Alternative growing media for carnivorous plants.


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Right,here goes with some of my results with moorland gold and swapping to peat for some seedlings

The first picture is of some leuco seedlings transferred into new moorland gold this spring

SAM_5991_zpsc2c8d568.jpg

as you can see the new growth is bigger.

The next pictures are of the same batch of seed,sown at the same time but transfered to peat/perlite this spring

SAM_5992_zps38448633.jpg

SAM_5993_zps3153cfef.jpg

As you can see,much bigger pitchers measure and old pitchers left on for comparison

The next pictures are of some leuco x alata seedlings still in the same moorland gold for two years

SAM_5994_zps03f3efda.jpg

still same,aren't they!

The next one is the same batch of seedlings again but transferred to peat/perlite this spring

SAM_5995_zps68a84e85.jpg

and just incase you need a proper comparison shot to comprehend the difference

SAM_5996_zps6d1adfbc.jpg

next are some s.minor seedlings in moorland gold for two years

SAM_5997_zps979f4e5d.jpg

I have just transferred some more of these to peat/perlite this week,so i will post pictures later of these results

Lastly is a picture of some s.flava seedlings that i transferred from MG to peat/perlite,you can see last years pitchers i left on to see the growth increase.

SAM_5998_zpsfe8c0c9c.jpg

I hope these all work out,so you can see some of my results.Any comments or things you'd like to know or let me try on my plants,just post it here.

Hopefully we can all work together for the benefit of the plants and learn a bit from each other.

don't be shy.

ada

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Very interesting experiment and the photo's show there is quite a noticeable difference! personally I will be using what I think is best for my plants which at this point in time seems to be peat (when I can get hold of a decent bale).

Ada, out of interest what were the seedlings you gave me at Mikes open day growing in?

Edited by mattynatureboy44
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Ada, I find the process of pricking-out seedlings has a positive effect on growth. So for a true comparison you should also transplant the MG plants into another pot of MG. That way we can eliminate the pricking-out growth spurt. Like you I've got 3-4 year old seedlings still in the same pot and only an inch or so high and transplanted ones that are now 6" tall. All grown in peat/perlite/sand by the way.

This is an interesting experiment so keep up the good work.

Edited by linuxman
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Matt, they are some of the seedlings i left in MG,I haven't noticed a lot of difference from last year but being leuco's i left them to see what happens this autumn when the larger pitchers grow because we know leuco's don't like being disturbed.

Martin, The first picture shows this if you read the second line.I just potted these individually because they were slightly bigger and had more roots.

I have used sand in my mix too but found this to be too cold ,wet and claggy in winter.I think unless it is the larger grained sand it can keep the air out of the mix which is no good for growth.

ada

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Martin, The first picture shows this if you read the second line.I just potted these individually because they were slightly bigger and had more roots.

Oops, sorry missed that.

I have used sand in my mix too but found this to be too cold ,wet and claggy in winter.I think unless it is the larger grained sand it can keep the air out of the mix which is no good for growth.

ada

I don't use much sand. The mixture is peat:perlite:sand in ratios of 6:2:1 or 4:2:1 by volume. For MG I tend to use more perlite.

Regards,

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ada, I actually re potted and split up those seedlings when I got home in some new Shamrock Peat and I only just noticed today that they are producing much larger pitchers some are over double the size of the old ones were when I received them.

9256740136_470261969a.jpg

WP_20130710_003 by mattynatureboy44, on Flickr

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WP_20130710_005 by mattynatureboy44, on Flickr

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WP_20130710_001 by mattynatureboy44, on Flickr

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It just goes to show that something is missing after a couple of years from MG.

How long have you had them Matt, 3 weeks? I have one or two that are already big from that cross and i was leaving them alone to see what the autumn pitchers were like with them being leuco's,i didn't want them to sulk.

