Viewing post #19016 by tapla

You are viewing a single post made by tapla in the thread called Container Soils - Water Movement and Retention.
Imagetapla
Feb 7, 2010 9:45 PM CST
Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Lynn - I would definitely use this for anything you think will be in the soil for more than a year:
1 part uncomposted pine or fir bark
1 part Turface
1 part crushed granite
1 Tbsp gypsum per gallon of soil
CRF (if desired)
Source of micro-nutrients or use a fertilizer that contains all essentials
I use 1/8 -1/4 tsp Epsom salts per gallon of fertilizer solution when I fertilize (check your fertilizer - if it is soluble, it is probable it does not contain Ca or Mg.

You'll find that your houseplants love it. I post a lot over on GW, and there are 100s of people over there using it, and I've been using it myself for around 20 years. I've yet to find anything that works better or is more forgiving of grower errors.

Melissa - Cedar isn't good for soils because it contains terpenoid and phenolic biocompounds known to be allelopathic (inhibit growth) to many other plants. While pine and fir BARK are excellent as the primary fraction of container media, pine shavings and hardwood shavings or bark are not good choices. The wood shavings are mostly cellulose, so they break down very quickly, this causes N immobilization (robs N from the medium) and the rapid decomposition generates a considerable amount of heat during the composting process (same reason your compost pile 'heats up'), which can also cause much more harm than you might imagine.

Probably not a lot of pine trees growing in your neighborhood, huh? Smiling Are there any operations in your area that cater to the orchid growers? If so, they would be a likely source of the bark like you see at the top of the pic below, which is perfect for the gritty mix recipe I just posted.

Al

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