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Thread: "A year in the life" of my CP's - part 2.

  1. #17
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    One Month Update!

    The first two weeks, nothing much happened..
    but the second two weeks, there has been an explosion of growth!
    and one sarracenia flower has opened!



    Many VFT traps are already open, and some flies have appeared in the house..
    my theory is the new flies were "born" from the bogs, because they appeared right after the bogs came out of the the basement..not many flies, 4 or 5.
    my wife has been feeding the flies to the VFTs!

    No open sarracenia pitchers yet, but lots of pitchers pushing up.

    As you can see, there are sadly zero signs of Spring outside yet..
    still no snowdrops, no crocus, (the earliest bulbs to appear)
    and still snow on the ground.




    The D. binata clump is well on its way.






    the one big Sarracenia flower has opened!
    normally I dont let any of my Sarrs or VFTs flower at all..
    I just cut off all the flower buds as soon they appear, because I dont care about growing anything from seed right now, and flowers just sap energy from the plants that could otherwise be put into trap production.

    But this year I let this one flower open because my wife has never seen a Sarr flower before! now that she has seen it, it will be snipped off..
    (maybe put it in a vase!)

    Maybe if my Leah Wilkerson flowers, I will try some cross pollination with something else.
    And a friend of mine also has a ICPS alabamensis..we have wanted to cross our two alabamensis, but they never flower at the same time..so thats not happening anytime soon either...

    later today I will cut off all remaining Sarr and VFT flower buds.





    And thats the one-month update!
    things are coming along nicely..

    still anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks before they can go back outside.

    Scot

  2. #18
    Jayson16's Avatar
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    Wow looks great scotty! Cant wait to see what they look like when ya put em outside, thats if it gets warm.....

  3. #19
    Capensis Killer upper's Avatar
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    can you please tell me more about these.... drain holes.... i'm interested in the method, just dont know how it works or what's it for. can you help me?
    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    February 17, 2008

    Day 3.


    I went out to the shed and got the green chicken wire covers for the minibogs.

    Up until last spring, the CDs kept birds away..but last Spring I encountered one robin who refused to be scared away..I suspect she was gathering materials for a new nest.
    she picked out a lot of the spagnum every day, ripping out plants in the process..
    so I had "take it up a notch" and devise some new protection.

    So I went to Home Depot and found "green chicken wire"..its regular chicken wire, but coated in a green plastic or vinyl..I cut the wire into circular shapes, and pin them down.

    Im not thrilled with the look..I would prefer not to use the wire at all..but the protection of the plants supercedes aesthetics.

    Soon the plants grow up through the wire, and by mid-summer you hardly notice it.







    I also installed the drain hoses..the drains are located about 3" down from the surface.
    so the bogs stay saturated with water 3" from the top..
    I didnt devise any method for checking the water level, because I dont consider it terribly
    important...I simply add water whenever I feel its needed...every couple days or so.
    maybe every day during summer heat waves.
    I just fill the pots until water drains out the tubing.

    I have created a rain water collection system...I will write more about that when it comes time to set it back up in the spring...
    For now im just using store-bought bottles of distilled water.

    Scot

  4. #20
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upper View Post
    can you please tell me more about these.... drain holes.... i'm interested in the method, just dont know how it works or what's it for. can you help me?
    Upper,
    each pot has a drain hole near the top, and nowhere else..no drain at the bottom.



    that picture shows the drain hose coming out.

    I drilled a hole in the plastic pot, and got a hose fitting at Home Depot for the clear plastic hose to fit into..I used garden hose washers (rubber washers) to seal the two sides of the fitting tight to the plastic of the pot..(it leaks a bit, but thats not a big deal)

    there is a also a small hole in the top of the clear platic tubing, to let in air as the water drains out...otherwise air bubbles tend to block the water flow..that small hole is needed to relieve the pressure..(in the same way a gas can, or even a coffee cup, needs that small hole to let in air as you pour out gas or drink coffee)

    when I water the pots, I simply pour in water over the top of the bog until I see water begin to drain out the hose..thats when I know its "full"..
    the hose drain keeps the water table of the whole bog at that hose level, about 2 or 3 inches below the surface..

    I dont have any way to monitor the water level as it drops due to evaporation, and I dont consider that necessary or important. if the water level drops from "hose level" down to 4 or 5" below the surface, its not a big deal..there is still a ton of water in there!
    I simply re-fill the bogs whenever I feel its needed..probably once a week or so in the summer..more often if its unusually hot.

    without the drain hose, water would fill ALL the way to the top when it rains..actually submerging the surface..
    thats not necessarily a bad thing, the plants can handle that, but if there is a lot of rain you will find yourself tipping the pots a lot to drain off the excess water,
    which can be a pain...the drain hose simply keeps the water level where you want it, at all times..

    the water level can fall below that level, but it will never be above that level.

    does that help?
    if not, feel free to ask more questions!

    thanks,
    Scot

  5. #21
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Happy first day of Spring!
    yay spring.





    Oh well..the sun slipping north of the equator is certainly a good sign!
    I will take it..
    its better than that other equinox ..of which we do not speak.

    Scot

  6. #22
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    April 1, 2008.
    6-week update.




