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Thread: potting mixture

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    Gamer Ridetsu's Avatar
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    potting mixture

    I have genuine Canadian sphagnum Peat Moss that has no additives (miracle-grow free), and Black Gold brand horticultural sand (which also lacks extra stuff).
    I know i need a 50/50 split of sand to peat, but i don't really know how to go about making that mixture. If someone could give me advice on measuring/mixing the two, it would be greatly appreciated.
    ~The Fallen and Forgotten~

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Black Gold peat moss is worth its weight in gold if you can get it

    Work with wet peat to cut down dust. Wearing a dust mask until the peat is wet is not a bad idea.

    Mixtures don't have to be precise. Wet down the peat first. Since dry peat initially resists absorbing water this can be a challenge. Everybody has their own method of doing this. I usually put 5-6 inches of water into a bucket or an old 1/2 gallon plastic ice cream container, grab an handful, squeeze it tightly then hold under the water and release the pressure slightly, then squeeze and loosen up repeatly until the peat soaks through. I then lightly squeeze it out and dump in to a bucket until I estimate I have enough to work with.

    Some people find using hot water hydrates the peat quickly.

    Some people find mixing some LFS into the peat works.

    What ever works for you. Experiment.

    Anyway, add water if needed to the wet peat so it has a muddy texture. Then I just take one scoop of peat and one scoop of sand into another bucket. Use anything for the scoop - old 1 serving yougart containers is what I use. Then just mix it up with a planting spoon - any old spoon will do. Do this in small batchs and transfer the mix to another bucket if you're making a lot. Adjust the amount of sand/peat to what ever "feels" good to you - it also varies with the coarseness of the sand and peat.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Gamer Ridetsu's Avatar
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    great advice! thanks!
    ~The Fallen and Forgotten~

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Oh, you might want to rinse the sand first. Horticultural sand should be ok to use as is but I like to make sure any little particles that might clog up the roots are washed out.

    I usually put some in a bucket or ice cream container, run tap water into it. Pour out as much of it without pouring out the sand and repeat a few times. Then a rinse or two with RO water.

    You can pour out any remaining water when you scoop it out, cover the cup with your hand the keep the sand in.

    Rubber kitchen gloves are helpful if you can work with them on.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    I have to agree with Not a Number - it's definitely easier to work with small batches at a time.

    I find that VFT's appreciate media that drains well, so I use a mixture of peat/silica sand/perlite/lava rock/fired clay all top dressed with a layer of LFS. Even when the media was wet and squeezed in my hand when initially mixing, it retained moisture very well but was still "fluffy" and not packed like sopping mud. Sit the pots in a tray of pure water and your plants will do fine.

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    Gamer Ridetsu's Avatar
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    okay! advice to anyone who reads this looking for knowledge!

    1 cup of dried peat becomes about 3/4 a cup when wet to VFT soil standard dampness.
    1 cup of sand is 1 cup of sand >.> wet or dry, it looses very little in terms of volume when water is applied.

    Recipe for manageable portions:
    1. add 1 cup of peat (dry)
    2. add 1 cup of sand.
    3. add 1 cup of peat (dry)
    4. add 1 cup of sand.
    5. Add 1/2 cup of peat(dry).
    (Alternate each one so its easier to stir and mix)
    6. use your hand or a spoon to mix them all around - pour some RO filtered/distilled water into it until the sand and peat are similar consistency.
    7. stir stir stir!

    ta-da, a small, manageable batch of potting soil for VFTs.

    Hope this helps someone in the future - thanks to everyone who gave advice!
    ~The Fallen and Forgotten~

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    I always add the water last, too. Then I just put my hands in the mixing bowl and drown the peat while mixing it up. Otherwise, the peat just floats all over the place to begin with.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I have used a spaghetti collander, a pool filter basket, buckets,... Sand is best in a bucket, filling, swishing and drainung. Anything with small holes is good for peat and LFS. I knead the peat and LFS, so that it is thrououghly saturated, before draining.

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