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  Soil mix!!
From: angel morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.04.01 at 11:30:13(8397)
Hi to Aroid heads!!

I was wondering what a good soil mix is for you all out there, apart from
the usual answer, like one with good drainage: more to the point, what is a
good blend for a potting mix for Aroids , planted in containers...I am
presently using a fafard mix , and was wondering if any one would care to
share their own personal mixes or blends ( soil-recipes) that they have had
great success with.

regards angel

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From: "Cooper, Susan L." SLCooper at scj.com> on 2002.04.01 at 12:01:05(8398)

What is a fafard mix?

Susan

From: angel morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.04.01 at 13:03:25(8400)
FAFARD's is a company name or Brand of potting mix , that is commercially
distributed in the states , and I would suppose else where too. I am using
it now to root some of my Aroids , but , don't like the fact that it tends
to dry hard and dense to the touch. I think that I should create a blend or
mix , with other ingredients too, like , Peat moss , and coarse sand, and
Perlite or other, to lighten the mix a little bit more. Any thoughts. angel
--
Angel151@earthlink.net

From: Iza & Carol Goroff goroff at idcnet.com> on 2002.04.01 at 13:03:38(8401)
Fafard is a brand of several peat based mixes. At one time Fafard 2B was
trumpeted as a good alternative for orchids. It (and many other peat
based mixes) work well for many aroids, although it may be too moisture
retentive for some.

Iza Goroff

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From: Piabinha at aol.com on 2002.04.01 at 17:07:58(8402)
In a message dated Mon, 1 Apr 2002 4:04:08 PM Eastern Standard Time, Iza & Carol Goroff writes:

> Fafard is a brand of several peat based mixes. At one time Fafard 2B was
> trumpeted as a good alternative for orchids. It (and many other peat
> based mixes) work well for many aroids, although it may be too moisture
> retentive for some.

wouldn't one solution be to use it in a clay pot, not plastic? btw, fafard is a canadian brand and i have heard good things about it. except that it is not easy to find in nyc, at least.

tsuh yang

From: "Cooper, Susan L." SLCooper at scj.com> on 2002.04.01 at 17:08:46(8405)
That sounds good. I tend to add more and more perlite to my mixes as I tend
to overwater a lot.
If you look at the archives there have been a lot of discussions on soil
mixes:
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From: "Cooper, Susan L." SLCooper at scj.com> on 2002.04.01 at 17:08:57(8406)
Hmmm-
Iza, we are both in Wisconsin, so I'm surprised I never heard of this one.
Like Angel, I'm always looking around for the perfect mix, although I know
I'll never find it! :)

Susan

From: Regferns at aol.com on 2002.04.01 at 17:09:11(8407)
I use Fafard 3B for my aroids and my ferns (which require excellent
drainage).

Reggie Whitehead

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From: angel morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.04.01 at 17:09:34(8409)
So , what do you suggest one do , to lighten the medium up a little: any
thoughts...angel
--
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From: "Celeste Whitlow" politicalamazon at charter.net> on 2002.04.01 at 19:11:37(8411)
One can always add perlite, as long as the species is not sensitive to
fluoride which perlite gives off (it's a problem in greenhouse production
with gladiolas and some palms, but I've not heard of it being a problem in
species in the Araceae family).

This is my first attempt to grow an Amorphophallus, so perhaps someone with
more experience can help. In the mix I made, I used a very good organic
potting soil and added perlite to it. It drains very well, without a
perched water table (which is sometimes a problem in potted plants); when
the noncapillary water has drained, the moisture meter reads a little above
midrange between "wet" and "dry." It maintains this moisture level for two
days (so far; of course, there is probably very little root growth as of
yet).

