Wick-Watering, Gritty Mix, Hydroton, What to Do?

plantcrazed101November 24, 2013

Hi All,

Well I have had quite a fun time discovering all the wonderful threads on container gardening! I have read all about Al's (Taplas) Gritty mix and I'm very excited to try it!

Thanks Al and everyone who has put up so much info on here! I originally was trying to fix the fertilizer salts on my african violets and then ran into all the forums on container growing.

I have a few questions, that I don't think I could quite find an answer to though. Of course, there is SO MUCH info that it's also possible I just couldn't absorb it with all the reading and thinking going on lol

I want to find a way to make something close to gritty mix that is much easier for me to obtain. I live in Austin, Tx, if anyone knows where to get the supplies I would be interested! But if not, I'd like to know...what about using hydroton clay pebbles as a replacement for the hard-to-find granite and turface? The bark seems easy enough to find getting the reptile litter (or whatever it was called I can't remember lol)

My mind is open and willing to try things but my budget, time, and energy aren't!!! lol so I'd also like to know y'alls thoughts on how the mix should change if I am wick watering or using capillary matting to avoid having to water often. I have all my African Violets on wicks with very small pots (solo cups and 1oz containers) and I know myself well enough that I won't water 200 tiny plants every few days, so I'm definitely sticking to a self-watering system.

I'm currently growing lots of houseplants as well in an apartment that is cramped, so I don't need a huge quantity of any materials that I can't fit easily. What would be the best combo of things to use that would work with self-watering (using wicks), small pots, and be easy to find or order online in small batches?

-Chris

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I think African violets will work better in 5-1-1 than in gritty mix. But I also think neither mix will work well if you're using capillary mats to wick water. Self-watering containers need a finer more absorbent mix. Raybo, who invented the Earthtainer that is a very popular version, recommends a mix that is 3 parts of a high quality peat-based mix like Promix, to 2 parts pine bark fines to 1 part perlite. Also, note that Reptibark is in chunks that are a little on the large size for either mix. I've used it in large containers (1 gallon or more) of gritty mix, but I don't think it would work well for your tiny containers.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 7:40PM
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