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  • Indoor Watering Advice needed

    Good afternoon folks!

    I have a question for all those who have been doing the rooting game for a while and what their best practice is on watering indoors. This is my current situation, i am doing pretty good so far on the rooting process and got alot of cuttings in large cups or in 1 gallon pots already and i have it on an industrial mult-tier shelf which alot of you also have. I currently have one shelf full and half of another, with it going to almost 3 shelves full in the next 2-3 weeks once i get my last shop light for top tier complete and cloner shifted around.

    My predicament, i am using a very fast draining medium for my rooted cuttings (5-1-1) and its absolutely fantastic as it doesn't allow the cuttings to be over-watered. The downside is the water drains RIGHT through and its not pro-mix which will absorb most of the water and very little will drip below. So i am probably spending 10x the time to water these puppies than i would like to, and i'm doing it about every 3 days right now. What i'm currently doing it taking the cuttings off the shelf individually and putting them onto a wire shelf from a chest freezer in another bucket on the floor, watering them then letting them drain very well before putting them back on the shelf, this takes a lot of time.

    I doubt there will be much i can do, and will have to deal with this until i get them out in the spring and can just let them drain onto the patio. I'm sure i could build a drain system to be complicated or just buy these and put them inside my black seedling trays http://www.homedepot.com/p/Plaskolit...233A/202025149

    Opinions/Advice?

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    May the Figs be with you!
    ​​​​​

  • #2
    With fast draining mixes it may not be possible to "bottom water" which is the most often recommended method for waterer cuttings.

    I've been using the following method, http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox....30&postcount=1 , first find the actual amount of water that should be used then add the exact amount in the early stages of rooting. If you have several different sized containers the actual volume of water will be proportional to the volume of potting mix, in my case 1 cup of water to 5 cups of mix.

    Note every new batch of mix should be tested initially, but with experience that fill amount can be gauged for your new batch of custom mixes. Good luck.
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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    • #3
      What I would do is get those plastic trays (or use an alternative method like the one below) and start adding peat moss or preferably Pro-Mix with Micorrhizae to the top of your mix. Start with about 5% of the volume of the container, spread it across the top and water it in. Let them get used to that for a while (maybe 3 or 4 waterings?) and then do it again. You can repeat this maybe 4 more times for a total of 30% peat as a guestimate. When you up pot them go with a mix that will retain more water but not be muddy. By then the roots will be mature enough to handle it.

      When you water peat you have to use warm water to 'wet' the peat. If the first dose of peat runs right through use 10% of the volume next time.

      Since I live alone I have 2 heavy duty tarps under my cuttings with the edges turned up. I never worry about watering in place
      Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

      Comment


      • #4
        Pete - thanks, i know that bottom watering is not an option which sucks because i know how much easier that was when i did my peppers last year. I'll start trying to experiment with amount of water needed so i can try exact dosing to prevent too much from coming out.

        Bob - thanks for recommendations, but i purposely chose this mix and will be sticking with it so my up-pots go in the exact same medium - they love it right now. I know peat/pro-mix would be better for water retention, but i'm trying to avoid that right now.
        May the Figs be with you!
        ​​​​​

        Comment


        • #5
          I use a vacuum that was very cheap ($29 at Home Depot) and fits on a 5 gallon bucket. It soaks up water very quickly and is easy to dump.

          My plant room is a large bedroom in my house with brand new carpeting, many shelves and plant lights (7) and hundreds of trees.
          This gives me the flexibility to over water my starts (in 20 oz cups with fafard #52 and 75% perlite) which are in large tupperware type containers with plexiglass tops.
          I used to instal nozzles and drain the containers if needed but the vacuum system is far better and no risk of a leaky nozzle.
          I use a large plant sprayer to water and keep cuttings hydrated.
          This method has been very efficient for me.
          It takes about an hour a day if I take my time and play. Half that if in a hurry.

          Every year my perlite percentage seems to go up as does my success rate.

          I think there are several ways that work very well and I don't claim mine is the best.

          I have, however, stopped using any sphagnum moss and I soak my cuttings in water for extended periods (water must be changed EVERY DAY or an air stone must be added)..
          I have had only one cutting this year that developed unwanted fungus and it was exposed to S moss while stored in a refrigerator.

          I do fertilize the cuttings after they develop roots. I let the cuttings sit in several inches of water after I fertilize but vacuum the water out the next day.

          I have not had fungus mites so far but if I see them I use both dunks and nematodes along with yellow sticky paper to combat.

          Good luck,
          ETC.
          mgg

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mgginva View Post
            I use a vacuum that was very cheap ($29 at Home Depot) and fits on a 5 gallon bucket. It soaks up water very quickly and is easy to dump.

            My plant room is a large bedroom in my house with brand new carpeting, many shelves and plant lights (7) and hundreds of trees.
            This gives me the flexibility to over water my starts (in 20 oz cups with fafard #52 and 75% perlite) which are in large tupperware type containers with plexiglass tops.
            I used to instal nozzles and drain the containers if needed but the vacuum system is far better and no risk of a leaky nozzle.
            I use a large plant sprayer to water and keep cuttings hydrated.
            This method has been very efficient for me.
            It takes about an hour a day if I take my time and play. Half that if in a hurry.

            Every year my perlite percentage seems to go up as does my success rate.

            I think there are several ways that work very well and I don't claim mine is the best.

            I have, however, stopped using any sphagnum moss and I soak my cuttings in water for extended periods (water must be changed EVERY DAY or an air stone must be added)..
            I have had only one cutting this year that developed unwanted fungus and it was exposed to S moss while stored in a refrigerator.

            I do fertilize the cuttings after they develop roots. I let the cuttings sit in several inches of water after I fertilize but vacuum the water out the next day.

            I have not had fungus mites so far but if I see them I use both dunks and nematodes along with yellow sticky paper to combat.

            Good luck,
            ETC.
            mgg

            Thanks for the great advice MGG, the wet/dry vac in 5 gallon bucket is a great idea, I might pick it up soon. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bucket-He...0100/202017218

            I guess i am on the same boat as you, need to just dedicate time every time i water. I just spent about 30 minutes watering my 44 plants in pots and cups with floralacious plus.
            May the Figs be with you!
            ​​​​​

            Comment


            • mgginva
              mgginva commented
              Editing a comment
              You're welcome.
              If you get a good sized plant sprayer you can cut your time way down. I can water several hundred trees until mine needs to be re-filled. It is 5 litter and I expect my new 2 gallon one tomorrow. Then I'll be able to water every body in one shot. If you do buy a plant sprayer make sure it has a pressure release valve. My old (and now unused one) does not and it sucks.

            • BrooklynMatty
              BrooklynMatty commented
              Editing a comment
              I just picked up another pressure sprayer earlier today actually . I was going to use one of my others, but I got lazy and the labels fell off in storage . So I wasn't going to chance it when two out of three had round - up or Talstar-p. Definitely will cut down on time. Thanks again

          • #7
            I just bought one of these plant stands on craigslist and it came with these trays and grates I just water my plants put them on the grates and let them drain there the water goes into the pan and evaporates and gives a little humidity to the plants it's a win win situation The trays and grates are pretty expensive I'm trying to find some where to get the trays reasonable priced as far as the grates you can make the grates from fluorescent panels that go into dropped ceilings Home Depot sells them fairly cheap

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            • BrooklynMatty
              BrooklynMatty commented
              Editing a comment
              Sweet setup dave! I like those solid pans, so much better than flimsy plastic. I actually linked the fluroscent panel things in 1st post, probably next year though. I'll post my current work around tomorrow, I have a metal basket I am using.
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