Jump to content
Monòver

Your soil mix, tell us

Recommended Posts

Hamal
On 31.1.2016 15:50:08, Pal Meir said:

The three main ingredients of my “standard” soil mix (only!) for small potted palms that require a fast drainage, and one example for a special palm (Syagrus insignis): Pine bark 2-8mm, Seramis® (baked loamy clay), LECA.

56ae1ec1893a5_23IngredientsP1010003.thum

Pal,

I do not recognize the packaging of the pine bark bag. Where do you buy that? In a home improvement store (Baumarkt)? Garden center? I only get 0-7mm pine bank, but I would prefer it without the dusty parts.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir
1 hour ago, Hamal said:

Pal,

I do not recognize the packaging of the pine bark bag. Where do you buy that? In a home improvement store (Baumarkt)? Garden center? I only get 0-7mm pine bank, but I would prefer it without the dusty parts.

Schley's Blumenparadies: http://www.schley-gartencenter.de/startseite/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen
On 1/27/2016, 10:27:10, Neil C said:

It seems here in Australia (I can only speak for around Brisbane) that we seem really restricted to the ingredients available to make a good soil mix. We have the usual perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, coir etc. I've never seen any lava rocks, clay pellets or even any sort of loam. I've asked at a few landscape centres and the only thing they had was brickies loam which looked like a horrible sand/cement mix. What do others here in OZ use for their mixes and am I just looking in the wrong places. When I visited Hong Kong recently they had large and small bags of all sort of useful ingredients at the famous flower market.

Great thread by the way!

 

Regards Neil

Neil, i am having the same issue here in Sydney...only usual stuff from Bunning:( even finding fine clean pine bark is not possible... i searched really hard and bought some Seramis but paid dearly for it and the postage ...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hamal

Maybe it is worth thinking out of the box a little bit. In Germany for instance, you can find crushed baked clay and perlite also among building materials in home improvement stores. Both are sold as insulation material, but they can also be used for plant cultivation.

Another point to remember, all mineral soil components can be reused as opposed to organic components.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Monòver
5 hours ago, Hamal said:

Maybe it is worth thinking out of the box a little bit. In Germany for instance, you can find crushed baked clay and perlite also among building materials in home improvement stores. Both are sold as insulation material, but they can also be used for plant cultivation.

Another point to remember, all mineral soil components can be reused as opposed to organic components.

I do the same, buy baked clay in the building materials store. It is cheap, 50 litres 4€.

The pine bark is more complicated, the garden centers do not sell this, but it is a common soil in the Spanish nurseries. I buy the pine bark in a nursery. The price, 100 litres 0€:floor: i am good customer buying plants and always get me the pine bark.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Neil C

Had a bit of success recently and found lava rocks in the bbq section of the big box stores along with a product for absorbing fat which is made of zeolite minerals. I also went down to the local beach and collected a few bags of pumice. I'll give that a good wash as it will be full of salt.

Regards Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alcibiades
10 hours ago, Hamal said:

Maybe it is worth thinking out of the box a little bit. In Germany for instance, you can find crushed baked clay and perlite also among building materials in home improvement stores. Both are sold as insulation material, but they can also be used for plant cultivation.

Another point to remember, all mineral soil components can be reused as opposed to organic components.

I would not not recommend to buy the building material components for your soil mix. Those materials are not cleaned and may contain traces of chemicals.

My potting mix for most of my palms:  20% coarse sand, 20% Perlite, 20% top soil, 10% lava rock, 10% pumice, 10% peat moss, 10% pine bark. Sometimes i also add volcanic ash.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen

Pal, finally got the Seramis package delivered :)  , 100 Litre ( 40bags of 2.5 Litre) so I should have enough for a while :)

Is this the same as what you are using?

1- should I rinse it before use?

2- As I remembered from your previous posts :

A- For tropical palms and/or very sensitive to wet feet : 50% Pine bark and 50% Seramis

B- For other palms : 70% Pine bark and 30% Seramis

IMG_4981.JPG

IMG_4982.JPG

IMG_4983.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hamal
9 hours ago, Alcibiades said:

I would not not recommend to buy the building material components for your soil mix. Those materials are not cleaned and may contain traces of chemicals.

