Tim Bailey

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  1. Dear all. An update on the ICPS 2016 Conference. Please note: you do not need to be a member of The CPS or of any other cp society to attend the Conference. Best wishes Tim ICPS Conference 2016: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew London Please note: the ICPS dates originally proposed have now changed. The Conference will now take place 5th to 7th August (Fri-Sun). A field trip to Down House, the home of Charles Darwin, is planned for Mon 8th August. There are no restrictions on numbers planned for this trip. The CPS expects to run a field trip between 10th and 12th of August. Tuesday 9th would be a travel day to the location. The field trip would take place in the New Forest area (Hampshire) and Dorset. The carnivorous plants, which would be seen growing in the wild are: Drosera rotundifolia Drosera intermedia Drosera anglica Drosera x eloisiana (previously named D. x belezeana) Drosera x obovata Utricularia minor Utricularia australis Utricularia stygia Utricularia intermedia Utricularia bremii Pinguicula lusitanica Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea Sarracenia purpurea ssp. f. heterophylla The trip will encompass some of the most beautiful countryside within Hampshire and Dorset, with the best cp sites selected from several years of study. Within the time available, we can look to run an excursion to Stonehenge if wanted and/or to a commercial nursery. There will be a restriction on the number of participants given the ecological sensitivity of many of the sites, but we will aim to be as flexible as we can on numbers. For instance, running two groups in reverse. The scientific lecture programme will span the 3 days of the Conference based around the general theme: The World of Carnivorous Plants. Details will follow, but our expectation is to provide a programme with a similar number of lectures and structure to the recent 2014 Cairns ICPS Conference. There will also be opportunities for Conference delegates to see cp material kept behind the scenes, such as Kew’s herbarium. It is likely Kew will run an additional public/scientific engagement carnivorous plant event a few days prior to and during the time of the Conference, e.g. from the Weds. Should this come to fruition then it would a substantial additional benefit to Conference visitors. With a very busy lecture programme, visiting a day or two earlier would give more opportunity to explore all the Kew has to offer and the other cp offerings under discussion. As is normal we have carnivorous plant displays and a seller’s area planned, within which our expectation is to assemble the greatest number of genera, species, forms and varieties ever presented. Assuming Kew’s extended cp activities happen, we would look to make the sellers and display available for those days too. This may even give us an opportunity to add in some bonus lectures. For those who like to plan well in advance we are sorry we can’t 100% guarantee Kew’s extra activities, but will endeavor to let you know ASAP. The customary evening meal is planned for the evening of the 6th August (Sat) at a venue (Italian - up to 120 places) within a very short walk of Kew. We are in detailed discussions with Kew on many specifics, which we will circulate ASAP as they are confirmed. It is too early for us to announce specific costs, such as the Conference fee, though we are working hard to keep any necessary charges to the bare minimum. Summary: Key ICPS 2016 Conference dates Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Duration: 5-7th August 2016 Evening meal: 6th August 2016 Down House Field Trip: 8th August 2016 CP Field Trip: 10-12th August 2016 If you have a query at this time please contact: http://www.thecps.org.uk/contact.php
  2. Hi Steve Sorting out a cover with Stew at the moment and as you say not yet posted on the Redfern site. Cost, please don't hold me to it, I'm guessing will be around £19.99. Cheers Tim
  3. Nice one Elvis I'm a frequent visitor to the New Forest and Dorset bogs. Keep an eye out for the forthcoming book on the Carnivorous Plants of Britain and Ireland (native and non-native cp's), which all going well will be available from late autumn via Redfern. We cover all the 13 native species (plus hybrids, etc), most of which can be found in The New Forest and Dorset, and will be as image rich as possible including shots of the amazing habitats they live in. The only plant I failed to locate and photograph for the book was U. ochroleuca. Cheers Tim
  4. Be careful chopping Sphagnum moss in this way. Sphagnum can contain the fungus spore Sporotrichosis, which can be inhaled in the very fine dust generated with this way of processing and is not a health condition you would want to catch. As a general rule wearing plastic gloves and a face mask is recommended when handling Sphagnum moss. Lots of stuff about this on websites, including the ICPS (Barry Rice). If chopping in this way then you can reduce dust by adding a small amount of water, though add too much and it will not mill very well. Do it outside and also wear a mask, etc. Best wishes Tim
  5. Hi ada Poorer soil mixtures? Would hope others in different parts of the country,etc will replicate some of the comparison trials and feed into the project as beyond our resources to do this alone. Over the winter I'll finalise the mixtures, plants, growing conditions, etc., and share to help enable this. Tim
  6. Cracking stuff to see your plants growing as well as this!! Been caught up in a million and one things recently, which have steered me away from the Forum for a while. Got our experimental polytunnel (The CPS) up now for our comparison peat-free/sustainable medium trials, which will start in the spring. Just in the process of connecting some guttering and water-butts. Will have to try some shaving myself based on this. Will also soon have a peat-free cultivation draft up on the CPS website. Look forward to seeing some more of the same, and will post pictures of the trials as next season progresses.
