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Luara in VB Potting Mix

Posted by joanr 8bTX (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 8, 11 at 17:16

Laura,

I saw your pictures of your babies that don't want to go to sleep :) and I really like the mix you have them in. Can you share with me what you used to make your mix and in what proportions. I see it appears to be a mix that Al recommends but wondered what you were able to find that works for you.

Thanks, Joan


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Hi Joanr,

Thank you for noticing the little ones not sleeping!! LOL!!

The pics on that thread are of my pots that have extra Fir bark on top that i place there to protect the roots that go crazy during the summer from the sun. I aslo like the look of the bark in the pots as well. Kind of like putting mulch around your beds to look fresh!! I love the look.
Since i do make my mix, and i have the larger particles left from making the gritty mix, i use the larger pieces on the tops of the containers. I just like to use all of the product.

I do like the gritty mix, and i have posted some pics that i have potted in the gritty mix on Al's thread. My other larger pots will need to be repotted this spring, so i will repot them into the 4-3-2 ratio of the mix.

4 parts turface
3 parts Fir Bark
2 parts granigrit (crushed granite)

Sometimes it is difficult to find the ingredients, just as i said in the orig post that AL posted . I did try to find the mix for Jack Morgans recipe, but found a dead end. People on the west coast have a better chance to find some great ingredients that i cant find here. That's when i searched for another way to find a fast draining mix.

Everyone has their own recipe that may work for them. Some like what they use and that is wonderful! I wasnt satisfied with my mix that i was using..so i wanted to change.

You can use what is available in your area. Sometimes you just have to look and do some searching. It all depends on how hard you want to help your plants.

Believe me, it did take me a long time to finally find the right ingredients and apply the reasoning behind why its important for the health of the roots.

I hope this makes sense...

When i started i used other soils that came form the box stores. Some like them, some dont. I didnt and that is why i looked to make my own..

It is a commitment to make the soil, but i find that i enjoy the time making the soil, mixing my water for the fertilizing and watering them.

This time of the year, gives me the break to become excited again as spring rolls around and i start to see claw activity on the ends of the stems.

I will get ready then to start to root prune all of the large trees and get ready for another season!

Its so sad to think this one is over.. : (

I love these trees and this past year was the best year for inflos for me!!!

I cant wait until next year!!!

Take care everyone!!!

Laura in VB


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Thanks Laura for responding. I really like the look of this mix if I can find the supplies here in Texas. I know I can't get the west coast items unless I want to pay the outrageous shipping costs, which I don't. So I am on a quest to see what I can find to closely duplicate Al's mix for my potted plumerias. I know some people that planted their plumerias in straight mulch beds and they do great for them. They pull them up for winter and then refresh their beds with mulch in the spring and replant. These are trees that they plant and they bloom great for them. Going to try a few like that this next year. Will have to see how they compare in the mulch versus in the pot.


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Thanks Laura for responding. I really like the look of this mix if I can find the supplies here in Texas. I know I can't get the west coast items unless I want to pay the outrageous shipping costs, which I don't. So I am on a quest to see what I can find to closely duplicate Al's mix for my potted plumerias. I know some people that planted their plumerias in straight mulch beds and they do great for them. They pull them up for winter and then refresh their beds with mulch in the spring and replant. These are trees that they plant and they bloom great for them. Going to try a few like that this next year. Will have to see how they compare in the mulch versus in the pot.


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Joan, you can get all the supplies at Lowes. The lava rock is $4.25 a bag, the crushed granite is $5.50 a bag. Here in San Antonio I pick up the torn bags that they place on a pallet. I got granite for $1.50 a bag yesterday at Callaghan Rd. Perlite on the other hand is $.50 cheaper at Wal-Mart. I shop at 3 diffrent Lowes and they all have a mark down torn bag pallet. It is always way in the back on the gardening section. The bags are marked already, usually between 50% to 75% off original price. I was there buying Amaryllis bulbs for $3.99 each, and ran across the granite. They also had pea gravel bags, but I passed on them.


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

I don't know what my problem is, but for the life of me I cannot replicate this potting mix...

I'm in Illinois.


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

perennialfan, I completely understand and am in the same boat as you are. I did finally find the crushed granite. I bought what was called chicken grit from a farm/feed store. They had 3 sizes I took the middle size and am glad I did. It looks like it will be perfect.

Al, located a place which is quite a drive away from here where I can get turface so I will need to take a drive there one day. I have not found pine bark yet but I assume in the spring nurseries will have some. Time will tell.

Good luck getting your ingredients.


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Laura- number of my babies that have gone dormant= 0
number of my babies that have lost half leaves= 2
number who still think it is summer and still are flowering to some extent= 168
number that stopped flowering but are confused=118
number of flowers on psycho= over a hundred
I think there is some winter confusion around here.


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Laura said to get reptile bark from petsmart petco or any animal store for the pine bark.


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

There's a wonderful thread in the Container Gardening Forum on where to locate the ingredients for Al's Gritty Mix and the 511 Mix... link below. It's entirely possible you'll find the exact information you're looking for.

There's also the original article that explains the mediums, has the recipes, ingredients lists, and is worth a thorough read! That thread is called "Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention XIV". It's right on the first page of the forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Supplies by State/Region


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Hey Bill,

Im wanting to say.... "Priceless!"

LOL...

Number of trees gone dormant...0 Lucky dog!!!

Number of trees still blooming... 168 Lucky dog!!!

Number of blooms on my Psycho still........ 1

Winter confusion? Definetaly!!!!!

You just have California Plumies!!! They just love the sunshine and the "Costa" living...

