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George

birds attacking my plants / making a butler sink bog garden

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Hi,

Sorry if this is in the wrong place. I've only been keeping carnivorous plants for about a year. I have a selection of sarracenia VFTs which I bought at the beginning of last summer. When I bought them last summer, I repotted them using a peat and perlite mix that I bought online. They grew well over the year. However, I recently caught a bird pull one of my sarracenias out of its pot. Today I went into the garden to find that they had pulled all of my plants out of their pots. It looks like they are interested in the perlite too and they peck at all of the white bits.

I've made the decision to finally use a butlers sink that I have to make a bog garden and to cover it with netting. Like is shown in the link below.

I need 34 litres of soil to fill the sink. Can anyone suggest any DIY mixes of soil that I could make? The stuff I bought last time was £5.49 for 5 litres. I can't really afford to spend nearly £40 on soil. Does anyone have any better ideas for substrate as the birds seem to enjoy the perlite? Also, one thing I don't understand about the video below is that there is no drainage at all and I assume it would overflow in heavy rain. Does anyone have any advice on this? 

I’ve attached a picture of the sink that I will be using. Will this work as it doesn’t have an overflow?

4895D426-6819-4366-8300-21E5A0B4611B.jpeg

Edited by George

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Hello

Most bog gardens have some drainage holes drilled + - 5 cm under the soil level to prevent overflow. The soil I use in my bog garden is 50/50 peat perlite and I have had the same trouble with birds. However, I suspected that the birds are mostly pulling out plants to build their nests since they only do it only in spring. Therefore, I just cover the bog with some netting from march to the end of june. If you want a cheeper alternative to perlite you could use sand, but make sure the grain is not to big and make sure that it doesn't contain to much lime and that you wash it several times before using to remove the dust and soluble minerals. 

Jasper 

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I set up a sink mini bog a  year ago and it seems to be doing well. My main problem has been squirrels trying to dig holes in it to bury nuts in autumn so I peg pieces of net out over the barer patches. 

When I made it I was (overly) worried about the base going stagnant so I put 5cm of grit sand in the base and have 2 pieces of plastic pipe in the corners so I can water into them and new water goes straight to the base, and moves upwards, keeping the base oxygenated. Sphagnum will hopefully grow over these and hide the plastic in time (I only put Sphagnum in last autumn). The rest is filled with a mix of peat and perlite with a bit of sand, with the top 5cm being a mix of sand and peat (so there is no perlite dotting the surface). I put a small piece of stainless steel mesh over the outflow so I do not lose compost through it, water flows out.  It is cheapest to buy a separate bale of peat and big bag of perlite; these are cheaper online than in a shop. There will be far more than you need but I use them not just for carnivores but for seedlings too. IMG_3139.thumb.JPG.f0665b156cad729e0769ffd0b0e06ae6.JPG

Here it is a few weeks ago just coming out of dormancy

Edited by Chimaera

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