i was wondering where do most of you guys get your peat moss or other growing media from? Well, mine is just Horti Peat Moss and Perlite from FEF (not sure of the brand), LFS from FEF too...
Anyone knows where to get silica sand? FEF used to sell them many years back, but now they don't seem to have it...Anyone tried using quartz based sand or those kinda shiny sand for aquarium? Or has anyone tried experimenting cat litter sand?
I realised sand is a good media for moss to grow... no... not sphagnum... just those wild growing moss that just sprout as if you are along a river...
One good source for silica sand are pool supply companies where it is sold as pool filter sand. So far, at least in my neck of the woods this has always been coarse silica sand. It looks like sugar. Another source for a finer grit are construction supply companies where the sand is sold as "sand blasting sand". This too should be white. You can test the sand by using some vinegar in a test tube or such. If bubbles form is probably is not right for CP. You are right, even pure silica sand has dust and minerals that provide nutrients for invasive moss. This can be reduced by rinsing the sand well before use along with pasturizing the same in a microwave. I prefer the use of sand over perlite, which I don't trust. Call it a gut level thing.
For sphagnum, I use Canadian peat, and I rinse this too. There is an article in the article section on this.
When it comes to substrate, the ideal is a mix with as little extra added as possible. I think even small increments in working towards a clean medium makes for big differences in cultivation success, esp. with Drosera.
You need to always check to be sure no fertilizers have been added to the peat or perlite - some companies add micronutrients, but this is usually listed on the product package.
Avoid "sedge peat" at all costs, and be sure the product states "sphagnum peat".
I also find the addition of LFS to benefit nearly every CP species I have ever cultivated. Used live or dead (well ground if live) it makes a good top dressing, naturally acidifying the mix and also a good sight indicator of the level of wetness in the pot. It's good stuff. The best is New Zealand peat, or Chilean, but really any variety is acceptable. It's usually good straight up as well for many CP species.
I use perlite when I need a mix that is light and airy, mostly with Pinguicula in combination with sand, and in combination with LFS with petiolaris Drosera and Nepenthes. I dislike the material since I always seem to have algae issues when I use it, despite rinsing, and it floats.
Utricularia (terresterial) get pure fluffed peat, usually. Epiphitic Utricularia prefer a lighter mix of LFS and orchid bark.
Drosera as mentioned 50/50 sand/peat for most. For pygmy and tuberous Drosera 70/30 gritty sand/peat. Essentially, if it is a winter growing Drosera it is in this type of mix (e.g. the South African winter growing species)
Sarracenia and Dionaea 50/50 sand/peat.
No doubt there are other and possibly better opinions on some of these mixes. My focus was on Drosera and Utricularia, but most of my plants did tolerably well in the mixes stated.
My peat is purchased at Walmart or Agway. Here in NY the quality has always been fairly good.
Wow, sphagnum from FEF, that is really high quality spaghnum, and it is very expensive right? I really like that type of sphagnum and MT uses it when the pots are sent over, it really lasts! I think it is NZ spaghnum right? but whatever it is, if I had the money, I would definitely use it!
Originally Posted by [b
I didnt know peat was available at FEF, I asked several times already, they siad they didnt have it, when did you get yours?
Tamlin: Hey! I have the same gut feeling as your about perlite usage... i don't feel comfortable using it... i actually did try to consider having glass sand that has been processed... but wait a minute... what's the main purpose of sand? mainly to increase drainage and aeration for the roots am i right? so as along as it's sand... reasonably big and also not lime based it should be fine theoretically am right so to say?
Lam_wn:Oh i go my peat moss from the nursery beside FEF sorry for the wrong info... haha... FEF only have compst and only compost... quite pathetic selection of soil varieties... sigh... Yep... i use the NZ sphagnum...i usually buy in small bulk and use them sparingly... usually to block up drainage holes to prevent media from oozing out during watering... what about you? where you get your supplies from?
What about live sphagnum? anywhere to get it in SG? what's the advantage of having dried long fibred sphagnum then live ones?
Any idea where to get silica sand in singapore? or maybe reasonable type of river coarse sand for CP propagation? Aquarium shop?
oh yeah... a point to note... DO NOT EVER ASK THE PEOPLE IN FEF TO ID SOIL!! Once i bought some peat moss... i double check the peat moss in plastic bags... and i sorta had a gut feeling they weren't peat moss... they don't have the fresh smell... and they were unusually dark... but i thought oh well, it's fine... should trust them since they imported them in... 3 weeks later, all my CPs died...they were in fact compost of some kind...
I use LFS and perlite from from FEF. LFS there comes in HUGE packets nowadays and if you all share the cost, it is definitely more worth it.
FEF used to have sphagnum peat. Wonderful grade, a little more fibrous than peat moss. More like coconut fibre. I loved it 'cos it doesn't compact as easily over time. But they don't sell them anymore in smaller packs. If I am not wrong, FEF still have them in those enough-to-fill-half-a-garden packets. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_l_32.gif[/img] *But then again if we share the pack...
Btw, I'm a perlite fan. That's because I water my plants based on their weight. I lift up the pot...light...water. Heavy, don't water. Perlite is light and because of that, I can stack more plants on my rack! And perlite is ideal for rooting cuttings...and keeping Pings alive...etc etc etc *[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
For those interested in sand, I've used coarse river sand and fine silica sand bought from aquarium shops. In fact, half of the river sand is now my puffer fish tank gravel. The fine silica sand is more troublesome, very dusty so you've got to wash and wash till the water runs clear. I am not too sure if the size I got was too fine (like fine salt) 'cos adding it didn't quite help aerate the media...in fact, it caused it to compact easily and I've lost quite a few sundews to that.
The peat moss I use is from SCHULTZ. I rinse it with hot water before use. Bought it from IKEA but they don't carry it anymore. *[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/confused.gif[/img]
I have one of the 'fill a football field' packs of sphagnum pick that would probably last a lifetime. You are welcome to buy some if you want. For me Schultz is too ex. Yes the LFS in FEF is the best of quality although it is way too expensive. I used to use coco fibre from FEF but they stopped selling it.
Hey clayton doesn't horti peat moss have traces of minerals?
Jason: well, i'm not sure for that... but i've got a fair share of sucess and failures... i've been using horti peat moss since god knows when... so far i would say the peat moss is generally ok... however, as mention earlier.. algae will grow... so i suppose there is a fair amount of nitrogen and maybe other minerals on it...
I like mixing LFS and peat moss together to "hold the soil" so the soil doens't run loose when i pour water over the pot and smouldering the sundews...
Cindy: so where do you get your peat moss right now? By the way, how can you tell the differences between silica sand and normal sand? i mean some packs do not state chemical composition... Yep silica sand can be quite harmful when u breathe the smaller particles in... it can accumulate in your lungs... cause infection, pneumonia and other complication coz the silica have the ability to "cut" the wall of the bronchial wall... imagine breathing in glass... get the idea? i read this somewhere...
oh by the way... my D regia went to heaven already... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_o_32.gif[/img]
Ah, you are in Singapore so my help is little help at all.....still, pool filters use sand and here it is silica. *It might be worth checking out this product in your pool supply companies.
Good growing to you!
Don't give up on the D. regia unless the roots have rotted, it comes and goes.
oh... how would u know if d.regia roots have already rot? haha... it's tough growing regias!!!