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  #41  
Old 08-02-2021, 09:46 AM
mopwr mopwr is offline
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Originally Posted by isurus79 View Post
Nope, that’s what you’d expect from this group! The CAM plants do a lot of their chemistry at night, with the stomata closed during the day. The stomata open at night and water is released, so it makes sense they’re using lots of water over night. Understanding their biology is very helpful to growing Catasetums and orchids in general.
Thanks for that, while I grow tons of plants (not just orchids and not just houseplants), and I have a fair grasp of the basics, I'm a little naive on the more advanced and widely differening aspects of plant biology. I dug into this a bit more and it explains a lot. The "general rule" I've seen for most orchids is "water in the morning, so it dries out a [slightly / mostly / completely: depending on species] by sundown." These plants can clearly take water during the day, but seem to make the most use of it in the evening.

A brief tangent on the "not just orchids" front, I've attached a photo of my tomato garden. The plants are currently topping out at 8 feet tall, loaded with fruit. I do minimal maintainance and water deeply once a week if it's really hot and hasn't rained recently. I grow my plants from seed and fertlize with a handful of organic fertilizer in each hole at planting time, and throw a little more organic fertilizer around the plants when they reach about 4-5 feet tall a few months later. I mulch with hay (not straw) fairy thick to block weeds, keep moisture levels consitent and it feeds the worms / microorganisms as it breaks down...

This story is a tangent, but relevant in that I didn't start out with these results - it took quite a few years. I read up, I got advice, I tried it out and logged results, trying to see over time what works and what doesn't. The most important thing I always aim for is not just to find something that works (and works consistently), but to find something that works AND understand why it works....

Long story short (I know, too late) - thanks for helping me get there a little sooner!
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  #42  
Old 08-02-2021, 10:36 AM
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The "water in the morning" advice needs to be put in context. In the tropics, rain is more likely in the afternoon. But, the air is warm and once wet the orchids (and other plants) don't get cold - nights are typically warm. When people water a Phalaenopsis in the house in cool areas, and get water in the crown, and then it gets chilly at night, rot may be a consequence.(Not an issue in the tropics) If nights are warm, evening watering works just fine, and is actually better because the orchids have a chance to absorb the water before the heat of the day evaporates it. So, as you get beyond the basics and fine-tune your orchid culture, those "basic rules" can be modified based on the reasoning behind them.
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  #43  
Old 08-02-2021, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopwr View Post
Thanks for that, while I grow tons of plants (not just orchids and not just houseplants), and I have a fair grasp of the basics, I'm a little naive on the more advanced and widely differening aspects of plant biology. I dug into this a bit more and it explains a lot. The "general rule" I've seen for most orchids is "water in the morning, so it dries out a [slightly / mostly / completely: depending on species] by sundown." These plants can clearly take water during the day, but seem to make the most use of it in the evening.
Yep, watering in the morning when the weather is warm is one of those bogus orchid rules that needs to be tossed out the window. When that rule finally flies out the window, it can land on the ash heap of "bloom boosters" and watering right before fertilizing your plants!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mopwr View Post
A brief tangent on the "not just orchids" front, I've attached a photo of my tomato garden. The plants are currently topping out at 8 feet tall, loaded with fruit. I do minimal maintainance and water deeply once a week if it's really hot and hasn't rained recently. I grow my plants from seed and fertlize with a handful of organic fertilizer in each hole at planting time, and throw a little more organic fertilizer around the plants when they reach about 4-5 feet tall a few months later. I mulch with hay (not straw) fairy thick to block weeds, keep moisture levels consitent and it feeds the worms / microorganisms as it breaks down...

This story is a tangent, but relevant in that I didn't start out with these results - it took quite a few years. I read up, I got advice, I tried it out and logged results, trying to see over time what works and what doesn't. The most important thing I always aim for is not just to find something that works (and works consistently), but to find something that works AND understand why it works....

