Orchids forum: ferti-lome orchid mix?

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Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
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shadytrake
Mar 27, 2015 5:09 PM CST
I just found out that our MOS society has a tax id number so we can purchase wholesale supplies from the local BWI! Woot!

So they were out of the 2CF bags of big bark, so I decided to try the ferti-lome orchid mix.

I really like the look of it. It is big peat chunks, orchid bark, charcoal, and lava rock.

Anyone used it? I'm thinking about adding some sand and sponge rock to it to make my new mix.
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
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hawkarica
Mar 27, 2015 5:52 PM CST
I might try a bag or two. How much is it?

Jim
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 27, 2015 8:12 PM CST
How large are those bags of Ferti-lome orchid mix, Melissa?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Garden Photography Cat Lover Hummingbirder Permaculture Region: Tennessee
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shadytrake
Mar 28, 2015 12:17 AM CST
They came in 4Qt bags and I had to buy the bundle of 12. Wholesale was $45 total. I believe the suggested retail was $6/bag. It is not big enough for my big pot Cattleyas, but it is perfect for the 4" & 6" pots.

I like it because I don't have to store bulk bags. That is one of the reasons that I had issues with ants and scale...they were getting into the bulk storage of my bark.

I liked the way it mixed with the sand and sponge rock. Now I just have to find some bigger sponge rock. BWI gave me their catalog and I bet they can get it.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 28, 2015 6:23 AM CST
IF you mean perlite when referring to sponge rock, I found some truly coarse, it is called "chunky", perlite, but it comes in a 4 cf. bag. I have a nice equipment shed and that's where I store a lot of my 2-4 cf. bags of stuff. I store my Douglas fir bark and horticultural charcoal at one end of my orchid greenhouse, under shelves. Because of fans and heaters at that end, I don't put plants on the shelves and thus the bags stay relatively dry.

I would often go though those 12, 4 qt. bags in a couple of hours. I use a lot of orchid mix and every time I get a new batch of orchids, typically 50 at a time, they will all be repotted into 5" mesh-pots. At least most of them will be. A few that are sub-compact/miniature might go in small hanging baskets or 3 3/4" mesh pots. Regardless, that takes a lot of mix! I have 60 new plants that are now in their two-week quarantine, and they will all go into 5" pots at the end of next week.

Bert, remember to get you some sort of storage/equipment shed when you move to Corinth. It will come in handy! Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Garden Photography Cat Lover Hummingbirder Permaculture Region: Tennessee
Dog Lover Bee Lover Greenhouse Orchids Hostas
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shadytrake
Mar 28, 2015 6:55 AM CST
Hi Ken,

Right. I don't get that many at a time. Also, I learned my lesson on re-potting from vendors. I don't re-pot from Marilyn, SVO, Birds, or Marble Branch. Their mixes are already way better than mine and the plants are pristine. I wait until the orchid outgrows their pots.

I do dunk for bugs just in case and now I do a foliar fungicide. So far I've never had an issue with any of their plants. They have become my preferred vendors. Everyone else I re-pot and check for plant health.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 28, 2015 7:02 AM CST
Practically all the plants I get in have outgrown their pots and are in 3 1/2" solid plastic pots. I just like mesh-pots. Each to their own I guess. I have never used any sort of pesticide/fungicide. I simply haven't seen the need. That's not to say I won't do so in the future. My mixes generally have five components. I think they would be labeled "excellent".

Melissa, have you ever used the slow-release pellets, something like Osmocote? I occasional see someone stating that they use this. I go through 20-30 lbs. of Osmocote each year but have never used it with any orchids.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Garden Photography Cat Lover Hummingbirder Permaculture Region: Tennessee
Dog Lover Bee Lover Greenhouse Orchids Hostas
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shadytrake
Mar 28, 2015 9:32 AM CST
Mesh pots are great! Especially for Cattleyas. I use them a lot when I re-pot. I line with coco-husk fibers and then put the orchid and medium in. I like clay pots for my big Dendrobiums like moschatum and the antelope types. They are heavier and more stable. My moschatum is 5' tall.

