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pink-betty

Peat Question

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Congratulation to Polly and happy anniversary.

Yes I'm suppose to meet up with Stew re a Britain and Ireland CP we are writing - about time we spoiled ourselves with our own dedicated book.

Hopefully we can tie things in.

Tim

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Hi Richard

One of the reasons the CPS will embark on a full set of trials from 2014, getting difficult for quite a few people.

I did write a section on sustainable/peat-free for the VFT book but we didn't include it in the end. It will probably become an article in the CPS Journal.

Would be good to have you as a member and we need as many people to join to help us do this and other conservation work. We are getting things on a roll re conservation projects again after a slow patch and will be reporting on a new project in Ireland soon. The sustainable and peat-free research wouldn't probably happen without the Society and we want to ensure we help the hobby grow in all respects and have options.

Most of the Sarracenia do well in coir and perlite, which I've used with 99% of mine for the last 6 years. The 1% missing are the sustainable home research I'm doing with MG. At the moment if I'm not confident I can't grow a plant in peat I simply don't grow it and can't recall loosing a plant to coir yet.

Polytunnel has arrived for the trials (18 x 14ft), just got to find a hot day to stick it up. We don't seem to have many of those day now, and when it does shine I'm always at work.

Tim

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A book on CP's of Britain and Ireland. Oh that would be wonderful. I hope you include all of Ireland.

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Yes, we won't miss anyone out. The plants will be documented as you would expect regardless of location, but we want to ensure we have representative images cross Ireland and Britain. We will also cover the impact of S. purpurea, etc., so you certainly won't miss out on that species! And of course P. grandiflora!!

I've completed all the chapters on the species and just taking microscopic images of the 7 Utricularia species. Then up in Scotland to get some shots to include our brother and sisters up there, and Stew will hopefully be heading over to Ireland.

I hope to get over to Ireland too later in Sept.

Looking to gets lots of plant and scenic pictures to make it as beautiful a book as possible.

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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

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Also, when I used to live in Kerry one house I lived in was at the base of a mountain that had a lot of P. grandiflora growing on it. There was bog land up there too so no doubt there was Drosera. I used to go up there quite often for a good look at them and the Dactylorhiza. I think it got all destroyed when they put a wind farm up there. If I had known they'd be destroying everything I would have rescued the plants.

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Yep, already on to the Darlingtonia thank you. I'm hoping Stew will get a chance to photograph it. Originally I was led to believe it had died out, but it appears that was false information which you confirm.

Tim

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Well I've never seen it myself but at least someone has. I'd love to go up for a gander. Will come back with a boot full of purpurea and Darlingtonia.

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Hi Richard,

In reply to your posting earlier. I obtain coir bricks from www.gardendirect.co.uk

They are based in Hertfordshire. You can choose to have it without fertilizer. A box of 8 bricks is a nice size. Each brick makes up 10 litres of damp coir, about a washing up bowl worth. The downside is that it is slightly more expensive than peat. This is something you will have to live with when get into coir. I grow all my houseplants in it.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks David. I think I'll start a thread soon that can hopefully be turned into a sticky so we can have a record of what plants have and have not succeeded in coir. I think it makes people a little nervous and I would love to be able to do it.

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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

Edited by pwilson
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I buy mine from Fertile fibre. A large block will hydrate to 70l which is the equivalent of a small bag of peat.

It works out a lot cheaper than reptile coir, used for substrate. I use Fertile Fibre in my tortoise table.

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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

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Phil,

It all depends how much coir you want to use at one time. I don't grow a huge amount of plants these days so 8 bricks at a time is enough for me. I just don't want a dustbin full. When I get around to getting the Missus's Saracenia collection to grow in coir, I might get around to using more,

Just one thing about coir, you will probably find that it needs replacing more often than peat, it does break down eventually.

I see from Richards growlist that he does have quite a lot of plants so the big bale might be the answer for him.

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I would hope the Society will be able to help connect growers to enable members to purchase things like coir in bulk and save money. Sort of thing made for the members only site we are working towards.

Doesn't help you as such Richard right at this time, but we are keen to develop carnivorous plant horticulture with the help of keen growers like yourself in Ireland so hopefully you and others would benefit from this and other services in the not so distant future.

Tim

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Thanks Tim. Yes I'm always interested. I'm currently mulling over ideas about maybe doing something of a carnivorous plant publicity day up in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin next year. I'm going to mention it to Trev when I meet up with him in August to see if he'd be interested. I must also pop up there to see what sort of collection they have, it's free entry so that's a bonus. If needs be myself and Trev could take some plants up there. I'm really keen on getting the hobby off the ground a lot more over here. It will be many many years away before we'd warrant having our own society but I'm definitely up for promoting the CP society at the event and hand out information about the plants. This is if they'll have us. Could hopefully get the Irish garden magazine (whatever it's called) involved in the event. The only other growers I know over here is Trev and Ian (fishycps) but he's been offline for months. Oh and there's James O'Neill up in the North, I think we can allow that part of the country in this case. This is the whole reason I set up my Irish Carnivores page on tumblr, to promote growing the plants in this country.

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Hi Richard,

In reply to your posting earlier. I obtain coir bricks from www.gardendirect.co.uk

They are based in Hertfordshire. You can choose to have it without fertilizer. A box of 8 bricks is a nice size. Each brick makes up 10 litres of damp coir, about a washing up bowl worth. The downside is that it is slightly more expensive than peat. This is something you will have to live with when get into coir. I grow all my houseplants in it.

Hope this helps.

Thanks Dave.

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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

Thanks Phil.

Two things though. What blocks of coir should I get? Washed/organic/regular????

Secondly, I don't think they deliver to Ireland as it's not in their checkout or in their delivery page.

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Phil,

It all depends how much coir you want to use at one time. I don't grow a huge amount of plants these days so 8 bricks at a time is enough for me. I just don't want a dustbin full. When I get around to getting the Missus's Saracenia collection to grow in coir, I might get around to using more,

Just one thing about coir, you will probably find that it needs replacing more often than peat, it does break down eventually.

I see from Richards growlist that he does have quite a lot of plants so the big bale might be the answer for him.

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

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Thanks Phil.

Two things though. What blocks of coir should I get? Washed/organic/regular????

Secondly, I don't think they deliver to Ireland as it's not in their checkout or in their delivery page.

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

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Coco stuff. Are any of these products suitable? If so, which one should I go for? A couple of them mention they've been buffered which I don't know is good or bad.

http://growshop.ie/index.php/plagron-cocos-premium-mix.html

http://growshop.ie/index.php/plagron-cocos-brix.html

http://growshop.ie/index.php/canna-coco-natural-50-litre.html

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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

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Looking at fertile fibres website they are now offering a washed coir bale, I am confused if they advertised their coir to be salt free why are they offering a washed one? And should we be buying that one instead? If so can we use it straight from the rehydration or would there be any nasty chemical residue?

http://shop.fertilefibre.com/new-subcategory/coir-blocks-and-bales/shrink-wrapped-coir-bale.html

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