The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - Rainmix
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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Its an interesting question. Ammonium nitrate will decompose by oxidation over time. Granular compound fertilisers are pretty stable while they are in solid form, but once they get wet then the various compounds may interact and breakdown. Low pH will probably increase the speed of breakdown too.

I've struggled to find much data on this topic, and its difficult to know without knowing the compounds in rainmix.


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:39 pm 
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orchidman wrote:
Rainmix is indeed very hygroscopic - but that seems normal for any powdery fertilizers if left open. I ran a 12 month trial for another (commercial and expensive) non-orchid fertilizer which has the same qualities if left open. I use two different strengths 15-5-15 for six months then 12-5-20 for flowering and they have produced dramatic results for the way I grow my plants. That said, everyone to their own, and I know that Rainmix is very carefully formulated for orchid culture and is an excellent product for orchid plants using rain water.

Richard
The commercial fertiliser you are using is so so cheap compared to Rainmix and the results you are experiencing is what one would expect from a global nutrition company.
Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:39 am 
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tom499 wrote:
once they get wet then the various compounds may interact and breakdown. Low pH will probably increase the speed of breakdown too.
I've struggled to find much data on this topic, and its difficult to know without knowing the compounds in rainmix.

I've dumped the remaining Rainmix (now paste not powder!), it may not have done any harm to continue using it, but may no longer be doing any good either?

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:32 pm 
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Spot on, Brian.


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:08 pm 
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Hey, just wanted to jump in on the “Rain Mix” topic with a question....did anyone using the old formula that turned pink have issues with root tip burn and salt accumulations in the media? Don’t know if you follow YouTube vloggers, but several orchid growers, myself included, suffered similar issues with it. Complaints were made, videos showing the damage and a general consensus that the product had only been tested on an industrial level in greenhouses and not on a small scale for the individual Home grower. Soon thereafter, the formula was modified, it no longer changes color when mixed and seems to be significantly improved, yet the company made no mention of the problem, the change, nor the results, but who cares? As long as the shit works....right? ;))


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:20 am 
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orchidudeBcn wrote:
did anyone using the old formula that turned pink have issues with root tip burn and salt accumulations in the media? Don’t know if you follow YouTube vloggers, but several orchid growers, myself included, suffered similar issues with it. Complaints were made, videos showing the damage and a general consensus that the product had only been tested on an industrial level in greenhouses and not on a small scale for the individual Home grower. Soon thereafter, the formula was modified, it no longer changes color when mixed and seems to be significantly improved, yet the company made no mention of the problem, the change, nor the results, but who cares? As long as the shit works....right? ;))

Hi,

Strange that I also had something to add to this Post today? (separate Post following)

I didn't realise there had been a minor "backlash" against Rainmix on-line but then I wouldn't have been looking for it because I hadn't suffered any of the problems you mentioned, either before or after they changed the formula, and even if I did, I wouldn't really be confident to identify Rainmix (or any other product) as the culprit, could other factors cause these issues and be responsible?
If the formula was all made up to the same ratios (except for the quantities), I don't understand why there should have been a difference in the results whether tested on 1,000 phals in an industrial greenhouse or the 1 phal sitting on my window-sill?
I was quite happy with it and my only problem was its turning to slop after a while and only being able to obtain it mail-order.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:35 am 
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:think: Is it a coincedence that since dumping Rainmix about a month ago (only because of its condition) and using Miraclegro since then, the following have all started to produce spikes:

Aerangis citrata x fastuosa (bought in flower in March this year)
Ascocentrum pusillum
Baptistonia echinata
Bulbophyllum makoyanum
Cirrhopetulum lepidum
Neostylis 'Blue Moon' (first spike)
Renanthera monachica (first time with 2 spikes :dance: )


Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:42 am 
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stevek wrote:
:think: Is it a coincedence that since dumping Rainmix about a month ago (only because of its condition) and using Miraclegro since then, the following have all started to produce spikes:Steve


Ahh that unanswerable question, whatever the reason I can feel some pics coming along in a month or two 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:25 am 
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cricketerry wrote:
I can feel some pics coming along in a month or two 8-)


Hope so !....some lovely blurry, out of focus ones no doubt ! :(

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:12 pm 
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I have used Rainmix but not for the past two years or so. Since then I feed very sparingly without the use of commercial orchid fertilizers. I use, in varying quantities and at infrequent intervals, phostrogen, tomorite, seaweed extract and calcium nitrate and always at a pH of between 5pH and 6.5pH. I also use Epsom salts at 180ppm once per month. My plants seem to be OK so I am changing nothing.
Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:58 pm 
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I am now trying to fertilise more regularly (once a month) with rainmix, and I picked up seaweed extract this week. Its not really a fair experiment as I now have an LED set up, but I'm hoping a general improvement in care and conditions will see a boost in growth and flowering.


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:18 pm 
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tom499 wrote:
I am now trying to fertilise more regularly (once a month) with rainmix, and I picked up seaweed extract this week. Its not really a fair experiment as I now have an LED set up, but I'm hoping a general improvement in care and conditions will see a boost in growth and flowering.