Stuff that! I'll go and repot them now.

makes a change for someone else to post some results too.

ada

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Only had them since Mike Kings open day whenever that was sometime in June? I have seen some size increases when re potting young Sarra seedlings in new peat from old peat before, but never with that much of a size increase in such a short period of time. To be honest I expected them to sulk for a while after re potting as it being mid summer and leuco's not appreciating root disturbance much.

Edited by mattynatureboy44
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  • 9 months later...

an update on some plants i posted pictures of before

 

SAM_1928_zpsd0d4a745.jpg

These have had 3 years in moorland gold and its time for a change.

 

Tim sent me some fertile fibre,it looks like old tea leaves and horse hair but it cant be worse than MG can it? So i have repotted the above plants today into FF.

as can be seen there is hardly any growth yet,the others i repotted last year into peat/perlite are already 3 to 5 inches high

 

SAM_1929_zps17953732.jpg

 

A picture was also taken last year of these which can be seen in an earlier post for comparison.

ada

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I would personally like to know what it is that is in fresh peat that seems to be lost 12 months later.

An example being how plants like vft have a boost in new media or would you get a similar result from re-potting in a fluffed up used media or is it the repositioning of the plants and roots.

I am interested in re-using peat and would like to know if mixing in amounts of Sphagnum moss would re constitute the media adding back some of the lost properties for example.

I am already trying to manufacture as much moss as possible to be used as my own part renewable source, I am also very interested in granite as it could be re-used indefinitely I assume.

Coir mixed with Sphagnum moss seems to work and with moss as a top dressing, in fact I have set up all combinations of Sphagnum moss/ coir/ perlite and even chopped sarracenia pitchers as we get plenty of those.

I have even grown in just chopped pitchers but plants are slow to establish as the media does not wick up well initially but when established the roots are of good health.

I have had one vft and one Sarracenia in pure perlite, the VFT was no different to all the others of the same clone but the Sarracenia is continually a little smaller than the others but still fair.

It is important to remembers that these media's are grown in trays with standard peat grown plants so there is acidified peat infused water playing a part although S. purpurea can grow well floating just in rainwater.

I'll be continuing different trials more refined in the future.

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Guest paul y

im wondering if its symbiotic michrozia and or beneficial bacteria that are lost after x amount of time, it may be very low amounts of macro and micro nutrients that are used initially by the plants, it would explain their initial spurt of growth and eventual slow down, cps can absorb nutrients through their roots as it is possible to overfeed and kill a cp through application of normal plant foods.

just my thoughts regards paul

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I wonder what it is that MG lacks? What is the pH of MG?

Moorland Gold Chemical Analysis:

Dry Matter: 55.7%

Total Nitrogen: 0.63%

Total Carbon: 23.3%

Phosphorus: 2940 mg/kg =0.3%

Potash: 1102mg/kg = 0.1%

Calcium: 6100mg/kg = 0.6%

Magnesium: 1150mg/kg =0.1%

Iron: 9000mg/kg = 0.9%

Manganese: 1150mg/kg

Zinc: 70mg/kg

Copper: 25mg/kg

Lead: 55mg/kg

Nickel: 5mg/kg

Cadmium: 0mg/kg

Chromium: 0mg/kg

Ph: 4.0 – 4.5

Conductivity mS: 0.7

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Guest paul y

cheers Stephen you wouldn't happen to have a comparative analysis of other peat brands? 

an ec of 0.5 to 1.0 is a good starting point for any plant/clone/seedling in any hydro application, its what I would recommend for chillies or other high nutrient requiring plants in the first to third week of vegetative growth.

plagron light is one f the most popular brands of pre fertilised soil and that has an ec  of 1.3 straight from the bag, so effectively moorland gold peat contains approx. 50% of the nutrients found in a pre fertilised soil??

regards paul

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in the interests of the trial,i will give it a good go.

I think it is the cold and frost that breaks it down where we live,where as southern growers don't get as much frost as us,so it is usable for a longer period.

 

I'll post some pictures when i have some to post,one way or the other.

Our tortoise is in the garden today and sleeps in a cat basket in the kitchen now,so i can't use FF for him now.

