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Thread: making minibog, need help

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    making minibog, need help

    Normally I just have Sarrs in different pots sitting in saucers of water, but I decided to try setting up a mini-bog. I filled up the same size containers that I think I've seen in brokken's bog thread (Home Depot medium sized long planters) with 1peat:1perlite, wet it all down, but the peat/perlite mix floats to the top in a mat and I've got this couple inch water level at the bottom with my whole substrate floating to the top. Is this normal? Will it settle or is my whole setup of plants going to float out the top of my container every time I go to water? Or did I put too much water in at the same time? Help please

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    Dry peat is anhygroscopic for a while. It's tough to get water back into it, so I usually squeeze it in a bucket until it's very dark in color. Perlite floats at the top of water, which is why I tend not to use it in anything I flood. If the media is waterlogged, I'd drain some of the water out and put it in a jug for later use.
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    Not really I am Bob's Avatar
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    I've found that if the soil is dry, it will float until it soaks up some water. its possible you put to much water in, but I would doubt it. just give it a while to soak up the water.
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    jimmy uphwiz's Avatar
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    peat take quite some time to absorb the water. i think it will swell to fill the area after some time , just remember to soak the mixture first in all applications, if you havent added the plants you may wnat to mix the media after a few hours to get the peat and perlite mixed well throughout. ive not yet done a mini bog but would like to try one, keep us up to date as you go. can you add pictures to this post?

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the quick reply guys! The mixture looked pretty wet (i.e. clumped together in moist chunks) while I was mixing it up...sounds like I just dumped in too much water at the same time and should just let it sit a bit and it'll settle.

    edit: will start posting pictures on the next one I'm mixing up so I have them documented from the get-go...

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    haha same thing happened to me when i put 5 gallons of peat/spagnum into a 30 gallon aqurium.I hade 3 inches of water underneath the soil, it was like a mini waterbed. so i just rolled up my sleeves and smush the soil into the water, then watered it again, now its pretty moist.

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    Brokken's Avatar
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    Elbow grease.

    You need to get in there and mix it up: That means kneading the perlite and peat together until it's an even consistency. the other thing that I do with my bogs is that I sink a small plastic pot into one of the corners of the bog. This is where I water the bog from, so when I water, it will not disturb the rest of the medium and cause the perlite to float. You can also use the pot as an indicator of how much water there is in the bog.

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    here we go:

    I wanted a minibog without any drainage/overflow pipes because there really isn't need for that here we get so little rain. I did want a way to check the water level though, so I decided to put a PVC pipe in the corner of the planter. Pouring water into it to water the planter doesn't work so well because the peat : perlite mixture will just float above the water as in a mat, but I'm ok with top-watering or just pouring *really slowly* into the pipe. So, the picture show:

    get the pot and cut the pipe (at a slant to let water seep up it)


    pour 1peat:1perlite in the bottom, with a smallish sized container to mix up a bit at a time so it's not too heavy to mix all together


    mix in the water - this is damped down so it doesn't kick up dust, but is still too dry (you can tell by the granular texture)


    so pour in more water and the perlite comes up where the water hit the mix


    so mix it up again, and you can tell there's enough water because it makes big wet clumps


    and slowly fill up the container until it's at a good level


    now, there is a bit of the mix in the pipe


    so pour water in it so the peat : perlite plug comes rushing out the top, so you have a cleared-out water pipe for checking the water level after everything is all in - it should look like this in the end


    set your plants out how you want to plant them. I just pushed the pots into the substrate to make an indent, and pulled the plants with their old soil out of their pots as to not disturb the roots, and just slid them right into the holes I had just made.

    (this is minibog 2 - plants include S.leuco from flytrapshop.com, S.Dana's Delight, S.alata, S.rubra wherryi, S.flava, S.oreophila)

    and while I was transplanting I found a pleasant little surprise on my alata - though I think it's a little early for it?:




    and this is the first minibog I made today (with S.minor, S.Judith Hindle, S.flava rubricorpora, S.purpurea ssp. venosa, S. Cobra Nest, flytrap Royal Red):

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