New Gritty Mix User Questions
Hello plant lovers,
This is my first post. I spent the last week reading voraciously about soil and water and nutrients and roots. . . After years of watching my beloved plants wither in the winter and early spring, I feel I have a new understanding of what's going on in those pots. And I have a new respect for them all for making in from one year to the next in the unfavorable conditions I have created for them.
I spent the last two days buying: Repti-Bark, Granite Grit, Turface MVP, and Foliage Pro 9+3+6. Last night, I sifted the Turface and granite. I feel ready to mix a batch, but I have a few clarifications I'd like to feel good about first.
1) I had quite a lot of fine Turface left after sifting, but only a few cups of granite fines and dust (out of a 50 lb. bag), so I'm worried that the granite might be too big. (I will try to learn how to post pics of my materials so folks can comment on what they can actually see.)
2) I have read about sifting and rinsing and I wonder if I need to do both. I have sifted, but rinsing seems like a bigger chore. When I water well, am I not essentially rinsing? (or maybe the fine dust just gets trapped?) If I do need to rinse, is it important to dry the granite and Turface before storing it in plastic containers?
3) The bark is definitely bigger than the other materials, so I just want to verify that it will work. It's also expensive Repti-Bark from a pet store, so if anyone in the Seattle area knows of a better bark source, I'd love to hear of it.
4) What concerns do I need to have with tap water? Should I let it sit to let the chlorine out? Do I need to test the ph and possibly add vinegar? I plan to fertilize weakly with Foliage Pro 9-3-6, so I haven't added anything else for micronutrients to the mix.
5) Does anyone have suggestions for using the leftover Turface fines? I don't have a garden, only containers. Can you plant in Turface only? What plants would like that? Could you use the fines or only the larger pieces for that?
6) Lastly, I am wondering if I should really repot anything right now because it sounds like it's not the best time to bare root them. I have a huge variety of plants, indoor and outdoor containers, small and large, tropical, evergreen, palms, etc. I am thinking maybe I should just start with a few that seem on the verge of death (but then they might die anyway and I won't know if it was something I did wrong with the new mix or a result of strain that was irreversible. . .).
Okay, 'nuf for now. I will leave those questions with you all and work on getting some pics up.