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From: "Clarence Hammer" chammer at cfl.rr.com> on 2002.04.02 at 11:46:56(8413)
I find for here in Florida, that straight Fafard mix, or any of the
peat-based mixes, are much too water retentive
for almost anything, even Philodendrons. I do like Fafard 2B, which has
perlite and bark in it, but like their styrofoam mix better (2P?). I mix
any of the peat based mixes with equal parts of perlite and finely ground
pine bark. The bark may be hard to find in the north, but half or more of
perlite to a peat based mix is better than the peat by itself. Just not
enough 'crunchy' stuff in it to provide the aeration that Aroids need. I
would not
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From: angel morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.04.02 at 11:47:48(8414)
What do you mean by a perched water table in this context? angel
--
Angel151@earthlink.net

From: angel morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.04.02 at 11:48:04(8415)
Hi , I keep hearing a lot of Numbers , being ascribed to Fafard mixes. I
don't think that I will be able to procure a bag of Farfard potting mix
within the New York area , of that caliber: then again , maybe I could.

Where is the number for typing the specific grade of Fafard located on the
bag? And how does this numbering of the types make them different from one
another? Is it like comparing apples to oranges... thanks angel
--
Angel151@earthlink.net

From: "Cooper, Susan L." SLCooper at scj.com> on 2002.04.02 at 13:21:40(8420)

Thank heavens for the internet.
http://www.fafard.com/

From: "Cooper, Susan L." SLCooper at scj.com> on 2002.04.02 at 13:22:05(8422)
This discussion made me remember:
Last summer I rinsed some perlite in a bucket (I can't remember why at this
-senior- moment). Draining the water off was difficult, I realized too late
I should have had a strainer. I figured with the summer heat and the fact
that perlite is so good for drainage, the water would go to the bottom of
the bucket and I could pour it off easily. Also, I thought the perlite would
dry really fast in 90F. Ha.
Wouldn't you know that didn't work, the perlite never did dry, after about a
week it developed a green tint and I ended up throwing it all out!
Made me wonder if perlite is as great for drainage as I thought. It seems
to migrate to the top of my pots too.

Wish I could afford pumice! Angel, that is supposed to be great for
drainage, but is quite pricey from what I hear, I've never used it.

S

From: angel morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.04.02 at 14:54:39(8424)
Hmmm, I thought the same thing about Perlite: it has a tendency to float up
to the top of my pots too, which I don't like, as the pots then look like
there is some kind of fungal growth on them as a result. Just the other day,
I rescued a syngonium, from a plant store that wasn't paying much attention
to the health of the plant , and the plant was languishing in some poor
state. At any rate, I did buy the plant and thought, that this plant might
be suffering from some blight, of a fungal nature, as the floating perlite
particles at the time , were not identified by me, to be that of perlite.
Well, needless to say, after rinsing off all soil from the root ball, and
repotting in a fresh soil mix, with perlite added to the mix, the floating
particles did once again appear before me, at the top of the pot , and were
correctly identified as perlite ; took this much to learn that they don't
always stay in the actual mix , and do tend to float up to the tops of pots
..argh!!
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From: "Cooper, Susan L." SLCooper at scj.com> on 2002.04.02 at 14:54:51(8425)
Can someone explain the pine bark to me? I've never quite gotten it clear
in my mind...
I thought folks put down pine mulch because "something" in the pine bark
helps prevent weeds from growing. The explanation given to me was that not
much grows in a pine forest (except the pines, duh) due to some inhibitor
with the pine needles, or roots or ???.
Am I just totally nuts or has anyone else ever heard this?

If it isn't true I'll start adding a little pine bark to my mix, it is easy
to find here (up north), people use it for decoration.

Susan

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From: angel morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.04.02 at 15:59:09(8427)
Hi Aroiders,
How many of you are using Pumice to add aeration and porocity to their soil
mixes, and how does it add up , vis-a-vis, to Perlite, or Vermiculite?
Aroid head at heart...well, among other things...angel
--
Angel151@earthlink.net

From: "George R Stilwell, Jr." grsjr at juno.com> on 2002.04.02 at 19:31:56(8429)
Angel,

It's the peat moss that causes Farfard to harden when dry. Adding more
will only

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From: "George R Stilwell, Jr." grsjr at juno.com> on 2002.04.02 at 19:32:06(8430)
Angel,

Pumice! Not me!

