Portland Oregon, USA|
Zone 8 usually
----- Original Message -----
To: "Discussion of aroids"
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2005 9:52 PM
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] commercial mixes- get real, learn how to grow!
What I think I hear you saying is that the soil mix is irrelevant if only
the grower will learn what the hell he or she is doing? That seems like a
curious comment, and a wrong one. Are you honestly telling me that you can
grow Astrophytum asterias in pure peat moss? Well, maybe you could if you
wanted to spend an inordinate amount of time "observing" that one plant.
We have been blessed with 1000 different mixes to choose from for a
reason. Maybe we could happily get by on 10 rather than 1000, but
different plants like different conditions and there's no reason to try to
shoehorn the same conditions into every mix.
If I have a nursery pot that's 7" high and the bottom 5" are wet and the
top 2" are bone dry, that is bad. If I have tubers planted in it that have
not broken the soil yet, how can I observe my plants? And if they are in
active growth, shall I wait for them to wilt to water again? I don't think
that's a good way to grow a healthy plant. It may survive but I want them
to thrive. And how many signals do plants give? Not too many, depends on
the plant. The above mentioned Astro. asterias usually gives two signals:
I am alive; I am dead. If you manage to catch a condition between the two
you can be fairly sure that state 2 is not far off for it will not easily
Or maybe what I was saying in my original post was that the mix I was
using gives me NO slack and I want to find one that does. Lots, if
possible. I'm a one-guy operation and for better or worse *I* run the
hose. I want to become a good commercial grower and in that quest I seek
good tools to help.
Lucky for us there are a bunch of people on aroid-l that will give of
Derek Burch wrote:
With all due respect to the companies and researchers who have done such
valuable work, all that matters is that you learn how to water. If you
get that wrong, you can blame the mixes, blame the weather, blame the
size pot, but it is you who are to blame if things go wrong. A good
commercial grower knows that it is his/her most experienced person who
should be holding the hose.
That said, the value of the research work has been in developing mixes
that allow us to slack off in our observation of what is going on with
the plants, and give us a little slack.
Read your plants, learn how to water and if you only have time to grow
six plants properly, don’t try to outdo your neighbour by growing two
I know, I killed off a bunch of my beloved gingers after switching to a
coir-based mix, and not realising what a bear it was to water properly.
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