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Update Fertilizer Experiment

This is a discussion on Update Fertilizer Experiment within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    sadie's Avatar
    sadie is offline Senior Member
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    Default Update Fertilizer Experiment

    As some of you may remember, I started a fertilizer experiment last July--this is the update.

    I had 20 compots of phal seedlings just out of flask. I had three fertilizers:
    1. Peters 20-20-20 and fulvic acid every watering with seaweed extract and Hygrozyme added twice per month. This fertilizing regime came from an article in the IPA magazine.
    2. MSU fertilizer at every watering with SuperThrive added twice per month.
    3. DynaGrow 7-9-5 every feeding.
    Here's the results almost a year later.
    The compots were divided into the three groups, with at least one compot of each cross in each of the groups—otherwise the assignment was random. Each group had small and larger seedlings. I recorded the number of plants and measurements of each seedling for each compot at the start of the experiment. Just so that I could visually compare the growth, I photographed each compot. I kept a journal of the experiment and noted each time I fertilized, any significant weather changes, any pest treatments, etc. I tried to treat all of the compots identically, except for the fertilizers. The trays of compots were mixed so that some of each of the three groups were included in each tray—randomly placed again. All of the compots were grown under four foot fluorescent tubes for consistent light and were watered with their various fertilizers on the same days.

    In April 2009, I photographed the compots again. By comparing the two, you can see the plant growth. In May 2009, I got around to dividing the compots. There was an obvious difference in the plant growth. Both the Peters/Fulvic/Hygrozyme/Seaweed and the MSU/SuperThrive compots had significantly more plant growth than the DynaGrow. When I pulled the plants out of the media, however, the root growth on the Peters/Fulvic/Hygrozyme/Seaweed compots were significantly better than either of the other two groups.

    I have included before and after photographs of two compots and one individually potted plant. These photos show about nine months of growth from July 2008 through April 2009. For reference, each pot is 4 inches in diameter, except for one 2.5 inch square pot. I have also included photos taken in mid-June of the plants taken from the compots and the individual plant at the moment. All of these pots are 4 inch diameter pots.

    It is tempting to use the Peters/Fulvic/Hygrozyme/Seaweed combination on all of the compots, but I would like to continue the experiment and see if perhaps another combination is even more successful. In particular, I am curious how the MSU fertilizer will work with the fulvic acid, hygrozyme and seaweed. I would also like to determine if the fulvic acid simply lowers the pH of my water, allowing for more nutrient absorption. After breaking up the compots, I am considering the following groups for further experiment:

    Group 1: Peters + Fulvic acid + Hygrozyme +Seaweed
    Group 2: Peters + Fulvic acid + Mag Pro
    Group 3: Peters + SuperThrive + MagPro
    Group 5: MSU + Fulvic acid + Hygrozyme + Seaweed
    Group 6: MSU + Fulvic Acid + MagPro
    Group 4: MSU + SuperThrive + MagPro


    Perhaps those of you experienced growers or more scientifically minded could suggest an alternate or additional experiments. I would welcome your input. I will of course continue to track the plants. I have already measured each of the seedlings and will measure them again next spring to see which of the fertilizer combinations produces the best, healthiest growth.


  2. #2
    sadie's Avatar
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    Default

    Here is Compot #1 P. Diamond Beauty x Dtps. Sogo Smith in July 2008, April 2009 and June 2009. This was an MSU compot. These are all four inch pots--so that you can get some perspective.
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  3. #3
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    This is compot #11 Salu Peoker x Dtps Leopard Prince and it was a Peters/Fulvic/Seaweed/Hygrozyme compot. I should have photographed the roots on these babies, they were incredible!
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  4. #4
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    I'm going to have to go back and re-read this thread, but those are some amazing looking plants you have there. All look remarkably healthy and happy with whatever you're giving them.


  5. #5
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    wow nice experiment. i will be watching this thread for further developments.

  6. #6
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    And the last before and after -- this is phal amabilis July 2008 and this afternoon June 2009. This was a Peters/Fulvic/Seaweed/Hygrozyme
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  7. #7
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    Sadie, thank you! This is very informative! Your experiment will help all of us! Thank you!

  8. #8
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    This is awesome. Thanks for doing the experiment and bringing us the results. It would be really cool if someone with different growing conditions could do a similar experiment to see how the results compare. Nice growing, Sarah!!

    Cheers,
    BD

  9. #9
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    Nice experiment Sarah. Any preliminary conclusions?

  10. #10
    Masdyman is offline Member
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    Interesting stuff ,i am using MSU at 125 ppm /fulvic acid and a monthly Mag/seaweed extract supplement.And the same but at a rate of 100 ppm N for my Masdevallia collection .It is still early days but so far i am very happy .

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