Chick-Grit is much cheaper. It's granite ground to a specific size for

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From: millern at wave.co.nz on 2002.04.03 at 08:36:55(8431)
Susan

Here in New Zealand we use pine bark a lot in potting mixes
(because we have large quantities of it, and peat supplies are
limited). We mostly use bark from the Monterey Pine, Pinus
radiata. However, it needs processing before it can be used. The
following exerpt from an article in 'Begonia News', a local
publication, by Dr Rod Bieleski, a horticultural scientist, will
probably tell you more than you ever wanted to know :)

"We take for granted the barkbased potting mix we use today,
but a lot of research had to go in before it could be reliably
used. The man who did most of the work was Munoo Prasad
of the old MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) Levin
Horticultural Research Centre, and in the 1980s he spent
several years in identifying and solving problems. Three
particular kinds came from using pine bark. It's very low in
nutrients, has a tot of tannins, and creates too much acid even
for acidlovers like Camellias. It has to be pre-fed with nitrogen
 if not, the bark gobbles up all the nitrogen from the fertiliser
you put on before the plant gets a chance. And it has to be
mixed with a surprisingly large amount of dolomite lime to keep
the acidity in check, and to precipitate the tannins. Quite a lot
goes into making a good mix before it reaches you. There's a
tot more to it than just mixing up ground bark and pumice sand.

"During the 7 months or so we are growing plants, the mix is
progressively changing. The bark keeps breaking down and
releasing small particles, impeding drainage and generating
more acid. The bark also keeps gobbling up nitrogen. Though
we apply nutrients in our fertiliser, we aren't providing any
buffer for the acid. And then we store the bark for 5 months
until the next season. We've stopped feeding the nutrients, but
the mix keeps on breaking down, keeps on making acid and
keeps on sopping up any residual nutrients."

I hope this helps

Nick Miller

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From: Alektra at aol.com on 2002.04.03 at 08:37:42(8432)
What's permatil?

In a message dated 4/3/2 3:32:20 AM, grsjr@juno.com writes:
>It's the peat moss that causes Farfard to harden when dry. Adding more

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From: "Clarence Hammer" chammer at cfl.rr.com> on 2002.04.03 at 08:38:17(8435)
Susan, I have also heard of 'something' being in pine bark and needles that
discourage growth of weeds, so you don't have to move to the funny farm.
I've also heard that you should use cypress mulch because pine bark mulch
attracts roaches. Also heard they all attract termites. Perhaps faery
tales, rumor, grandpa's wood lore, or fact.

The idea with a mulch of any kind is that if it's thick enough, as in at
least 3 to 4 inches, most weeds will not grow thru it, and it also cuts off
light to any seeds that may require it to germinate. Even layers of
newspaper, sawdust, etc can be a mulch.

Bark in a mix apparently uses up nitrogen as it breaks down, so if it's a
large part of the mix, extra nitrogen as
fertilizer should be used.

I don't like bark 'nuggets' (big 3 to 4 inch pieces) which is widely
available here as a mulch. The fine stuff that's left in that bag after the
chunks are taken out is what I like. 2 cubic foot bags of it are available
here for just a few dollars if one looks long enough. 'Fine' to me is
pieces about 1/4 inch and smaller.

Another product I like is called 'soil conditioner' here. I think it's fine
bark that's been composted but not completely. Lot of 'soil-like' material
mixed with small bark. I've only seen it offered at wholesale nursery
supply places.

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From: Iza & Carol Goroff goroff at idcnet.com> on 2002.04.03 at 08:38:41(8437)
Most greenhouse orchids are potted in fir bark, not so different from pine
bark. Many commercial pot plants are potted in one kind of bark or another.
Bark mixes, mostly bark are used by nurseries specializing in broadleaf
evergreens.

