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Jul 18, 2021 5:39 PM CST
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Bee Lover Butterflies Garden Photography Cat Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: Massachusetts
Region: Ukraine
Hi everyone,

I opened a bag of organic potting soil today in anticipation of potting up a bunch of herbs. But this mix is so dried out that it literally repels water. It will not absorb any at all.

I tried filling a pot and then submerging it in a bucket of water only to have the pot float! Float and tip over, spilling a good amount of the soil into the water. Still, it will not absorb anything. It's been there for hours, covered in water, and the soil is still powder-dry. Even the soil that is in the water is still dry.

I contacted the company and they explained that sometimes, the peat in the mix dries out so much that it will not absorb moisture. They are sending a full refund.

However, I can't bear to throw out the soil. Does anyone have any advice about how to rehydrate this so that I can use it?

Thanks in advance!
You don't kick walls down, you pull the nails out and let them fall.
AKA Joey.
Avatar for luis_pr
Jul 18, 2021 7:19 PM CST
Name: Luis
Hurst, TX, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
Azaleas Salvias Roses Plumerias Region: New Hampshire Hydrangeas
Hibiscus Region: Georgia Region: Florida Dog Lover Region: Texas
It can be very difficult to rewet dried out peat. You may even need to buy a rewetting agent at a good plant nursery.

You can dig a hole in the center of the potting mix, place some ice cubes in that area so they will melt in a few hours but it sounds like you are past that. Or put a very, very heavy weight on top of the potting mix to keep it submerged in water for a few days. If the refund arrives before the peat rewets, I would finally throw away the potting mix.
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Jul 18, 2021 7:22 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Joey, it really isn't that hard to rehydrate it (fortunately) - put some of the potting mix in a bucket or other container, then add some water and mix it with a trowel, a paint stirring stick, or whatever; add more water and repeat. Don't add a whole lot of water at one time; after you've done it a couple of times you will kind of get a "feel" for it. I actually love getting the really dry bags of potting mix because they are so lightweight - just takes a little time to get things back to where you want it Smiling
โ€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
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Jul 18, 2021 7:33 PM CST
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Hybridizer Region: Minnesota Seed Starter
The WITWIT Badge Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
use hot water.

Cold water, especially an ice cube!!!, does the opposite!!!
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
Last edited by Leftwood Jul 18, 2021 8:09 PM Icon for preview
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Jul 18, 2021 7:39 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL โ˜ผ๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
I would not use this or buy more of anything like it. Imagine trying to get it moist when you are watering your plants. Imagine how airless it is when it finally does fully hydrate. Horrible stuff.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
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Jul 18, 2021 7:40 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
I just use water from my rain barrels - I don't think it needs to be either hot or cold Smiling
โ€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
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Jul 18, 2021 7:43 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
purpleinopp said:I would not use this or buy more of anything like it. Imagine trying to get it moist when you are watering your plants. Imagine how airless it is when it finally does fully hydrate. Horrible stuff.


Confused Really? Have you ever bought a "bale" (package) of sphagnum peat? It comes compressed and very dry - and expands to about 3 times the size of the bale once it's rehydrated. Or bricks of coir? same thing. Jiffy-7 peat pellets - ditto.
โ€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
C/F temp conversion
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Jul 18, 2021 8:15 PM CST
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Hybridizer Region: Minnesota Seed Starter
The WITWIT Badge Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Using soft rain water as opposed to hard water does help some. But I do know from experience that if it is dry peat, hot water works best. (Sorry for the typo before, I did mean hot water, not how water. Hilarious! )

If you have a reason for poo-pooing my suggestion, Sandy, let's hear it! We are all here to learn.....
When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. - Socrates
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Jul 18, 2021 8:28 PM CST
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Bee Lover Butterflies Garden Photography Cat Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: Massachusetts
Region: Ukraine
All good suggestions. Fortunately, I did use hot water in the bucket, and there's a gallon-pot of it in there, but it's in a lot of water. I'll see how it is in the morning. And I'll probably take your suggestion Sandy and stir more in and give it time.

How is this dried-out stuff nutrient wise? Does it have any or have they all faded away?

Tiffany, it's Coast of Maine. I've used their products before and they've always been really good. I think these may have been in a warehouse or outside for too long, maybe because of the COVID year? They were very quick to offer a full refund.

And you're right Sandy, they were so lightweight! I actually bought them not only because I needed them, but because I could lift them so easily!

