pwilson

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pwilson last won the day on January 30 2012

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About pwilson

  • Birthday 07/04/1958

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  1. Peat Question

    I'm pretty sure I bought the standard non-organic coir but I'm also pretty sure that it wasn't shrink wrapped so it's possible that their supplier has changed. I know this isn't a great deal of use but I've been using the stuff I bought for two years now with no adverse effects at all. Obviously it's better to get coir that's not got a high salt content but if you want to be certain just wash the coir before use. That's what Borneo Exotics do. I don't rate Moorland Gold BTW either. It's full of weed seeds (you can buy a heat treated version though) but mainly I don't like it because it's got a very fine texture and needs opening out with quite a bit of substrate. Phil
  2. Peat Question

    Hi Richard, I think I'd go for the compressed bricks. Not only are they easier to store and transport but you can rehydrate what you need. Buffering as I understand it, is simply a way to ensure the medium is set at a specific pH level. However, the buffered products don't actually say what pH they are buffered to. Much depends on your water as well. If you water is naturally acidic (i.e. soft) then you can probably get away without buffering the coir. I know a lot of commercial growers use coir use buffered products but usually it's buffered to a specific pH - 5.5 seems a good one for most CPs. This company do sell acidifing products and I'd be tempted to use this in conjunction with a pH meter to set your growing media to a a specific pH. Alternatively chopped live sphagnum does an excellent job of acidifying the product. I tend to use this most of the time. It's pretty easy to get, will last ages in storage, and it will grow if you use it in a mix so you have a never ending supply. The key here is to experiment - and only do it on surplus plants initially. So don't be tempted to repot your prize Sarracenia in a coir mix right away! Another seller that I've used on ebay is this one - http://myworld.ebay....=p2047675.l2559 They sell a lot of coco fibre products, though it doesn't look as if they ship to Ireland. In particular I like their coarse coco fibre and the coarse coco chips which are both excellent products. The coco chips absorb and hold a lot of water without actually getting soggy. If you can find an Irish supplier these are worth looking at. Phil
  3. Peat Question

    Richard, I just buy the regular stuff. It looks as if you are right that they don't delivery to Ireland. That's a pain - though it's always worth sending an email to them to see if they can quote you. I've never understood how it can be one rate to Northern Ireland and another to the south! I'd offer to ship some on for you but I think the delivery costs are likely to be more than the cost of the coir. Maybe they have a local distributor. Worth asking definitely. Phil
  4. Peat Question

    Dave, Are you saying your wife has a bigger collection of Sarracenia than you! I think you should pull your finger out, blow the dust off your cheque book and go out and buy some from Mike King. I'm sure he's got some spares he can let you have cheap. :-) I found the same thing as you when I tried coir some years ago - that it breaks down quite quickly and turns into a nasty sludge. I think this is at least partly down to the quality of the coir. Certainly what I've got from Fertile Fibre seems remarkably resistant to breaking down. The first Sarracenia I tried in it was two years ago and it's still going strong. You can buy the small blocks of coir from Fertile Fibre btw. I don't have much of a collection these days either but I use the coir to make up potting mix for my veggies too. Phil
  5. Peat Question

    Richard, A new thread on what grows well in coir is a great idea. For the record I have Darlingtonia, Sarracenia, Nepenthes and VFT all growing very nicely in coir. Last year I tried an experiment using coir and coir chunks which has been a great success. The coir chunks act to open the soil up but they also hold a lot of water without becoming soggy. I've also been using a coarse fibrous form of coir which has also given good results. I think the quality of coir available now is probably a lot better than it used to be. I tried some quite a few years ago and it was dreadful stuff which started to rot after a few months. The plants hated it. Phil
  6. Peat Question

    Dave et al, Buying your coir in small blocks can work out expensive. I buy mine from Fertile fibre. A large block will hydrate to 70l which is the equivalent of a small bag of peat. You do need something quite large to soak something this size in though. I use an old plastic dustbin. Even so, buying these large blocks singly is a bit expensive but if you get a few at a time the price drops dramatically. Even buying two drops the price from £10 each to £7.44. Get four block and the price is a very reasonable £5.60 each. These prices are inclusive of postage too. It's got to be worth a few local growers getting together and putting in a bulk order. I don't grow many plants these days but I'm only just on my second of the two blocks I bought last year. Phil
  7. Peat Question

    Really? I never knew this. Do you have anymore details such as where and when it was put there (or discovered anyway). Does the plant thrive under the Irish sun and rain? Phil
  8. Peat Question

    Nigel - we always try to educate. If that doesn't work then we treat peat users like criminals. :-) I think the point about conservation is that its far better to conserve the environment the plants grow in than just the plants. We often forget that carnivorous plants are not the only species that grow in peat bogs. Well I do anyay... Peat bogs are host to a wonderful and complex array of flora and fauna which are completely destroyed when the peat is extracted. Phil (The peat anarchist!)
  9. Peat Question