A lot of bonsai enthusiasts use crushed baked clay (German: gebrochener Blähton, brand name Fibotherm) from the building material section without any ill effect on their trees (and some of those trees are much more valuable than our palms). Of course, you have to be careful, but in Germany and the EU, there are probably more regulations as to what insulation materials for your house may or may not contain than the soil for your plants.

I personally have used perlite (sold as a building material) and germinated seeds in that substrate without any problems. You can google many people's experience with those kinds of materials.

For my substrate, I mainly use crushed baked clay from a company called Liapor, mainly because the ratio of crushed baked clay (vs. the whole granules that do not retain water) is higher than in the building materials (and it gets delivered to my home for almost the same price as the building material, which I would have to pick up some place). This company also sells crushed baked clay for building purposes. So it is the same basic material.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hamal
4 hours ago, Mohsen said:

Pal, finally got the Seramis package delivered :)  , 100 Litre ( 40bags of 2.5 Litre) so I should have enough for a while :)

Is this the same as what you are using?

1- should I rinse it before use?

2- As I remembered from your previous posts :

A- For tropical palms and/or very sensitive to wet feet : 50% Pine bark and 50% Seramis

B- For other palms : 70% Pine bark and 30% Seramis

Mohsen, I think you need to try what works best for your climate. Typically you have a mineral component (which ensures good drainage) and an organic component (which holds the water and nutrients). Seramis by itself has a much higher capability to hold water and nutrients than other mineral components such as pumice or lava. So you can actually reduce the organic component and improve the drainage.

I personally use about 40% organic components and 60% mineral components for seedlings. For established potted plants I reduce the organic components to 20%. With such a low portion of organic components you need to water more often (pretty much every day during my summer). If you live in a very dry climate with an increased risk of the soil drying quickly, you should probably increase the organic part. But all that is up to you to figure out in your particular climate.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phoenikakias
11 minutes ago, Hamal said:

Mohsen, I think you need to try what works best for your climate. Typically you have a mineral component (which ensures good drainage) and an organic component (which holds the water and nutrients). Seramis by itself has a much higher capability to hold water and nutrients than other mineral components such as pumice or lava. So you can actually reduce the organic component and improve the drainage.

I personally use about 40% organic components and 60% mineral components for seedlings. For established potted plants I reduce the organic components to 20%. With such a low portion of organic components you need to water more often (pretty much every day during my summer). If you live in a very dry climate with an increased risk of the soil drying quickly, you should probably increase the organic part. But all that is up to you to figure out in your particular climate.

This is what I try to point out one month long..., moreover I guess plausibly that many of those pots will remain outside in the garden during coming winter and ,of course, all those plants are destined to get outplanted once. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITUATION from Germany, where plants remain outside only during the warmest two or hardly three months every year and will never be planted in the free air...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen

Thanks Frank and Konstantinos...

I have 2 other reason I am keeping some palms more often inside even in summer time ( now)

1- I dont have any location with full shade and most of my inside ones are not suitable for sunny location ( mostly Chamedoreas and Licualas)

2- I fought ( guess with who ?:crying:)  to find some room for my indoor palms and if I bring them outside then I might need to keep them outside even in winter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir
7 hours ago, Mohsen said:

Pal, finally got the Seramis package delivered :)  , 100 Litre ( 40bags of 2.5 Litre) so I should have enough for a while :)

Is this the same as what you are using?

1- should I rinse it before use?

2- As I remembered from your previous posts :

A- For tropical palms and/or very sensitive to wet feet : 50% Pine bark and 50% Seramis

B- For other palms : 70% Pine bark and 30% Seramis

Hello Mohsen, congrats for purchasing your Seramis. You got already very useful answers to your questions by Hamal and Phoenikakias. :greenthumb:

(1) Don’t rinse Seramis. (2) The mix ratio is not a matter of tropical or not, but of the habitat site, climate, and size of your palm. (A) The 50-50 mix I am using for palm seedlings (!) which grow on steep rocky slopes in wet tropical forests like S. insignis, (B) the 70-30 mix for palms growing on slopes in tropical rain forests like S. weddelliana.

