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Thread: sea max vs high nitro fert

  1. #9
    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    for about $16.00 (including shipping) I can get either one, the question is which. Oh well

  2. #10
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    This is a question in which the answer will depend greatly on you and your specific application.

    ...there are three (nutrient) factors that will affect plant growth, the elemental composition of the nutrient solution, its frequency of application, and the volume applied with each irrigation. In the formulation of a nutrient solution, there are two critical factors, the actual concentration of each element in the formulation, and the ratio balance among the elements.

    Initially, using either a fresh inorganic or organic rooting medium, the plants will be supplied their required essential elements from what exists in the applied nutrient solution. However with each irrigation, a portion of the applied nutrient solution remains behind in the rooting medium, the amount retained depending on the physio-chemical properties of the rooting medium, such as its water-holding capacity (also related to its ease of drainage), internal water-holding space, and for the major cations, its cation exchange capacity. From this point on with each subsequent nutrient solution irrigation, the plants will now have two sources for their essential nutrient elements – that left behind from earlier irrigations and that existent in the nutrient solution being applied with the next irrigation. A commonly recommended procedure (Hydroponics) is to monitor the electrical conductivity (EC) of the retained nutrient solution in the rooting medium, and when it reaches a certain level, the rooting medium is leached with water. Such leaching is costly in terms of the volume of water required, and the requirement to collect the leaching water as it can be considered an environmentally hazardous waste. In addition, the leaching may not remove all of the accumulated soluble elements.

    With this accumulation of elements in the rooting medium (even with periodic leaching), another reaction begins to occur, the formation of precipitates, mainly calcium phosphate and calcium sulfate that will also trap or surface attract other elements, such as zinc, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. Now plants in the rooting medium will have three sources of elements as the acidic nature of plant root surfaces will dissolve portions of the formed precipitates, releasing dissolved elements that can be easily root absorbed. At this point, the nutritional status of the plant is out of control and nutrient element insufficiencies begin to occur, with plant growth and fruit yield being adversely affected.

    For the grower attempting to grow “organically,” suitable sources of organic fertilizers that are balanced in their elemental makeup are difficult to find. Therefore, an organic fertilizer may be selected to supply a particular element, or suite of elements, but may also contain an element, or elements, at the same or greater concentration but not needed by the plant at that rate. In addition, most organic fertilizers do not have a consistent elemental content from batch to batch, therefore their use assuming the same expected elemental composition.

    Most nutrient solution formulations are of higher nutrient element content than needed, exposing the plant roots to excessive elemental concentrations. I have found that diluted nutrient solutions (one-half to one-third of full strength formulations) will provide sufficient element concentrations when properly applied based on meeting the water needs of the plant (no more, no less). There are also several other ways of controlling the nutrient element exposure. For example, either irrigate only with water between each nutrient solution irrigation, or irrigate with a nutrient solution at the beginning of each day (full formulations being needed) and then with only water the rest of the day in order to meet the water needs of the plant. However, these methods of nutrient solution use require experience and skill on the part of the grower in order to ensure that nutrient element sufficiency is maintained. Unfortunately, most who market their nutrient solution products do not provide the required instructions how to use their product in order to avoid nutrient element accumulation from occurring in the rooting medium, while at the same time, meeting the nutrient element needs of the plant to ensure sufficiency.

    (from an excellent article by J Benton Jones, Jr in Greenhouse and Garden magazine)

    What works well for one may harm your plant due to substrate choices, watering regimes or a dozen other variables
    Regardless of what you choose, you should start slow and learn to "listen" to the plant

    Cheers'
    Av
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 07-05-2010 at 12:41 PM.

  3. #11
    Tastes like chicken! Exo's Avatar
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    ......I only understood half of that article.....I'm not scientifcly inclined.
    Some days it just isn't worth chewing thru the restraints.