Yesterday it was 75* Today the high was 45* Talk about winter confusion...LOL

Lucky dog!!! : )

LL,

I did find Petsmart had the Firbark it was called Reptibark by ZooMed. Some use it straight from the bag and some screen down to the right size.

When i looked for the Fine Bark Fines I just couldnt find what i was looking for. So that is why i went with the Reptibark from Petsmart. I wait until it goes on sale to get the large bags. It can be pricy to buy it at cost. But when it goes on sale i buy at least 3 bags to keep on hand. It depends on how much you use.

Hope this helps!!!

It took me some time to locate all of the ingredients too!!

But it is worth finding these items!!

Good Luck!!

Hi Minderella,

It is Fir bark that is at the Petsmart in the Reptibark.

its not Pine bark. I cant find a proper size Pine Bark Fines here...that will work for me. Some people around the US can find these items, some of us have to look around abit more.

Hope you are doing well!!!! : )

Take care,

Laura in VB


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

I found the fir bark chips at one of the pet stores by me, but at $15 a bag (about 1 cu. ft.) it's pricey! I could easily go through a dozen bags to repot just half my plumies.

I'd consider it at half that price, but I think for now I'll stick with my composted "shredded forest product" as it seems to be making my plants pretty happy. I've got all the decomposed granite I need and found super-expanded shale to use until I get the Turface.

Unfortunately for a lot of us, you've got to really want to get this stuff because it's just not readily available at most garden centers.


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Hi Jodi,

Thank you for posting the link...

I know everyone will really enjoy the information!!!

Thank you for that...i dont know how to copy a link..so thanks!!! : )

Laura in VB

Hi Jen...You are right. It is like a treasure hunt to locate these ingredients, but it is worth the effort and your trees will be smiling!!!

Take care..


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Jen,

I'm not spending $15/cf either. I like that shredded forest product. its like reading the legal descriptor on a cheap ice cream container..."frozen dairy product"

that super expanded shale should be a comparable to turface. Assuming super expanded means it was cooked until all the moisture flashed out of it. Thus making lots of pores and holes.

I am delving deep into lost memories of my second or third college sophomore year geology class...but shale and clay were similar sedimentary compositions. Maybe shale comes from a clay deposit.

If i read the info correctly online Turface is nothing more than superheated clay. Clay has much more moisture so I would assume that it has more pores and holes than the shale but you make due with what you can find.


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

Hello EVeryone,

Hi Jen,

Hi K,

I do agree that the Reptibark can be expensive, I wish that i could find another source of fine bark fines locally in my area too! Sounds like the Shredded Forest works for you guys!!! Thats awesome!!!

When the Fir bark goes on sale is when i pick it up. I also haven't repotted all of my trees either. Im doing this in stages myself, starting with the smaller trees and newly rooted cuttings. I couldnt imagine redoing all of my trees either. I have to many...

This spring is when i will plan on rootpruning and barerooting them and introducing the older trees into the new mix. I cant wait to do this because some of the trees havnt preformed like they should. I know its because they are rootbound and are in need of some serious rootpruning.

I did learn this summer while out in CA that it isnt important to repot every season like some might think. I was amazed at the size of the containers that some had their trees in and they just prune to keep them in the smaller size pots. I like the idea of having a huge tree in a container no larger than a five gallon size. I wont go any larger with my trees since i have to bring them in and out every winter.

Thanks to everyone that has shared their ideas and thoughts here...

This is a great way to learn and especially for those that dont like to post ...I know some just read and have questions. Thank you to those who do ask!! Whether it is here or by email. There are alot of people that do have the same questions.

If i didnt ask my questions, I would still be trying to root cuttings...

Thanks Bill for all of your help when i first got into this wonderful world of Plumeria!!!

BG, If you are reading this too, Many Thanks to you!!! : ) You are truly an inspiration!!! Thank YOU!!! I cant thank you guys enough!!!

Al, Thank you to you as well!!! You are really helping us all learn about soil and nutrition for our trees and helping out in many ways. so, Thank You too!!!

I know others have really enjoyed all of the info...i have had many send me emails to thank all of the names mentioned above...i just wanted to say that people are reading and learning.. : )

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Plumie friends!!!

Oh..K,

Great question on the shale vs Turface.

Hopefully we can find the answer. LOL..it is like going back to class and wondering about all of this great information.

Take Care everyone!!!

Mahalo,

Laura in VB


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RE: Luara in VB Potting Mix

K, how many geology classes did you take?!

The shale is formed partially from clay but Al does say in another old thread that the expanded shale will not hold moisture as well as the Turface. I believe it must be because the shale (super-expanded is baked and described by one processor as ceramic-like) was naturally compressed as a sediment and, yes, must have lost most of the pores that the uncompressed clay would not have lost. I haven't felt Turface, but I imagine the SE shale is heavier. The stuff I got had no dust and was very uniformly sized (1/8"-1/4"). I'll bring some to the next meeting for you.

I potted up a couple of big adeniums (uh-huh, another addiction!) recently using cactus mix, SE shale and crushed granite and the mix is not only heavy and holding the root balls steady, it's staying nicely damp. Not wet, just moist. If they're dead when I get back from the holiday I'll know it was not a good mix, LOL! An expensive experiment.

Laura, I was really glad to hear when you mentioned a while back that the growers out West often stick with much smaller containers than you'd think for their trees. Five gallons is definitely doable! My neighbor's big 6- and 7-foot trees are all in 3- and 5-gallon containers and they bloom and grow nicely. I was just eyeing a 7- or maybe 10-gallon pot that's sitting empty on my deck, waiting for a plant, and thinking, "Ugh, I'm gonna have to move that thing, full and with an awkward 6-foot tree in it one day." Planting in-ground for the season and barerooting are looking more and more attractive!


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