 

ada

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I would personally like to know what it is that is in fresh peat that seems to be lost 12 months later.

An example being how plants like vft have a boost in new media or would you get a similar result from re-potting in a fluffed up used media or is it the repositioning of the plants and roots.

I am interested in re-using peat and would like to know if mixing in amounts of Sphagnum moss would re constitute the media adding back some of the lost properties for example.

I am already trying to manufacture as much moss as possible to be used as my own part renewable source, I am also very interested in granite as it could be re-used indefinitely I assume.

 

 

 

I have reused/reivigourated my peat for several years now in my outside bogs. After four or five years, if there is no covering of sphagnum, the media gets 'tired' and the peat starts breaking down to fine particles. At this point I remove the plants temporarily, and dig into the top 225mm or so some pine bark and needles, some fresh peat and perlite, dried sphagnum if I have it and throw in some sulphur if it needs acidifying. This works for a few years then it is repeated.

This has the effect of giving a boost to the plants, but whether that is due to the new substrate, increased oxygenation, increased acidity, addition of bacterior, or just the root movement of the plants dont know, I have never done it as an experiment just as a way of saving peat and a lot of work really.

I do not have to do this as often where the bog is covered with sphagnum, it seems to balance the system better, perhaps simply because the acidifying effect of the moss prevents degeneration of the peat and hence release of nutrients and therefore as the peat isnt decomposing the textuture of the substrate more open for longer.

 

Cheers

Steve

 

Edited by billynomates666
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  • 1 month later...

Here is a small update on the fertile fibre stuff Tim sent me.

SAM_4383_zpsffb274d6.jpg

These have been tortured in moorland gold for 3 years,this spring i repotted in ff.

There is good new growth but not the growth spurt i got with peat,they look healthy though

ada

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A small update on these seedlings in the ff.During this recent warm spell the tops of all these pitchers have become

"burnt" or dried out.No other seedlings in the peat mix have had this happen only the ff pots.

This must be due to it not "pulling" the water up the compost as well as peat so the seedlings roots don't get as much water.I must add all the pots were still stood in water,the level just dropped a bit during the day while i was at work.

So it might be wiser to use half pots with ff or stand them in deeper water than normal to prevent this happening.

ada

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ive tried coir and perlite on my sarrs before. They didnt grow well at all. I checked the medias ph and it was above 7. I will be very interested to see the results of this project.

Ive tried coir and perlite on my sarrs before. They didnt grow well at all. I checked the medias ph and it was above 7. I will be very interested to see the results of this project.

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  • 3 weeks later...

O.k Here's my last update on the fertile fibre i tried.

SAM_5985_zps6f0e4071.jpg

SAM_5986_zpsaa18eed2.jpg

It shows that the seedlings have pretty much died.
All my other seedlings are grown in the same tray,in the same water and are doing fine.
It might have too high a salt content?

Needless to say the trial is over,they are in the bin along with the fertile fibre,

ada

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I have had fibre that has had a TDS well in excess of 350 without washing and hasnt got much better after washing or sluicing, consequently abandoned it. However I have had some great results this year with some unrooted Sarracenia off shoots (broken off while cleaning the plants) in a 50/50 mix of peat and wood shavings. I was spurred on to do this by other posts in this section but expected nothing. The wood shavings are the ones they use for horse bedding and the like, so are completely natural, and animal safe, although it doesnt say what wood it is, it certainly doesnt smell like pine. I used peat in the initial mix as I was a little scared to go 'all the way' but now, encouraged by these results, have now tried seedlings in straight wood shavings, 50/50 wood LECA balls, 50/50 wood and cat litter and 33/33/33 wood LECA and cat litter.

 

I havent tested the PH or acidity but will do as the media degenerates.

 

The one thing I noticed with any of the wood based substras is that they tend to use a lot more water.

 

I dont expect to gleen any useful information from the latest batch till next year, but I am heartened by the unexpected results I had from the unrooted cuttings.

 

cheers

steve

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