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Rain!

This is a discussion on Rain! within the Orchids Which are Exceptionally Sensitive to Water Quality forums, part of the General Information category; Just as I was sitting down to log on, I heard the patter of rain-drops ...

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  1. #1
    dsm's Avatar
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    Default Rain!

    Just as I was sitting down to log on, I heard the patter of rain-drops outside and ran out with my buckets to catch the drips... no telling how many weeks will go between storms around here!

    What are good watering habits? I know rainwater is best but when it is not always available, is bottled water a good substitute? Or filtered faucet water?

    I have been cutting my remaining rainwater with faucet water and my bigger plants don't seem to mind, but now that I have a shelf full of flasklings, I want to stick to rainwater for them.

    I'm also trying to keep track of how much water I use per orchid, not counting misting. Anyone got the numbers on this?

  2. #2
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    Water per orchid? I never thought of tracking such a thing. I usually flood every orchid I water...Overwatering is caused by watering too frequently, not the amount of water that is given at any one time.

    As far as bottled water...Distilled is fine but most drinking water has Sodium added. Where I live in Fort Worth we get fairly soft water from Eagle Mountain Lake. If you are concerned about your tap water, you can get a TDS meter. I only occasionally use rain water..most of the time even my sensitive orchids (Milts, etc.) are watered via the tap.

  3. #3
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    Ty...
    actually, I was thinking of water per orchid per year or season, to figure how much rainwater I have to plan to collect to last through the dry periods.

    I have this fantasy greenhouse in my head which will supply all its own needs *LOL* and I am trying to work out the rain collecting system.

    As it is, last night was great: filled both buckets and so I have enough for the next two months, I think.

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    WOW!!.. Good luck

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    I figure solar panels for the electricity to run fans and misting system, a roof designed to funnel the rain into containers, and I have been looking at interesting building concepts that use "junk art" or recycled materials. Hay-bale houses gave me an idea that a four-foot-high stuccoed hay-bale wall would make a nice start, and have poles rising to the water-collecting roof which could hold plastic drapes or panels that would go up in winter, but they would be essentially outdoors most of the year, under the greenhouse canopy.

    Here are some straw-bale building pix: UK Indymedia - Straw Bale work on eco-building in St.Anns Part 27

    Then I saw these houses made out of wine bottles laid into cement, and that looks like a lot of fun! here's the link to the bottle-house: Photos of The Bottle Houses of Prince Edward Island

    I'm sure that when I am ready, have the land etc. I can get everyone to help me empty enough wine-bottles to get started!
    Last edited by dsm; June 30th, 2008 at 06:53 PM. Reason: grammar

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    I have no idea how much I use at least 55 gal. per week plus another 18 to 20 during the week . that is not counting the mist fan fed with rain water by a high pressure pump .
    The water here turns plants white from lime I guess . When there is no rain I have an RO. unit that I run half to death . Rain water is caught from the green house roof by the down spout , stored in large trash cans with lids and mosquito dunks in them , one of them is in the greenhouse with a submersible pump in it with a curly hose attached .. I have a lot of plants and drown them when I water Gin

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    Nice. How many orchids are you watering? I don't expect to get into being a big grower, I just want a sort of self-sustaining little greenhouse for maybe a couple hundred.

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    Rough guess maybe 300 or more ?counting everything have quite a few seedling types , the Phrags and Vandas , and mounted take quite a bit of watering, kinda depends on the Temps . regarding how often .Never can get enough water stored to cover the dry periods .
    I would be careful with the hay bales they suck up water if they have any contact with it , then get mold and sow bugs in the center . I always lose some in the hay storage area that are on the bottom they are on plywood but manage to do it anyway . Gin

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    Straw-bale buildings use the hay bales as a basis for some kind of clay coating, so the straw is not exposed. Personally, I am not that impressed with them as a long-term plan, because I am sure you are right and bugs will somehow find a way into them, anyway.

    But the wine-bottles in cement suggest all kinds of interesting possibilities. Those ones on Prince Edward Island appear to be able to allow enough light in to create some nice effects. There are some homes around my place here in Texas that have metal "daisies" & such made from saw blades, etc sunk into the top of cement walls, which is another possibility for a decorative greenhouse.

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