Long-fibered-sphagnum versus peat-based soil mixes

Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers
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Re: Tray method

by idontlikeforms » Wed May 02, 2012 4:12 pm

munchie16201 wrote:We both use the tray method since we are using LFS. ,but we were not sure if we should let water sit in the tray. I mean,when using the tray method we put water in the tray and it sot soaked up in about an hour. Would it be ok to add more water immediately or should we wait a day or so to add more water to the tray? So basically,should there be water in the tray at all times? Thanks for the help.

The main thing with using LFS and the tray method is that it can over dry easily if there is no water in the tray but LFS also gets very wet when sitting in a tray. So you have to keep the pot in a pool of water all the time to prevent it from drying out but you also have to let the water recede to down near the bottom so that most of the roots are not waterlogged most of the time.

If the moss is slowly soaking up a lot of water in a few hours every time you water it you are probably letting it get too dry. There should be a film of water at the bottom of the tray or even a little puddle still left when it is time to rewater. If the moss is getting drier on the very bottom then it is being allowed to get too dry in between waterings.

Peat works differently. Peat at the bottom of a pot, even if the tray method is not being used is basically a wet poorly oxygenated sludge pile. Functionally what people call the "dry method" with peat, peat/sand, or peat/perlite is still growing a VFT very wet. The root tips at the bottom of the pot where peat and whatever else is in there is compacting is very wet even when the top looks dry.

Some growers may think that their "dry method" is substantially different than growing with LFS in a tray as far as wetness around the roots goes but really it's not. And since the wet peat sludge pile creates a barrier at the bottom of the pot between well aerated soil(which with LFS is normally present) and oxygen barren soil, it really becomes necessary to allow the outer perimeter of the sludge pile on the bottom of the pot to dry a little in between waterings to get air in there with oxygen. This isn't a problem with LFS as it has so many large air pockets. When a VFT is being grown with peat in the tray method and it is hot outside the way the roots are getting oxygen is by fresh water being added to the tray or top watering every time the plant needs to be rewatered. Since the heat makes the water evaporate quickly this is being done frequently enough that the VFT is getting some oxygen, usually enough to survive and at least grow somewhat well.

"Dry Method" growers may also think that if they add sand or perlite to the peat that this helps with the poor oxygenation that peat has. But I don't know why they think this is the case since the peat just clumps around the sand or perlite. Functionally there is not a substantial difference between 100% peat and peat/sand or peat/perlite as far as oxygenation goes. But there is a large functional difference as far as oxygenation goes for LFS vs peat.

One time I had an import of VFTs with another fellow CP vendor. We both got VFTs from the same order at the same time. I put mine in rootmaker trays with LFS and a little coarse perlite on the very bottom of each plug and he put his in a peat/sand mix in pots. A month or so later he sold me all his VFTs from the same exact order. I kept them in the same pots with the same mix and in a tray of water that was lower than my water level kept in my rootmaker trays. After about another month I began selling VFTs from both batches. I sell my VFTs bareroot. So I was digging them up and inspecting and cleaning their roots. The LFS grown VFTs had roots 3 time as long and noticeably thicker and tougher than the peat grown VFTs y then. After a while the peat grown VFTs did start making longer and thicker roots too but by then they were behind in top growth too.

I believe that LFS is a better medium to grow VFTs in overall. I have noticed on this forum that some posters have a heavy bias against using LFS for VFTs and have even seen some posts where using LFS for VFTs was being mocked. Personally I find this very strange. I have at a couple of BACPS meetings commented to other experienced CP growers how LFS growing with VFTs is sometimes mocked on this forum. But as near as I can tell the majority of experienced CP growers there use either pure LFS for their VFTs or use LFS as one of the bigger ingredients in their VFT soil mix. They usually combine this with tall pots too and then use the tray method year round and just keep the water level lower in the Wintertime. Many of these growers doing this have been growing their VFTs for 20-30 years this way.

I'm not saying that using peat for VFTs is bad or that they can't grow well in peat. I believe it is a viable option to use it as a media for VFTs. But I'm pretty certain that VFTs actually grow a little better with LFS. I have 15,000+ growing in it right now and VFT selling is my main source of income. Obviously if LFS was bad for VFTs I would not have been able to grow them in it for a living.

