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Thread: When washing peat moss...

  1. #17
    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    The tannic acids are appreciated by Sarracenia, NA sundews, Dionaea, and the such. The purps on Meadowview's 3 acre preserve are growing exceptionally fast in muddy peat with very dark blackwater. The tannic acids wil lalso provide some anti-fungal agents. I keeps tannins in my aquarium water for the some reasons. The acids also help counteract hard minerals.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    The tannins leach out of the peat moss. It is not an immediate process. I'm just using the "tea" color from the small particles of chopped peat moss as an indicator that the pot has been completely rinsed/flushed. If you let such a flushed pot "steep" in standing water for a few hours you'll still get your tannin tea.
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    I use a TDS meter to see if the peat im rinsing needs a 3rd soak. I soak until the readings fall below 30ppm, then I flush the pots and sterilize them in the microwave before planting. As upkeep I try to top water as much as possible.
    Grow to learn, learn to grow.

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    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPlantaholic View Post
    yeah the fine stuff does seem to be of better quality and holds water very well. I forgot to mention that i just used a half inch layer on the top or so, with the normal stuff below.
    Do you mean the fine layer of muddy peat on the bottom of the bucket during washing?
    I thought the general consensus was that that peat layer is richer in nutrients than the one on top and thus less desirable for plants?

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Here's a practical demonstration: Mix started 5 days ago. Peat moss was wet down and sat overnight. Then sand and perlite added. Sand and Perlite was previously rinsed with tap water until the water ran clear. 2 parts peat moss, 1 each of sand & perlite.

    RO water from vending machine at 4 ppm

    mixture put into a 2 x 2 x 3 inch pot. 2 ounces of water flushed through measures @
    194 ppm


    second flush of 2 oz measured at 57ppm, no picture of runoff taken (appeared the same as the first to the naked eye). Total water used 4 oz.

    3rd flush (2 oz water each flush) 17 ppm total water used 6 oz


    4 more flushes later 5ppm at this point I would have considered the water clear by sight only. Total water used 14 oz.
    Normally I use tap water to wet and mix the peat moss and to flush until clear by sight and then two flushes of RO water and let to sit overnight before seeds or plants go in. In this case RO water was used throughout.

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  6. #22
    David F's Avatar
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    Thanks, so you just flushed the medium (you did not let the peat soak,) I probably overdo my rinses then. Can we see a picture of the relative size of the pot please?

    Also on the point of the stuff the "is on the bottom" its sort of brown and very fine, I also put that on top of the sowing, but only below a layer of silica sand, so I havn't noticed much difference, if any I merely thought it was like a sifting thing, it still consists of about the same stuff, the stuff that sinks is more broken down and a bit "finer"

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    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
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    Sorry if I misunderstood but from what you wrote you did not wash Peat moss prior to mixing with washed sand and perlite? Instead you washed the mixture while in the pot?

  8. #24
    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
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    Update: I was wrong about the quality of the peat moss. It is not the premium "stuff". It is just some Canadian Sphagnum peat moss:



    I checked today and the bottom layer of peat is thicker than I thought first. It consists of very fine peat, branches, sand, gravel, mud and other junk. When I squeeze it the water runs black. I'm scooping the top layer with sieve to make soil mix and leaving the bottom for future.
    Last edited by gill_za; 06-22-2011 at 11:45 PM.

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