Long story short (I know, too late) - thanks for helping me get there a little sooner!
Looks like a really great garden! I'd say that this story is relevant since figuring out the mechanics of any grow space (orchids included) really takes trial and error to get culture nailed down. It's off to the races once you figure out that out!
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  #44  
Old 08-02-2021, 01:11 PM
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What kind of tomatoes mopwr?
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  #45  
Old 08-02-2021, 05:22 PM
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And where are you located? Great tomatoes!
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  #46  
Old 08-04-2021, 03:21 PM
mopwr mopwr is offline
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What kind of tomatoes mopwr?
I grow all kinds, mostly heirlooms. Over the years and different trials, I've probably grown about 150 different varieties and I've pretty much settled on about 6-7 different types I grow every year. Sometimes I'll rotate in a new one or two, or an old one we liked, but for the most part we keep it similar year to year.

I wanted to find which ones grow and taste the best in my climate / microclimate, for me that works out to Reif's Red Heart, Pink Brandywine, Kellogg's Breakfast, Rutgers, Matt's Wild Cherry, Mariana's Peace.

Each one is great in one way or another and there's a specific thing we use them for. For example the brandywine and red heart are amazing for sandwiches or by themselves, but when we get too many for that, they make an amazing sauce. We only grow one cherry tomato, because to the variety we grow is a machine and one plant could supply a grocery store even factoring in eating them every day as a snack.

I attached some pics of what the Reif Red Hearts look like when cut open, they're later fruiting than some and can be a little finicky, but the tomatoes are worth it. They taste great, they're meaty, there's hardly any seeds to speak of, and they're super dense with almost no core.

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And where are you located? Great tomatoes!
SE PA, about 30 minutes outside of the city center.
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  #47  
Old 08-04-2021, 03:43 PM
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My main go-to is Purple Cherokee, and some years Mortgage Lifter. Used to grow Amish paste, but been growing San Marzano the past five years, because my Italian husband insists.

I don't want to highjack the thread away from Catasetum, but can't really help myself right now. So I've had, by FAR, the worst season growing tomatoes in the past 43 years. Not a clue why., but as the crow flies my daughter lives 50 miles east of me, my cousin and his son about 200 miles east and 20 south. All of them are also excellent tomato growers, and having the same problem. We can only presume it's this particular's wacky weather. Just makes me want to cry. I usually have gallon upon gallon in the freezer by this time of year. Literally, this year we are eating the few we get as fast as they ripen.

Do you prune your indeterminate or just let them grow? Curious. Do you ever fight septoria? I have past few seasons, and despite good husbandry, never planting in same spot for three years, etc, it appears to get a bit worse each year.

The Reif Red Hearts look really good... gonna try that one next year. Brandywine and Rutgers don't do that well for my microclimate, but my dad used to grow them really well... thirty miles to the west of me. Go figure.
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  #48  
Old 08-08-2021, 11:20 AM
mopwr mopwr is offline
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A quick update here, all of my plants doing well and moving right along. The fredclarkearas are well out ahead of anything (to be fair I got them in the early season) and when I went to check on the biggest one today, I counted not one, not two, but three spikes on the largest new bulb. In the picture I attached, the arrow is pointing to a spike swelling up underneath the leaf... There may even be a fourth underneath the leaf above it, but the plant is so huge and unwieldy right now that I don't want to mess with it too much, I can wait, and I'd rather play it on the careful side than risk breaking one of the spikes or anything like that.

On the watering advice, the thing I've noticed is that the Fdks, seem to love being in constant water. Any of the other catasetum types I have like it a _little bit_ less. They seem to do better with a good soak every other day... Could be because my conditions (in the terrarium) are 87F / 85% humidity and there's really not too much drying out happening either way.

P.S. - WaterWitchin: I sent you a PM about the garden questions to keep this thread on track
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  #49  
Old 08-16-2021, 10:26 AM
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So, another update. The watering / fertilizing regime seems to be going well. I'm mostly showing pictures of the largest plant I have, because it's the furthest along. It's developing the three spikes (and there's a nub lower down that I suspect is going to become a somewhat later fourth), but I noticed something odd - well, it seems odd to me. The spikes are now growing roots, maybe this is normal - I don't know, but I will say the roots on this plant are insane. Posting pictures for posterity.
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  #50  
Old 08-16-2021, 10:42 AM
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They are root machines. Well done!
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