But e.g. for my Ch. tuerckheimii I am using 100% pine bark without any Seramis or sand, because it grows in well draining leaf litter on slopes. For other palms like Brahea armata I was using a mix of Seramis with coarse sand without any pine bark, the same with most Butia spp. — Seramis combined with pine bark is good for palms which require a very fast drainage and don’t like standing water (“wet feet”). But you can use Seramis also for palms which like loamy soils and wet feet. There are still many other possibilities for adequate mixtures depending also on the size of your (potted) palms. As Seramis is made of loamy clay it contains many mineral components that are required by most palms.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen

Thanks Pal for nice info...

BTW, 1- What is the  ingredients of a normal or premium potting mix? it never says on the bag and 2 - What can I use instead of Pine bark as it seems very impossible to find with fine size here ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hamal

I sometimes use coco coir (coco fibers) or peat moss. It is important that the organic part of the substrate does not disintegrate too quickly, because it would clog the substrate and affect drainage. So normal topsoil or compost, for instance, is not recommended.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir

I think too that coir would be a good substitute for pine bark if it is not too fine (≠ Kokohum!), maybe a gradation of ca. 1 cm.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alcibiades

You aint got something like wood chips in Australia? I´m not so sure that coir is a good substitute for pine bark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir
48 minutes ago, Mohsen said:

No, no! That’s the same as Kokohum®! It is too fine so that the drainage won’t be fast enough and the soil will become soggy! What you need is a much coarser coir (ca. 1cm).

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
knell

What do you guys think of these coir "croutons"? I bought some to experiment with...

coir croutons

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, knell said:

What do you guys think of these coir "croutons"? I bought some to experiment with...

coir croutons

Looks like a good product though i wouldn't use it as a stand alone except if you have Ferns or Orchids that need plenty of air around the roots.  Wonder how big the pieces are. Curious only because i have used the "Blocks" of coir chunk and found the varying sizes of chunk a bit of a challenge. Saw some other stuff i use in my soil mixes and fertilize with on the same site i have been searching for as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
knell
46 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Looks like a good product though i wouldn't use it as a stand alone except if you have Ferns or Orchids that need plenty of air around the roots.  Wonder how big the pieces are. Curious only because i have used the "Blocks" of coir chunk and found the varying sizes of chunk a bit of a challenge. Saw some other stuff i use in my soil mixes and fertilize with on the same site i have been searching for as well.

The peices are 1-2cm square, with some settled dusty bits and larger chunks on top. For the most part they seem small and uniform so they look like theyll do well in a mix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen
On 2/5/2016, 3:46:02, Pal Meir said:

No, no! That’s the same as Kokohum®! It is too fine so that the drainage won’t be fast enough and the soil will become soggy! What you need is a much coarser coir (ca. 1cm).

Pal, I am afraid finding this is as hard as finding pine bark...I spent 1-2 hour to separate pine barks from other woods and then chop them down to the size with a Secateurs...

how about using Vermiculite ?

http://www.bunnings.com.au/brunnings-5l-vermiculite-_p3016191

 

IMG_4994.JPG

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir
10 hours ago, knell said:

What do you guys think of these coir "croutons"? I bought some to experiment with...

coir croutons

Those Coco Croutons could be a substitute for pine bark, I think.

 

6 hours ago, Mohsen said:

Pal, I am afraid finding this is as hard as finding pine bark...I spent 1-2 hour to separate pine barks from other woods and then chop them down to the size with a Secateurs...

how about using Vermiculite ?

http://www.bunnings.com.au/brunnings-5l-vermiculite-_p3016191

Vermiculite is pure mineral and more similar to perlite, but in no way a substitute for pine bark.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir
7 hours ago, Mohsen said:

Pal, I am afraid finding this is as hard as finding pine bark...I spent 1-2 hour to separate pine barks from other woods and then chop them down to the size with a Secateurs...

how about using Vermiculite ?

http://www.bunnings.com.au/brunnings-5l-vermiculite-_p3016191

IMG_4994.JPG

I would add more pine bark to the soil. Your mix looks a little too tight for small seedlings of Lytocaryum (hybrids?) with their thick roots.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir

A close-up showing size and structure of the components of the “French Pine Bark 2-8mm” I’m using:

56b5f80789393_PineBarkIMG_8491.thumb.jpg

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen
On 7 February 2016 12:05:11 am, Pal Meir said:

I would add more pine bark to the soil. Your mix looks a little too tight for small seedlings of Lytocaryum (hybrids?) with their thick roots.