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Re: Tray method

by Matt » Wed May 02, 2012 4:26 pm

idontlikeforms wrote:I believe that LFS is a better medium to grow VFTs in overall. I have noticed on this forum that some posters have a heavy bias against using LFS for VFTs

"Better" in what way Joel? Easier to keep the plants watered?
idontlikeforms wrote:But I'm pretty certain that VFTs actually grow a little better with LFS.

I'd say with confidence that properly watered plants growing in a peat/sand or peat/sand/perlite mix will have far superior root systems to those plants growing in LFS, and thus will reach an overall size far exceeding what they can reach in LFS. But I think we've had this discussion before...a few years ago :)

If you can show me a plant growing in LFS that has roots like the plant in the photo below, which was grown in peat/sand/perlite, I'd be more inclined to agree with you:
Image
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Re: Tray method

by parker679 » Wed May 02, 2012 4:59 pm

@Matt

My god that is a healthy looking plant. How tall is the pot that was growing in?

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Re: Tray method

by Matt » Wed May 02, 2012 5:15 pm

parker679 wrote:How tall is the pot that was growing in?

It was growing in a 10 inch pot.
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Re: Tray method

by idontlikeforms » Wed May 02, 2012 7:23 pm

Matt wrote:"Better" in what way Joel? Easier to keep the plants watered?
As near as I can tell Matt the roots simply grow easier in LFS. They definitely do grow faster in LFS. But roots being better oxygenated also makes roots grow faster and this holds true for all plants. Keep in mind Matt that the Nep growers claim using peat kills Neps. The reason being is that it compacts on the bottom of the pot. Some of them think it's the wetness that is killing their Neps but I have found Neps like to be wetter than VFTs, which certainly makes sense since they are exposed to heavy rain virtually every day where they live. They just can't handle the oxygen deprivation that peat causes. The same thing happens with old LFS. After a couple of years it turns into peat and makes a sludge pile on the bottom of the pot. Really any plant would grow better in LFS than pure peat or peat/sand or peat/perlite. I think it's just a false assumption that VFTs are the exception. I suspect my LFS grown VFTs grew roots faster than my fellow CP vendor's peat/sand grown VFTs simply because they were better oxygenated.
Matt wrote:I'd say with confidence that properly watered plants growing in a peat/sand or peat/sand/perlite mix will have far superior root systems to those plants growing in LFS, and thus will reach an overall size far exceeding what they can reach in LFS. But I think we've had this discussion before...a few years ago :)

If you can show me a plant growing in LFS that has roots like the plant in the photo below, which was grown in peat/sand/perlite, I'd be more inclined to agree with you:
Image
The problem with the VFT in the photo as an example Matt is that the roots are long but they are spindly. I mean how do we compare roots? Length? Width? Weight? Area? How fast they grow? Yes the VFT in the photo has long roots but the ones I've grown in LFS regularly have thicker roots.

At the time I had both sets of VFTs growing, one in LFS and one in peat/sand I did not expect the LFS grown ones to develop roots so much more quickly. I mean certainly many growers who post in this forum and yourself are growing with primarily peat and many of you are growing some nice VFTs too. So at the time I expected to see the roots in the peat to be thinner but longer but they were't. They were thinner but not by a lot but still shorter. At the time I thought both mediums may actually be equal overall. But now I no longer believe this to be the case because I saw it myself. I don't doubt the same experiment could be replicated elsewhere. I'm sure if you did the same thing would see the same results.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is that light intensity has a lot to do with root development too. Strong light makes roots thicker, grow faster, and often cover a wider area. I had both sets of VFTs growing in a greenhouse in early Winter when I saw the differences.

I know you like to see pictures Matt ;) but most of my larger VFTs are flowering right now and I'm a little reluctant to dig them up and expose their roots. One thing I could upload and I think I will but it will have to be later on today or possibly tomorrow night is my AG3 VFTs. AG3 used to grow and ship their VFTs in pure peat. They switched to LFS. Guess what happened to their roots? They are noticeably thicker because of it. I don't have any peat growing AG3 VFTs to show you but I do have some Dentes and King Henrys growing in LFS I could show you the roots on. They are in their original liners still. If you can remember back when you received some AG3 VFTs maybe you can make a mental comparison of the two by seeing pics of my LFS grown AG3 VFTs.

