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Perhaps it's a problem of the type of wood shavings/sawdust :unsure:

Edited by pandalf

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I use bark fines ( the siftings from composted bark we use for our potting mixes) and 1-3 mm pumice, half and half. I get about 3 years out of it. Just use the same mix to sow my seed on ,and get great germination.

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I use bark fines ( the siftings from composted bark we use for our potting mixes) and 1-3 mm pumice, half and half. I get about 3 years out of it. Just use the same mix to sow my seed on ,and get great germination.

Is that bark in general terms or is it specifically pine?

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I use bark fines ( the siftings from composted bark we use for our potting mixes) and 1-3 mm pumice, half and half. I get about 3 years out of it. Just use the same mix to sow my seed on ,and get great germination.

Interesting, do you have photos of these experiments?

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Is that bark in general terms or is it specifically pine?

we have tons of Pine bark here in New Zealand as we export logs over seas, the bark is used for every thing from Mulch on gardens, Orchid Potting media, and Potting mixes.

Sorry i have no photos as yet but on the report i will try and get some.

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Congrats on your test results, pandalf! Though I'd like to know if anyone already tried peat-free, but inorganic mediums to eliminate problem with decomposing. What I have in mind is for example cat litter or pumice (eventually mixed). The latter is sold in huge bags in DYI stores. I use both for my bonsai with excellent results, so why wouldn't they work for carnivores? I'll definitely have to pot something in these mediums next spring.

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What I have in mind is for example cat litter or pumice (eventually mixed).

I have tried the cat litter that is commonly used for bonsai here in the UK - both Sophisticat Pink and Tesco Low Dust Lightweight - on Cephalotus, Nepenthes and Mexican Pinguicula. Cephalotus and Nepenthes both failed in it. Mexican Pibguicula were ok, but they will grow in virtually anything anyway!

Sophisticat Pink on left, Tesco Low Dust Lightweight on the right:

3.JPG

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Congrats on your test results, pandalf! Though I'd like to know if anyone already tried peat-free, but inorganic mediums to eliminate problem with decomposing. What I have in mind is for example cat litter or pumice (eventually mixed). .

http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=50560&hl=grit

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@gardenofeden Nice one!

@mobile Yes, that's what I had in mind. Until this year I've also used Tesco brand, but it's no longer available in Poland. I'm using another brand, but it looks just the same. I'd like to get my hands on that Sophisticat litter as I like its size, but again not in my country...

And as for your bad luck with Cephalotus and Nepenthes - maybe the medium was just far too wet for them and not airy enough? Based on my bonsai experience I had a problem with this medium after I potted some conifers in it. Even after stopping watering the soil remained wet for weeks which resulted in death of some plants. The ones that need to be watered daily thrive in cat litter.

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And as for your bad luck with Cephalotus and Nepenthes - maybe the medium was just far too wet for them and not airy enough?

It is far, far more airier and dryer than most of my Cephalotus mediums. I think there is something that CPs don't like about it, either it is adding or missing something. I have also tried it as an alternative to perlite in my normal mixes and they failed too. I would be interested to hear how you get on with it though.

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I'll pot some Sarracenias in cat litter next spring and will surely post results. There's some perfume added in Tesco's product - maybe that causes problems. Or maybe its pH is too high? Will see in couple months.

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Maciej, I suspect you may well be correct with regards to pH. One must not forget that when such mediums are used in hydroponics then nutrient solution is used, with adjusted pH. Unfortunately nutrient solution would probably not be a good idea for many CPs, but maybe adjusting the pH with fulvic or humic acid added to the water would help?

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Yes, it surely would, but only if it's a pH issue. Still adding acids to water would be a bit bothersome which makes peat superior to this "new" medium in this case. So while good quality peat is easily available I'll probably stick to it. Still experiments will be made though.

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Unfortunately obtaining 'good quality peat' here in the UK is getting very difficult, with many of the garden centres no longer stocking it.

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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.

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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.

Edited by Tim Bailey

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Tim, Are any trials going to be run in any northern locations?

Bringing in colder growing locations?

I only ask because us northern growers already know some clones don't perform as well when grown up here,never mind growing them in poorer soil mixtures.

Just another point to consider.

ada

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Hi ada

Poorer soil mixtures? :wink:

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

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