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Matt9892

Soil mixture help needed :-s

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Ok, firstly I hope this is an okay place for this topic (if not please move :-) )

I have been looking and reading (lots) I am new to cp's and it's all getting a little confusing..

Mostly I didn't think it would be this hard to get a decent soil mix.. Stupid uk.

I have ordered some moorland gold stuff from the site (so will hopefully get here soon). I assume this still needs washing ?

I was looking at perilite but read somewhere that after about a year it begins to break down in the soil and add minerals Ect to the soil that you obviously don't need..

So then was thinking sandblasting sand/pool filter sand ( I would prefer this anyway to perilite)...but am having trouble finding anywhere that sells these.

So was just wondering where in the uk (stores Ect) you people get your sandblasting sand, pool filter sand, broken glass... Ect Ect from really.. Or if you order online where from then ?

Would appreciate any links or pics to what you get as I said am having a lot of trouble finding them in any stores near me.. I live near Medway in Kent.. In case I have locals on here :-)

Matt

Edited by Matt9892

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Horticultural sand is perfectly fine Matt.  As long as it says lime free.

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Moorland gold does not need washing

Perlite is a great additive for most CPs, don't discount it.

Good quality sand is almost impossible to find, you need to test any for lime before using it. , I got some sandblasting sand cheap in a clearance once but it was far too fine for CPs. Aldi were selling decorative Cornish grit last year which is good, needs lots of washing though.

Edited by gardenofeden

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Well I would never trust Westland products, I and others have had bad experiences. It does not say if it is lime free, try it by all means but test it with acid before use and wash it well too,

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Oh em I read the lime free bit on this

http://www.gardenhealth.com/uploads/files/store/resources/product-label/10600025.pdf

Em.. If not this can someone point me to some I can use ? Preferably about that price and either sold close to Medway or delivered..

Is just getting annoying it shouldn't be this hard to find this stuff..

Matt

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I use either Moorland Gold or Coir (non-fertilised organic grade) as a base for many of my CP's. I don't bother washing either. I do add perlite which is OK but invariably works its way to the top of the pot. I've also used Tesco cat litter (non clumping clay based) and the Cornish Grit Stephen mentioned. I tried some crushed walnut shell cat litter my wife had bought mixed with the cornish Grit...disaster, set like concrete. I try to avoid sand these days and find that fine chicken grit opens the compost up better.

 

I couldn't see where you mentioned which CP's you're thinking of growing, if you could say what plants you've got in mind you'll get plenty of specific suggestions for growing media.

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Hey ^^ I am new.. (Have never grown any cp's yet)

So am just looking for a basic "tried and tested" recipe.. Hence the peat:sand mix most sites say 1:1 peat sand mix.. I read more and sand means silica.. Not specifically sand as normal.. But can't find pool filter sand or sandblasting.. So fail that was looking at that horticultural sand.. It seems ok..with a wash I can't see it being bad if it's lime free... Or am I wrong ?

I know (have read) that westland peat is NEVER to be used as a lot of people have lost whole plants from this.. But I didn't know this extended to the sand ? Shouldn't this be ok after a good rainwater wash ?

And em.. I have some dionaea muscipula like 3 diff forms of that..

And afew drosera (this I think are the ones I will like most if I can grow em)

Mostly easy to grow species.. I think the hardest form of them I have is intermedia.

Truth told I am likely to mess em up anyway :-p but want the best chances of getting things to grow..

So.. Will that horticultural sand be ok for them ? Or is it a no ?

Matt

Edited by Matt9892

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Ok... Now from what I have read sand is a bad idea because it's never lime free.. Is this true ?

Is it best to stick with perlite ? Also doesn't perlite break down over time and hurt the plant ?

Matt

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I use washed play sand (a.k.a. - sandbox sand) it is lime free and available at any home improvement store.

Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk

Edited by drtd

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I've only just started using lime free horticultural sand so can't comment on that long term but many people have used it long term.  I've used perlite exclusively for many years with no problem whatsoever. Your plants will need repotting every 2-3 years and it won't break down in that time.

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Hi Matt,

Welcome to this most interesting of hobbies. The issue of compost is a minefield, and one which is guaranteed to both frustrate and confuse those who are just setting out growing these plants.

The information you need is straightforward, but unfortunately the answer isn't so clear-cut, and so my advise would be to forget sand at this stage, and use perlite. This, combined with peat (or moorland gold which is peat anyway) will be ideal for most, if not all of your current requirements and with a ratio of around 50:50 will be ideal for Sarracenia, and many Drosera. Although many of us advocate the peat and sand mix for plants such as the Drosera, there are many that will thrive in peat and perlite, and indeed many of the South African species I recommend using peat and sand for, I grow in peat and perlite if that's what I have mixed in the nursery at the time.

For Venus Fly Traps, just use straight peat.

The problem with sand is that even when the bag states 'lime free', it frequently isn't. A number of years ago, and this demonstrates where even us old timers occasionally cock up, I decided to use a mix for the Sarracenia in the nursery of peat, perlite, and sand. Nothing wrong with this, but like a complete donkey I took the 'lime free' tag line at face value.

After a few weeks and once around 500 plants had died, I came to the conclusion that perhaps my decision wasn't a good one. The affected plants had roots burnt off and blackened like aged electrical flex, and the inside surface of the pots wore a malignant dark brown residue.

Now the last thing I needed as I approached show season was to have to repot a couple of thousand plants, but sometimes we all need to be taught a lesson. It helps to keep our feet well and truly on the ground, and shows that a good number of years experience doesn't prevent one from buggering up.

Currently, I've taken to using a fine Cornish grit, and for me this has been very successful, but as usual the quality varies with supplier.

