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  Vermiculite
From: "Greg Ruckert" <uasonyero at ezinet.com.au> on 1997.04.19 at 22:34:43(648)
I was fascinated by the comments about vermiculite. I use it for seed
raising - was doing so with Cactus some 30 years ago.
Have just depotted my Arisaemas and packed them in vermiculite for their 6
week cold storage period.
Have more recently become very serious about growing exhibition standard
Dahlias and the top growers over winter their tubers in vermiculite.

I wonder if the difference is this:
In all the above cases the vermiculite is not overwatered and is not used
for longer than say 3 months.
Any feedback will be appreciated.
Greg Ruckert

+More
From: jhlawrence <jhl at kuentos.guam.net> on 1997.04.20 at 20:24:14(651)
All my experience with vermiculite is that is a temporary admendment
(months not years) and that if moisture is at adequate levels that it
serves the purpose for which it is intended.

bart

From: SNALICE at aol.com on 1997.04.21 at 12:04:01(656)
For what purpose would a temporary vermicular amendment be? I'm not sure
this is a clear question, but what exactly is vermiculite for? I always
thought it was for aiding in containment of moisture as for moisture loving
plants (more than temporary) or to start seed (only temporary). Is it a
benificial amendment, or just benificial for a spicific use? For what
purpose was vermiculite originally intended?
I tried starting some seed which required light to germinate. My method
was to top some soil with a bit of peat moss, thourghly saturate it and lay
the seed on top of that. The problem which occured was that the soil and the
peat moss would dry out, leaving the seed to dry out, thereby causing a need
to spray the seed to keep it damp until it germinated, which also caused some
damping off at a later stage of growth (it hadn't occured to me yet to cover
the box of pots with plastic wrap to keep moisture in). Last night I
watered down a pot filled with vermiculite and checked it this morning. It
was just as wet as when I watered it last night. Would vermiculite be a good
medium for starting seed eliminating the need to spray or cover pots with
plastic (once a seed or two sprouts, it becomes necessary to uncover the box
of seeds for growth leaving the ungerminated seed to dry out, you see,
requiring lots of space and millions of pot tags, neither of which I have).
SO, how would vermiculite do?
And referring to Gerg Ruckert's intended use of vermiculite for bulb
storage, does vermiculite draw moisture on it's own to prevent bulbs from
drying out, or is the vermiculite dampened?
Thanks!
Sue Zunino

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