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Discuss fertilization techniques here. For advanced growers only!

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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  578
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#417468
This was my first time fertilizing with this setup and thought I'd share. I'm a rank newbie, so take things with a grain of salt. :mrgreen:

I've got a very small group of plants...I've got eight 5" or larger pots with three of those being flytraps that are at the most probably 5/16" in leaf spread. The other large pots have larger flytraps and sundews in them. I've also got some smaller 3-1/2" pots with a few sundew seedlings growing and several with plantlets (barely visible) growing in them. My Maxsea needs are minimal with some of the plants being really small plants needing a small application.

Rather than syringes I opted for a 2-ounce squeeze bottles with 32-gauge "Luer" needles. I bought a kit of five bottles that came iwth 18-gauge blunt needles and added the 32-gauge blunt needles. I have one bottle filled with Maxsea working strength mix and another bottle with distilled water in it. Once I finished fertilizing the plants I swapped the needles between the two bottles and rinsed the "used" needle with the distilled water, squeezing several jets of water through it. The Maxsea bottle ended up having a fresh, clean needle on it and the distilled one a well-rinsed needle. The next time I fertilize I'll swap the needles again, thus keeping the needles rinsed and ready to use.

I didn't want a gallon jug sitting around for a couple of years so I used a 16.9oz/500ml drinking water bottle as my "concentrated" solution container. It appears that Maxsea has two standard strengths. One strength is 1 tablespoon per gallon for (roughly) bi-weekly feeding of *non-carnivorous* plants. The other strength is 1 teaspoon for constant fertilizing of *non-carnivorous" plants. It appears that people have tested, experimented, debated, and a basic 1/4-teaspoon of Maxsea 16-16-16 per gallon has become somewhat of the standard for *carnivorous* plants. So, that's what I shot for. Here's the spreadsheet that I used to figure my mixture...
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I may have goofed figuring this, so if you have questions or see a glaring problem please point it out to me or ask a question. ;) I ended up using 1/8-teaspoon, as it was the nearest measuring spoon I had to the amount of Maxsea determined by the spreadsheet. This is a little less than what the spreadsheet determined...which should be even more safe for a newbie (like me) to use.

With this concentrated Maxsea solution I then simply added 1-part of it to 3-parts distilled water...I used 1/2-ounce of the stock solution to 1-1/2-ounces of distilled water to make my working solution. I calculate that the 16.9oz bottle of stock solution should yield a tad over 1/2-gallon of diluted working solution. I store the 16.9oz bottle of concentrate and the 2oz bottles of distilled water (for rinsing the needles) and the working solution in the refrigerator...cold and dark...it oughta last longer than the refrigerator will!!!
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It is easy to tell the difference between the distilled water and the Maxsea working solution simply by the color. One thing I didn't like about the 32-gauge needle's were the lack of some type of protective cover. They're blunt tipped but still small and *could* in a weird accident pierce the skin, I would imagine. Plus, I didn't want my wife freaking out by seeing exposed needles in the garage refrigerator! :o So, I simply pinched a couple of pieces of Styrofoam off of an old cup and stuck the needles in them. I don't know whether the Styrofoam can clog the needles or not, but I'm going to find out. ;)

Anyhow, that's my convoluted, clear-as-mud, OCD-Me explanation of how I'm attempting to fertilizer(feed?) my plants. I have some tiny sundews that I'm holding off on using the Maxsea on, but I did put some on some very small flytraps. We'll see what happens! :D

Now, to iron out my FDBW feeding technique... :mrgreen:
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By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  578
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#417470
I need to add a lot of thanks to everybody here for your previous comments, posts, trials, experiments, etc., that I read over and based this little plan on! Also, specifically to MikeB for giving me some ideas recently!

Thanks to all!!!
Ed

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