Date: Wed Dec 08 1999 - 04:33:36 PST

Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 23:03:36 +1030
Message-Id: <aabcdefg4094$foo@default>

Dear Nat.alensis & All

Your reports that Canadian Peat is, at present, the best peat to
use when attempting to cultivate the Venus Flytrap are probably, as
far as it is known, quite true.

Your best first port of call would probably be the Canadian
"Te-eM" Brand since according to the 'Blurb' on the sides of the
bales it is harvested in an Environmentally Friendly manner and is
the filler used in generic brand-names such as "Attunga" Peat sold
at most Hardware / Supermarket stores here in Australia [note their
'Quaint' Motto: "Plants Hunger For Attunga!"

August Schlaaf (Fellow Australian) stated at the last ACPS meeting
(November) that he had tested the pH of many brands of peat and
that the Te-eM Brand was in fact the lowest or most acid he had
ever come across. He also went on to say that he now uses nothing
but K140 (very fine) sand (silt?) with 'them' that he obtains from
the proprietary Sand & Building Supplies Depot here in Adelaide
known just as "Keoughs". I assume that the 'K' of K140 stands for
"Keoughs" but until I get my hands on a bag (or phone them) I can't
rule out the possibility of K=Kaolinite.

Considering that August lives up in Whyalla (~150 Kms. North,North
West of Adelaide) it's a bit like that AC/DC song - "It's a Long
Way to The Shop if you Want a Sausage Roll"!!! and yet he comes to
meetings pretty regularly so I dare say he's pretty Japanese in his
way of thinking and his plants seem to grow just as correspondingly
well! At the November meeting he brought in two flats
'Chocker-Block' with Flytraps that had everyone's eyes watering
(especially mine! ... VFT nutter from way back - just ask anybody.)
One punnet was planted in All Red Forms and the other in ordinary
Plain Form for comparison. If my memory serves me right a number
of members even egged him on to part with a few corner plants, at
the end of the night, such was the site that befell our eyes! Dare
say he should have got a certificate or some such for his effort;
if not petrol bill, in making it thus far with such a precious

The (in?)famous1958 Oostings & Roberts paper mentions that the 'St.
John's' Soil Series that most VFTs prefer to reside in, in patches
of North & South Carolina is basically a 93-98%(~9/10s) sand
mixture, 26%(~1/4) of which is larger than 60 Mesh Grade the other
50-60% being larger than 140 Mesh [cf. Keoughs 140]. These are
"1958" American Units so if any Geologists out there (Robert?) can
turn them into 'current' Global English they would be doing the
whole Listserve a much needed service. probably best to quote them
in both units ... I dare say what with recent events we don't want
to go crashing anymore Martian Probes now do we!?

The Canadian Te-eM Brand of Peat has a higher 'Copper Index' than
any other Sphagnum Peat I have yet tested,so far, which implies
that it is less reductive (more oxidative) than most other brands
on the market and is probably due to the fact that the resource
unlike European supplies is relatively fresh - being cut from the
top few feet of the bog compared with the deeper deposits now being
accessed after 200 or more years of unsustainable plunder. These
deeper deposits assumably arise from horizons originally saturated
beneath the water table and as a consequence have cycled through
many countless years of anaerobic processing.

At present I am attempting to chemically modify these more
reductive peats in the hope of improving or unlocking their more
desirable properties. My plan has been to use "cheap" and
regularly available ('Supermarket' / 'Hardware') brews &
concoctions with the intent, if successful, of improving the lot of
fellow CPers everywhere.

It is hoped that results from this sort of work / endeavour will
one day lead to the elucidation and use of a Environmentally
Friendly, Sustainable Peat Substitute for CPs in general as with
other Acid-Loving plants.

Anyway Hope this Helps; until, next, I bore you again,


|C4, C#4, E4, A4|>(*U*)<|D4, F4, Ab4, B4|>(*U*)<|C#4, F4, A4!,

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