I've also seen AG3 Drosera Spathulatas shipped in peat and LFS. I don't have any LFS grown D. Spathulatas right now. I don't know why they briefly switched to LFS with the Spathulatas and then switched back to pure peat but they did. But I can tell you that they too also made thicker roots in LFS than peat. Personally I wish they stuck with their switch to LFS for those too but they didn't. :(

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Re: Tray method

by hackerberry » Wed May 02, 2012 7:37 pm

Very good conversation from both great growers. There's a lot of factors that comes to place with regards to long, thick, healthy roots. I guess we can discuss this in another topic. For now, we can just leave it this way and give munchie16201 a final advice.

You have to use the tray method with LFS. it dries too much if you don't. With peat you can skip the tray method on cooler days but not with LFS. If it is not too hot or the pot is not very deep with LFS you will need to let most of the water in the tray evaporate before rewatering though.


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Re: Tray method

by Steve_D » Wed May 02, 2012 8:49 pm

To me, long-fiber sphagnum moss, while it has great water retention and aeration, has two characteristics I don't personally prefer for growing Venus Flytraps: it decomposes and compacts more rapidly than a sphagnum peat moss and sand (or perlite) mix, and it dries out too fast, which is particularly bothersome in small pots and in arid climates such as mine here in New Mexico.

One thing that long-fiber sphagnum moss has in its favor is that it is extremely easy to pot Venus Flytraps using long-fiber sphagnum. Just moisten the sphagnum, wrap it around the roots and rhizome, and push it down into the pot; that's it! Quick and easy and great in the short term, but from my own point of view perhaps not so great in the longer term (the plants will likely need to be repotted fairly soon into a larger pot and into medium that does not dry as fast).

Just one grower's opinions to add to the discussion. :)

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Re: Tray method

by Matt » Wed May 02, 2012 9:28 pm

idontlikeforms wrote:As near as I can tell Matt the roots simply grow easier in LFS. They definitely do grow faster in LFS.

I've never seen evidence of this and don't believe it to be true. Did you actually conduct an experiment with a large sample set or simply make the observation from a few plants? Also, what kind of peat-based mix were you using? Not all peat-based mixes are the same. The type of sand makes a huge difference in root growth. Heck, even the quality of the peat can make a huge difference.
idontlikeforms wrote:The problem with the VFT in the photo as an example Matt is that the roots are long but they are spindly. I mean how do we compare roots? Length? Width? Weight? Area? How fast they grow?

I guess overall mass would make the most sense.
idontlikeforms wrote:Yes the VFT in the photo has long roots but the ones I've grown in LFS regularly have thicker roots.

I think the thickness of roots may be partially a genetic thing, but the roots in the first photo don't appear to be thin to me. How much thicker are you talking about? Here is another flytrap that was growing in peat/sand/perlite mix with thicker roots (different clone) that we just shipped out a couple of days ago (roots are shorter because it was growing in a 3.5 inch tall pot):
seed_grown_roots.jpg
Seed grown with nice roots
seed_grown_roots.jpg (138.22 KiB) Viewed 5899 times

Compare that to the roots of a plant grown in LFS that you posted a while ago, and I can't say that I'm convinced that plants in LFS have healthier root systems:
Image
idontlikeforms wrote:I know you like to see pictures Matt ;)

Darn right I do! :) One can make assertions and come to conclusions, but without hard evidence, it means nothing. Evidence, not just speculation or conclusions, is the key to proving anything. And I've yet to see any hard evidence of plants growing in LFS having healthier root systems than those in peat-based mixes.
hackerberry wrote:AG3 used to grow and ship their VFTs in pure peat. They switched to LFS. Guess what happened to their roots? They are noticeably thicker because of it.

I'm sure they are. Pure peat or the standard CP mix (50:50 peat to perlite), like most CP growers use, seems to me to be a far inferior medium than peat with sand and perlite (sand really is the key) and likely inferior to LFS as well.
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Re: Tray method

by idontlikeforms » Wed May 02, 2012 10:58 pm

Evidently Picnik is gone. Can someone direct me to a website I can use to upload photos to post on FTS? I have some photos but don't know how to upload them. I used Picnik last time.:(

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Re: Tray method

by idontlikeforms » Wed May 02, 2012 11:07 pm

Matt I could also just email you the photos and then if you posted them I could add explanations in a response. If it's easier to do it this way I can. Let me know if you prefer this.

