MarkB

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MarkB last won the day on April 16 2016

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About MarkB

  • Birthday 10/20/1990

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    West Wales, Ceredigion, UK
  • Interests
    Carnivorous plants, Gardening, Mountain Biking, Gaming, Computers and wasting time on the internet!

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  1. Lost a couple plants this year in west wales. We had temps as low as -15c and with the wind factor this made for some really cold temperatures. Sarracenia's all survived outside but several of my fly traps and sundews crooked it and they were inside an unheated greenhouse. I also lost a drosera regia that i had been growing from seed the last few years.
  2. I'm going to look at setting up one of these micro hydro-electric generators so i can increase my power output as it doesnt seem like i can do much at all with 100W. I've heard good things about these pelton style wheels so probably going to go down that route. Need to research it all first and source parts so for me atleast the heating is going to be postponed for a while I did come across this earlier http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-300W-Portable-Car-Tungsten-Heater-Thermostat-Fan-Defroster-Demister-/371937147277?epid=883964974&hash=item56992e798d:g:g5QAAOSw~y9ZCFkN Not sure how efficient it would be at heating a large area like a greenhouse but it might be worth a try.
  3. Thanks Trev. Sounds like a fantastic setup you have there. I only have 100 watts of solar panels currently which i'm experimenting with. Off the top of my head they give around 8 amps when the sun comes around so i could possibly offload that into a heater of some sort... The mats i'm not sure will be up to the task as the plants will be in an unheated greenhouse so to expect them to raise the temp from freezing is probably expecting too much. The immersion type of heaters you can get seem more upto the task but at 300 watts they are going to be power monsters and certaintly wouldnt be feasable on my current setup. I do plan to add hydro and a wind generator to my setup but its just getting around to it all... I actually have a stream that turns to a river in winter so there could be some serious power to be harnessed there and i'm sure that would run a heater and more.
  4. Sorry my bad its a 120ah battery not mah that would be silly I already have the LEDs running off it on a 14 hour cycle and they have been perfectly fine. I just need to figure out how to sort the heating without going crazy on cost.
  5. I plan on going off grid using solar/wind and i'm just wondering if its practical to heat plants off 12v DC with a 120mah battery. My lights are all LEDs and run off 12v DC so they are fine and dont really consume much. In the winter months however it can drop to 35-40F here and i can see that being a major power issue. Currently on the mains i use a fish tank heater submerged in a couple inches of water and that does a fairly good job of maintaining temps at 75F. I could use an inverter to power it off 12V DC but i'm guessing this would drain the battery in a matter of hours not to mention inverters arent very efficient. One option i'm considering is heating wire/matts with foam insulation around the sides of the tank but i think i might be expecting too much to raise the temps from 35F to 75F. Has anyone managed to heat a tank using only 12v DC?
  6. Thanks i will let them go dormant then. I currently have them in an unheated conservatory so i think that will be fine as they are getting plenty of light and are sheltered from the elements. I will just give them the occassional light watering to prevent drying out like i do with my VFT's and Sarracenia's at this time of year.
  7. Its my first year trying pings and i have sucessfully grown a couple grandiflora from seed. I have already moved them to a cooler location under an 8 hour light cycle as my understanding is i should begin preparing them for Dormancy at this time of the year (October). BUT i am wondering if this is a mistake as they are not very big, tiny infact and i'm worried they wont survive. Would it be wiser to skip the first dormancy as its their first year or is the dormancy a sure requirement?
  8. I cant explain why but the remaining plants took to the red blue light. All but the D. binata and capensis which i have moved in to the poly tunnel to recover but from my understanding those plants required the least amount of light. The rest of the plants seem to be growing quite well and look healthy although i cant decide if they are more red looking or green so its very hard to judge.
  9. Well most of mine have started to put up flowers in the last week from the short laughable "heatwave" we had . Still very little going on with pitcher growth, only a couple of mine are sending up new ones so i hope something happens soon otherwise i will just have a pond of flowers. I've also noticed a couple plants are showing burn symptons on the new growth which is somewhat alarming. They will send up what look like perfectly normal pitchers and just as they start to develop heads they will turn brown and die. I'm hoping its just wind burn because its been pretty bad here coupled with cold temperatures in the evening but i cant be sure as its not affected all the plants, some plants are perfectly healthy (just slow).