    My growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...255#post961255

    Video of my birth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xc5wIpUenQ

  4. #12
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Its an excellent answer to the question IMHO but here is short version:

    This is a question in which the answer will depend greatly on you and your specific application.
    What works well for one may harm your plant due to substrate choices, watering regimes or a dozen other variables
    Regardless of what you choose, you should start slow and learn to "listen" to the plant


  5. #13
    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    I had been thinking of foliar feeding, but since root feeding also works, I have come up with a feeding solution that I will be trying first.
    My neps are planted in a mixture of peat, aquiflor and fine fir bark. I have some of Jack's 30-10-10 for fir bark which has both urea and urea free nitrogen in it. I will be using that, diluted and see how the response is.

    Thank you all for the thoughtful replies

  6. #14
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    It is a good thing that most plants are resilient little life forms,
    able to tolerate our mistakes, impatience, and "one size fits all" viewpoints.

    As was wisely mentioned, proceed slowly and carefully, and realize that while you want your plants to grow, your plants want you to learn what you are doing regarding their care.

    Simply wanting and relying on some simple instructions or quick opinions from others is not a real way of actually learning to effectively care for plants. It is a beginning perhaps, so please do realize the importance of developing a relationship with them, and learning from them.
    This takes time and patience, something your plants desperately need from you, and something you CAN give them that is just as important as fertilizer!

    Trying to find the "right" fertilizer (brand/type) is only a part of what we need to do, for as was pointed out, even the right fertilizer applied according to some simple "instructions" may still not give us the best results over time. We need to learn to watch our plants reaction, and to respond to their reactions to what we are doing to them!
    Fertilizer choice is not the only thing a responsible grower needs to do. It is a good start and a good question, but keep the rest of what was suggested in mind also!

    If you understood nothing else that Av said, this statement alone seems most important to me:
    "Regardless of what you choose, you should start slow and learn to "listen" to the plant".
    I fear however, it is the one thing that most people will overlook the easiest!

    It is common to want to somehow rush the plants growth and make our plants quickly grow and mature into the fantastic plants that we see some of the growers here have. The best way to make your plants grow faster is to change your perception of time, by having another hobby or something else to do to take your attention for a while! Time is flexible!
    A cook who knew this once expressed this aspect of time as: "A watched pot never boils!"

    Bottom line and in simple terms, The one of the things I suggest you all mix with your fertilizer when you use it, is patience!

    Good luck all!
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  7. #15
    Nep'tard Chris_Himself's Avatar
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    Dilute the maxsea beyond 1tsp if you're growing in mainly LFS. The plants and algae get rather unmanageable over time and it's not in a good way. it's thick tough growth that makes it unsightly and you get early pitcher death. I now go 1/2tsp every 2 weeks now. What I thought was LFS turning alive spontaneously overnight, was just the algae turning the LFS green. I do have some live though and it does help a bit, but algal blooms especially in my light and tempurature levels are becoming common even in my water trays.

    Don't feed the pitchers (early pitcher death) and don't bother foliar feeding. It just leaves unsightly residue and if you have high relative humidity, it could potentially encourage a bacteria/fungus bloom on the foliage.

    I have no experience with ED but it's been recommended for as long as I have been alive by several growers who have their setups right and have way nicer plants than I can hope to attain. You'll see results from feeding but if you don't have your grow setup right, you'll just aggravate your plants to the point where they'll grow really crappy.

    But yeah I use the stuff and it's pretty cool. I trust that if you can manage orchids, CP's are probably a breeze.
    Nepenthes Outdoors in CA

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  8. #16
    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    It has taken me a long time and plenty of patience to figure out what my orchids needed. Like cps, some will respond to one fert while others may react badly. Also, like cps, many orchids go through periods where they should be left alone, no feeding at all. And of course never fed if stressed already by bad roots.
    I also follow the advice of never using the fert full strength, I always dilute to no more than 1/2 strength, maybe even weaker.

    Patience is something I have plenty of.

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