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Thread: Tips on making vfts grow better this year?

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    SDCPs's Avatar
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    Tips on making vfts grow better this year?

    I have a time lapse video I made here:



    Because I was afraid of rot and not as dilligent as I should have been I let the plants get too dry several times. This probably set them back. Their rhizomes have gone deep into the pots and I can tell the leaves come from deep down. All these plants were freshly planted in the pots at the start of the video.

    Several plants rotted, and several died to drying out. My biggest blow was losing a seedgrown plant from pender co. NC, 1 out of 3, and setting the other 2 far back (they are recovering)...really saddens me. I love location data.

    Anyway, any tips on improving this setup? The plants seem to be coming along nicely this year and I don't want to hinder them. I leave the flower stocks on and hand pollinate to get the seeds.

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    SDCPs's Avatar
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    Here is a short video of the plants in the summer that is not time-lapse. It will give you a better idea of them at peak performance.


    (Pretty nice color!!)

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    I grow my VFTs in a half barrel with around 18" of a 50/50 mix of sand and peat moss. There's no drainage, but I have a standpipe installed which allows me to keep an eye on the water level, and siphon out excess water after rains. I try to maintain a water level of about 6", which keeps the upper strata moist, but not soggy. During the growth phase VFTs like stable conditions of moisture and drainage. A larger container is inherently more stable than small pots.
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    That's really cool! Thanks for putting all the effort in your timelapse... I thought that was really neat.

    I'll also second the suggestion to increase the size of your pots. I have found that VFT roots heat up too much for me here in GA when I grow in small containers. And whenever I try to set my small 4" pots in trays, rot becomes an issue because the water level remains too high. I have also seen an entire crop of VFTs die and rot when they were underwater for 5 days solid (unfortunately they weren't mine, but man was it sad to see!). Now I prefer at least 6" pots and relatively shallow trays. Since you said the plants were almost all typicals, you might be able to find some massive containers (say a half-barrel) and combine all the plants together. Or at least do like 1-3gal pots and combine siblings together. For things like your NC-data plants, it's probably better to keep them separate and tagged. It's really up to you to decide.

    If you could automate the filling of the water tray your plants are in currently, that might also be a good thing to consider. You can have a system run twice or more a day to make sure they're hydrated and that soil temps stay stable.

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    The plants are in 3.5"x3.5" x 5" pots, so they are fairly deep considering the other dimensions. The whole reason for these pots (which were carefully chosen and special ordered, surprisingly) is to allow me to have a lot of vfts in a small space. They are also square...I did that on purpose...

    I would think the sheer mass of them together would make the effect of one large 5" soil mass, as no light can reach the bottom level where the water is.

    All the plants are tagged so I cannot combine them. I want to see the characteristics of each plant, be it "typical" or recognized clone, so I keep them separate.

    I've never quite gotten the water level straight. How about half an inch constant on a 5 inch high pot? They get good light so I would think that would be OK. As you can see the plants got too dry and I think this really set them back, the still from the time-lapse video testifies to this.

    I might try a few plants in a larger pot and see what happens.

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