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Thread: Is flushing the pot with water necessary?

  1. #25
    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredg View Post
    After all we don't want to be wasting time and resources doing things that are unnecessary or of minimal benefit.
    This is TF we're talking about - where (bad) mythologies and (senseless) anecdotes rule the roost.

  2. #26
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    NaN, perhaps if you read what I actually said in all cases rather than what you think I said you may do a little better.
    Fred

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  3. #27
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    Providing oxygen to the roots is always beneficial, Fred. Nepenthes aren't bog plants. This is an absurd thing to argue about, especially when there are so many articles that you can easily google for yourself. Providing you with the burden of proof doesn't lie with us, nor should it for something this basic and heavily tested. I'm not sure if you realize this, but your argument sounds more like an argument against Botany/Physics 101 than it does against poor cultivation advice, which is how you seem to want to frame it. Some people never "flush" their pots, but like Paul Barden, they also tend to grow their plants in net pots that expose the root system to a lot of oxygen. Or, if they're like me, they do neither and watch as their media decays faster than they'd hoped, especially if there isn't a lot of aggregate. It's a useable technique, but I would never tell someone it's the best option. Would it ease your mind to know that the oxygen content of soil is generally the same as that of humid air, which isn't necessarily the same for potted plants because of the lack of soil respiration caused by surrounding vegetation, particularly trees? Basic stuff, Fred. If you don't believe anyone here, audit a class and learn from someone you have more respect for.


    Edit: Just curious, are you arguing against flushing the pots or root oxygenation? It seems to have moved towards the latter after you questioned the facts Butch presented, but if you are looking to argue against flushing in general, you could probably move it in another direction. One thing that comes to mind, if people flush their pots too often, they may be depriving their plants of necessary soil nutrients. There's a fine balance between too much and too little nutrients.
    Last edited by mato; 01-18-2015 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Additional question, different direction..

  4. #28
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    Now you're forcing me back in.
    Mato I believe you have answered the question.
    Is it beneficial to frequently flush the medium in terrarium plants?
    Some think yes some think no so it must be a matter of opinion. Thank you
    Fred

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  5. #29

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    I would be very careful about removing "Highland Nepenthes" from the theme of this "discussion". Once you open this up to terrarium plants or plants in general it is over quickly.

    There are HUNDREDS of published trails/books/experiments from good sources (NASA, commercial growers - who only care about health/growth rate as it equals $$$). Aeroponics, hydroponics, aquaculture and the like are all very well documented and many references give ranges for specific gases in these setups. Depending on what is being grown some are setup with to add oxygen while others add CO2.

    They are not doing this because it is an opinion, it is from trial and error over time. You can even watch documentaries on TV about these farms so no reading is required if you prefer, many of the good ones are being done in the UK.

    Flushing a pot, will increase airflow into the medium, this is science. Look it up and test it out yourself some of these tests can be a lot of fun. Now if that air is better in quality than what air was in the medium the plant will be better off. But if that new air for whatever reason is worse the plant may suffer. This is where pot type/size/medium/humidity/ect would come into play. Net pots, clay pots, plastic pots would all play a huge factor in the results you would get. Flushing small net pot for instance would have much less of an impact than flushing a large plastic pot. Flushing charcoal is actually a bad thing due to the how charcoal functions in mediums. This is probably the reason for the "myths", you can not forget the 90 other factors of your growing area and just pull a single line out of someones post and reply with "your wrong". Those 90 other factors may very well be why it works just fine for them and not you.

    Here is where you have to think, would you flush a bog plant? I'd think not, they would not like that. Few times a year, they might like. Would you flush a rainforest plant during the rainy season, why yes. How about flushing during the dry season? Well no.

    As to the original question, since I have had Neps growing for years (seedling to "adult", 10+ years) without being "flushed" or even watered under my growing conditions flushing is just a waste of my time. They get repotted but not flushed. I do however mist them weekly, mainly to keep the dust off . See above thou, your 90 other factors may require flushing.
    Last edited by RSS; 01-18-2015 at 01:19 PM.

  6. #30
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Jumping in here a little late, but it seems like there's something to be said for each side of this discussion. Stating that a first principle exists isn't evidence that it has a significant effect in a given case. Nor does absence of a "trial" suggest that a first principle doesn't exist or doesn't have a significant effect. As someone mentioned, TF has been its host to a whole assortment of assertions from coffee grounds to superthrive, from magical colloidal silver (one of my favorites! ) to worries about copper pipes, from aeration to peat tea, and everything between. Some of this stuff been shown to have an effect under conditions X, others are untested old grower's tales that crop up every few years, and others are certifiably crazy.

    So when someone makes an assertion about the efficacy of a technique or potting materials or whatever, I think it's fair to ask "have you ever done a comparison?" or "I'm interested in this -- do you have any suggested reading?" This doesn't (necessarily) come from a place of incredulity or disrespect; when I see that someone is trying something new, I'm curious to see how effective it is.

    Things that aren't useful in these types of discussions include:
    Please publish the results of the trials that prove the fact.
    Lets turn this around...show us some trials that prove otherwise.
    And any other essentially impossible proposition. Trials, even at the hobby scale are expensive and time-consuming (and kudos to those of you who do them!). Requiring someone to have done a "trial" to address the specific aspect of a technique given conditions X and plants Y and potting medium Z is a bit more than you can ask for. Asking if someone has done a comparison is pretty reasonable. If they have not gone through the trouble of thoroughly testing a first principle, it doesn't really invalidate it. I'm sure I can demand a level of specificity to prove why watering plants works that you won't be able to answer it. Just because someone hasn't spent their life elucidating the finer points of hydrodynamics in the rhizosphere, we can all agree that: watering plants generally keeps them from drying out. I don't need you to have done an isotopic tracer experiment to understand that. Similarly, asking for a negative proof is equally (if not more) pointless.

    All this is to say: We're all just curious how effective given horticultural practices are. There's plenty of misinformation in horticulture/agriculture, even the biggest farmers with the biggest profits do some pretty stupid/inefficient things because someone once told them it was a good idea (I'm looking at you, Illinois). So let's all just go ahead and chill out a little. Someone asking for evidence isn't calling anyone a liar. Someone without hard empirical evidence of their own isn't being dishonest.
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  7. #31
    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Est View Post
    Some of this stuff been shown to have an effect under conditions X, others are untested old grower's tales that crop up every few years, and others are certifiably crazy.
    Bless that nutty Jerry Baker in all his infinite gardening wisdom *cynical laughter*

  8. #32
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    seemed like common sense to me but if it would help...

    the occurrence and effects of oxygen depletion has been widely studied in flooded soils
    it lowers redox potential, changes the composition of the soil's microbial community, affects the form and mobility of N, Fe and P, increases methane levels, co2 levels, etc etc

    (Patrick, 1977, Hook 1984, Faulkner et. al., 1989, Drew 1991, Crawford 1992, etc etc.)

    I got 19,000 hits when I used google scholar.

    and the fact that water draining through the pot will be replaced with fresh air is simple physics..

    but as EST pointed out... I could ask for evidence that black is black in such a way that you couldn't provide it, so what does it matter
    Instead of debating why we may not agree, lets just reply to every thread with "prove it" from now on.

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