[pleurothallid-l] High temperatures and low humidity
pondeeza at enternet.co.nz
Fri Aug 1 21:42:12 EDT 2003
These are not great problems for us here in NZ. I realise there are
not many places in the USA with climates like us. I correspond with
several growers around your country and though I've been over a
couple of times its always around May so I've not experienced the
Kathy and Katie, I wondered if growing in hydroponic tanks would help
you in hot, dry weather?
I mentioned in my first posting that we grow some Masdevallias in
hydroponic tanks with Disas. They are in pots of 100% moss or
mixtures and do very well being fed regularly. See last posting. In
the winter months they are removed to sit on benches as they don't
like cold wet feet and tend to drop a few leaves. The tanks are on
Continuous Flow - ie in circulating water all the time. We use this
method so a small return tank of say 20 L or 4 gallons can be used
under the bench/tank. We could run them on Flood and Drain (or Ebb
and Flow) with a time clock on the pumps but the benches are so large
that a huge tank would be required under each bench. We have one
such as a comparison that has two 200 liter drums (2 x 45 gallons) on
their sides interconnected. For a small hobby collection either
method would be possible.
You will probably respond that the water in the hydroponic tank and
the reservoir will heat up quickly during high temperature periods.
Agreed, but what about this idea? I visited a hobby Disa guy in New
York who had purchased a small chest type deep freezer. He put his
reservoir bucket of water with the pump in it in the freezer. He put
a timer on the freezer to turn it on and off every 30 minutes so the
circulating water was chilled but not frozen! It worked well. Not
sure what he did in the winter. Probably turned the freezer off.
Square pots are used to fill the tank and stop the water being
exposed to the light which promotes algae. Empty areas have styrene
foam board floating ontop of the water to keep it cool and keep the
light out. Live moss can be piled around the tops of the pots to
give extra humidity.
Maybe this method can be modified for summer time high temperatures
for your beloved Massies? Depends how large you want to let your
collection grow to and how determined you are to grow them! I'm sure
a second hand freezer would be cheaper for you than for us!
Now I'll sit back and let the flak come in!
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