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

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By EllieB
Posts:  8
Joined:  Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:05 pm
#341419
Hey! So my VFT Is going from bad to worse and I'm trying to figure out what might be the problem. I used this sand and spagnum moss when repotting. Is it the wrong sand? I bought it from a nursery and they said it was horticultural sand which I thought was ok. Thanks! ImageImage

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By Granpa Walt
Posts:  96
Joined:  Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:21 am
#341476
Pool sand is usually available at Home Depot for around $6 for a 50 lb bag.

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By Zach7286
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Posts:  28
Joined:  Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:04 pm
#347073
Could anyone share any insight as to how you can tell whether or not the sand you've bought is acceptable? Do you just go by whether or not there are any black bits inside of it? I planted a few seeds several weeks ago using 1/2 long-fiber spagnum and 1/2 this white sand that I had purchased at Home Depot (Mosser Lee White Sand: https://www.mosserlee.com/product/551_Sands.aspx), and have had pretty poor luck in getting them to germinate - I think I'm at 1 out of 10 or so after about 2 months. I'm wondering if the sand I used is part of the problem? lol not that there aren't lots of other things that might have gone wrong.
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By Matt
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Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#347088
Zach7286 wrote:Could anyone share any insight as to how you can tell whether or not the sand you've bought is acceptable?
If it is silica sand, it is fine. If it is not silica, then it's probably not fine.
Zach7286 wrote:I planted a few seeds several weeks ago using 1/2 long-fiber spagnum and 1/2 this white sand that I had purchased at Home Depot (Mosser Lee White Sand: https://www.mosserlee.com/product/551_Sands.aspx)
It is hard to tell for sure since there isn't much information about the sand itself, but I would guess that sand might not be good. It certainly could be part of the problem.
Zach7286 wrote:lol not that there aren't lots of other things that might have gone wrong.
:D yes, growing from seed can certainly be quite challenging!!
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By mcgrumpers
Posts:  223
Joined:  Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 am
#347095
My personal preference is to get sand with larger grains. I bought #12 sand based on recommendations I read around here and have been pretty happy with it.
Matt wrote:
Zach7286 wrote:Could anyone share any insight as to how you can tell whether or not the sand you've bought is acceptable?
If it is silica sand, it is fine. If it is not silica, then it's probably not fine.
I've previously used what I now believe was silica sand labelled as "horticultural sand". I convinced myself this sand was OK after soaking it in distilled water for some time and verifying that the resulting TDS was acceptable. So far, I've had 100% success with this method based on the one time I tried it :|
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By Zach7286
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Posts:  28
Joined:  Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:04 pm
#347100
mcgrumpers wrote:
Matt wrote:
Zach7286 wrote:Could anyone share any insight as to how you can tell whether or not the sand you've bought is acceptable?
If it is silica sand, it is fine. If it is not silica, then it's probably not fine.
I've previously used what I now believe was silica sand labelled as "horticultural sand". I convinced myself this sand was OK after soaking it in distilled water for some time and verifying that the resulting TDS was acceptable. So far, I've had 100% success with this method based on the one time I tried it :|
Thanks to both of you for the tips! Ha I think my convo with the Home Depot employee went something like...

Me: Is this silica sand?
Him: all sand is silica sand

... which I took to mean that it was good for use, but maybe I should have said "pure silica sand" or something instead (I'm now wondering). In any case, I'll probably just buy a new bag that's labeled more explicitly for the remaining 10 seeds that I'd purchased. I actually might start a new thread later on soliciting more general help in troubleshooting what might have gone wrong with this first batch. Thanks again!
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By Matt
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Posts:  21093
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#347104
Zach7286 wrote:Thanks to both of you for the tips! Ha I think my convo with the Home Depot employee went something like...

Me: Is this silica sand?
Him: all sand is silica sand
Haha! That's not true!
Zach7286 wrote:In any case, I'll probably just buy a new bag that's labeled more explicitly for the remaining 10 seeds that I'd purchased. I actually might start a new thread later on soliciting more general help in troubleshooting what might have gone wrong with this first batch. Thanks again!
That sounds like a plan!
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By jpappy789
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Posts:  150
Joined:  Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:03 pm
#347159
I'll echo mcgrumpers, even "pure" silica sand can lead to problems if it's too fine and helps the media compact. It's a PITA to find, and a bit expensive to ship if you can only get it online, but the silica horticulture sands (that a lot of bonsai/succulent growers seem to like) can be larger grained and CP-safe.
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