Re: non-acidic soils

Robert Allen (Robert.Allen@Eng.Sun.COM)
Wed, 26 Jan 1994 14:45:51 +0800

>>I have just gotten a few hibernacula of European _Pinguicula_ which
>>require a neutral or basic soil medium. So we're back to an old
>>question: How do I make a soil mix for them?
>>Rob Maharajh (who sent them) suggested a 1:1:1 sand/perlite/crushed
>>limestone mix. So where in the phone book do I look for crushed

Isn't vermiculite basic?

>>Sunday night the missus and I were at a wine-tasting, and sitting next
>>to us was a chemist. Chemistry is a field I've never understood to my
>>satisfaction. So I seized the opportunity to ask him some questions
>>(I know, kind of nerdy of me). He told me the most amazing thing. He
>>claims that water running over limestone actually becomes acidic
>>because of the carbonate ions (carbonic acid, carbonation).
>>So are _Pings_ that are said to grow in a neutral or neutral-basic
>>media really doing so?

I've long wondered about whether acid vs. basic makes any
difference. Years ago it was said that Drosophyllum NEEDED
basic soil. I've grown it in what I presume to be acid soil
with no problems. I mean, do these botanists actually run
around with litmus paper to test the soil mix they find the
plants growing in? (seriously!)