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FRITO

Palm soil mixes

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FRITO

Dirt isn't dirt if you havn't figured out by now. :P

I know many diffrent mixes can be concocted. But like with my mixed drink - Jack Daniels and Coke, I like to keep things consistant.

I have heard of things like coco coir, washed river sand, pine bark, top soil, perlite or vermiculite, compost, packing peanuts, etc. all being used in diffrent mediums.

Im looking for a good consistent mix for seedlings up to 3 gallon plants where the palm root activity is very important part in this stage.

Heres what I think a good palm soil should consist of:

light not "heavy"

well draining

hold in just enough moisture without root rot

gets wet evenly after drying out

All nutrients + micros

Am I searching for the Holy grail? I hope not. I wouldnt think so.

Currently my soil mixes have been on the heavy side.

I have been using black cow compost and topsoil with peat humus mix with perlite + osmocote slow release scattered in and part local good ole dirt  from the yard.(clay and sand)

it compacts pretty well after a watering one or two time and holds in lots of mmoisture, in a drier climate this probably wouldnt be as bad, but my pure filiferas have turned to casualties in our annual 60" of rain + humidity.

I havnt found a good sourch of perlite in bulk otherwise I think that would help out a lot and give me a lighter freely draining mix.

Although, I have acccess to polystyrene packing peanuts throwing these in a shredder and adding to a soil mix seems like a good idea to give me a free driaing mix and oxygen to the roots and recycle at the same time.  Anyone have experience on this?

starch based peanuts are soluble in water and are even edile so they wouldn't be a good candidate for soil use.

please post your experiences and suggestion here.

thanks,

Luke

heres two nice Butias to look at:

IMG_1178.jpg

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BS Man about Palms

I would drop the manure and look harder for the perlite.....

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Logolight

I personally so not like any soil that has pete in the mix because if the soil dries out then it's difficult to re-moisten the soil below the surface.  I have also seen soils advertised as well draining but then turn to a mud like consistency when watered and take two weeks or more to dry out.

I think the best bet is a lot of bark, sand, and some kind of light rich soil that I haven't been able to find yet.

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Neofolis

I used to use a peat based compost with added sand, but I don't use either of those now.  The peat, as mentioned is hard to get wet again when it dries out and it shrinks to much.  The sand, does add drainage, but the medium becomes to compact over time with root growth, eventually stopping oxygen getting into the mix and stopping root growth on most plants, because they can't penetrate the mix.

I now use a combination of coco-peat (coir), composted bark chips and perlite.  People have mentioned that the bark chips absorb nitrogen, but this hasn't proved to be a problem for me yet.  Coco peat on it's own seems to hold too much water and is also prone to shrinkage when it eventually dries out, but the added perlite enables more oxygen to get into the medium and the composted bark chips, stop the mix shrinking or becoming compacted, because the mix stays very open and fibrous.  This mix would be no good in very windy situations, because there isn't anything for the roots to really grab onto, but in a protected environment, like my polytunnel, which still has a constant reasonable breeze, it seems to work very well.  I use each ingredient in pretty much equal quantities, maybe slightly less perlite.  After about 9 months the medium starts to become a little more compacted, other than the top few inches, especially if it is kept fairly moist, at which point it is better suited for windy situations.  It certainly has a better overall lifespan than the sand/peat based compost mix that I was using, which was pretty much useless after 6-9 months.

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Kris

Dear Luke  :)

here is a soil mix we prepare in our roof top terrace and this soil we use it for palms,cactus,dicots,cycas.....etc !

one soil for all the plants & its species...

here is a still of that mix,lying on our roof top garden area !  :)

Love,

Kris.

post-108-1193123698_thumb.jpg

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Pivi

Kris you didn't say what you use...?

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Kris

Okay ! then you want to know my secreat soil mix ratio...?

4 parts of sandy course river soil : 1 parts of red sand : 2 parts of dried cow dung manure..

But sometimes i add even coir dust when i get a bag which is too course in texture to be used for the baggie bag seed germination,in that case i add 1/2 parts of that coir dust to the above medium.

that's it all,plants are happy but for only one palm i did not use the cow dung manure is CIDP..since i was scared of any fungus infection or root rot problems and pests..

i think the information is sufficient for you to try out !rain or shine the plants seem to be okay..and i do not have accesses to specilised soils factory packed...and i suppose clayton york(Utopian Palms) know the ground realities of the agriculture seniero in South India..

Lots of love,

Kris  :)

post-108-1193152858_thumb.jpg

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Kris

the above work is usually done during early summer...when the sun is bright & hot ! since drying up the manure is the hardest part.since if it is wet or moist it will burn the plants..if it is too dry the power of the manure is lost.so its a very tricky situation..

here is the temperature gauge showing ground floor interior temperatures..in early march last year.

post-108-1193153111_thumb.jpg

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Kris

this is how the mix appears when its wet ! the soil is fully qured.And this soil is capable of breading earthworms.so it shows the mix has passed the test.

And if the plant needs more of nutriation than we also add dead leaves from dicot trees as mulch.i did it for bismarkia,sabals,breha armeta,Corypha's,washy's,foxtail,

bottle palm,nolina,latania's,triangles..

love,

Kris  :)

post-108-1193153445_thumb.jpg

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MattyB

Thanks Kris.  Just one note:  Unless you're in a very warm/hot area, Kris' mix might be too heavy for you.  But I know it's necessary if you're growing in hot areas like his to have a mix that dosen't dry out in half a day.