I do hope this helps you in some way, and remember that we all have mixes which we succeed with and therefore swear upon, but there are so many instances where there is no right or wrong answer.

Nigel HC

God, he's written a bloody essay.

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Cool :-) am gonna order some perlite for next week I think ^^

Yeah I have OCD so conflicting information is never good for me :-p

Also am not sure if any of the species I have need to be go In a damp thing in the fridge.. Can't remember what that's called... But anyway am gonna list my seeds I have.. Could you guys point out if any NEED to have that done (or any other "special" things)..

Drosera capensis (alba)

Drosera spatulata

Drosera intermedia

Drosera binata (var.dichotoma)

Dionaea muscipula (standard form)

Dionaea muscipula (XL)

Dionaea muscipula (all red)

Also if I put pure peat for vft won't it be too compact ?

I think that's the purpose of the perlite.. To loosen the soil and let air circulate better, as well as help root growth.

Matt

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Hi Matt,

The Drosera intermedia, binata, and the Dionaea all need a cold rest period (stratification) before they will germinate. It's a safeguard against germinating in the autumn when the first frosts begin, usually employed by temperate species, carnivorous or otherwise. Ensure they go in the fridge (not the freezer) for six weeks then sow on the surface of some peat.

The other Drosera species you can sow now in the same way, and they will germinate in 4-6 weeks.

Fly traps are fine in peat anyway, and to be honest you'll get some good results with the Drosera as well. The thing to remember is not to get too worked up about growing these plants, despite their carnivorous habit they're the same as many other species.

Regards

Nigel HC

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Guest paul y

hi matt hope you are well, im commenting on this just to reinforce what nigel and others have said, being new to the hobby myself in the last 2 years and also having a penchant for correct and non conflicting information I too found the whole substrate issue a little annoying. 

it took me a little while to accept the simplicity of the whole thing though, simply buy any substrate you need directly from a cp nursery (I have bought peat directly from nigel)  if it works for the pros etc etc, delivery costs can be a bit prohibitive though so it may be better to collect yourself.

regards paul

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Okay :-) when you say then need to go in the fridge do you mean just in the fridge as they are ?

Or do you mean you have to do the whole put them on a damp kitchen roll.. In a ziplock in the fridge ?

Matt

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Guest paul y

stratifying seed involves cool damp period for 6 weeks, it really depends how you want to do it and how much fridge space you have, firstly ensure your fridge isn't actually freezing, as in no ice build up, a lot of peoples fridges will actually freeze stuff over a 6 week period so make sure that's not happening, you can sow the seed onto damp peat and cover and place the whole thing in the fridge, or you can put the entire packet of seed in a little bag with some damp sphagnum moss for 6 weeks, or in a little deionised water is a method some use.

I may be wrong on this but I have heard people say that dry storage in a fridge will also work for stratifying seeds?? id get a pro to confirm that one though as im not so sure myself.

a lot of people just sow onto peat around Halloween/November time place in a sheltered spot over the winter then come april ish off they go a la natural

regards and happy germinating paul

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I don't have room in the fridge for pots.. Plus probably wouldn't be allowed...lol oh how women have the last say..

There isn't any ice.. The fridge have an electronic thing says its 3c in there so should be fine..

So how do I go about doing it without pots ? Do I still use compost.. And if so.. How do I get the seeds back out of it.. (Cause I want multiple pots)

I read you can do it with kitchen roll.. How do Ido this ? Or is this method not advised.. I did read somewhere bout a higher chance of stuff you don't want growing in there cause of less circulation.

Matt

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Guest paul y

hi matt, tissue paper is fine just check regularly for mould, empty takeaway containers filled with milled damp sphagnum is a good way that dosent take up much space, I have numerous d capensis, std, broad leaf, giant, and alba seedlings (far far more than I need) rest assured of your success germinating any d capensis they are real easy and if not I will happily get some seedlings to you. consider joining the cps and attending some open days, you will fill the boot of a car with sundews for very little cost (I bought numerous plants at the agm, sundews included, at a couple of quid each)

if you want seedlings send me a pm

regards paul

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I cold stratify dry and its always worked. Put the seeds in small paper envelopes, or those clearish glassine ones-you'll probably find these on ebay for a couple of quid for a million.

 

Avoid plastic zip lock bags as they can cause the seeds to sweat, and that's when you have issues-especially if you are storing long term.

 

Regards

 

Nigel

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They came in glassine ones I think.. So just shoved em in the fridge :-)

In a box.. I assume they will be ok in a box ? Or should I leave the lid off ?

I left d.spatulata and d.capensis out (I assume these don't need cold strat)

Now I just need to order my perlite and I will be ready to go I think ^^

Matt

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Guest paul y

hang on whoa there back up a little!!  what nigel says, seeds can be successfully stratified dry and cold??  not that im arguing or disagreeing in any way.  so no need to mess about with them damp in the fridge I can just keep them in glassine in the fridge and sow after 6 weeks? 

this hobby has a lot of conflicting information and techniques,  ive been using the savage garden as reference and taking the advice in there as gospel, just proves that because its written in a book it doesn't make it true.

nice to know I wont be messing about with damp seeds in the fridge anymore.

just who is responsible for over complicating everything?  I swear its an undiscovered law of physics, the law of overcomplication.

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I've never grown anything that needed stratification in the fridge because of the wife......! So is this true? Just store dry in the fridge for a period then sow in spring as normal?

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Yes, or alternatively sow in the autumn and they'll germinate when they're ready in the spring, hence removing the involvement of the fridge and any resultant domestic conflict.

Nigel HC

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Guest paul y

thanks for confirming that, one more myth dispelled and more fridge space

I feel a no nonsense, cut the crap grow guide is in order!

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