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 Post subject: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:23 pm 
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I bought the stuff to do some seni-hydroponics a few years back when it was a fairly new idea. I never used it though. CJMack from here has been pushing me to try it, and since I already had some pots and a 50lb bag of LECA I'd purchased 5 years earlier and have moved it to 1 new town and 2 new houses, I thought it was time. So far I've only moved a few plants. I plan on moving as many as this 50lb bag of LECA will allow, see how it goes, and decide what to do from there.

Below is a picture of a seedling I deflasked a few months back. It has been growing in sphagnum. I moved it to s/h on 11/10/11 so it has been there for 17 days. You can see the roots look great and are already starting to elongate. The newest leaf hasn't slipped a beat. This is potted in an 8oz beer cup. I like that they are clear.

(Yungho Gelblitz flava x Joy Dreamy Jade 'Green Apple)
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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:53 pm 
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looks great Ben, can u provide more details on how to grow this way? what do you do for watering?


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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:53 pm 
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Ben, did you presoak the Leca with calcium nitrate and magnesium sulfate? The plant looks great. Please keep us posted on its progress.

*looks at the 45lb of PrimeAgra in the basement*


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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:10 am 
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Location: Singapore
Interesting !

So how does this work ?
Watering, lighting the same , ferts ?

Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:36 am 
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Location: Texas
Nice Ben, I love it, and have been using it for a while now too. I've noticed better root growth with it than any other method, but that may be due to my schedule. If you've any questions or observations, I'd definitely share. BTW, lucky that you have a basement. Make sure the roots don't get cold, they're much more sensitive to cold temps than when in moss, but seem to handle heat much better.


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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Edward, would you tell us more? I think that this might work for me outdoors. Thx in advanced


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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Good luck with the SH. From what I've read, those that have converted love it.

Is your media the PrimeAgra that Ray sells? I tried semi-hydro with hydroton and this media did not wick real well. In fact, it hardly wicked at all and the top half of the pot was dry. Maybe user error?


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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Pete, according to Ray, presoaking will take care of your wicking problem: http://www.firstrays.com/presoaking_media.htm

My issue with S/H is that it takes up more space. Still willing to try it.


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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:13 pm
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Location: Herndon, VA
Is anyone out there using LECA without the reservior? I know Al Pickrel has success with this method, but I'm wondering if it would work a setting other than a greenhouse. I would think the LECA would dry out very quickly in a lower humidity environment (like a home).

Any experience you can share?


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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:44 am
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Location: Midwest
Hello All.
I currently have two plants in SH, this Phal and a Dend. The Dendrobium is still adjusting <14 days in SH. This Phal however has been in SH for nearly 8 months and has adjusted quite well. I use hydroton and do find the top half dries out, to combat this when I rehydrate the container I always fill from the top and try to pour around all sides of plant. The plant itself does not mind having a dry top area as it has many roots reaching entirely into the liquid solution at the bottom. My research on SH has suggested two important things to consider in SH.

1) Make sure any plant moving into SH is growing new roots, many old roots do not survive the transition.
2) It is typically advised to place the existing roots just above the water line so that the roots can grow into the water and are not forced into it before they are ready.

I've also seen one grower doing a small flood table flooded with water and all the containers filled with LECA standing in the solution. I personally would be concerned about spreading infection/disease amongst all plants should one have an issue but her plants were responding very well.

DaryID: My plant picture is in a 4" wide x 6" tall container and in my Midwestern home (15-25% RH) I need to refill the water every 4-7 days. The plant does require more frequent watering in the summer 3-5 days. However, as you can see I do have a reservoir inside the container.


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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:55 am 
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Location: Atlanta, Ga
I have a few that are in LECA alone. Those are actually from Al himself. The key with this is decent humidity and more regular watering. The LECA in my setup stays wet about 3-4 days. I also use aircone pots which hold a bit of water at each corner, helping the LECA stay moist longer. But, it will surely work, you'll just need to increase watering.

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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Mackarov wrote:
I've also seen one grower doing a small flood table flooded with water and all the containers filled with LECA standing in the solution. I personally would be concerned about spreading infection/disease amongst all plants should one have an issue but her plants were responding very well.


That would be my concern as well, spreadiing disease and virus. Since a healthy plant (which has all its needs met) does not show visible signs of virus, you cannot eyeball a plant and decide whether it is infected or not.

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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:36 pm 
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Location: Texas
Regarding the drying out of the top, I would just fill the entire pot with water each time you water. Make sure the water has relatively low ppm. Luckily in Houston I can just do tap, but the plants did grow better when I was watering with R-O. I just have too many plants now.


Regarding the ebb-flow table, I have my plants on one as well, but I installed a drain with a hose connection with a valve on one end of the table. When I water, I drain the table at the same time, so that there is no accumulating water. It shouldn't increase the risk of spreading virus above the baseline of watering a group of plants together.


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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:52 am 
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Location: Norfolk, VA
Great job Ben, look forward to hear about your progress.

Ben Belton wrote:
This is potted in an 8oz beer cup.

Not to get nit picky, I think this is a water cup... beer gets served in minimum of 12 oz or 16 oz cups, preferably 22 oz cups :D.

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 Post subject: Re: My Foray into Semi-Hydroponics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:25 pm 
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Location: Atlanta, Ga
Why stop at 22oz?

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You know it's a great forum when you search for "bellina" and it returns this from the server:
"The following words in your search query were ignored because they are too common words: bellina."


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