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DoomsDave

I use a mix that is mostly composted bark, some sand, and perlite.

The problem is that the compost decays over time and has to be replaced with fresh.  The hope is that the pot is only temporary residence . . . .

dave

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DoomsDave

(MattyB @ Oct. 24 2007,12:19)

QUOTE
Thanks Kris.  Just one note:  Unless you're in a very warm/hot area, Kris' mix might be too heavy for you.  But I know it's necessary if you're growing in hot areas like his to have a mix that dosen't dry out in half a day.

Durling Citrus nursery up in Northern SD county used to use its native DG dirt for potting mix.

Off-loading a Durling truckload built strong bodies 112,000 ways, or gave you the mother of all hernias.

That stuff was HEAVY.

Kris has good strong helpers, and doesn't have to carry stuff very far . . .

Ummoph!

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www.dadluvsu.com

I am now using (by volume) 3 parts Canadian Peat:3 parts Coarse Perlite:1 part Coarse sand...  Nice and light, super well drained, and I use sprinkler timers to ensure I never get dried out!  I really like this mix the best, for a generic seedling mix, out of anything I've tried so far.

:cool:

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Gbarce

I have been experimenting with seeds and have tried quite a few combinations but the mix that I noticed that had the longest roots when I repotted them is :

1 part compost to 2 parts Charcoaled Rice Hulls.  

This is very porous and well draining.  There are a lot of tiny spaces in between the rice hulls even if you compact or wet this medium so I guess the roots have an easier time growing.

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palmmermaid

At the nursery we use a mix of Canadian peat, sand, pine bark, and perlite.  Sometimes we add lime or something for ants.  This mix seems to work well for our nursery palms.  I think the key is Canadian peat.  Florida peat just turns to muck and is not a good thing to add.

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Creekside

Where does one procure coarse sand?   ???

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palmislandRandy

Would washed builders sand (H.D.) be to fine? They also carry leveling sand and I've also seen a type of sandbox sand.    Randy

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Matt in SD

Funny, after some experimenting I've settled on the exact mix that Corey uses:  Coco peat (coir), fine bark (orchid type bark), and perlite in an equal parts mixture.  I have rescued some plants into this mix that were really pretty much dead, and they recovered pretty quickly.  The best thing about this mix is that the top part stays really lose and dries very quickly, so the base of the palms stays relatively dry but there's plenty of water down deeper for the roots.  

I've also been using a heavier mix for larger palms that are closer to getting planted.  My heavier mix is 2 parts Supersoil (basically a well composted "forest product" mix, much more composted than orchid bark), 1 part pumice and 1 part black cinders.  I've also had very good results with this mix.  Like my light mix, the top 1/2 inch or so stays very loose and dries quickly.

I have a whole bunch of experiments going right now with these two mixes, probably 20 or more palm species with 2-4 plants in each mix.  So far they both seem good.  But it does seem like some species prefer the heavier mix while others prefer the lighter.

Matt

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Kris

Dear Matty  :)

the soil seen above your comments is wet from the pot and i have put that still for illustration.and my mix is not heavy as

thought.to know more one has to create it to find out since iam using it even for my cactus.and as you said iam in warmer regions of the globe but here humidity is almost 100% on some days be it summer or wet winters.so the soil must drain fast for me if not the stem & the roots will rot.

Here is a link for those how wish to know more about clay soil replacement and ammending..

http://palmtalk.org/cgi-bin/forum/ikonboar...t=ST;f=1;t=4793

And since my soil mix is predimomently course river sand everything drains awayfast even the fertz..that is the only problem with this mix.every 15 days the plants require fertz !

thanks & love,

Kris  :)

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Kris

(Dave from So-Cal @ Oct. 24 2007,13:57)

QUOTE
Off-loading a Durling truckload built strong bodies 112,000 ways, or gave you the mother of all hernias.

That stuff was HEAVY.

Kris has good strong helpers, and doesn't have to carry stuff very far . . .

Ummoph!

Dear Dave  :)

yes,you are right that i get my work done with the help of 2 assistants,if need be even i join them..since i have to take step by step stills i was missing in action in those stills.and i love gardening..

My small advice will be never ever lift that pots single handedly since back pain & stomach ache is emminent ! always resort to help from male members one or two assistants the better..

So what i do is club all my garden barrel carrying work on the same day when i employ more guys than noraml days..!

Love,

Kris  :)

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Kris

Dear Creekside & Dear Randy  :)

for course washed river sand i think its avalaible in papper bags of 40 kg sizes.since i have seen it in one of William's

germimation threads ! i think it will be avaliable in agro stores and walmart..

if you don't find it there then contact our friend william.he will

be able to guide you.

But once you start getting into this kind of soil mix,you will never resort to anything complicated...! so try and test it..

Love,

Kris  :)

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www.dadluvsu.com

I have used builders sand from HD primarily, I've liberated a bcouple of buckets worth from an abandoned neighborhood construction site ...  Next time I buy sand, I will go out west on Southern to Palm Beach Aggregates and buy a truckload...  Should be able to get a coarser grade sand for quite a bit cheaper...  Probably just store it in contracter bags or drum liners...

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