Mid Atlantic Gardening forum: Amendments: Turface, Coir, etc, sources/comments?

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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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sallyg
Nov 12, 2016 6:15 AM CST
Chantell asked what I thought would make a great new topic:
"Question all ISO of local sources for the following (that I thought I've heard you all mention or refer to) and opinions/experience with and pricing:"

* Turface
* Coir
* Pumice
* Azomite
* Promix
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Nov 12, 2016 6:22 AM CST
Turface is the same as clay absorbent from an auto parts section? I forget the name but I bought a bag of it at Auto Zone, five pounds, seemed cheap, and I was curious. I mixed it with a little potting mix and put succulent cuttings in that. The jades etc seem happy.

Azomite, I think I saw at Farmer's Coop/Southern States in Glen Burnie. I don't know any more, i never got around to getting it though I have been curious about that too.

I bought a bale of a 'Lambert' mix at the nursery this spring and have been happy with it. But I totally forget what I paid and need the bag to see which one it is. It sure has been nice having no end in sight to the potting mix! WHee!!
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
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gitagal
Nov 12, 2016 9:23 AM CST
Sally--
I believe I took you to "Richardson Farms" Nursery where you bought
a 3cf bale of Lambert's Pro Mix LM AP.. I get one every year.
The price is $19.89 (or such).
In spring--they get a truck-load of these bales in as they also use
them for their own plants...transplanting, etc. You won't find any there in the fall.
I love Lamberts products and peat moss. It is from Canada and is super absorbent. The water just soaks right in.
A few years ago--I hot some small bags of fine Lambert's "soil" for AV and Seed starting. OMG!! It was heavenly!!!!
On some other Peat Moss's the water just sits on top for a couple days.

BTW--The 2cf bales of Peat Moss that HD sells are also from Lamberts.
Gita
Name: Donna
Mid Shore, Maryland (Zone 7a)
Houseplants Region: Maryland Orchids Bee Lover Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads
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Shy_gardener
Nov 12, 2016 12:40 PM CST
Sounds like good stuff.. It is so hard to find really good seed starting medium...
I like the sounds of the fine Lamberts soil and Peat Moss, Gita I'll have to look for some..

My favorite prepared potting soil mix is Lowe's Tree & Shrub mix, as long as it's fresh. The
old stuff sitting out in the weather forever has already broken down to dirt... It's a waste...

Sally, do you ever go to Bowen's Farm Supply in Annapolis? They're a little pricey,
but they have a lot of great stuff that nobody else has. Like big bags of pine fines, and lava
rock type pebbles to mix in container grown plants.... well or I guess I should say they did have.
I've not been there for a while..
"No more bees, No pollination.... No more men!" ~ Albert Einstein
Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
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gitagal
Nov 12, 2016 5:04 PM CST
I seem to remember that some Folks were using either Chicken-Grit or
bird "grit" (don't know in what capacity)...
I think either of thee can be found at Farm-style garden products stores.
Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
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gitagal
Nov 12, 2016 5:17 PM CST
I did have some Coir a couple years ago and I did soak it into a "soil"??

It seems very rough and coarse when done. Then again--maybe that is
what it is supposed to be?

I have a lot of compressed peat dics that were around years ago.
It was called "EZ Soil" and came in small packages/boxes with directions
to soak it in water for planting. There were about 3 or 4 fat discs in each box
each about the size of a jar lid.
This was from the "Franks Nursery and Crafts" days. I have a lot of these small boxes... need to test/soak/ and time one to see how long it takes to "dissolve"...I'll bet on about 2-3 days..... Confused

GREAT Thread topic--Sally!!!! Keep it going....
I bet it won't take long before "Tapla" chimes in..... Sighing! G.
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Nov 12, 2016 5:43 PM CST
Franks Nursery and Crafts? Whoa, the way-back machine.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Nov 12, 2016 6:25 PM CST
haha Franks! I STILL have trowels from them, nice coated handles. Talk about durable!!!

Donna, I don't shop Annapolis much. I know Bowen's is, or was, nice. I get pine mulch Kambark from Ace Hardware that is very small chips and use that as pine fines. Homestead Gardens Davidsonville sells pine fines.