Pal,

i need to find replacement for pine bark...I can't cut them in small prices as it will take forever :( 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir
18 minutes ago, Mohsen said:

Pal,

i need to find replacement for pine bark...I can't cut them in small prices as it will take forever :( 

And no small Coco Croutons, too?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phoenikakias
58 minutes ago, Mohsen said:

Pal,

i need to find replacement for pine bark...I can't cut them in small prices as it will take forever :( 

What, what, already tired??? Never give up before the job is done! Smaller pots require a smaller quantity of fine pine bark.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen
On 2/7/2016, 7:27:51, Phoenikakias said:

What, what, already tired??? Never give up before the job is done! Smaller pots require a smaller quantity of fine pine bark.

Konstantinos ...I am not tired but it cant be the way , I have 40+ seed needs to go to pot and cant spend 40-60 hrs to crush/cut pine barks :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen
On 2/7/2016, 6:48:05, Pal Meir said:

And no small Coco Croutons, too?

Pal,

I am afraid not cant find that either...what if mix Seramis with premium potting mix ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phoenikakias
20 hours ago, Phoenikakias said:

What, what, already tired??? Never give up before the job is done! Smaller pots require a smaller quantity of fine pine bark.

This is where the factor innovation of the grower chimes in! Try a cheap blender or whatever other tool chops bark chips to smaller pieces. In the very end try to keep bark chips with constant moisture in a bag for a month or so, and then use a sledge hammer...

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
knell
On February 5, 2016 at 7:17:06 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

 

Edited by knell
my browser was glitching out, had to post the blank quote so i could reply to the thread again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen

Pal, Konstantinos, other expert...I need to put my seeds ( mostly Lytocaryum) into pot and I am afraid cant wait longer...

so far couldn't find any fine pine barks or any other replacement :(

can I mix seramis with premium potting mix? any other suggestions ?

IMG_4991.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir
43 minutes ago, Mohsen said:

Pal, Konstantinos, other expert...I need to put my seeds ( mostly Lytocaryum) into pot and I am afraid cant wait longer...

so far couldn't find any fine pine barks or any other replacement :(

can I mix seramis with premium potting mix? any other suggestions ?

Yes, you shouldn’t wait any longer: So make a mix of 1/3 Seramis : 1/3 Pine bark : 1/3 Potting mix and mix it very thoroughly with your hands! :greenthumb:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen
21 hours ago, Pal Meir said:

Yes, you shouldn’t wait any longer: So make a mix of 1/3 Seramis : 1/3 Pine bark : 1/3 Potting mix and mix it very thoroughly with your hands! :greenthumb:

Thanks Pal , should I use this mix for both L.W and L.Hybrid?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir
5 minutes ago, Mohsen said:

Thanks Pal , should I use this mix for both L.W and L.Hybrid?

Try it for both Lytos and look … :interesting: If the L. ”hybrid“ is more or a pure L. insigne you may later use more Seramis when repotting them.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kai
On 31-1-2016 15:50:08, Pal Meir said:

 

56ae1ec1893a5_23IngredientsP1010003.thum

 

Grabdecor... Pal, if my German knowledge serves me you're giving graveyard decoration to your palms. Have you ever thought of getting a "zombie palm"? :lol:

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pal Meir
49 minutes ago, Kai said:

Grabdecor... Pal, if my German knowledge serves me you're giving graveyard decoration to your palms. Have you ever thought of getting a "zombie palm"? :lol:

:greenthumb::P:D:innocent::evil::floor:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mohsen
On 2/10/2016, 5:45:21, Pal Meir said:

Try it for both Lytos and look … :interesting: If the L. ”hybrid“ is more or a pure L. insigne you may later use more Seramis when repotting them.

 

IMG_5051.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×