  7. Cracking stuff to see your plants growing as well as this!! Been caught up in a million and one things recently, which have steered me away from the Forum for a while. Got our experimental polytunnel (The CPS) up now for our comparison peat-free/sustainable medium trials, which will start in the spring. Just in the process of connected some guttering and water-butts. Will have to try some shaving myself based on this. Will also soon have a peat-free cultivation draft up on the CPS website. Look forward to seeing some more of the same, and will post pictures of the trials as next season progresses.
  8. For what it's worth this late into the thread, I just sent a plant parcel off to Germany today and they happily accepted it and charged me just under £7. I told them it was a plant with trepidation having read all this first. Best wishes Tim
  9. Totally echo that! Great three days, a great credit to all involved and a massive thanks to all our French friends who put together an event that will be long remembered. The quality of plants on sale (and on display) was also extremely good and a lot of people went home very happy, including myself. Can't wait until the next EEE. Tim
  10. I think the best way to face critics is to be proactive on the subject. If trials the CPS and others do show that for some species that peat is still essential then we can support that position from a place of strength, particularly for species conservation. It's impossible to defend something without evidence to the contrary. As can be seen from a few posts already experience with peat-free ingredients is mixed and evidence is very subjective. The CPS trials will be comparative and will help improve our evidence base either way on the subject. As a Society (with my Chairman's hat on) we will then be in a better position to inform both sides of the debate, including the continued use of peat until such a time as safe, productive and cost effective alternatives become available (if ever).
  11. Hi Adam Agree with all your comments. We will have to start off with Sarracenia, VFT and some of most commonly grown Drosera and to build from there as we will have limited resources. Over time we will add a larger number of more specialised genera/species. We will also need plant donations. At the moment I'll be using divisions from my collection, Ian Salter's and a few from Dennis Balsden. One of the mixes will be coir and 'sustainable' Sphagnum as I share a similar view, in particular by helping maintain a suitable pH for one. You can add VFTs, which in places grow in quartzite sand with low organic matter. When in N and S Carolina last summer I took care to look closely at the soil to around 10 cm, and took some pictures. Nepenthes are also commonly cultivated in a well washed coir-based medium.
  12. Should have added that typical soft water is around 140-300 microS/cm (approx. 70-150 TDS) to make more sense to people, unless I need correcting?
  13. The tests on coir will include pH and EC as we will need to differentiate between washed and unwashed coir. Can include TDS. FYI the Fertile Fibre Organic Coir has a pH of 6.4 and a EC of 240 microS/cm (last analysis they sent me) Difficult to go beyond this re very lack of money available, but open to further suggestions.
  14. Not at the moment mobile, but one to consider along the road! Tim
  15. Hi ada Different experiences re the coir I use (source is very vital here), I personally do not see the difference and have a totally difference experience to you (based predominantly on my Sarracenia). The question then is why has it been crap for you and good for me. There are lots of potential reasons. To me this section is not about Defra policy making peat very hard to get hold of in the future in England and trying to find a way around it. It's also not about being anti-peat. Simply a place to focus and help increase our knowledge re sustainable and peat-free cultivation. If I can't grow a species without peat I simply won't grow it, with the exception for endangered species conservation where it is needed, which of course is a personal choice. Likewise yours is a personal choice based on your own experiences, etc., and entitled to it. Your experiences with alternative ingredients may not be good to date, but it's very important they are expressed and to learn why. As for your question Defra are not banning the use of peat as such, though their Policy will make it incredibly hard to get hold of by the general grower. There are no plans to do similar in the rest of Europe, at least as far as I know. Glad to have you along for the debate. Tim
  16. Hi Steve Basic requirements for cp's are water, pH, oxygen (roots) and something to support the plant. My best VFT grows in bubbled water (supported in a mix of gravel and perlite in a netted pot) and out performs my conventionally growing ones. Open texture is very important to give the roots plenty of oxygen, and to stop anaerobic condition developing and an overdose of carbon dioxide that comes with it. A mix with an open texture will give the best results, though as you state it must still be able to hold and supply the water needed by the plant. So about balance really. Tim