I may still have a few odd hunks of coir left in the basement...or maybe I finally got it out and used it.

Gita Thank you for reminding me on the Lamberts, you are right. I confused myself because I later went to a local nursery here and saw they sell bales.

Farmers Co op in Glen Burnie sells chicken grit and turkey grit. I don't know if there is granite or oyster shell. or if one is preferable.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
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gitagal
Nov 12, 2016 7:21 PM CST
Sally--
Oyster shell grit would be the most desirable as a calcium source
in your Tomato beds. Tomatoes need a lot of Calcium to prevent
"Blosson End Rot" on the fruit.
If you--or anyone else, could find a way to grind up Oyster Shells..
it would take care of this n no time flat.

I have never heard of Granite as a usable soil amendment. ?????
That is one HARD rock!!! Don't think it has any soil nutrients in it.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Nov 12, 2016 8:50 PM CST
yes, I was thinking that oyster shell would be a good thing. A long slow acting calcium boost?
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Chantell
Middle of Virginia (Zone 7a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America Region: Virginia Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover
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Chantell
Nov 13, 2016 10:26 AM CST
I've been using the grit for years - more so for outside plants then potted plants. The rice hulls work for the inside plants.
What would YOU attempt if you KNEW you wouldn't fail?
http://www.stillsthatspeak.com...
Name: Donna
Mid Shore, Maryland (Zone 7a)
Houseplants Region: Maryland Orchids Bee Lover Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads
Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Spiders! Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Vegetable Grower
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Shy_gardener
Nov 13, 2016 2:29 PM CST
Wow, I'm learning a lot... Hadn't heard of any of the original growing Amendments...

* Turface
* Coir
* Pumice
* Azomite
* Promix

Nor, rice hulls... gives you a lot to research... for possible future use..
Chantell, do you have good results with your house plants in the rice hulls?
I know you like those harder to grow rascals...
"No more bees, No pollination.... No more men!" ~ Albert Einstein
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Nov 13, 2016 3:10 PM CST

Moderator

Coir Background

What is commonly called a coconut, as found in grocery stores, is actually only the single seed of a fruit of the coconut palm tree (Cocos nucifera). Before being shipped to market, the seed is stripped of an external leathery skin and a 2-3 in (5-8 cm) thick intermediate layer of fibrous pulp. Fibers recovered from that pulp are called coir. The fibers range from sturdy strands suitable for brush bristles to filaments that can be spun into coarse, durable yarn. In the United States, the most popular uses for coir are bristly door mats, agricultural twine, and geotextiles (blankets that are laid on bare soil to control erosion and promote the growth of protective ground covers).

Although coconut palms grow throughout the world's tropical regions, the vast majority of the commercially produced coir comes from India and Sri Lanka. Coconuts are primarily a food crop. In India, which produces about one-fourth of the world's 55 billion coconuts each year, only 15% of the husk fibers are actually recovered for use. India annually produces about 309,000 short tons (280,000 metric tons) of coir fiber.

Coir fibers are categorized in two ways. One distinction is based on whether they are recovered from ripe or immature coconut husks. The husks of fully ripened coconuts yield brown coir. Strong and highly resistant to abrasion, its method of processing also protects it from the damaging ultraviolet component of sunlight. Dark brown in color, it is used primarily in brushes, floor mats, and upholstery padding. On the other hand, white coir comes from the husks of coconuts harvested shortly before they ripen. Actually light brown or white in color, this fiber is softer and less strong than brown coir. It is usually spun into yarn, which may be woven into mats or twisted into twine or rope.

The other method of categorization is based on fiber length. Both brown and white coir consist of fibers ranging in length from 4-12 in (10-30 cm). Those that are at least 8 in (20 cm) long are called bristle fiber. Shorter fibers, which are also finer in texture, are called mattress fiber. A 10-oz (300-g) coconut husk yields about 3 oz (80 g) of fiber, one-third of which is bristle fiber.