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Re: Tray method

by idontlikeforms » Thu May 03, 2012 12:40 am

Matt wrote:
idontlikeforms wrote:As near as I can tell Matt the roots simply grow easier in LFS. They definitely do grow faster in LFS.

I've never seen evidence of this and don't believe it to be true. Did you actually conduct an experiment with a large sample set or simply make the observation from a few plants?
I had about 650 VFTs growing in my Rootmaker trays with LFS and little coarse perlite on the bottom of each cell and about 250 VFTs growing in peat/sand. I picked out the vast majority of them 4-5 days a week over the coarse of 2 months. So yes there was a fairly large sample and not just a few. The difference surprised me at the time. I was not expecting it. I assumed the peat/sand VFTs would just have spindlier but longer roots but not necessarily substantially less root mass over all. But I found out I was wrong.
Matt wrote: Also, what kind of peat-based mix were you using? Not all peat-based mixes are the same. The type of sand makes a huge difference in root growth. Heck, even the quality of the peat can make a huge difference.
I don't know what type of peat and sand it was. I don't use peat and sand myself. I just bought the VFTs from my fellow vendor and left them as is till I sold most of them. How well roots are oxygenated affects how quickly roots can grow and generally how healthy they are too. This is basic botany and basic info for hydroponic growers as well. I don't believe it is a controversial statement. Anyone can quickly find this out by googling the subject. Obviously any media that has large air pockets in it is better oxygenated than any other type of media that does not and has small particles clumping and compacting together instead. This is because it has more wet surface area swapping CO2 and O2 with the air. To me the real issue is, is this a big factor for VFTs as well? Not is this premise true. Obviously it is true for other plants.

I don't see why different types of peat or sand would make much difference unless some types somehow are less prone to clumping or form air pockets better. Is there some other reasons for why some types are better than others?
Matt wrote:I guess overall mass would make the most sense.
I've seem more mass with LFS. I don't use peat for anything I pot up but have continued growing many VFTs in the peat they came with as well as seen what their roots look like when they were shipped to me bareroot but were grown in peat before they came to me. I've seen these things many, many times from a number of different peoples' VFTs. I have even bought many VFTs from SamGreenThumb who sells VFTs on Ebay and he grows his in full sun but in peat in Florida. His roots were not as thick or as large mass-wise as mine after also growing in full sun but in LFS.

This may shock you to hear Matt but even Steve's often don't have as much mass as mine do. I've received many VFTs from him and they look very good to me but have spindlier roots that are very flexible like a piece of string. These are healthy roots mind you, I'm not saying they are not. But my VFTs make roots that look like spaghetti and are much tougher and thicker. They cannot be wrapped around your finger. They are not that pliable. They are stiffer and can only bend slightly. If they were growing in a small plug, like with AG3's VFTs, they often hold the shape of the plug after being rinsed off. I mean anyone could look at them after buying it and see how they are stuck in place and know the plant was grown in a little plug because of how the roots are stuck. With Steve's VFT roots you would not know because they are dangly, soft, and you can wrap them around your finger. Once again, I'm not criticizing Steve's VFTs or saying they are inferior or anything like that. My opinion is they are about the best VFTs I can buy anywhere as far as health goes and the roots on his very often are better than anything I see anywhere else.
Matt wrote:I think the thickness of roots may be partially a genetic thing, but the roots in the first photo don't appear to be thin to me.
It is partially genetic. Correct me if I'm wrong but the long rooted monster VFT in Steve's photo you posted is a Big Vigorous. BV makes long roots and is fairly rooty as far as VFTs go. At least this is my observation. I've seen my BV make fairly long but not so thick roots as other giants like King Henry or B52.
Matt wrote: How much thicker are you talking about? Here is another flytrap that was growing in peat/sand/perlite mix with thicker roots (different clone) that we just shipped out a couple of days ago (roots are shorter because it was growing in a 3.5 inch tall pot):
The thing is Matt is that the thickness doesn't show very well in photos. I mean I think the photos I just took and will hopefully be able to upload soon do indeed look thicker but the photos are misleading because your peat/sand grown VFTs have peat particles clumped all around the fine root hairs where as LFS grown VFT roots do not. All you see is the main roots on them no extra particles attached. These extra particles make the peat/sand grown VFT roots look bigger than they actually are.

