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Thread: Alkaline sphagnum mix?

  1. #1
    A Cajun(isc) Carnivore CP30's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    I just bought one of those 3 in 1 soil/light testers. I tested my mini bogs and pots - - my sarr mini bogs are not acidic at all!!! I know I never tested the sand, I am guessing that it has raised the acidity beyond neutral. The plants are just coming out of dormancy and are shooting up flowers. They have been planted in this sphagnum/sand mix for about 18 months now and did well last summer.
    Any thoughts on what I should do?
    Should I replant?
    Can I make the soil acidic again? Will it only be temporary?
    Other than testing each batch/brand of sand, how can I be sure I am getting neutral sand?
    All proofs inevitably lead to propositions that have no proof. All things are known because we want to believe in them.

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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    I don't think I'd argue with 18 months of good results.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Maybe the meter is not working correctly? I don't think those little comb probe meters are really all that capable of measuring pH accurately. I would get one of those soil test kits for pH to double check it. I also find it odd that it would be so far off and your plants did fine so far but hey you never know. Maybe the sand is indeed a problem and it has taken some time to have an effect.
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    A Cajun(isc) Carnivore CP30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (endparenthesis @ Mar. 19 2005,11:37)]I don't think I'd argue with 18 months of good results.
    I agree, I do not want to jump the gun and mess with the plants just as they are emerging from dormancy!

    I will get a soil test kit this week, but I did test the probe in pure vinegar with a label that reads "diluted to 5%." I do not know if 5% equates to a pH of 5, but the meter did read 5 for the vinegar and 7-8 for the soil in my bogs. The sand itself (I put some in water overnight) tests at 8.

    What is the best (safest) sand to use for cp's?
    All proofs inevitably lead to propositions that have no proof. All things are known because we want to believe in them.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    5% vinegar it should be around pH 2 or somewhere around there.

    Pure Silica sand is best. You can get it as a pool filter medium from pool stores. Search for sand on the forums and you will bring up piles and piles of threads on the subject.

    Tony



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    A Cajun(isc) Carnivore CP30's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip Tony!
    I found exactly what I have been wondering. I will search out SILICA sand. That should solve my "problem"
    All proofs inevitably lead to propositions that have no proof. All things are known because we want to believe in them.

    My Growlist updated with available trades and pictures - PM if interested

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    Woodnative's Avatar
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    Just noticed your thread. Unfortunately those kits have a lot of error. You can send a sample to a soil testing laboratory, or alternatively take a sample to a local university, lab, maybe even high school that might have a more accurate pH meter. You can mix two parts water to one part soil and then test. I would not argue with healthy plants also.
    If you have sand of unknown origin, you can put a couple drops of acid on it (I am not sure if vinegar would be strong enough or not) and if you see "fizzling" you probably have a something you do not want to use. Good luck and keep us posted on your results!!!

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    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    I've heard of some people who put pine needles in their soil mix to increase the acidity.

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