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Yet another soil thread

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citrange:
I used to incorporate coconut husk chips into my citrus growing medium. They work well and provide reasonable drainage but only for a couple of years. After that they break down and encourage root rot. I no longer use them.
The same applies to standard bark mulch. The bark chips sold as 'orchid bark' or 'reptile bark' are much harder and will last much longer.
You should investigate the availability of Danish Moler Clay in Belgium. It is a form of fired clay granules which can absorb moisture while providing excellent drainage, and is often used by bonsai enthhusiasts. It does not break down. Here in England it is expensive if bought directly for horticultural use but can be found much cheaper when sold for use as cat litter or oil-spill absorbant. I now use it as the major ingredient in my potted citrus mixes.

pagnr:
I found a similar problem with large coir husk chips. When Citrus seedling root grow thru the chip it causes rot on the root section in the chip. They hold too much water.

Peep:

--- Quote from: pagnr on February 20, 2023, 03:40:29 AM ---Most coir brands should have an analysis, Ec for salinity, cation exchange capacity and K Potassium levels.

--- End quote ---

It's a cheap product/brand so there is no information. It's 1 per brick. Coco coir is not used very much here it seems, because I haven't found it it in home improvement or gardening stores. I think I will put it in a bucket with holes at the bottom and run a bit of water through it, that wouldn't take too much effort.


--- Quote from: citrange on February 20, 2023, 05:23:59 AM ---You should investigate the availability of Danish Moler Clay in Belgium. Here in England it is expensive if bought directly for horticultural use but can be found much cheaper when sold for use as cat litter or oil-spill absorbant.

--- End quote ---

I have looked at the kitty liter as well, Linda Moler is supposedly a brand that has the good stuff. It's about 12 for 20 liters, still much more expensive than my perlite, but the problem is that I would have to find it in a local store in my city and I'm not sure I will. I'll keep an eye out though. Having it shipped to me makes it too expensive.


--- Quote from: pagnr on February 20, 2023, 07:19:48 AM ---I found a similar problem with large coir husk chips. When Citrus seedling root grow thru the chip it causes rot on the root section in the chip. They hold too much water.

--- End quote ---

Yes, I didn't look for it, so maybe it's my imagination, but I feel like I've seen some less healthy roots that went through pine bark as well. I think the pine bark holds less water (at least when not decomposed yet), but maybe it can still suffocate.

I'm currently thinking in the direction of something like this:

30% coarse perlite
30% light potting soil   
30% coco coir
10% sand

No pine bark or coco husk, this will also help it to get between all the roots. My plants are still small, if they were larger I think it would be less of a problem to use larger chunks of material.

I'm still a bit unsure about how much sand I can use, afraid it will not stay mixed and start to fill in pores in the soil. For the other ingredients I think I need to mix them up and then see how it feels and if I want to adjust the percentages.

fruitnut1944:
I think 30% coir and 30% potting soil will be too wet. I realize that getting a coarse mix in around the roots may be an issue. But a wet mix that soon becomes fine and water logged is worse. Maybe thin out the roots?

BorisR:

--- Quote from: Peep on February 20, 2023, 08:11:05 AM ---I think I will put it in a bucket with holes at the bottom and run a bit of water through it, that wouldn't take too much effort.

--- End quote ---
Flushing with clean water will not get rid of the problem. Coconut works as a sorbing material and sodium ions have come into contact with it. When you apply fertilizers, sodium will be released, being replaced by magnesium. There will be a slight sodium poisoning and magnesium deficiency.
It needs to be soaked in magnesium salts. Magnesium sulfate or magnesium nitrate will do.
Or you can do nothing, give more magnesium when feeding. But it's less controllable.

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