The effect of a pine mulch in preventing the germination of weeds is due to
shading the soil surface where weed seeds require light to germinate.

Iza Goroff

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From: Denis denis at skg.com> on 2002.04.03 at 09:10:16(8438)
Susan:

Pine bark come invarious grades and particle sizes. Most Home owners are
familiar with the large coarse pieces that are used as garden mulch to
form an insulating barrier of esthetically pleasing natural material to
prevent soil moisture loss and weed seeds from taking root. I do not
know if they have any chemical Properties that would prevent weed
growth.

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From: IntarsiaCo at aol.com on 2002.04.03 at 11:44:51(8440)
In a message dated 4/3/2002 11:38:43 AM Eastern Standard Time, chammer@cfl.rr.com writes:

Always looking for a new soil amendment, I'm fascinated with experimentation
in potting mixes, especially for my Aroids. Anyone with ideas, experiences,
suggestions, would love to hear from you on this forum.

I am having success with a potting mix suggested by a grower of terresterial orchids consisting of fir bark, charcoal, perlite, pumice, coir, and long fiber sphagnum moss- I sometimes add some leaf mould or peat. This mix deteriorates after a couple of years and must be replaced.
Mark Mazer
Intarsia Ltd.

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From: "George R Stilwell, Jr." grsjr at juno.com> on 2002.04.03 at 12:23:36(8445)
>>The effect of a pine mulch in preventing the germination of weeds is
due to
>>shading the soil surface where weed seeds require light to germinate.

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From: "George R Stilwell, Jr." grsjr at juno.com> on 2002.04.03 at 12:23:49(8446)
I've also heard that you should use cypress mulch because pine bark mulch
attracts roaches. --- faery tale

Also heard they all attract termites. ---- grandpa's wood lore

>From 22 years of experience, I can tell you bith of these are false

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From: "George R Stilwell, Jr." grsjr at juno.com> on 2002.04.03 at 12:24:13(8448)
>The pine bark used in soilless mixes is finer particulate size and is
>composted so that most of the parts of the bark which are digestible by
>micro-organisms are used up with only the hard to digest lignified parts
>are left. The size of the pieces of pine bark are 1/4 inch or so and are
>not the big chunks you find used for garden mulch.

Quite true. I use a product called "Aged Base". I found out about it at
the J. C. Raulston
Arboretum where they use it by the 30 yard truckload. Unfortunately, the
mill
that sells the stuff was bought by a bigger outfit, so I'm not sure it's
aged as well

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From: angel morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.04.03 at 15:28:48(8453)
on 4/3/02 2:45 PM, IntarsiaCo@aol.com at IntarsiaCo@aol.com wrote:

>
> Always looking for a new soil amendment, I'm fascinated with experimentation
> in potting mixes, especially for my Aroids. Anyone with ideas, experiences,
> suggestions, would love to hear from you on this forum.
>
>
> I am having success with a potting mix suggested by a grower of terresterial
> orchids consisting of fir bark, charcoal, perlite, pumice, coir, and long
> fiber sphagnum moss- I sometimes add some leaf mould or peat. This mix
> deteriorates after a couple of years and must be replaced.
>
> Mark Mazer

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From: "Clarence Hammer" chammer at cfl.rr.com> on 2002.04.04 at 08:36:51(8461)
Thanks, Mark, for the recipe. This is
REALLY crunchy, and would work very well here where you can cut the humidity
with a knife.
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From: IntarsiaCo at aol.com on 2002.04.04 at 08:37:04(8462)
In a message dated 4/3/2002 6:29:22 PM Eastern Standard Time, angel151@earthlink.net writes:

, what is the ratio of ingredients to this mix

Approximately 50% fir bark, 10% charcoal, 15% perlite, 5% pumice with the other ingredients making up the balance.
Mark Mazer
Intarsia Ltd.

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