Veggies in turface/calcined clay??

Joe1980(5)May 26, 2011

Ok, so I've been thinking. Seeing veggies like moisture, and in this case I've got jalapeno peppers on my mind, would there be any benefit to growing in 100% turface, or to keep costs down, calcined clay, particularly the Napa floor dry 8822? If I were to use the 8822, it would be cheaper, provide good aeration, and hold moiture. Also, I'm thinking/hoping maybe even reusable year to year?? I'm using the 5-1-1 mix for 4 jalapenos right now, but I've been thinking a lot about using synthetic media to reduce waste. I just don't like the idea of tossing my 5-1-1 every year.

Also, for the gritty mix, I don't like the idea of pitching all the turface, grit, and bark every time I repot, simply because the bark is broken down. I fantasize about buying a bunch of synthetic media, and never having to throw it out and buy more. I don't know if it's futile, or if it's possible. I realize the Napa 8822 has a neutral PH of 7.0, and the turface in the 6.2 range, so I'm assuming with the 8822 I'd need some vinegar in my water to lower the PH. What are your thoughts out there??

Joe

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Joe1980(5)

Oh, and if I should use 100% rainwater, from my readings it has a PH of 5.6. Wouldn't that be acidic enough to use in a neutral growing media?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 10:04PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

There is a long thread on this topic in the house plants forum. See the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: 100 percent turface?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 9:48AM
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Joe1980(5)

Ya know, I've read that thread a few times before, but in all of that, I don't seem to find any clear answer. I see a whole lot of scientific talk, but no definitive answer. I know that if you use all turface, calcined clay, that it hold a LOT of moisture, which isn't always beneficial to house plants or potted trees, but I am wondering about how it would work with veggies. In my experience, plants that grows very fast, like veggies, annuals, and bulbs, use a lot more water then house plants or tropicals, which grow slower. That equates to the need for more moisture, so I was thinking that maybe using all turface would work a bit better on these types of plants. I suppose I could always do an experiment and just give it a shot.

Joe

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 6:28PM
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emgardener

I've grown veggies in 50:50 bark:turface in SWCs with decent results. Growing some now in 50:50 in regular tubs.

I've reused the same turface now for several years. I just dump the old mix in a wheelbarrow and overfill it with water. The bark floats up and out (you can mix it to speed this up), leaving just the turface at the bottom.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:26PM
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Joe1980(5)

You are a genius! It never dawned on my to seperate the bark that way. My concern with the gritty mix is that I don't wanna waste the turface and grit, just because the bark is worn out. Excellent! Now I know I can reuse my gritty mix ingredients.

Joe

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:20PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Joe - to combat the high water retention, you might want to add in a grit fraction. For peppers, I would think grit:Turface @ 1:1 would be good - or do what EM does - let the mix dry & float the bark off.

Al

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 11:13AM
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