But if you can actually touch the roots. I mean feel them in your hand you can see what I'm talking about even more clearly. I've handled many roots of VFTs from elsewhere and many of my own VFTs' roots when I pack them up, 1,000s of times. You can feel the difference. You can feel that they are about 3 times thicker but you can't see that they are this much thicker in a photo or even if you were looking right at them. You would have to feel them to be able to tell what I'm talking about. Not only do they clearly feel noticeably thicker but they are substantially tougher. You can't wrap them around your fingers easily often with the thickest ones you can't wrap them around your finger at all. They would snap if you applied enough pressure before bending enough. And you can feel that they are tougher. I mean if you tugged on them the peat grown VFT roots will tear easier. You can cut the peat grown VFTs with your thumbnail easier too. I think that if you were here at my place and dug these VFTs up and you handled them you would see what I'm talking about and may not disagree with me then.
Matt wrote:Compare that to the roots of a plant grown in LFS that you posted a while ago, and I can't say that I'm convinced that plants in LFS have healthier root systems:
The Low Giant of mine in the photo has thicker roots. I don't know how well you can tell by the photo but it does. It did not have longer roots than Steve's BV did though and it did not have many fresh roots either. The roots on that Low Giant are less pliable than the roots on Steve's BV. I didn't handle Steve's BV mind you. I just know by seeing roots like that many times, albeit shorter, on many VFTs that I've bought from other people myself and handling them being able to tell the difference.

idontlikeforms wrote:I know you like to see pictures Matt ;)
Matt wrote:Darn right I do! :) One can make assertions and come to conclusions, but without hard evidence, it means nothing. Evidence, not just speculation or conclusions, is the key to proving anything.
I have the photos taken of my AG3 Dentes and King Henrys that I was talking about in an earlier post and I'll upload them as soon as I figure out how.

Matt wrote: And I've yet to see any hard evidence of plants growing in LFS having healthier root systems than those in peat-based mixes.
I think you will be able to see the roots on my VFTs are thicker once I can upload them but I'm not 100% sure you'll be able to grasp just how much thicker they really are just by the photos.
Matt wrote:I'm sure they are. Pure peat or the standard CP mix (50:50 peat to perlite), like most CP growers use, seems to me to be a far inferior medium than peat with sand and perlite (sand really is the key) and likely inferior to LFS as well.
I believe the peat clumps to the perlite even more than the sand, particularly if there is a lot of sand being used but there is still a big difference between this and LFS as far as air pockets goes and the peat does still tend to clump to the sand. I've also found that LFS with fine perlite still has a lot of air pockets but coarse perlite mixed in with the LFS tends to make it dry much easier. I put coarse perlite on the very bottom of my plugs but only a little, just enough that the water level only goes just a little below the very bottom of my LFS. But for my customers I just send them LFS and tell them to just use that or peat because it takes too long to explain everything to beginners and they can get lost in less important details if I do and then forget the more important details.

Steve_D wrote:To me, long-fiber sphagnum moss, while it has great water retention and aeration, has two characteristics I don't personally prefer for growing Venus Flytraps: it decomposes and compacts more rapidly than a sphagnum peat moss and sand (or perlite) mix,
True. Which is one of the reasons why I only use New Zealand LFS. It usually lasts 2 years or maybe a little longer. I've also noticed that the more organic matter there is in with the LFS the faster it breaks down. Same seems to be the case with adding peat to it as peat tends to house a lot of bacteria but fresh LFS is fairly sterile.
Steve_D wrote:and it dries out too fast, which is particularly bothersome in small pots and in arid climates such as mine here in New Mexico.
This is true too. It does dry out faster than peat does. But this can in cooler weather be a good thing rather than a bad thing as the water movement helps oxygenate the roots. I no longer recommend to my beginner customers to grow their VFTs outside over a windowsill anymore. The LFS dries fast outside and they'd need to water them more often and often don't understand this. A one time mistake here often results in a dead VFT. But then again the peat won't buy them much time with watering outside either. A larger pot would though and it is no coincidence that the many veteran BACPS VFT growers here in CA use tall pots with their LFS. This usually causes the top to be fairly dry too which the bigger older VFTs seem to appreciate. Obviously I can't send everyone 5 inch pots without raising my prices quite a bit. But if a beginner customer tells me they want to grow their VFT outside I recommend larger pots then.
Chipi3s wrote:I agree with Matt and Steve, When i was new to growing Venus flytraps i used LFS because i couldn't afford or find anything else in my area and it was hard to keep up with it as well. It was either to wet or to dry. When i transferred to peat/perlite/silica i noticed a huge change in growth in my plants. As i may have said in a previous post, i noticed a very robust and good growing root system as did the plant grow faster to.
I don't doubt you noticed an improvement if they were no longer getting a little too dry or a little too wet. Like I said above this is no doubt why the veteran BACPS VFT growers use tall pots with LFS and then just keep water in the tray all the time. This type of a setup it pretty easy too. I would think even easier than peat/sand where you don't have to worry about when to switch to the tray method and you just don't fill the tray up as much each time you water during Winter.

