Unusual potting mixes

From: Jack Elder (Jack.Elder@gtl.com)
Date: Thu Jun 03 1999 - 09:35:07 PDT

Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 17:35:07 +0100
From: "Jack Elder" <Jack.Elder@gtl.com>
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1972$foo@default>
Subject: Unusual potting mixes

Wotcha all;

I've just been wondering about soil mixtures for CPs. I went out and got my
'standard' CP potting supplies last weekend, to sow some CP seed I picked up
at the Chelsea Flower Show (I was helping out on the CPS table on
Wednesday - hi to anyone who was there). 'Standard' supplies in this case
being moss peat, hort sand, and some perlite to make things interesting.
And as I was walking home (no car - 60 liters of peat in a hiking pack!), I
got to thinking about this.

Most CPs (VFTs, sarras, most drosera, most pings, etc) do pretty well in a
50-50 peat/sand mix. OTOH, you occasionally hear about nonstandard
ingredients: two ones that leap to mind are substances such as coffee
grounds or pine needles (help acidify the soil, and what else are you going
to do with old coffee grounds, eh?) as soil additives, or peat substitutes
such as corm (I believe this is composed of coconut fibre, but I could be

So: does anyone have any major success/failure stories with unusual soil
ingredients they'd like to share? I'm particularly interested in peat
substitutes, both for ethical reasons (exploitation of peat bogs etc etc)
and practical ones (see previous comments about not having a car - the
smallest volume of peat I've found in the local garden centres was 60 ltrs).

Hoping everyone's growing well,


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