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  #1  
Old 09-28-2012, 01:01 AM
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bethmarie bethmarie is offline
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Default keeping track of watering/fertilizing schedules

I've got mounted plants, plants in aliflor, bark, sphagnum...all different sized and kinds of pots--all different needs. I'm tracking when each one's watered, fertilized, repotted, etc using a calendar drawn on an x large sheet of sketch paper. Technologically speaking, it feels like the equivalent of etching stone with a chisel. There must be a better way to see at a glance all the info I'm tracking on my orchids. what do you use if you track these things?
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:11 AM
Wild Orchid Wild Orchid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethmarie View Post
I've got mounted plants, plants in aliflor, bark, sphagnum...all different sized and kinds of pots--all different needs. I'm tracking when each one's watered, fertilized, repotted, etc using a calendar drawn on an x large sheet of sketch paper. Technologically speaking, it feels like the equivalent of etching stone with a chisel. There must be a better way to see at a glance all the info I'm tracking on my orchids. what do you use if you track these things?
It gets tidious indeed.
For one thing, I try to group plants that have similar needs and attend to them at the same time.
I follow the 3 week cycle for my Phals - plain water, fertilizer, epson salt.
As for tracking, I tend to do everything on the computer as I can move stuff around, change colors, hide/unhide columns, add notes, etc.

So I use an old school Excel spreadsheet but I still find it tidious to have to document everything. I stopped doing it with my other plants and rely on my senses. However, Chids are special!

Last edited by Wild Orchid; 08-09-2013 at 12:30 AM..
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:49 AM
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I have taken the opposite approach: Like you, I have stuff potted and mounted in any number of different ways with different media, so instead of tracking the individual needs, I have learned to make adjustments to those potting methods to achieve a "lowest common denominator" of watering, so they can all be watered at the same time.

By experimenting with your potting media - materials, sizes - and containers - material, diameter, depth, venting - you can "tune" your plants to need water pretty much at the same rate.

Mounted plants obviously need the most water. Those in EcoWeb maybe a shade more than those on cork bark. I do treat them separately, but only in that they get watered more often.

All of my plants get low levels of fertilizer at every watering, so that's another detail that can be disregarded on a daily basis.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:17 PM
Calbears Calbears is offline
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I'm a newbie orchid addict with only 11 plants in my collection, but here's my two cents. I use a spreadsheet on google docs so I can access at home, from work, or anywhere else on my phone. There's a column for each plant and when I water or fertilize I enter the date under the last date with (f) to denote fertilizer or just the date with plain water for salt leaching. I also make notes on the spreadsheet about repotting, neem oil applications etc. It's a lot to maintain, but it's nice to have these notes when I can't remember when I last watered a particular plant. I still evaluate whether the plants need water based on weight, appearance, weather etc. This is my first year growing more than a single Trader Joe's phalaenopsis, so I'm not sure how long I'll keep up the copious record keeping, but for now it's working for me.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:10 PM
31drew31 31drew31 is offline
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I just use a little book and write everything down in the order they happen. I record repottings, fertilizing (since I fert very little), flowering, pollinating, propagation/sowing dates and anything else that I think I might want to look back on at a later date. Watering I dont record as it changes with the seasons and temperature. Very unscientific in my case.

I was using excel, but I found I would sometimes forget to record something due to my computer being upstairs and grow area downstairs so went back to pen and paper.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:14 PM
cbuchman cbuchman is offline
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I'm afraid I am even lower tech and use my senses. By looking at the medium, touching it (sometimes digging my finger in a bit), seeing if the pot i light/heavy or is sweating (I use clay), I can tell when something needs water. I use low levels of fertilizer at each watering and about 1/month I water everything with plain water.

I do use a spreadsheet to inventory my orchids (80+) and to document their cultural requirements and blooming patterns.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:57 PM
tucker85 tucker85 is offline
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I use Microsoft Excel to track when my orchids are blooming. That's useful information because most of my orchids bloom the same time every year. I use Microsoft Outlook Calendar to track when I fertilize, what fertilizer I'm using, When I use supplements, insecticides and fungicides. I have a nice notebook that I keep notes on each individual orchid. I enjoy sitting on my porch with my coffee and jotting down notes on fragrance or number and quality of flowers. By the way I used to do scheduling where I worked and I know to make all notes with a mechanical pencil, not pen, because I always find something I want to change.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:02 PM
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orchidsarefun orchidsarefun is offline
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I use hotmail calendar for recurring events like physan applications and the monthly feed of my carnivorous plants.

I have everything else, like spiking etc, in Orchidwiz.

For watering I differentiate between media. I start with all the bark pots on a Tues, wherever they may be, and then the sphag ( which may not require weekly watering ). This ensures that everything is ultimately watered.
I also fertilise weekly weakly, with the occasional flush through with plain water.
This year I will be writing the date of the repot on the plastic pot itself, a tip I read about.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:26 PM
cbuchman cbuchman is offline
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I write the purchase date and the repot date(s) on the tag. No tag -- I make one.
e.g.
P: 3/2010,
R: 5/2010
9/2012
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:20 PM
magicatt magicatt is offline
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I just have a calendar that hangs on the wall. I write h2o for water, fert for fertilizer, e salt for epsom salt. I can see the current month and can tell what my plants need. They all get the same treatment at the same time. They grow well enough to please me so I am happy with this simple tracking. I won't have any special needs plants or they would die.
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