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Discuss fertilization techniques here. For advanced growers only!

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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  3492
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...
Untitled.jpg
Untitled.jpg (43.5 KiB) Viewed 4637 times
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!!!
IMG_5542 (Custom).JPG
IMG_5542 (Custom).JPG (302.94 KiB) Viewed 4637 times
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:  3492
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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By VFTnoob94
Posts:  19
Joined:  Wed Jan 04, 2023 10:46 pm
#428636
Intheswamp wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:12 am 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...
Untitled.jpg
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!!!
IMG_5542 (Custom).JPG
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:
How did it end up going?
Did the Maxsea fertilizer affect the small VFTs you used on it, did they survive or obtain burns?
Did you measure the PPM of the Maxsea fertilizer before applying it to your plants?
Did you notice a lot of algae or moss growth?
User avatar
By VFTnoob94
Posts:  19
Joined:  Wed Jan 04, 2023 10:46 pm
#428637
You also did your Maxsea fertilizer with a concentration of 1 tsp: 1 gallon (Based on your excel sheet).
But isn't it recommended to only use 1/4 tsp: 1 gallon?
So the equation would have been 1/4 tsp (16.9 oz) / 128 oz= .033 or 3.3% of Maxsea
User avatar
By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  3492
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#428645
VFTnoob94 wrote: Sun Jan 15, 2023 6:43 am How did it end up going?
Did the Maxsea fertilizer affect the small VFTs you used on it, did they survive or obtain burns?
Did you measure the PPM of the Maxsea fertilizer before applying it to your plants?
Did you notice a lot of algae or moss growth?
Well, I feed them irregularly, at best. Probably monthly, feeding one or two traps on each plant depending on its size. I've seen no ill effects from using Maxsea. No, I didn't measure the TDS of the fertilizer. I am careful with the feedings so not a lot of excess fertilizer gets on the grow mix...I've seen very little algae/moss growth.
User avatar
By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  3492
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#428646
VFTnoob94 wrote: Sun Jan 15, 2023 7:00 am You also did your Maxsea fertilizer with a concentration of 1 tsp: 1 gallon (Based on your excel sheet).
But isn't it recommended to only use 1/4 tsp: 1 gallon?
So the equation would have been 1/4 tsp (16.9 oz) / 128 oz= .033 or 3.3% of Maxsea
Heck, I probably messed up somewhere which will drive the OCD in me slap crazy (crazier :mrgreen: )...

Remember, I made a stock/concentrated solution...not a working solution in the spread sheet.

I *think* I made bottle of concentrated solution with a ratio of 1-teaspoon of Maxsea to 1-gallon of distilled water solution. This saves storage space for me in the refrigerator as I've got a 500ML bottle full of stock solution sitting there, rather than a gallon jug. When I use it I dilute it down to 1/4-teaspoon strength....mix it 1:3.

Here's a quote of my original text of how I use the concentrated solution:
Intheswamp wrote: 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!!!
So far I've used almost 1/2 of a 2oz bottle of the diluted/working solution. As for the spreadsheet, I think its correct...at least for my warped logic it is. ;)
User avatar
By VFTnoob94
Posts:  19
Joined:  Wed Jan 04, 2023 10:46 pm
#428654
Awesome, thanks for the update.

I will be applying some Maxsea today with a triangular foam 'dab' method to reduce overspray. My concentration is resulting in 60 ppm (using Distilled water measuring at 0 ppm).
I will post updates as necessary.
Intheswamp liked this
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By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  3492
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#428733
How did the Maxsea application go? What was your final solution recipe? I just can't see myself using a foam pad to apply the Maxsea with...I will be interested in how it turned out for you. Got a picture of your "dabber"?

The bottle and luer needle allows me to precisely put one small drop of Maxsea solution in a trap or on a leaf...and works great with feeding sundews and dropping a bit inside small pitchers, too. Now that you've got me thinking about it, I might do some feeding today...it's probably been a couple of weeks since I last did. ;)
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