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Thread: Natural fertilizer for sarracenias

  1. #1

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    I HAVE SOME THOUGHT ON A NATURAL FERTILIZER AND I HAVE TRIED AND EXPERIMENT. WHAT YOU YALL THINK? I HAVE TAKEN THE OLD PITCHERS OFF THE PLANTS AND HERE I AM BURNING THEM TO REDUCE THE POSSIBILITY OF INSCESTS AND DISEASE AS WELL AS TRYING AN EXPERIMENT. SARRACENIAS GROW FROM RHIZOMES LIKE AN IRIS AND IRIS BENEFIT FROM ASHES BEING SPREAD ON THEM. (POTASSIUM) SARRACENIAS CANNOT BE FERTILIZED PER SE BUT DO GROW IN ECO SYSTEMS THAT OFTEN HAVE FIRES. MY THEORY IS THAT SARRACENIAS ARE ABLE TO PROCESS THE POTASSIUM FROM THE ASHES AFTER A BURN. THE ASHES FROM THE BURNED PITCHERS HAVE BEEN SPREAD BACK ONTO THE BOG.
    I remain a man obsessed with a genus
    Brooks

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    Thumbs up

    Cool, go for it! I like someone interested in doing some at home experimentaation. Do you have a control plant that you are not spreading the ash on to compare it to? Keep me posted on the results

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    RedTail,
    Yes, the second bog recieved none.
    I remain a man obsessed with a genus
    Brooks

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    Moderator Colieo's Avatar
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    Keep us posted! This sounds interesting.

    Cole
    Duele no tenerte cerca, duele no escuchar tu voz. Duele respirar tu ausencia, pero, duele más decirte adiós.

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    zappafan's Avatar
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    I think your idea is worth investigating.

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    Brooks, here's what I did: last time I went to the piney woods, I gathered a small sack of
    dry pine needles, grass and oak leaves and took them home, leaving them put away until
    this winter. In late January, I placed a light layer of it over what was left of last year's
    pichers and torched it being careful not to let the fire get to hot so that the large plastic
    pots wouldn't melt at the edges. I used a misting bottle to control the fire and only let
    it burn for a couple of minutes, just enough to reduce the dryist of the pichers to ashes.
    Right now, my S. leucophylas are 22" and S. minors are 9" tall. I don't know if the fire/ashes
    have anything to do with that, but they were smaller at this same time last year and surely
    there are weather and temperature variables to consider. The way I look at it, if is good
    for plants in the wild, then it should be good for potted plants, but only in small concentrations. If
    I remember correctly, ash mixed with water creates lye which is caustic ( maybe some of
    you chemists can set me straight on this), so to be on the safe side, I have flushed the pots
    several times since then with pure water. I flush them every couple of months anway.

    On the other hand, your way appears to be much simpler and safer and will achieve as good
    as or better results. Interesting topic. Like Redtail said, keep us informed on the results.

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    Alandallas,
    I also did what you did in my bog but I have plasctic tags on my plants and lost several to the heat of the fire even thought like you I have water ready. On my web page, it describes how Mrs. Wilkerson in north FL has burned her bog off for going on 80 years. They pick a wind less day in Feb. two days after a rain. I copy her system and it worked beautifully except for the melted tags. I thought of switching to metal but all the nursery tags are thin copperor zinc and will metl at that temp. too. I added a light layer of pine straw as needed to keep the fire going and removed tags as the fire progressed but could not reach a few of them. This is when I came up with burning the materials on the ground and transfering them to the bog. There are probably way to many factors here to be purely scienetific about this experiment. The age of your plants can also attribute to a larger size, another full year of growth. Mrs. Wilkerson said that the pitchers were always bigger and prettier when the field got burned off. I have a moorei cross that has pitchers at 33" and they have not fully opened yet. I WILL keep you posted.
    Brooks, Atlanta
    I remain a man obsessed with a genus
    Brooks

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