The best calcium by far is calcium nitrate. Bought in granular form and watered to your plant at around 6.5pH and a tds of no more than 220tds ( this is what I use and it seems to work ) will ensure that the roots will be capable of taking up their required nutrients.

Ed.


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:11 am 
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Ah man. I was just getting my head around Epsom salts, and now I learn I should apply extra calcium nitrate too. For tissue culture I just use set compounds and I know what is in, and how much. My big problem with most fertilisers is they don't want to share this information.

As a PhD student of Plant biology (I deal mostly with plant tissue culture so applying all this is much more simple in a sterile culture than a pot!) I am realising my hobby and my career are closer than I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:00 pm 
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orchidudeBcn wrote:
a general consensus that the product had only been tested on an industrial level in greenhouses and not on a small scale for the individual Home grower. Soon thereafter, the formula was modified, it no longer changes color when mixed and seems to be significantly improved, yet the company made no mention of the problem, the change, nor the results


Just a small clarification, the change you refer to was made well before these 'complaints', so the 2 are not linked in any way whatsoever.

My dad answered question after question of the 2 or 3 individuals that contacted us directly and explained at length fertilizer basics, some base components/products used, the actual change made (long before these questions were raised, we'd of course love for everyone to use a 1 kg tub per month and not have a 2+ year old product sitting on their shelves, but such is life ;) please don't misinterpret what I say here, it is not because it was 2+ or so years old that it was bad, in fact we never ever experienced rootburn as shown by them on our thousands of plants), how we water our orchids, etc.
He even provided tips and pointers to improve their orchid culture in general but in the end I recall we agreed with 1 individual to politely disagree and the other individual just didn't want to listen to anything we explained :D

Nice to hear that our 700m² greenhouse has been promoted to 'industrial level greenhouse testing ground', in a way true... we are after all part of the orchid industry but we are still quite small when compared to the hectares of greenhouse space in the Netherlands.
The local, belgian amateurs who also trialled our RAIN MIX in the beginning had greenhouses of normal proportions and all of us who trialled RAIN MIX had mixed orchid collections ranging from salt-sensitive plants to the heavy feeders and anything in between, potted plants, mounted plants, bareroot plants, you name it.

The colour change you refer to is caused by the iron in the RAIN MIX formula.
Iron has been part of the original formula (version 1) and still is part of the so-called 'new formula' (version 2, which by the way we sell for several years already) you refer to. Over the years we have simply replaced the type/form used, the pink colouration is however still present.

PS: I only visit the forum rarely nowadays, too much work in the greenhouse!

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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:30 am 
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If you say so ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:36 pm 
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For what it is worth here are my comments on rainmix.
I have used rain mix for the past few years and have had no issues with it at all.
It is extremely hygroscopic and turns into a solid lump fairly quickly.
I sort this by shaking the plastic tub every time I need some. This dislodges enough to fill the small blue plastic measure that I use in every normal bucket of water used for the cattleyas and phragmipediums. I have also used it when it has been a slurry with no issues.
This level of feed is very low, maybe quarter rate but works very well for all my orchids.
I use it year round for everything.
This feed transformed my orchid growing indoors which went from very hit and miss to pretty good.
David


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:32 am 
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monocotman wrote:
I have used rain mix for the past few years and have had no issues with it at all.
I have also used it when it has been a slurry with no issues.

I agree with David, I had no problems with it either apart from the 'turning to slurry' and ordering on-line only.
I haven't seen any noticeable difference in my plants between using different brands.
There are more positive than negative reviews on Rainmix so if it was readily available at my local garden centre, I'd probably still be using it.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:04 pm 
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The slurry thing was when I left it in the greenhouse with the top off in a humid environment.
I have solved the solid block thing overnight by leaving it on the boiler with the top open half a turn.
It has now broken up nicely into small bits.
For me rain mix is a really good base line.
I have managed to improve my Phragmipedium culture since starting to use it.
Maybe because I use a very low rate of feed the leaves of some of the large very quick growing plants were a bit pale. I solved this by adding growstones to the water in which the pots sat.
This may add extra mg or ca or si, I am not sure but it greened up the plants.
This summer I have also found that adding long strands of sphagnum moss as a top dressing to the pots aids growth, especially root growth. This really helped the growth of the seedlings. There are roots threading their way through the top dressing all over the place,
David


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:43 pm 
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phraggy wrote:
I have used Rainmix but not for the past two years or so. Since then I feed very sparingly without the use of commercial orchid fertilizers. I use, in varying quantities and at infrequent intervals, phostrogen, tomorite, seaweed extract and calcium nitrate and always at a pH of between 5pH and 6.5pH. I also use Epsom salts at 180ppm once per month. My plants seem to be OK so I am changing nothing.
Ed


Ed, i am interested to hear that your ph is as low as 5. i usually keep it between 6.5 and 7.5. is that too high in your opinion?? isn't 5 too acidic? thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Rainmix
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:12 pm 
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We keep the pH at 5.7 (and have done so for decades as far as I know) which is pretty much in line with the common recommendation (pH range of 5.5 to 6.5 ) which you find at places like Floricultura etc.
Yes, some orchids may like a more acid pH (e.g. Coryanthes) while others may prefer a more neutral or basic pH, but whenever you have a mixed orchid collection you have to make the best possible choice...

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