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Re: Tray method

by ShaneF » Thu May 03, 2012 1:30 am

These are pictures of Joel's flytraps with the spaghetti-like roots.

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Re: Tray method

by idontlikeforms » Thu May 03, 2012 2:23 am

ShaneF wrote:These are pictures of Joel's flytraps with the spaghetti-like roots.
Thanks Shane.

I'll comment on each picture just below each picture.
Image
These are King Henrys. These are the exact same liners they arrived in from AG3 except that a few left over KHs from another tray may have been moved into these two. I just wanted to show the trays so everyone could see they are AG3 trays and how the plants were being grown.
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These are Dentes I got IIRC in February or March. They showed up at a very small size and I sold a few of the larger ones. There's a few from other trays moved into these as well. Otherwise they are all in their original trays.
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These Are Dentes from AG3 I got last month. Likewise they are in their original trays. None have been sold and none have been moved into this tray from other trays. Notice they are bigger than the other trays of Dentes even though I got them more recently. AG3 has been sending some trays to their customers with pretty small plants with some orders lately.
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These are King Henrys dug up from one of the top two trays. They range in sizes so you can see that even the smaller ones have thick roots. I could have removed all the LFS moss so you can see the roots even better but I want to sell these in a few weeks and don't want to retard their growth in the meantime. Sorry if that is not good enough but I don't make any money posting in this forum but do make money off of selling these.:)
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Here's a close up of the same exact 3 KHs so you can see the roots even better. No VFTs I have ever bought anywhere before, including from Steve have roots this thick. If this is not apparent from looking at the photo I'm sorry. But I can definitely in good conscience affirm this to be the case.

BTW, the moss you see is the LFS moss they came with. I do not believe it is NZ LFS but it does seem to be a fairly good grade of it. The only exception to their growing media is that with AG3's new use of LFS sometimes some plugs don't have enough and I add some NZ LFS to the plugs lacking moss when they arrive. But otherwise their media is untampered with.
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These are my older smaller Dentes from AG3 from February or march IIRC. Just in case you thought the thick roots were strictly a genetic phenomenon of King Henry, these are Dentes, a clone no doubt many of you are familiar with.
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Here's a close up of the same plants. Keep in mind that with all of these photos you are not seeing all their roots, just the side of the plug that just happens to expose more of their roots. So some of them actually have a few more root strands than are currently visible.

There's 2 more photos not up yet. I'll comment on them when they are posted. The last 2 photos not up yet are of the newer Dentes, which I wanted to show because their roots are actually not as thick when they arrive but still are thicker than when they used to arrive in peat and still generally thicker than what I see with VFTs I've bought elsewhere. It's also worth noting that none of the VFTs in these photos are particularly large right now. Even the largest King Henry in photos # 4 + 5 are barely what most would consider large and and still need a little more growth for me to sell them at the size I sell KHs at. Unlike the behomoth BV from Steve pictured a few posts back. One would think that the much larger VFT should have much thicker roots everything else considered equal and this usually would be the case.

The roots pictured above are stiff and lack the pliability that most VFTs grown in peat/? have. They cannot wrap easily around your finger if at all nor do they tear as easily as peat grown VFT roots do.

BTW, although I do not have any Red Dragon or typical VFTs to show in their AG3 liners and don't have many left at all actually, I have purchased both of them a number of times from AG3 both in peat and in LFS and as is also true with the Dentes and King Henrys they also arrive with and grow even thicker roots in LFS too, in what is otherwise the exact same growing conditions.