    I don't use peat. Haven't done so for a couple of years now and haven't missed it at all. I think I find being refered to as a "peat fascist" very offensive! Phil
  10. To fill in a few more details on this. When the new website was being developed it was always our intention to add in an online members' database. This has many advantages for the committee, and in particular, the membership secretary but it also has some significant advantages for individual members. On line databases do not come cheap because usually they are developed from scratch rather than bought as an off the shelf package. When the website was being developed we did not have the funds to do both at the same time. What I'm not entirely sure about is what you want from a members' only area. This is important because after the last committee meeting I have been asked to start the ball rolling on the database. What the database will do is allow members to log on to their own record and make changes, renew their membership and so on. Eventually it will probably be linked to the seed bank showing past orders, current seed allowance remaining and so on. This may cost too much to implement at this stage though. On line databases tend to be quite expensive and depending on the development costs, this might be something to add later. It would be useful at this stage to see what other expectations are to see if any of them can be incorporated into the project. Phil
  11. I think the lidless plant is the marmite of the Sarracenia world. You either love it or hate it! I like marmite too... :-) I had two completely separate clones of this type of plant. One originated from a batch of seeds (I think it was rubra ssp jonesii x flava but don't quote me on that one). This plant produced heavily veined pitchers but they never formed properly the pitcher being flattened. I think I got the clone pictured from Graham Sadd, many years ago. As I recall, this was also a chance seedling so something must have been in the air around then. Alex - why have you put a c.v. after my cultivar name? It's not needed. The use of single inverted commas indicates that this is a published and registered cultivar. This plant was from a batch of seed custom ordered from Phil Sheridan. The parentage is S. flava var atropurpurea x S. rubra ssp jonesii. I selected this clone because it gets so dark and the cultivar names specifically refers to the nectar drops that form in the throat of the pitcher - almost like tears! The S oreophila x (minor x purpurea) hybrid was one of three plants that were the first I bought from Alan Hindle - many many years ago. I agree that it's a much better plant than it looks in the picture. Take a better photo next time Alex! And finally that catesbaei which is a stunning plant - and I'm not exactly mad on hybrids either! The purpurea parent is S. purpurea ssp venosa var burkii, hence the pink flowers in the hybrid. It's a strong grower but divides incredibly slowly so if you want a piece I'd get your advance orders in with Alex now... Phil
  12. I thought the unknown flava might be the old Slack cross, flava red tube x alata red lid but having looked at the pic on my computer instead of my phone I'm not so sure. I think it might be a plant from a cross I made of two of my best var atropurpurea clones from the Blackwater State forest. The seedlings were quite varied with some coming up lightly veined and others solid red and lots of variation in between. How tall does the alata get Alex? I had a whole load of seedlings from the White's Crossing site in Mississippi where the plants are incredibly varied ranging from all green through red lid and various forms of heavy vein, red tube and black tube all with pubescent and glabrous forms.So that's the most likely candidate though without any specific location data it's just another pubescent red tube unfortunately! Generally the only way to get full colour in these plants is to move to somewhere that gets some sun. Not here - not this year at least! I've never seen a true black tube alata though some get very close (in Mike's greenhouse for instance). And that purple tube flava from Holley is about as good as I've ever seen it. Phil
  13. New CPS Website

    There are no plans to have a members only section at the moment. To be honest it just created masses of work for Dennis who had to deal with the mound of emails every day from members who had forgotten their password. And also I feel that what we have on offer should be available to all anyway. When we bring in the online database there will be an area where the member can log on to get his or her details. Mainly this will be account details so for instance they will be able to update postal and email addresses. We may have a secure download area there for things like past journals and plantas but at the moment we don't even have these to scan in. The database will also tidy up the seedbank a bit. At the moment you can only order a maximum of 6 packets of seed but there is no check on previous orders so you could for instance place an order for 6 packets in April and another 6 packets in September. Naturally Sheila, our seedbank manager will be up on this and won't allow a thing through! When we bring in the database this will keep a history of past orders so members will not only be able to check on what they've had in the past, but the system will only allow them to order up to their annual allocation. It'll also mean that Sheila will be able to go into members accounts and make seed bank adjustments to allow for the additional packets scheme. Phil Phil
  14. I am pleased to announce that we have finally completed the new CPS website which is now officially live, though in practice, it might take a few hours to propagate the site around the various servers. This site has been long in development, way longer than me or any of the other committee members, the beta testers and indeed the developer had imagined! But I believe we have now a fantastic, up to date and informative site that will take us forward. New features on the site include a history section, online membership, a shop where you can order assorted CPS related stuff, the Seedbank which now has online ordering built in. There is a links section and a brief but informative selection on cultivation, plus an events page and along the bottom of the site a news ticker. The only things remaining are some relative links that I know will need updating and which can only be done once the site has gone live - so if you find any in the next couple of days please don't tell me as I'm probably in the process of sorting them! This is what I have been referring to phase one. Phase two will be to incorporate an online database which will allow us to do cool things like renew online, check memberships, check on past seed and CPS product orders and so on. I don't have a date for phase two but it should be within the next 18 months, depending on when we can secure funding. Phil
  15. The chicken or the egg?

    Adrian, I'm slightly confused - isn't the PVB luteola antho free anyway? I'm pretty sure the seedlings I sent you originated from Christien Klein though not directly from him so they wouldn't actually be luteoa anyway since this is a cultivar. I may be wrong of course! Christien had a chance appearance of antho free seedlings in his greenhouse. I'm pretty sure the seed was from his own plants though I can't be certain of this. Also I've no idea whether the plants in question had produced normal seed before or if they are/were in fact heterozygous for antho free. Jumping to one of Dave's posts - this is one of a number of reported spontaneous occurances of antho free Sarracenia that has occured in cultivation here in Europe. There is one other grower in the UK who found an antho free S. flava though as I understand it, it came in with a batch of other plants from an unnamed/unknown grower. Phil