David Ahrens

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David Ahrens last won the day on July 12 2017

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    Essex, UK
  • Interests
    CP's, photography.

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  1. I have tried to grow my venus fly trap seeds several times and and each time they grow mold on them before they even sprout. What is going on? I have good luck with growing most drosera....but dionea is eluding me. Should I apart them with neem so no mold grows?

  2. Just repotted VFT's in coir.

    I get my coir from Garden Direct, through the post, the postage is not expensive. I bought my last lot from their nursery near Welwyn Garden City, but that is miles from you. I usually buy 8 bricks at a time. Make sure you get unfertilized bricks. You can tell because the fertilized ones have green flecks in them. There are other suppliers but I have used Garden Direct in the past and find it reliable. You don't have to soak it before use. It is free of salt. The bricks are dried and compressed and you put them with water for a while. They just swell up and each brick makes about a washing up bowl of damp coir. I think that the address for mail order is near Nazeing, Herts, but I am not sure. Just do a search for Garden Direct on Google. The more bricks you buy, the cheaper it gets.
  3. Granite Grit

    It's good stuff, this granite grit. I have recently bought the RHS branded lime-free sharp sand. I haven't done the fizz test so I hope it is alright. I am not totally convinced that a bit of lime in the sand does any harm, I think it is possible that hard water is the real killer.
  4. 2018 ICPS Conference

    It's not some Sarracenia, it's all Sarracenia that are on the Cities list. Most are CITIES 2, but S.oreophila and S.rubra alabamensis are CITIES 1. I could be wrong as lists change from time to time. Getting lucky at the airport is not a very reliable way of doing things. All this is not the responsibility of the show organisers, you should know the rules before you go. If you get caught with plants illegally, you will only give the hobby a bad name. Personally, I would go and just enjoy the conference and not get too hung up on plants which you could import any time at your leisure.
  5. Just repotted VFT's in coir.

    I have tried this mix years ago in my brand of trusted coir and it was fine. It seems to be the Melcourt that they don't like. I know that Annette Bell did trials in Melcourt and they were OK, so I don't know what I did wrong.
  6. 2018 ICPS Conference

    I think that you will find that you need a CITIES certificate and phytosanitary certificate. It is going to very difficult to get these with only a few days to get them.
  7. Sarracenia Alata seed germinating

    Slightly unusual, they don't usually pop up until the Spring. Good luck with them through the Winter.
  8. Chelsea 2018

    Just letting you know that the Carnivorous Plant Society has managed to get in Chelsea this year. If anyone is interested in manning the stand, contact Steve Cottell through the CPS website. Chelsea is always the week before the Spring bank holiday Monday at the end of May. The dates are Tuesday 22nd May 2018 to Saturday 26th May.
  9. I have just repotted 12 VFT's in 2 parts coir to 1 of the usual sand. I hope that this more successful than the Melcourt mix which they were in last year. I have used this brand of coir before with success. The corms were very small, not what I would expect for a year's growth. I will probably let everyone know how I get on.
  10. Vitax Irish peat

    Thanks Alexis, mind you, if they put 100 % tax on peat, it still wouldn't be that expensive. I was at Garden Directs nursery a few days ago and I bought 12 coir bricks for £24. Coir is still a bit more expensive than peat. It does come down in price the more you buy, and that is with most coir suppliers.
  11. Vitax Irish peat

    Alexis, is peat being banned or not. I am still none the wiser. Couldn't read the link. you have to sign in or subscribe and I just couldn't be bothered.
  12. Vitax Irish peat

    Hurry up everyone. It is rumoured that you won't be able be buy peat from 2020 as a n amateur. It's really about time that growers started using the alternatives before you get caught out.
  13. I've probably gone and put this in the wrong box but it the most read bit on the forum.. The ICPS conference is going to be held in Santa Rosa, California. The dates for the conference are 3rd to 5th August 2018. There is a spare day on the 6th. On the 7th there is a field trip to see Darlingtonia and various other CP's. I got my details from the ICPS newsletter and I am not quite sure about what day is the final day for the field trip. I did make a mess some years ago when booking the Sidney conference. I booked my Airmiles flight early and had to move things around at the conference as I had to go early, so I am reluctant to book anything yet.
  14. Geoffrey Taylor

    Thanks Nigel, I was beginning to think that I was the only person who remembered Geoff. Before I got married to Sue, I used to spend Saturday evenings round Geoff's and we would talk and talk over a coffee all evening, although Geoff would often like something a little stronger. Geoff was brought up in north London and went to Latimer School, the same school as Bruce Forsyth, and very close to the same years. Geoff didn't know Brucie at the time. Geoff did national service and was based at a RAF base in Glouceshire. The sergeant major would wake them all up each morning shouting "Hands off cocks put on socks". American aircraft would sometimes be looking for the airbase but could be a little lost so they would transmit by radio so that the airbase could get a fix on the aircraft and give it instructions. The pilots would say " I don't want her, you can have her, she's too fat for me" over and over again until the groundcrew got a fix. On the day of leaving the airbase, Geoff and the others were lined up along the railway platform. The train was coming in with the new recruits on board. The sergeant major shouted "OK men, lets show them how it is done" and had them all lined up. Someone thought, sod it what can he do to us now, They had to let them go, there wasn't enough room in the barracks for everyone. So the line started swaying like one of those Chinese dragons. The sergeant shouted"This is mutiny" but there was nothing he could do about it. Anyway, I am sure that you don't want to here hear any more rubbish, it's not about CP's. I just thought that I would share a few memories about Geoff.
  15. I am just informing the forum that Geoffrey Taylor, who lived in High Easter, Essex, sadly died on 24th October 2017. Geoff was very keen on carnivorous plants and was quite well known in the Society. The first Kathleen Pottinger Trophy was won by him with a superb S X Courtii. The funeral will be on the 8th December in the south chapel at Chelmsford Crematorium. There will be a gathering at the Punch Bowl pub afterwards, in High Easter.