Growing Spaces – David

 

 

The Growing Space of David – Massachusetts

THE GROWING SPACE

Q Where in the world do you grow your plants?
~ Massachusetts, USA

Q How Large is your collection?
~ 41 varieties

Do you have a favorite type of African Violet? ~I favor double blooms and bicolors. Lyndon Lyons is my favorite hybridizer.
Q Is there one AV that you are seeking above all others?
~ A nice strain of Buckeye Extravaganza

Q How long have you been growing African Violets?
~ 6 years

Q Where do you grow your African Violets?
~ living room on a 4 ft wide by 6 ft tall stand

LIGHTING

Q What type of light do your African Violets receive?
~ Currently 4 ft. T8 flourescents – switching to 4 ft. LED lamps soon

Q How many hour a day do your plants receive light?
~ 10

WATERING

Q What type of water do you use?
~ carbon filtered tap water (am fortunate to live in an area with soft water)

Q What type of fertilizer do you use?
~ Better-Gro Orchid Plus 20-14-13 and Better Bloom 11-35-15 (urea free)

Q What watering methods do you use?
~ Water from the top, every pot has an individual tray that is emptied a half hour after thorough watering.

AIR

Q What are the temperatures like where you grow?
~ Room temperature – 65-70 in winter, 70-75 in summer

Q What is the humidity of your plant area?
~ Always under 50% – I have an air conditioner and dehumidifier in my apartment. The violets still grow well with 40-50% humidity.

Q Any additional information you would like in the posting?
~I have been growing violets for about 6 years. I have tried over 200 varieties since I have been in the hobby. I only keep those that really impress me and currently have 41 varieties.

Like a lot of growers, my shelves are usually crowded. ( I know Annie has a pet peeve about that!) I normally grow on 3 shelves but over the winter I cut all my violets down and kept them on 2 shelves. The picture of my stand was taken a couple weeks ago when almost all of them were in bloom at the same time.

I currently have 4 minis, 10 semi minis and 27 standards. To maximize the number of varieties I grow on limited shelf space, I usually keep my standards in 3″ pots and keep them to a small size by removing outer leaves when they get too big. I recently repotted 10 of my larger standards into 4″ pots and will allow them to grow bigger now that I am going to 3 shelves again.

I am about to replace my fluorescent fixtures with LED fixtures from Costco. I am using 5000k flourescent bulbs but the LED bulbs will be slightly warmer (4000k) and have fewer lumens. The electricity savings (about 50%) is what is motivating me to switch to LEDs.

 

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