  17. Hi pulsar You comment is a fair one and why sources of materials are key here. I would hope these issues would also be explored to give the overall picture. Perhaps a topic for a thread of its own? Coir of course is a by-product of coconut production and if not used would still be produced and produce ever increasing coir mountains as it has for many years. Most coir (washed coir) is still being mined from historic heaps, and I for one need to learn more of what happens to the water that is used to wash out the salts. For now I just use organic coir certified by the Soil Association as my kite mark. The word sustainability on its own is an interesting term, and is better defined 'as sustainably as possible' or 'sustain something for as many future generations as possible before it eventually runs out'. Tim
  18. Hi ada Might be a little confusion. I asked Andy if he would be kind enough to set this section up, and I wrote the opening text to kick start things. The trials are happening in Somerset, Wellington and I'll be leading the work for the Carnivorous Plant Society. As you say there will be differences across the country, and I would hope when we are in the swing of things other growers around the country will look to replicate what we are doing. Not everything of course, but one or two mixes and one or more species. Perhaps even additional ingredients too! No howls of disapproval re using peat, though of course I would hope from a personal point of view that over time that we can become less dependent on extracted peat from what we learn and share. Certainly quite a bit of hope in regards to Sarracenia which are usually by far the biggest users of the stuff, as my experience is that they seem to do quite nicely without peat. I've been growing all mine, apart from a few other trial mixes, in just organic coir (Fertile Fibre) and perlite for 5-6 years. I would class the CPS trials as semi-professional, as of course we do not have the full resources available to us in comparison to scientific institutes. What we do have is dedication and at least I'm in a good way a soil scientist in my non-cp profession. What you do will be of value, what's key is to record at the least the ingredients/source(s), mix/ratio, species trialed and of course growing condition (e.g. lots of cloud and rain in your case, though hopefully not when I come up north on holiday this summer!). Tim Tim Bailey Chairman and Publications Editor The Carnivorous Plant Society
  19. As mentioned on a previous thread, I contacted Fertile Fibre last week to get some clarity on the new products they have available - namely 'washed' coir bales/bricks. I also asked for re-confirmation on the status of their 'organic' coir bales/bricks and about their position on supplying Ireland. I sent this in the name of the CPS to hopefully help engineer a response and to save them being asked 101 times by growers. Still waiting for a response, and if I receive anything I'll post ASAP. Please note I'll be off to Nancy - hooray - this Thursday for a few days of cp heaven and great company. So when quiet on the subject over the period of the EEE you know why. In the meantime what are peoples experience with Fertile Fibre and the products. Best Tim Tim Bailey Chairman and Publications Editor The Carnivorous Plant Society http://www.thecps.org.uk/
  20. Hi Andy Really appreciate your support in setting up this section, I'm sure it will be a well used section going forward. So come on then lads and ladies, let's be having you! Thank you Tim
  21. My advice is only to use the 'organic' blocks and bricks. I've used these exclusively for 6 years with no problems. I'm checking with the company the background to the washed coir blocks/bricks, but no answer yet. I assume that this coir originated from coconuts retted in salt water and has been hosed down to leach the salt with freshwater prior to drying and baling. Don't use any of the prepared composts for CPs! I use a mix of 2 parts coir to 1 part perlite. Tim
  22. To save lots of us contacting Fertile Fibre I'll give them a shout, I'm sure they would appreciate giving an answer once as I know the owner is a farmer and works 24/7. Tim
  23. Interesting as I haven't looked at Fertile Fibre's site for quite a while. I had quite a bit of contact with them some time back on behalf of the CPS, but things got a little quiet when they had to lay off a couple of people when the recession caused them some problems. Since, I found the actual owner to be poor at getting back. On their previous website, this one has had a face lift, they use to have a chemical analysis of the 'organic' coir bales and bricks. This stuff was retted in fresh water and being 'organic' the coconuts were not treated with chemicals such as bromide. I use this exclusively. The washed and shrink wrapped looks like an additional coir product since the last time I looked and I notice it does not mention 'organic'. Thus I assume this comes from coconuts retted in salt water and hosed down with fresh water to remove most of the salts. This is common to most other coir on the market and given the 1000PPM/600PPM possibly reflects this. Whilst assumption can be a dangerous thing, with the Soil Association kite mark I would still plumb for the 'organic' coir bales and blocks. When I get a moment I'll contact the owner myself and if I get a response will post more on the subject. If any one beats me then would be interested to hear. Tim