The only natural fiber resistant to salt water, coir is used to make nets for shellfish harvesting and ropes for marine applications. Highly resistant to abrasion, coir fibers are used to make durable floor mats and brushes. Strong and nearly impervious to the weather, coir twine is the material hops growers in the United States prefer for tying their vines to supports. Coir is becoming a popular choice for making geotextiles because of its durability, eventual biodegrad-ability, ability to hold water, and hairy texture (which helps it cling to seeds and soil).
History

Read more: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-...
Name: Chantell
Middle of Virginia (Zone 7a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America Region: Virginia Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover
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Chantell
Nov 13, 2016 9:52 PM CST
Shy_gardner said:Wow, I'm learning a lot... Hadn't heard of any of the original growing Amendments...

* Turface
* Coir
* Pumice
* Azomite
* Promix

Nor, rice hulls... gives you a lot to research... for possible future use..
Chantell, do you have good results with your house plants in the rice hulls?
I know you like those harder to grow rascals...


Yes....I love my rice hulls!!! I actually (when I have it) mix rice hulls and grit with the potting soil when planting outdoors. I also like to use the grit in soil being used for Cactus and Succulents. The rice hulls are great for houseplants - they don't migrate to the top of the soil and keep the soil light for new rooted babies. If you want airier (hmmm is that a word?) soil you simply increase the rice hull to soil ratio. I can't take the credit for that discovery though...an ebay seller that I've purchased from for years uses it and I finally asked him what the lil maggot looking stuff was in his soil mix...LOL Rolling on the floor laughing I'm not sure he saw the humor in my joke but was kind enough to tell me what it was. Pumice is great stuff as well but more difficult to find. It has substance to it like grit but is more porous. I used to use it in the soil that I planted my Plumies in.

What would YOU attempt if you KNEW you wouldn't fail?
http://www.stillsthatspeak.com...
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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RickM
Nov 14, 2016 11:32 AM CST

Moderator

I've been doing some reading on the rice hulls. I'm going to talk to my local nursery (Season's) about getting some in.
Name: Chantell
Middle of Virginia (Zone 7a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America Region: Virginia Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover
Bee Lover Hummingbirder Cottage Gardener Tropicals Herbs The WITWIT Badge
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Chantell
Nov 14, 2016 11:57 AM CST
@RickM - brewing supply stores carry rice hulls. @sallyg used to get them for me from a place up in her neck of the woods. I've since found a place 10 mins from my work - pricing is similar to what I found on Amazon (free shipping).
What would YOU attempt if you KNEW you wouldn't fail?
http://www.stillsthatspeak.com...
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Nov 15, 2016 6:30 AM CST
yup- the brew suppliers got them in giant bags, and sell per pound.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: David
Lucketts, Va (Zone 7a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Region: Virginia Herbs Cat Lover Bee Lover
Seed Starter Butterflies Winter Sowing Ferns Region: Mid-Atlantic Hellebores
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greenthumb99
Dec 11, 2016 7:52 AM CST
Sally, granite grit tends to slightly acidify soil, while oyster shells shift it toward alkaline. Oyster shells=calcium carbonate.

I always have a lot of plants in containers and learned of rice hulls for weed control from Julie Borneman of Watermark Woods Nursery and plan to employ this coming year. Quote from online source:

"I have evaluated many mulch materials for weed control in containers. One of the most effective materials for controlling container weeds is rice hulls. Our research has shown that rice hulls provide excellent control of bittercress, creeping woodsorrel, willowherb, and common groundsel. In our experiments, rice hulls at _ to 1 inch depth provided effective weed control through 16 weeks. We found that rice hulls dry very quickly after irrigation. Quick drying time makes weed germination and establishment extremely difficult. We also found that rice hulls decompose very slowly, providing an effective weed control barrier for months."
Earth is a galactic insane asylum where the inmates have been left in charge.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Dec 11, 2016 9:41 AM CST
thanks David Thumbs up
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Chantell
Middle of Virginia (Zone 7a)

Charter ATP Member Region: United States of America Region: Virginia Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover
Bee Lover Hummingbirder Cottage Gardener Tropicals Herbs The WITWIT Badge
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Chantell
Dec 15, 2016 7:09 AM CST
Excellent info David - thank you....although I will keep that 'quick drying' in mind with plants that require more moisture. And I guess my grit around my tea olives type plants is a good thing - woot woot
What would YOU attempt if you KNEW you wouldn't fail?
http://www.stillsthatspeak.com...

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