half the fun of growing is trying to grow better :poke:

Since you water with a large volume of water you can use the old time siphon hose attachment. I think it is called a Syphonex? It will work just fine if you don't want to invest in a better system. Use a low fertilizer ratio and apply it every time you water.
 

ScottMcC

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I have a 20 minute morning ritual involving carrying any plant which is in need of water to the sink, pouring fertilizer on it, and then returning it to its place. I have about 30 total plants, which makes this ritual possible. most of my plants are in s/h, but I have a few which are still in bark and a few that are in primeagra without a reservoir and a couple vandas that are just bare root. the s/h pots get filled until they overflow, with my finger over the holes, then are allowed to drain. the other pots either get filled to the brim or watered until I'm tired of it, as applicable. regardless, they all get either tap water or tap water + 125 ppm MSU, dependent mostly on whether I have some fert mixed up and how late to work I am.

so far it seems to be working.
 
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Inverness

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To Bob in Albany

The Dosatron will give you the best results for a collection of your size. It is very accurate and fairly dependable. Many less expensive types on the market but most have very questionable accuracy; Hozon/Syfonex included. When you're fertilizing in an outdoor garden, this isn't much of an issue. For a large collection of orchids with high value, I'd prefer something more accurate. Large tanks are available from Ag supply stores (from which to pump prediluted fertilizer), but the Dosatron and its concentrate tank take up little room.

Ken B.
 
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Grandma M

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Bob in Albany NY

I have a very small, and rather inexpensive, Dosatron (Model DSA 100 R - 5 gpm) I takes very little space and I have it in a small closet. I was able to install it by myself. Very easy to do. If you want a photo of my setup, I will post it for you.

You can go to the Dosatron web site and see the models they have.

Two of my sons have rather large greenhouses for wholesale growing. They have both tried other brands and told me to be sure to get a Doastron....less problems and they last longer.

Grandma MC
 
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