I bleached all of the pots and baskets last night in preparation for re-potting. I will be purchasing some smaller mesh opening pots this year as the coco-husk fiber seems to attract the soft scale.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 28, 2015 11:03 AM CST
The pots I use have very small holes/slots, and holds the bark mixes well. I have had good success lining some of my pots and baskets with the coconut fiber but when the roots grow into it, it makes it very difficult to separate the roots from the fiber. That's the only downside I have seen using the coconut fiber.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Memphis, TN (Zone 8a)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Garden Photography Cat Lover Hummingbirder Permaculture Region: Tennessee
Dog Lover Bee Lover Greenhouse Orchids Hostas
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shadytrake
Mar 29, 2015 11:27 PM CST
I got a lot of re-potting done this weekend! 77 orchids done and 27 more to go. I should be able to finish tomorrow night after work.

I would have finished, but I needed to water and spray the wet wall with fungicide. If the GH dries enough, I may be able to fertilize tomorrow. If too wet, I will fertilize Tues or Wed.

Tomorrow we definitely have to put the reflective shade cloth up, because the direct sun heats the GH too much. I'm thinking that I'll put the 30% up now and wait to see if I will need more.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 30, 2015 6:19 AM CST
I still have the solar blanket material wrapping all three greenhouses. I think we are done with our cold, at least any damaging cold, and will begin to remove that material, and like you, Melissa, the shade cloth will go on the two outside greenhouses. I use 50% and probably could use 70% shade cloth. Once I finally get all my plants outside, under trees, there won't be much in the two "real" greenhouses. That third greenhouse is in the garage and was used just to overwinter my plumeria. Other than the dozens of cuttings, all the other plumeria are now either on the enclosed porch or outside. When I begin to root those cuttings, the garage-greenhouse will be dismantled and stored in the attic till the fall.

I have only one "lid" to make for a 10' caged-in shelf, mounted between two trees. The lids on those cages keep the squirrels away from my orchids. The lid is easy to do. I mounted four new shelves, two 10' and two 6'. I now have eight of them, ranging from 16' x 18" to 6' x 16". Those shelves will enable me to eliminate a lot of the hanging trays/baskets and also should give me some storage for staghorn ferns and fiddle leaf ficus "baby" plants, all in 4" pots. I have about 200 of those (total).

About the only plants that will be left in the "orchid" greenhouse will be the smallest of my orchids, growing from flask. I haven't had much success growing orchids from flask, but I am still trying to salvage at least some of them. Sighing! When I dig up my garlic in May, I will use the "everything else" greenhouse to cure it for two weeks. There will be several hundred garlic bulbs and they will fill the greenhouse. I also use that greenhouse to shade my plumeria cuttings during rooting and use it to start other cuttings and to germinate seeds. Mostly, my two greenhouses, from April till the fall, will be empty.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
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Ursula
Mar 30, 2015 6:56 AM CST

Moderator

Sounds more than a full time job to me!! Smiling
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 30, 2015 7:14 AM CST
It is a full-time job, Ursula. I am busier now than when I had my private practice! Sighing! When I retired I quickly found out that I was not good at sitting around, doing nothing. Whistling What's retirement if not doing what you enjoy, regardless whether it involves work or not. Taking time out to chat on ATP is about the only break I get during the spring and summer. ATP is my "power-nap".
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Mar 30, 2015 7:22 AM CST

Moderator

I totally agree, Ken! Thumbs up I just can't see myself getting up in the morning without purpose. I always have something to do, projects to work on! Happily my young 4 Grandchildren play a big part in my life and without the children and my plants/ Greenhouse, Garden and Fish and lots of different knitting, crocheting, felting projects and other stuff / I love to cook, I would be lost.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 30, 2015 7:25 AM CST
See, you are just as busy as I am, Ursula. Thumbs up Alas, I will never have grandchildren. I guess my cat, Puff, will have to do, as well as all my plants.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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