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Question for tapla - 100% turface mixtures

posted by: dissident on 02.25.2009 at 10:08 pm in House Plants Forum

I've read through your threads and heard you mention that you have used 100% turface in some of your house plants.

I was just wondering if you noticed any benefit from using the crushed granite and barks in the mixture, and is there any practical purpose to adding them to a mixture other then adding an organic component?

Will the plants like having the fir bark in the mixture more then 100% turface? I know it makes the soil look pretty, but meh... functionality over style for me. :)

I'm looking for a mixture that will hold water a few extra days without watering while avoiding the problems with peat and it's tendency to displace water if allowed to dry out, so my plan was just to go 100% turface MVP ... deciding whether or not it needed sifting when I purchased it.

If I didn't sift do you think it would retain too much water on it's own without anything else added? These are houseplants in 6-8 inch pots.. nothing larger then that.

Thanks. :)

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clipped on: 05.31.2010 at 05:31 pm    last updated on: 05.31.2010 at 05:31 pm

Supplies by State/Region: Al's Gritty Mix

posted by: greyslate on 04.06.2009 at 07:17 pm in Container Gardening Forum

When starting out looking for the supplies for Als Gritty Mix, I ran into some walls. Aided by the indomitable tapla;), I was lucky enough to find everything needed. I thought that we could start a thread in which everyone who is using the Gritty Mix posts where they found supplies in order to help out new converts in their area. Ive started with some Maryland information please follow-up with what youve found!

If youre still looking, and no ones posted/found supplies in your area, use these tips from tapla:
Grani-grit "Go to MSN Yellow Pages; Enter Grain Elevator under 'Business name or category'; Enter Location under 'Location'; Call those businesses with 'grain', 'elevator', or 'farming services' after the bold 'category'; Ask for crushed granite grower grit. If they say they have it, be sure it is crushed granite before you head out to pick it up. It might be helpful to ask if it is packaged under the name 'Gran-I-Grit'." I also got lucky looking under "feed suppliers/stores" ...
Turface Use the website to find local distributors: http://www.profileproducts.com/en/sports_fields/wheretobuy.htm

State/Region/Province: Maryland (Central/North)
Turface: Newsom Seed Company, locations in Fulton and Gaithersburg (sells by the 50# bag), www.newsomseed.com
Grani-Grit: The Mill, Parkton (Does not normally stock it, but readily orders it for no extra fee; will sell small quantities) (410) 329-6558
Bark fines: "GardenPro, Premium Bark Mulch" from Lowes (must be sifted through screens for size, but decent to start with)

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clipped on: 05.31.2010 at 05:29 pm    last updated on: 05.31.2010 at 05:29 pm

RE: Substitutes for ingredients in Al's gritty mix (Follow-Up #32)

posted by: tapla on 04.16.2010 at 04:30 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Hi, Diane - I use gypsum as a Ca source in the gritty mix. When a lower soil pH is desired, or when making the gritty mix, there is benefit in using gypsum as a Ca source in lieu of dolomite (garden lime) because the gypsum doesn't raise pH. Whenever you do chose to use gypsum instead of dolomite as your Ca source, you need a Mg source. For that, Epsom salts fills the bill very nicely.

As a general rule, I use lime in the 5:1:1 mix to raise pH and supply Ca/Mg. In the gritty mix, I use gypsum because it DOESN'T raise pH and to supply Ca (and S). Because Ca and Mg need to be present in soils in a favorable ratio, and you DO need a Mg source, when using gypsum I also use Epsom salts. Clear? .... or still fuzzy? ;o)

4 kinds of mint in the gritty mix, all pinched nice & tight:

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Chocolate, pineapple, spearmint, and I forget mint. They'll grow equally well in the 5:1:1 mix, too.


Al

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clipped on: 05.31.2010 at 05:25 pm    last updated on: 05.31.2010 at 05:26 pm

RE: Substitutes for ingredients in Al's gritty mix (Follow-Up #34)

posted by: tapla on 04.16.2010 at 06:25 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Lol - because they grow so fast, I use the 5:1:1 mix for brugs & datura. There is no way I would go 2 years with these plants in the same soil. They really need root work beyond potting up every year. Those are also one of the few plants that I give a little extra Mg to - both in the ground and containers (I grow them in the ground as annuals & take cuttings every summer to winter over for next year's plants).

The 5:1:1 mix is very good for houseplants and holds up much better/longer than peat/coir/compost-based soils, but the gritty mix would still perform a little better. I always judge what soil to use by how long the plant will be in the same soil. Even though the 5:1:1 mix is much more durable than most packaged soils, I still hold pretty tight to the rule: 1 year in the same soil = 5:1:1. 2 or more years in the same soil = the gritty mix. In the end though, it's whatever you feel is the best choice for you. I'm not selling (you on) soil recipes, I'm selling the importance of aeration and durability in your soils, and showing you various ways to achieve those ends. After I've helped folks understand those points, it really doesn't matter to me what they choose to grow in, though it always pleases me to learn of people having improved their effort:reward ratio because of something I might have shared. ;o)

Take good care. I know you'll do well!

Al

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clipped on: 05.31.2010 at 05:24 pm    last updated on: 05.31.2010 at 05:24 pm

Foliage Pro verses MG and other fertilizers on my plants.Pics

posted by: meyermike_1micha on 05.22.2010 at 08:00 pm in House Plants Forum

Plants I have regularly with Foliage Pro, at every watering at 1/4 or more teaspoon per gallon in a gritty and 5.1.1 mix...After a year
All pictures taken today..

How about you? Do you have any pictures of plants fed with just Foliage Pro? A years worth or more using just FP?

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Plants fed Miracle Grow and miracid..

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Mike..:-)

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clipped on: 05.30.2010 at 09:43 pm    last updated on: 05.30.2010 at 09:43 pm