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Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers

Moderator: Matt

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By andynorth
Posts:  1197
Joined:  Fri May 12, 2023 9:08 pm
Curious to see how often everyone flushes their media by top watering. I have taken to cleaning my media by flushing it until I have a TDS reading under 40 PPM. A couple weeks ago I transplanted some of my Sundews. Suddenly about a week ago I noticed a few were not doing so well. I at first contributed it to shock but 2 days ago I find 3 have completely died and my Birds nest sundew is barely hanging on. I was stumped as the media, LSFM, Peat and and perlite is the same I use for my Sars and they do fine. I have not had issues like this before so I was stumped. I pull out the ol' trusty TDS meter and low and behold, the water was roughly at about 165 PPM. Not sure if this is too much or not but at this point it is the only thing I can hope it was. I then decided to test my other pots and one of my Sundew pots came in over 250 and their health was diminishing fast. I pulled all my plants from the greenhouse and did a complete flushing of the media until it was under 40 PPM again. This baffled me as I do not top water and have added nothing to the media. After a bit of research on the Internet I come to find out that too much heat can cause the PPM to rise. My greenhouse stays between 83F to 86F degrees and roughly 80% humidity. I can not see how that would cause a rise in PPM but not sure what else it could be. So, has anyone else ever experienced this?
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By ChefDean
Posts:  9066
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
I typically do mine once a year, but I primarily use rain water. When rain is scarce, I'm lucky enough to be able to just turn the hose on them. My TDS will easily get up into triple digits, but my tap water is low in sodium, calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc., so I can get away with it.
Just because your TDS gets high, doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. It really depends more on what that TDS is compromised of.
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