How I Prepare and Rinse Media

Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers
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bananaman

 
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How I Prepare and Rinse Media

by bananaman » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:00 pm

I sent out some seeds to folks recently and also got a bunch myself, so I thought I’d put together a little photo documentary of how I prepare my soil for seeds or plants or cuttings.

The basic materials are peat, perlite, CP-appropriate water, and a bucket. I fill the bucket partway with water.
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I dump some peat moss on top of the water — it’s dry, so it floats.
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I put my hand in the bucket and submerge handfuls of peat moss, squeezing them while they’re under water. This begins hydrating it.
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Once it’s all hydrated, I add more dry peat on top. Because some is already wet, the hydration goes a lot faster now.
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I use lots of extra water, so I end up with a soupy peat/water mix.
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I drain off all the water and squeeze out extra from the peat to begin rinsing it.
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Even though this is a pretty clean bale, it’s not fully rinsed yet and will still grow algae and or moss at this point, so I add more water to make it soupy again.
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I stir all the peat around to be sure everything gets rinsed.
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I drain it again.
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For adult plants, I mix in the perlite here. If your peat is a little dirty, you’ll want to rinse it again. But for seeds, cuttings, and small plants, I want my peat extra clean, so I rinse it again. This batch is for some sundew seeds, so it gets an extra rinse just like the last step.

You might wonder why it’s worth rinsing media. Here’s why. This pot is from January, was thoroughly rinsed, it wasn’t bagged, and has basically nothing growing in it:
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This pot is from April and wasn’t rinsed as thoroughly. It was bagged for a while, and it’s been sprayed with Maxsea on many occasions. It’s got some stuff growing in it, but not much.
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This pot was from fall 2018. Yes, it’s older, but it wasn’t rinsed. It grew all sorts of stuff.
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Now, I pour in perlite. If I were really concerned with it, I’d sieve it all to the same size to remove dust and big chunks, but that’s a pain and it generates loads of dust you don’t want to breathe. It might be worth lightly wetting the perlite so there’s not as much dust. I eyeball the proportion, trying to make it 50/50 for most carnivores.
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Next, I mix it all together, breaking up chunks. This will dry out the media some — so any plants will need watering in.
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I get pots and fill them up.
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Next, I make labels. I prefer the plastic ones that go into the pots, but I’m all out of those right now. Instead, I write the plant and sow date on a small piece of paper and carefully tape it to the side of the pot. If you seal it well and use waterproof pen, these can last for at least a couple years.
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I place them in a bag and water them in. If it settles, I add more media and water again. I prefer to bag pots individually. If I bag multiple pots together like this, I make sure the pots have very different species in them that are easy to tell apart. Why do I bag them? It keeps the media cleaner, it makes me water less, and it keeps out weedy plant seeds.
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Next, I sow the seeds. These are from the ICPS and are easy to get out of their packets. Other seeds may be harder to get out of the packet.
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Last, I close the bag and place them under lights. My house is warm, so it’s typically ~85°F during the day under lights and ~70°F at night. For really thermophilic species like the D. indica group or the woolly sundews, I place the bags on a heat mat on the same timer as the lights.
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I sow all my "regular" CP seeds like this — VFTs, sarrs, sundews, etc. Basically anything that likes an ordinary CP media.

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Dionae
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Re: How I Prepare and Rinse Media

by Dionae » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:16 am

Nice! Kind of similar to how I do it.

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Re: How I Prepare and Rinse Media

by kelvinc1989 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:01 pm

Thanks for the great info and the pictures! I'm always worried I might lose a huge amount of my peat when I wash them. I wonder if it's worth using a cheese cloth or rag to squeeze out the water.

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Re: How I Prepare and Rinse Media

by mcgrumpers » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:36 pm

Nice tips! I use a TDS meter to figure out when I've rinsed media sufficiently.

Do you prepare one big batch of peat and store it somewhere or do you go through this process every time you sow seeds?

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That one plant boi

 
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Re: How I Prepare and Rinse Media

by That one plant boi » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:53 pm

Nice! How many cubic feet is the bag of peat?

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chomato

 
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Re: How I Prepare and Rinse Media

by chomato » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:24 pm

That one plant boi wrote:Nice! How many cubic feet is the bag of peat?

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It looks like a 3 cubic feet one from HD
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Re: How I Prepare and Rinse Media

by CarnivoresUnite » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:54 am

Great and informative Bananaman! Thanks!

I use that same peat moss! LOL and it has worked well for me since May, similar results when it's rinsed and also twig removal. I also "coffee filter" my soil media to prevent any extra non welcome growth in the soil.


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