    Finally its really Spring!

    As I said above, "officially" Spring begins with the Spring Equinox, which was a few weeks ago.
    But here in Western, NY, the calendar doesn't hold much sway with the seasons..
    the seasons do what they like, and pretty much ignore the calendar.

    As a life-long New York stater, I have my own views on when the actual seasons are!
    according to my calendar, Spring begins today! April 1st!
    because March is the fifth, and last, month of Winter.
    check it out:



    Here are some pics for the First day of Spring..



    First, the "outdoor report"..we have actual signs of Spring outdoors!
    The snowdrops popped up about a week ago..the first actual flowers of Spring.




    And the daffodils and tulips have broke the surface..flowers are still weeks away however,
    but its a good sign!




    Still a bit cold for the CPs to be out though..




    Notice that bright fluorescent green of the VFTs..thats actually a bad thing..
    it shows they arent getting nearly enough light, there should be lots of Red coloration in there! Windowsills might SEEM bright, but they arent..and these are even SOUTH facing windows that get several hours of direct sun a day! its the most possible natural light I can give them indoors! but even with some direct light, its still not nearly enough..the sun is filtered through layers of glass, and they dont get the all-day duration, because the sides of the windows cause the plants to be in shade for much of the day..
    yes, the plants are doing ok..but they could be even better..they really need to be outside..
    soon..soon..




    The binata seems happy!




    The VFT's have been open for business for weeks..even catching some bugs!
    but so far only three Sarracenia pitchers have opened...thats ok, no hurry.





    And thats the update for April 1st...6 weeks into the growing season.
    When can they go outside??
    sometime in the next one to three weeks hopefully..
    I have been watching the forecasts, and I will put the plants outdoors when I first see a 5-day forecast that
    shows every night-time low above 35 degrees F. (+2C)
    basically, nights above freezing..not quite there yet..but soon:



    hmmm..actually, those night-time lows look pretty good!
    a low of 30 forecast for next Sunday..thats slightly below freezing, and would probably bring some frost with it,
    but the plants could handle one 30-degree night just fine..

    but..

    im not ready to trust it yet..
    temps that warm this early in the spring could easily be just a fluke..
    snow and freezing temps is not uncommon in April.
    I think that forecast is just a tease!
    its very likely there will be still be temps in the 20's in April..

    The next update will however probably be the day they go outside!
    as I said, one to three weeks should do it..

    Scot

  7. #23
    --Freedom Czar-- Fryster's Avatar
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    Fantastic documentation as usual Scotty.

    I'm having similar problems with the weather as well; as to WHEN to put out the Sarrs and VFT's.

    Your Sarrs are gonna be breaking that window to get out, better be careful.
    Only a moral and virtuous people are capable of freedom; the more corrupt and vicious a people becomes, the more it has need of masters. -- Benjamin Franklin

  8. #24
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    April 6, 2008.
    7-week update.




    The day has arrived! The plants are going outside for the season!
    It's a week or two earlier than most years, but I will take it!
    Here is the forecast for the next 5 days:



    Every nightly low is above freezing,
    days in the mid 50's to mid 60's (7-13C)
    and nights 35 to 45 (2-7C)

    Yes, we could still get freeze, frost or snow, but I will deal with that
    if/when it happens..meanwhile, the plants will be happy to be outside.

    So out they go:





















    Above is a look at the drain hoses coming out of the pots.





    The rain water collector is back out!
    I made this last spring..its very simple.
    its a plastic storage bin from Target..cost around $5.
    I cut a hole in the cover for the downspout, then a larger hole in the side for the drain.
    the drain is a large piece of PVC "elbow"..very cheap at Home Depot.
    the excess water flows out the drain, hits the concrete "splash block", which then carries the
    excess water away from the foundation.

    I also installed a valve at the bottom of the bin, to dispense the water when its needed.
    The idea was that I was going to install a piece of clear tubing to that valve fitting,
    and when I wanted to collect water in a jug or bucket I would simply put the tube in the buclet and
    turn the valve...well, I never actually used it!
    because I discovered it was much easier and quicker to simply lift up the top of the bin and submerge the bucket right
    in the water! so the valve turned out to be unnecessary engineering..oh well.

    Last year I also attempted to build in some mosquito proofing to the bin.
    I installed a piece of nylon screening (window screen) to the PVC drain pipe elbow,
    sealing the edges with aquarium silicone sealant..didnt work.
    the sealant didnt hold well, and I also discovered that if any mosquito larva DO attemt to live in
    the bin, the next rain will wash them right out the drain! so mosquito-proofing was also totally unnecessary.

    I forgot to take a "before" photo before I set up the bin, but during the off-season I just install the regular
    downspout attachment, looks just like this one on the other side of the garage:







    soaking up the sun!






    Calvin spent most of the day outside today, helping us with lots of early-spring yard chores.

    The last two pictures are close-ups of some leaves..I will use these to demonstrate "the burn"..
    which begins very soon..here are some UN burned leaves, right after the plants went outside:





    these are the leaves that grew indoors during the last 7 weeks..they will soon burn in the intense sun.
    "burn demo" is next..in a week or two.

    Scot

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