Chipi3s wrote:I don't mean to come at you the wrong way, Every one has there own preference. Mine just happen to be peat/silica/perlite and yours LFS. I even do have a few plants in LFS and there also doing well. any how Happy growing :P
I'm just saying that I have found roots get noticeably thicker in LFS than in peat/sand and that they grow faster in LFS too and I've seen it happen enough times that as long as there is not some other significant negative variable involved that I'm pretty sure these two specific points are facts.

I do think that both mediums work well overall and both have different lists of pros and cons too. I mean I would tell anyone else that peat/sand is a good mix too. I'm not actually anti-peat/sand or anything like that. But the idea that has been stated on this forum from time to time by a number of different posters that LFS is bad for VFTs or that peat/sand or peat/perilite is hands down better seems strange to me.
Last edited by idontlikeforms on Thu May 03, 2012 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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idontlikeforms

 
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Re: Tray method

by idontlikeforms » Thu May 03, 2012 2:51 am

Chipi3s wrote:
I think the thickness of roots may be partially a genetic thing, but the roots in the first photo don't appear to be thin to me. How much thicker are you talking about? Here is another flytrap that was growing in peat/sand/perlite mix with thicker roots (different clone) that we just shipped out a couple of days ago (roots are shorter because it was growing in a 3.5 inch tall pot):


seed_grown_roots.jpg

I didn't read this until now, This quote+picture really makes my opinion on this subject conflicted. Because the plant in this photo has thick roots and was grown in peat. I think Matt is right it could be a genetic thing. But im no scientist......

This was what I trying to point out earlier. The peat/sand grown VFTs have particles stuck to all their fine root hairs that branch off the root strands. The fine root hairs are often not visible to the naked eye. And this debris makes them appear thicker than they actually are. The LFS roots don't have any debris. You are looking at pure root on them when you see the root part not root plus a dirty coating making their width appear bigger than it actually is. The roots on that nice VFT you have posted here from Matt are dangly, soft, pliable, and a more delicate. The roots on the LFS grown ones Shane posted for me are stiffer and tougher. They look exactly the same after you remove all the soil. There is no debris on them. The roots most people see on the VFTs they've bought can be easily wrapped around their fingers not so with the LFS grown roots from me posted by Shane. They have much less flexibility.

See what I'm talking about now? If you've touched both kinds you can recognize the difference in a photo immediately but if not you may not be able to right away.

BTW, I'm not suggesting that Matt's VFT here is not healthy or anything like that. I definitely recognize it as a nice looking VFT that some lucky customer of Matt's got.

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Re: Tray method

by ShaneF » Thu May 03, 2012 3:04 am

Here are the two other photos of the Dente's

Image
Image

Let me say, when I grew my flytraps in peat they made much thinner roots but they were about 6.5" long.
I have been growing in some cheap sphagnum from Home Depot for about two months. I will update in the next few months.
I just bought some New Zealand SM and some Procoir yesterday that I'm testing out soon. I will update that too around July.

I think the flytraps make thinner longer roots in the peat because it's moist and they can penetrate down to the moisture. They are thinner because it's less plant material and they are focusing on growing down. Perhaps, the thicker shorter roots are because the SM is wet and they don't have to penetrate much to get the moisture they need and they are thicker because they don't have to use as much material to go own so they can use it for girth and to stay firmly planted because the mix is light and airy(perhaps).

I like the texture, smell and feel of SM more than peat. Peat leaves things dirty and you have to clean everything.
With SM you just have to pick that piece up and place it back in the pot. SM stays cooler because of its light color which VFTs like around their roots.

Peat's pros are:

Cheap
Easy to mix
Comes in large quantities

Peat's cons are:

Dirty
Makes longer roots (meaning a bigger pot)

20 grade and lower Sand's Pro's are:

Great Drainage
Weighs down soil in windy areas

SM Pros:

Airy
Keeps roots cool
Thicker roots (firmly planted)
Nice texture
Smells better than peat
Cleaner than Peat
You can keep wet without worrying about rot (like you would with peat)

SM Cons are:

Expensive for Chilean and NZ
Light if you live in a windy area

The following users would like to thank ShaneF for this post
0rmus, idontlikeforms

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