Author Topic: Trying A New Growth Medium  (Read 1820 times)

Millet

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Trying A New Growth Medium
« on: September 23, 2021, 11:21:36 AM »

I am trying a new growth medium  It is made from 50 percent Turface MVP and 50 percent potting soil.  It seems to have good
drainage and aeration.  I know that Brian, a member of this forum has been using it with good results.  I believe it was first invented by Laaz.  Although I have not been using it very long, so far so good.  Most of my trees are growing in a 5-1-1 bark peat and perlite mixture with good results, it has to be watered so often that it is a hassle during the hot summer months.  As time goes by I will post how the new medium does.

CanadianCitrus

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2021, 06:25:24 PM »
Let us know how it goes. I won’t lie the 5-1-1 has resolved my root rot issues. All of the plants in my tent (I’m growing indoors only) are thriving.

brian

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2021, 07:07:58 PM »
5-1-1 works great but requires regular repotting to avoid problems.  The turface mixes seem to last longer.  I finally found coconut husk mulch for sale locally (in cubes at Costco right now) so I am using coconut husk mulch, turface, and "fines" - where the fines are peat moss, and/or decomposed mulch and such recycled from repotted containers.  I had tried 50:50 turface:miracle grow but it didn't drain well for me, I think the Miracle Grow in my area is not the same as Millet gets in Colorado. 

Citradia

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2021, 09:21:05 PM »
My trees are doing very well in the 50:50 Turface:Miracle Grow Garden Soil. My Saint Teresa bloomed for the first time in two years after the repotting from Miracle Grow Citrus soil to the 50:50 Turface. My other potted citrus have put on a lot of growth this summer since the transition from cheap potting soil as well, especially the meiwa kumquat seedlings.

Travillion

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2021, 09:42:10 PM »
I'm currently "in the market" for a new growth medium. I have a hard time sourcing the pine bark fines for the 5-1-1. I was going to try the 1:1 potting soil/Turface, but after hearing Brian's experience, maybe I'll rethink. How do we know if we have the "right" MG Garden Soil in our region?

Vlad

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2021, 11:39:16 PM »
Does anybody use the gritty mix? (Equal parts pine or fir bark, Turface MVP and Grani-I-Grit. It supposedyl outlasts the 5:1:1 mix.) I have used it and it seems OK, although the pots are very heavy.
I also use the 5:1:1 mix but some of my trees have gotten root rot in it, so am considering switching to gritty mix.

Millet

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2021, 09:53:17 AM »
My container trees are in 13 gallon containers.  Gritty mix would be way to heavy, plus the constant watering.

brian

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2021, 10:58:18 AM »
I'm currently "in the market" for a new growth medium. I have a hard time sourcing the pine bark fines for the 5-1-1. I was going to try the 1:1 potting soil/Turface, but after hearing Brian's experience, maybe I'll rethink. How do we know if we have the "right" MG Garden Soil in our region?

mix 50:50 MG Garden Soil and Turface, and then dump a gallon of water in.  If it drains in 30sec or so you are good.  When I tried this, it took 5min or more.  To resolve, either add more turface or add mulch.  This ends up similar to the Gritty Mix.   

franklazar26

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2021, 08:38:39 PM »
Where turface is not locally available, would it be acceptable to use fine chicken grit? They seem like they’re similar in size and material.

Vlad

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2021, 09:35:44 PM »
I believe chicken grit is granite while Turface is hardened clay. You can use Napa floor dry #8822 instead of Turface.

pagnr

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2021, 06:13:28 AM »
I thought Chicken grit was often Calcium based ?? Oyster Shell or Limestone, Flint etc. Benefits are the birds crop grinding process and additional calcium.
If so, either of these could influence pH upwards if used heavily in soil mix.

Piss P

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2021, 10:47:48 AM »
Search the product and its SDS - it will give chemical composition. Cherry Stone chicken grit, for example, "are quartzite rock, a metamorphic form of sandstone. Crystalline silica (quartz)"

John B

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2021, 05:06:14 PM »
This is very interesting. I am in need of reporting my kumquat tree and was going to do 50% pumice/soil. Is there some benefit to turface?

pagnr

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2021, 06:07:07 PM »
Search the product and its SDS
Yes that is the best advice,
Also maybe do a small wet test or seed raising test before you repot with a new component.
Another problem I found was that for example Zeolite for pool filters is very hard and stable and well size graded,
whereas Zeolite for Cat litter was a softer mineral, full of fine powder and looks like it would break down.
Horticultural Attapulgite has been through a hardening kiln, making it light but stable,
whereas Attapulgite for cat litter or spill cleaning hasn't been hardened and isn't a stable particle, designed to absorb and be swept up for disposal.

brian

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2021, 09:40:16 PM »
Turface is much like gravel.  I think it is made from fired clay, and has small regularly size pieces like cat litter but doesn't break down.  It retains a little bit of water, and as far as I know doesn't have any meaningful mineral effect.

I use Turface and Perlite pretty much interchangeably, depending on if I want a heavy or light container.

incubator01

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2021, 06:06:02 AM »
I too have been using this potting soil for 7 weeks now, even transplanted a young meyer in it and it is (so far) not showing any stress at all.
The others had a bigger root ball and were much more difficult to remove the old clay soil from so they suffered more stress but they recovered and stabilized.
I even put succulents in it and they love it too.

So i'm very happy with this mix, it does drain really well and dries out better, does not form hard lumps etc.
I'm anxious for spring now :)

Travillion

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2021, 03:04:09 PM »
How do you tell when to water the 50/50 mix? As I understand it, the turface stores water and releases it to the soil as needed. So do you go by the feel of the soil, or the color of the turface, or some other method?

Millet

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2021, 05:10:02 PM »
The Turface MVP:Peat mix (50:50 mix) that caused me to start this post last September, is now 3 months old.  So far it looks and acts  exactly like it did on day one.  When testing the 50:50 determining when to water I still use my finger, and stick it into the medium its full length.

One Note: Miracle Grow Garden Soil is not the same throughout the country.  Here in Colorado and in Laaz's area it is a good draining medium.  In other parts of the country it is made from different ingredients and thus different characteristics.

Travillion

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Re: Trying A New Growth Medium
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2021, 06:33:24 PM »
The Turface MVP:Peat mix (50:50 mix) that caused me to start this post last September, is now 3 months old.  So far it looks and acts  exactly like it did on day one.  When testing the 50:50 determining when to water I still use my finger, and stick it into the medium its full length.

One Note: Miracle Grow Garden Soil is not the same throughout the country.  Here in Colorado and in Laaz's area it is a good draining medium.  In other parts of the country it is made from different ingredients and thus different characteristics.

Stick your finger in the length of your finger and water if dry?

I will do a drain test on the MG before I pot a tree in it. In in Phoenix and I assume the MG will be fast draining, but if not I'll find another substitute. I feel like I need to try something besides variations on 5-1-1.

 

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