Thumbs up

I'm interested to hear how you use coir--I've got a few bricks and don't know what to do with them!
You don't kick walls down, you pull the nails out and let them fall.
AKA Joey.
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Jul 18, 2021 10:33 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Leftwood said:Using soft rain water as opposed to hard water does help some. But I do know from experience that if it is dry peat, hot water works best. (Sorry for the typo before, I did mean hot water, not how water. Hilarious! )

If you have a reason for poo-pooing my suggestion, Sandy, let's hear it! We are all here to learn.....


Aw, Rick - I would never poo-poo yoo (oops, make that you LOL). I can imagine hot water would be faster - I just don't have access to it outside so I use the rain barrel water. (Although hubs did rehydrate a bale of peat for me one time with the outside water hose, in about a tenth of the time it usually takes me... it was a little soggier than I would have wished for, but at least it wasn't dry anymore Rolling my eyes. ). I'm only poo-pooing the idea that the dried out stuff is no good and should be thrown away.
โ€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
C/F temp conversion
Image
Jul 18, 2021 10:49 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Joey, as far as nutrients go - usually what I'm rehydrating is Miracle Gro potting soil, and I think the fertilizer in that is more likely to be viable than in the bags that are wet (from sitting out in the rain at the garden center). Think fertilizer in a dry container as opposed to being wet. As far as the coir - the only thing I've ever used it for is to mix with some peat and potting soil for planting some blueberry bushes in large pots - I think it is basically a more sustainable substitute for peat (and as far as I know there are no nutrients in it).
โ€œThink occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
C/F temp conversion
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Jul 19, 2021 7:11 AM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL โ˜ผ๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
Peat and I do not get along. Yes, I've bought bales of peat in my earlier days. But since banning peat from my pots, I've found it so much easier to keep potted plants alive, and no more fungus gnats either.

I would recommend investigating coco coir to see if it would work for you as an alternative to peat if you want to use something store-bought. I have bought a few plants growing in coco coir and really love it. It doesn't seem to have the hydrophobic properties that peat does, stays moist longer, has more oxygen in it when moist, and easily falls off of roots when it's time to repot.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
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Jul 19, 2021 6:59 PM CST
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Bee Lover Butterflies Garden Photography Cat Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: Massachusetts
Region: Ukraine
Sandy, this seems to be working really well! And any water that is left over looks like compost tea so I'll use it to water my plants. Still have a bit of a way to go, but I think it's going to be okay!

Tiffany, I have coir blocks left over from when I was doing worm composting. They moisten and expand really quickly. Do you mix it in your potting soil? Or use it alone? Confused
You don't kick walls down, you pull the nails out and let them fall.
AKA Joey.
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Jul 20, 2021 10:11 AM CST
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Bee Lover Butterflies Garden Photography Cat Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: Massachusetts
Region: Ukraine
@Weedwhacker

Sandy, this is working so well! Thank you so much for the advice!

Since I have so much, I've switched to mixing it in a large bowl using my hands. I'm using dish-washing gloves so that I don't have to scrub my hands all the time. Now I can lift up from the bottom which might also aerate the mix. It's looking and behaving beautifully.

Still have a nice amount to rehydrate, but at least I'm on my way.

And thank you everyone for pitching in! Lovey dubby
You don't kick walls down, you pull the nails out and let them fall.
AKA Joey.
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Jul 20, 2021 3:05 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL โ˜ผ๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
I haven't purchased any but I would use it alone, like the couple of plants I purchased that were in that. It was so much better than any potting soil I've seen/had.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
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Jul 20, 2021 3:12 PM CST
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Bee Lover Butterflies Garden Photography Cat Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: Massachusetts
Region: Ukraine
Are you sure it wasn't mixed with other things?
You don't kick walls down, you pull the nails out and let them fall.
AKA Joey.
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Jul 20, 2021 3:30 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL โ˜ผ๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
I don't think so, just tiny brown spongy bits.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
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Jul 20, 2021 3:31 PM CST
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Bee Lover Butterflies Garden Photography Cat Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: Massachusetts
Region: Ukraine
Okay, thanks.
You don't kick walls down, you pull the nails out and let them fall.
AKA Joey.
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Jul 20, 2021 3:37 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL โ˜ผ๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
My pleasure! I was pricing that stuff the other night and they sure are proud of it! Considering getting some for a few pots, maybe. The pics never give any sense of scale & I'd prefer to buy in person if there was somewhere around here.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
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Jul 20, 2021 3:51 PM CST
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Bee Lover Butterflies Garden Photography Cat Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Region: Massachusetts
Region: Ukraine
Hydroponics stores usually have it.
You don't kick walls down, you pull the nails out and let them fall.
AKA Joey.

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