  10. Thanks ada, i hope you are right. I know we always have bad weather in the UK but this year has got to be one of the worst. I cant remember it ever being this cold in May and my plants are usually well on with their growth by now.
  11. I'm starting to get a little worried about my plants, we are in May now and still no signs of warmer better weather for the UK. Supposedly a heat wave coming next week, yeah right... Its been an awful winter/year so far in the UK with a constant wind blowing and cold temperatures, and of course very little sun. Its averaging on 10c through the day where i am and dropping to 2c through the night. I dont know about others but my plants are looking awful, most look like they havent even come out of dormancy, and those that have tried to send up new growth have had the tips turn brown presumably from the cold. Even my hardy sarracenias which i grow outside all year round are looking terrible and are only just starting to show signs of new growth. I'm getting seriously worried because if we dont get some decent weather soon they look like they are going to croak it! I managed to bring some Drosera inside under lights earlier this year and out of my entire collection that is all i have that looks anything like decent. How are others coping with this terrible weather?
  12. Thanks for the warm welcome everyone :). Welshy i'm enjoying Wales although i'm not sure about the weather. I visited a few times before buying and the weather was always glorious, i even lived in Carmarthen for an entire year prior and all i can remember is beautiful sunny weather. Since i moved down here permanently though its not stopped blowing and raining. I get the feeling i was tricked
  13. Hi everyone, I've been lurking for a while and thought it was about time i introduced myself... I started growing Sarracenia in my early teens and it turned in to a bit of a hobby from there i guess. 15 years later and i'm still growing them, my Sarracenia collection has grown quite a bit in that time and i've added many drosera and dionnea plants to my collection which i enjoy just as much. I'm originally from Northern England, Cheshire, UK where i had limited space for growing but i recently moved to West Wales, UK (near to Tenby) and suddenly i have a lot more space, so much that i dont really know what to do with only to fill it with more plants. So you could say i'm expanding my collection . I've also again very recently invested in some LED lighting and i'm venturing in to growing plants under artificial lighting specifically LEDs which i have a bit of a fascination about. I'll post some pictures of my plants and experiments later in the year when they are growing. See you all around. Thanks MarkB!
  14. Had to take out a D. binata from the red blue light today its not looking well at all, started to droop over with no dew on the leaves so its back under the white light again. Still i'm not giving up on the red blue light, i'm leaving the D. alicae, capensis, rotundfolia and a couple others that are under it to see if they adjust at all. I've added 4 more strips of red blue so 6 strips in total, running at 36W with 162 red individual LEDS and 54 blue. I suspect i could probably go higher with the power but the LEDs arent rated so i'm not going to chance it. Will just see what happens now with the increased light. The remaining Drosera are looking extremely dewy which could be a sign of not enough light but they are also more red looking so its difficult to say whats happening.
  15. Interesting, were the neps still getting burnt or was there some other reason? I'm not familiar with neps but always wanted to try growing them. I didnt end up using my tank in the end because i decided it was only going to be temporary over winter so i just have the plants sat on an old worktop in containers of sorts waiting for the weather to improve. I'm using a slightly bigger area roughly 5ft x 30 and i have the light fixed to the ceiling so quite a distance away from the plants which is why i upped the voltage. The plants seemed to love it but i've now swapped a lot round to the blue red 20W set up where they are not doing as well although the drosera appear more dewy. I recently put some VFT under the white 60W and they came out of dormancy in a matter of just 2 weeks with traps fully formed now so i was quite amazed at that. Some sarracenia i put under the white arent doing so well, brown spots on new growth but they were not in too good shape when i brought them in, brown spots on all the new growth but i think thats just due to them being so wet from being outside and nothing to do with the light. Hopefully they will pick up soon. One problem i do have with the light is everything always wants to flower under it, i've already cut off a lot of flower stems which is where most of my cuttings have come from.