How is this MSU formula different from others?DavidH said:I use an MSU based fertilizer for the west coast developed jointly by Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids and the folks at MSU.
Great experiment.After reading Bob's article on supplemental calcium, I put crushed oyster shell from a local feed store on half my armeniacums and micranthums and left the other half without (approx 30 plants with, 30 plants without). After 6 months, the majority of plants with oyster shell dressing had 1-3 stolens growing up through the oyster shell whereas I had almost no stolen growth on the plants without. It's possible to argue that the oyster shell top dressing kept the potting media more moist versus adding any additional calcium.
How often do you apply fertilizer?The fertilizer rate I use is measured at 50 ppm Nitrogen with an EC of 0.39, and PPM of around 280-300 using RO water at 17 ppm. PH runs around 6.4 (summer) - 7.0 (winter). I've noticed the local water supply PH is higher in the winter months versus the summer months (7.4 summer, 8.0 winter).
That would of course depend on how much calcium your water contains.ScottMcC said:this discussion has me wondering about water hardness. after all, calcium and magnesium are the two main culprits in making water hard, and many orchid growers use ro water. so...if you were to just use tap water, would you still need supplemental calcium?
Good question. The info on the bag has rubbed off, but I have a new 50 lb bag on order and should arrive later this week so I can answer this question. Or, call Fred and he can answer since he developed it with the MSU folks. Also, a correction...the correct EC number is .40 not .39How is this MSU formula different from others?
What is the NPK ratio?
% of Ca and Mg? Who sells it?
The plants are growing in either a pumice/coir/perlite mix, or Aussie Gold mix, but I'm switching everything over to Antec's CHC mix due to the Aussie mix staying a little too wet and not enough airflow into the roots. I water 1-2 times a week in winter, 3-4 times a week in summer.great experiment.
What type of media are the plants growing in?
How often do you water?
It used to be every watering. However in the last two months it was every other watering due to a new tank and water pump installation. I'm switching back to every watering once I redesign my injection system due to the new pump and water tank I now have.How often do you apply fertilizer?
Yes and no. It really depends on a lot of elements in the water. Most water does not have enough calcium to supply the plants with all they need.IdahoOrchid said:Would it not depend on what form it is in as well?
Calcium does not raise pH. The alkalinity from calcium salts such as Lime (calcium hydoxide) or the calcium carbonate in oyster shell will raise pH, but calcium chloride, sulfate, or nitrate. are pH neutral salts.gonewild said:There is a maximum desirable calcium level. At high levels calcium will interfere with the uptake of other nutrients. This is especially true of the micro nutrients. Adding calcium to raise the pH may be good for plants that naturally need a high pH but it also may inhibit the growth of those plants that don't.
To much empathies is being put on isolated parts of the nutrient requirements of plants. Adding excess of one nutrient can and will cause a deficiency of another and vice versa. The ratio balance between nutrients is very important. That is why MSU formulas work so well, they are based on the balance of the whole contents.
I think both are pretty much insoluble in water and would not be much good for your plants. Dical is very high in phosphorous and would throw nutrient balances off.IdahoOrchid said:Can anyone tell me about Dical and Calcite? I have access to these at work.