S/H Why is it hit or miss with indoor growers?

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Grandma M

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I am an indoor grower. I grow under lights, both in my basement and in an unused bedroom. I sound like a broken record but........ I love S/H. All my slippers are in it and I have a LOT of them. I post my pic's quite often so you can see they do bloom for me.

I was having trouble with my besseae plants until I moved them to a bottom shelf in my basement. It is a bit cooler there. I have some T5 units, and a HPS unit, but my besseae's are under T8 lights.

The one problem I do have with them is they are heavy. I have some phrags in Ray's 8" pots. Some are so full of roots that they should be moved into larger pots but they would be soooo heavy that I'm sure I would have problems trying to move them. I do sometimes take them, 2 or 3 at a time and place them in my shower, larger pots would become very heavy. :poke: Don't suggest that I divide them because I love large specimen plants. One day I will need to do it, but not yet. What makes it an even bigger problem is that my large phrags are growing under HPS system in my basement. I like to take them upstairs when they bloom. Right now I have a huge Albapurpurem Sir Arthur', and a sendei var. Rosum 'Berncrest', which have been in bloom for several months but will need to go in the basement when arey are finished. That is heavy work.

I posted a picture of the sendenii before but I will post it here again. It has been in S/H for more than 2 years.

No......I don't work for First Ray's. :wink: I just like S/H growing.


http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3399
 

gonewild

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Maybe we need to define S/H for the sake of this discussion.
And I don't mean S/H = Simi Hydroponic

Is it a method?
Is it a system?
Is it a type of pot?
Is it a type of media?

How is it different from hydroponic?
 

Marco

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I think its a method and not much differennt from hydroponics. A term coined for simplicity for orchid growers so that products complimenting the method can be marketed a little easier than normal by suppliers. Potheads all over the world have been using it to grow weed for ages. I don't think marketing it as "it works for weed it should work for orchids" would tide over well with customers.
 

gonewild

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Marco said:
I think its a method and not much differennt from hydroponics. A term coined for simplicity for orchid growers so that products complimenting the method can be marketed a little easier than normal by suppliers. Potheads all over the world have been using it to grow weed for ages. I don't think marketing it as "it works for weed it should work for orchids" would tide over well with customers.

Not being an expert on weed growing myself..... Do they use pots with side holes and rely on the media to wick the moisture up or do they use a true hydroponic method where nutrient rich water is applied regularly?
 

Marco

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Lance, Not saying I'm an expert either. But I've spoken to some people recently that have used pots in trays of still water when they started out and moved onto flood tables/hydroponics.. Ages might be an overstatments lol
 

Candace

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I think hydroponics and s/h are very similiar except for a few things. S/h allows each plant to live in it's own environment/pot, thus allowing virus and baddies to not be spread to all other plants in a hydroponic flow table situation. I also believe most s/h users let the plant dry out more than plants in true hydroponics. Although the philosophy? of s/h is to keep the resevoir full at all times, I'd wager most people who aren't watering every day, water when they see the resevoir either empty or almost empty. In hydroponics this doesn't happen. Water is regulated and pumped so the plants roots are in constant moisture.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I don't have to water everyday, and there is always water in the reservoirs. Those plants that like s/h have their roots growing directly into the reservoir.
Outdoors they get more water than indoors,as I'm watering every day, mainly due to our miserable heat and dryness here in NYC....I think its going to be a rough summer. Take care, Eric
 

Candace

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I guess I should clarify...I water every day. Or almost every day. I've got so many plants in the g.h. that I do a different section of plants every day. If I had to do it all at once with my 5 gal. sprayer, it would take forever. But, because I'm watering one small section, my eyes are still on all the plants and if I happen to notice the water level in a pot in a section I'm not watering, is starting to get low or dry out I can water it while I'm there. I don't think home growers can do this. I would bet home many home growers do tend to let the pots either go dry or let the resevoirs get low.
 

Candace

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Maybe once a month, I water with tap water from the hose and really flush out the pots. Usually when I do my typical R.O. with fert. watering, I water well and make sure a good amount drips out, but the pots don't get full to the brim as my pumper sprayer doesn't spray at enough pressure to do that and I've got way too many plants to be pluging holes with my fingers. But the dousing with the hose once in a while seems to work out fine for me. I think using R.O. water really helps keep the salts and mineral build-ups at bay. Since I've upped my fertilizer dosage this year, I'm probably going to have to flush the pots with regular hose water more than once a month.
 

NYEric

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ScottMcC said:
I tend to agree with Ray's conclusion that there's more going on with these plants than just s/h vs bark, and that being a home grower is different than having a greenhouse, and that experience matters a lot, as well as a certain understanding that a certain percentage of plants are going to die, but I also wonder if there's something else going on. Part of me wonders if it's also related to water quality, because I use tap water, and part of me wonders if it's lack of air movement, because I don't always have a fan running. ..

EDIT: I should also add that the vast majority of plants I have in s/h are doing great--the ones with problems represent maybe 10% of the collection.
Yes I also agree that the water quality, as well as quantity, is probably an issue. But 10% of my collecton having a cultural or maintenance system problem would not be acceptable to me.
 
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Grandma M

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Heather

I fill my pots to the top each time I water and let it flow out. I water my small pots, which I keep to one side, about every 3 days and all the others about every 6 or 7 days depending on the humidity and heat. I use MSU fert but about once a month I water with just plain tap water. I also have fans running 24/7 and use a humidifyer to keep it at about 55 to 60%.

I don't think S/H is for everyone. It depends on your growing conditions but for me it works well. We each need to do what works well for our conditions and life style.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I always top off until the water pours out the holes...I thought everyone did....Eric
 

Candace

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I always top off until the water pours out the holes...I thought everyone did....Eric

So, you don't plug up the holes with your finger, let it fill to the top and drain? You mean you're just topping off the resevoir and letting some water pour out, right? Just trying to clarify.
 

Ray

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Candace, in my opinion, you're better off to use a larger-volume watering method and just rapidly fill the pot to the top.

The chemistry in the reservoir changes with time due to evaporation and plant life processes, so it's best to change it. It seems to me that plugging the holes allows it to mix more freely throughout the pot, giving you a "somewhere-in-between" chemistry in the end, while the large-volume flush seems more likely to get more completely rid of the old stuff.
 

Ray

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A general comment, using semi-hydroponics as an example: attributing failure to s/h is like striking out at baseball, then blaming the bat. That also holds true for lights, potting media, fertilizers, etc.

Conversely, attributing success to s/h all by itself also demonstrates some naivety, as you have apparently not recognized some shortcoming in your culture that it merely may have helped. Again that also holds true for lights, potting media, fertilizers, etc.

Something else to keep in mind: Very often, when someone makes a change in their culture and is successful, the tendency is to credit something specific in that change, rather than looking at the whole picture. Take MSU fertilizer - it's good, but it is just a fertilizer. The "amazing success" some folks have when they switched to it is not due so much to the fertilizer, but because they began feeding their plants in a controlled, regular manner. After a while, they go back to their old, sloppy, every-now-and-then regimen, and the "MSU doesn't work any more."

The same is true with anything - and again using s/h as the example - if the transplantation is well timed, the rest of the growing conditions are right, and all of the method's requirements are met, the likelihood of success with it (or any other method) is quite good. Once the novelty wears off, the level of care given begins to wane a bit, and it's blamed on semi-hydroponics.

Put simply: You've got to look at the whole picture!
 

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