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2014 Archived Messages


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MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28
March 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 April 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
May 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 June 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
July 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 August 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
September 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 October 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
November 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 December 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31

1—7 November

From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] where to find 6:3:3 ( or 30:10:10 )...
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2014 19:35

What do you use for water, Peter ? Some water will have a lot in it already.
Maxi crop, which I like is the usual seaweed one, and the N:P:K figures for that are "negligible" .

Geoff

Sent from my iPad

> On 31 Oct 2014, at 15:20, Peter Fowler wrote:
>
> Geoff, I only feed my Disas twice a year, with very dilute fertiliser,
> based on seaweed. I've been growing for about 3-4 years now and they grow
> well, even the yellow Disa uniflora. They get distilled water. Repot in
> NZ Sphagnum Moss /Perlite, every 2 years. Hope that helps. Peter, Alton.
>
>
>
>> On 30 Oct 2014, at 21:59, Geoff wrote:
>>
>> I have a small problem with my Disas. These are plants which are
>> annually deciduous − lose all their leaves after flowering and die back
>> to an underground tuber − from which the new growth will arise after
>> some interval of time.
>>
>> Some plants don’t form tubers − that is known and recognised −
>> in which case they flower once and then disappear for ever….
>> However, the proportion which fail to form a tuber should be quite small
>> , but in my first year of Disa growing , the proportion has been too
>> high for comfort − getting on for 25%.
>>
>> I spoke to Dave Parkinson, who gave me some helpful advice ; he
>> suggested that my balanced fertiliser − generally similar to Akernes
>> Rainmix is the problem. He thinks low Potash and high Nitrogen is
>> necessary , so e.g. 6:3:3 . Of course 30:10:10 comes to the same thing,
>> you just use less to get the water up to the say 250 uS wanted.
>>
>> I have not found anything anywhere suitable. So many mixes − at least in
>> the adverts for them − don’t even quote the N:P:K figures.
>>
>> Suggestions, anyone ?
>>
>> Geoff
>>
>> p.s. I have some ideas based on similar problems with non-orchid plants
>> − Meconopsis , where I devised a solution to plants which died out
>> after flowering . Basically, I don’t let them flower until I
>> have a multi-growth plant , which probably means pinching out buds at
>> the first flowering , or even the 2nd one; by year 2 or later , with big
>> string plants with several growths at different stages, it does not
>> matter too much if one growth fails for next year because there are
>> several others, and so on…this is my fall back idea.

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From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] where to find 6:3:3 ( or 30:10:10 )...
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2014 19:40

Thanks for that tony. I have ordered some.
Geoff

Sent from my iPad

> On 31 Oct 2014, at 16:05, Tony Garthwaite wrote:
>
> Geoff,
>
> Try this:


>
> N-P-K 10-4-7
>
> Tony G.

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From: Lynda Coles
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] where to find 6:3:3 ( or 30:10:10 )...
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2014 20:10

william sinclair...sangral 3.1.1...any good?

Lynda

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From: brian.gould83
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] where to find 6:3:3 ( or 30:10:10 )...
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2014 21:35

I have no experience of disas but I would have thought that as tubers are
formed by the plant then a fertiliser with more phosphates is needed.

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From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] where to find 6:3:3 ( or 30:10:10 )...
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2014 14:05

Geoff, I use pure distilled water, which I distill myself. I bought the distillation equipment from eBay for about £85. It will have zero nutrients. In the wild, as you have seem them Geoff, the roots are in running pure stream water, which changes all the time. They will get very little fertiliser.
I use very dilute Maxicrop ,twice a year. Now when old flowering growths are dying down and in Spring , when the new spikes are showing. May have little NPK but they like what's in there.
How often do you feed, Geoff?
Some of my pots are packed full of growths, so I must be doing something right. Below is Disa Watsonii "Sandra", which you liked when I showed you a picture of this year's flower.
Looking at the plant people may say "too much nitrogen", but they only get very dilute Maxicrop with extra Iron.
I'll split it up ,early Spring, before new growth starts. They will all require repotting at the same time.
Peter.

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From: Tina Stagg
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Fertiliser
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2014 14:35

I have been using good, old-fashioned, liquid Growmore, 7: 3.1: 5.8, this year with good results. Yes, it has urea in it and probably a few medication residues also but it seems to do the trick, mixed to a uS reading of 350 – 400 now, 500 earlier in the season for everything except disas, which get 200 – 250. As it’s now November I shall probably not feed the disas again until March, as recommended on Dave Parkinson’s website.

Growmore was my fertiliser of choice, together with Tomorite, some 40+ years ago, before all the special orchid fertilisers were invented, but I have not seen it available round here for a long time until this year. Of course, the good weather has helped so time will tell.

Tina

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] where to find 6:3:3 ( or 30:10:10 )...
Date: Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:10

In the wild, they are effectively in the stream, which I measured some years ago at 190 uS. When I found a different stream on my visit in September for the WOC, I made it 245 ; but as you say it will change from time to time, since the minerals come from decaying grass roots etc, and hence probably varies a bit with the season.
So I have been giving 200 uS − plus or minus a bit as the nutrient content of my stream − which runs all the time, just like the ones in South Africa. I am trying to make it as similar as I can to the wild − the next step I think is to aerate the water a bit more than at present using an aquarium aerator bubbling air into the stream itself.

So the answer to your question is that I have been feeding all the time − just like in the wild.

But I must say that I am vastly impressed by your pic. Superb culture. My plants which flowered earlier in the year are nothing like that at all.

I am planning to move some plants out of my greenhouse, into the small lean-to which I use for tomatoes ; this will have a fan-heater to keep the temperature above say 5 degrees ( via a stat of course) . I have not decided whether to make this another stream, or just use trays. probably the latter to begin with.

However I have found several sources which suggest that sphagnum does not always suit the other conditions, and I know that Keith Andrew ( who I have not seen for a couple of months − it is thought that he is poorly again) did not use sphag’ − just peat and sand − and he was raising commercially and very successfully too. So I have found a supply of Irish Moss Peat, and mixed it with horticultural gritty sand, and coarse Perlite ( about 1:1:1 ) and I plan to repot into this . Initially I shall use rain water ( or Reverse Osmosis of similar quality) merely adjusting the pH to about 5.5 ( The Table Mountain streams seem to vary between 4.8 and 5.8 ).

The other interesting thing I found on my recent visit was due to me taking a photometer as well as a hygrometer and other stuff up the mountain. The 'tablecloth was on” − i.e. the top was covered in cloud, as it is 3 days out of 4. What surprised me was the light intensity − 50k lux − which is the same very bright light I have measured on Vandas in South East Asia ! So the ones remaining in my greenhouse are getting supplementary light from an LED unit , although the ones to go in the ex-tomato house will just have clear glass over them.

It is just so difficult to decide what are the critical factors and as usual the experts ( i.e. Dave Parkinson in Yorkshire, Albiflore in Belgium, and Syd Cywes et al in South Africa − not to mention your input − all ( to some extent) say different things.

Geoff

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Woodlice
Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2014 19:20

Living out of town I get a lot of woodlice in my greenhouses. I go out occasionally after dark and lift a few post to catch and eradicate a few because they are generally out of sight except for the droppings on the staging. People say that they eat only decaying material so I hope they are just nibbling the bark chips rather than my plant roots.
There are various powders one can put on staging surfaces, but does anyone know of something which I could add when watering to eradicate and flush them from the pots. Where droppings are evident I can sometimes catch the blighters with a spike up through the holes in the bottom of the pots but inevitably spill bark in doing so.

Richard

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