Sunday, 14 December 2008

Soil


Its Repotting season. Ive been looking for a good source of grit for making a potting mix. Most of the local nurseries seem to have a good selection of horticultural gravel now - it seems to be a seasonal product as im sure i didnt see it at other times of the year. had i known this i wouldnt have pursued other grit options.

i want to get to understand the PH of the soils as i have a few pines so i bought a PH testign Kit. the PH also has a huge effect on the health and vigour of trees that it cant be ignored.

Catsan = PH > 7.5 -- not going to plant anything in this.
Tesco Premium Cat Litter Natural Clay = neutral PH = turns to mud after a few minutes in water. unsuitable.
Tesco Premium Cat litter Light Weight = neutral -- nice. seems to be fired clay pellets.
Akadama - TBD.
Horticultural grit - TBD. Doesnt hold moisture particularly well.

got some akadama off Amazon that seems to be doing the job now - good price and arrived in the mail swiftly. it hasnt disolved into a puddle of clay either. ive done the important plants with this. later on il do some of the new seedlings and cuttings in the tesco/bark mix and see how it goes.

i may collect another oak for next season. Quercus robur seems to vary quite a lot - sadly the one i hatched 2 years ago seems to think its an elephant ear. il try to find a finer leaved one for the next acorn. the first oak - junior - is doing well ( other than having big ears ) in random soil and will hopefully have a good growing season if well watered and fertilised.

i have also collected some field maple ( acer campestre ) seeds which im going to try to hatch for next year. ive collect some seeds for local trees in the park and on my walk home from the tube station. these also seem to vary quite a lot in leaf size so i tried to gather seeds from the trees with finer foliage.
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