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  1. Hello I am wondering what you think of my method to restore old potting mix for carnivorous plants that was mixed maybe 2 or 3 years ago or if you know of a better and more simpler way? I have been using half sphagnum based TEEM peat and half perlite for Sarracenia. I am thinking of removing moss and old roots in the pots and pouring the mix from them into a polystyrene box with holes in the bottom. I could put the box on top of another box of old mix. Above them, I could put another empty box with holes in the bottom so water entering it would be spread evenly over the boxes below. I could then put the set up under a down pipe connected to the roof gutter to flush the old mix with rain water. This could leach and clean the mix of some of the salts. However, I wonder how effective this would be as I heard that many of the salts are chemically bonded in the old soil. After a good few rainy days, I could then put the potting mix in some black garbage bags and spread it so it is only about 4 inches or 100mm high. This would be placed in full sun for a few weeks and the bags sealed in order to solarize the mix to sterilize it and kill any bacteria that could be present because some of the plants in the old potting mix died. Could this possibly work well to restore the mix so it would be almost as good for the plants as newly mixed peat and perlite? Do you know of a better or more easy way to do it? Do you normally reuse you old mix and if so, what do you do to restore it? It could be worth looking into ways of restoring old mix because it is expensive to mix and buy and also not good to take peat from the environment. Regards Richard.
  2. Hi Do Nepenthes worry much about what potting mix is used if I use coir, peat and perlite? The coir I had before had some large chunks about 20mm wide but the one I have now does not have them. It is . Currently I have sphagnum based peat and medium grade perlite mixed up in equal proportions which I use for Sarracenia and plan to add other things to that mix for Nepenthes. The size of the perlite is about 4mm. I am wondering what proportion of my current coir I could mix with my current peat and perlite mix and if I should add some material with larger particles like large grade perlite that has particles of 10 mm. I heard about other things like pine bark as well but am not sure where to buy suitable stuff. Another possibility is if I could buy coir somewhere with just larger particles to mix in. However, perlite may be easier to get and am wondering what proportion of the larger size to add if I used it. Another alternative would be to use 50% peat and 50% large grade perlite that has a particle size of about 10mm and not use the mix I made with the medium grade and keep that for Sarracenia and perhaps not use the coir at all but use it for something else. Could that be better? Regards Richard.