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

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By thepitchergrower
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#409164
I hear it's good for reducing TDS, algae spores, other bad stuff in the peat. Personally I have never rinsed my peat (water is in short supply).
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By nimbulan
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#409166
I've rinsed my peat for a long time, because it's been impossible to keep most plants healthy without doing it. I honestly don't understand how people get by without rinsing their peat. That said, I recently purchased a bale of very high quality peat (~80 TDS) than I'm testing skipping rinsing with and I really hope it works out because rinsing is a pain.

As for why you rinse, it removes minerals and nutrients from the peat, which in turn reduces the growth of anaerobic bacteria when used in water trays (which is very bad for the plants.) It also helps prevent algae and cyanobacteria from growing on the peat, and somewhat with fungus. My last bale unfortunately contained a virulent fungus that even with significant rinsing was still attacking and killing plants.

On the other hand there are drawbacks to rinsing peat. Due to my heavy rinsing, I've had issues with some plants (particularly Byblis) not growing well as seedlings and sometimes even dying on me because of the lack of nutrients. It's all a balancing act.
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By Panman
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#409167
Up until recently I haven't been rinsing the peat. What I found is that most adult plants don't really care, particularly sarrs. I have noticed a difference with germinating sundews, they seem to prefer the rinsed soil. That being said, it is a PITA to rinse it. I load up a 5 gallon bucket with holes drilled in the sides and bottom and lined with landscape fabric. Then I flush my regular tap water (120tds) through it every few days for a couple of weeks. Then I rinse it with distilled water and I get around 30TDS out of it. If you can leave it open to the rain, it does a good job of rinsing it. I guess that is why my outside plants never seemed to mind.
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By NightRaider
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#409175
I usually run everything through a screen to get the sticks and chunks out and then rinse at least twice for repotting and 3+ times for germination soil. Last batch of soil I mixed for germinating I only rinsed thoroughly once and within a couple days it had white fuzzy mold spots all over it and I had to spray it all down with watered down peroxide. Never again. Just wish I knew an easier way to squeeze out the water than just doing it a handful at a time though, tried other ways but none so far have worked nearly as well.
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By optique
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#409176
I agree with Panman, it really only seems to effect seeds and cuttings. I used a old sock filled it with peat and used the garden hose to force water in it. Just the top inch or so of my pots are washed peat.
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By thepitchergrower
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#409178
I don't think it matters, if you top water your plants. Essentially you are flushing out the TDS every time you water.
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By Panman
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#409187
If you use tap water, you will be adding some minerals as you are getting rid of others. It depends on what the TDS of your tap is. I use tap to bring it from over 200 down to about 120 and then rainwater to go down from there.
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By TrapsAndDews
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#409273
Anyone tried this:
1. To follow Tamlin's method, fill the pail with rainwater or RO water and let it the peat/water mixture soak for 5 days until the water becomes tea-brown before following the steps in parts 4-6
2. Then he filled the bucket again and the peat soak again for 3 days before ringing it out for the final time.
Steps 4-6:
Grab a handful of sopping peat from the water surface (it will float)
With both hands, squeeze the ball of peat tightly to ring out all of the water. Place the peat in the other pail or bucket that you had available.
Repeat this until you have collected all the peat from the pail- there is another layer that you can try to recover from the bottom.
This is from GrowSundews
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By NightRaider
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#409334
TrapsAndDews wrote:Anyone tried this
So I do something similar, except I just add water, mix it until it's thoroughly wetted, and then swirl it around for a couple minutes then do steps 4-6. I'll usually add some of the muck that settled to the bottom back into it and either dump the rest or save it for utrics, unless it's for germination in which case I usually only use what floats. Then I'll rinse out the first container and do it again. I don't check tds so my method may not help much with that, but a couple cycles will prevent nearly all mold or algae from forming on it later which is all I really care about.
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By nimbulan
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#409346
NightRaider wrote:I usually run everything through a screen to get the sticks and chunks out and then rinse at least twice for repotting and 3+ times for germination soil. Last batch of soil I mixed for germinating I only rinsed thoroughly once and within a couple days it had white fuzzy mold spots all over it and I had to spray it all down with watered down peroxide. Never again. Just wish I knew an easier way to squeeze out the water than just doing it a handful at a time though, tried other ways but none so far have worked nearly as well.
Pour it into a paint straining bag then wring that out. Then you can just drop the bag into your bucket and do subsequent soaks while leaving the peat in the bag. Saves a ton of time and greatly reduces waste.
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By NightRaider
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#409347
nimbulan wrote: Pour it into a paint straining bag then wring that out. Then you can just drop the bag into your bucket and do subsequent soaks while leaving the peat in the bag. Saves a ton of time and greatly reduces waste.
Tried doing it that way with a cheap pillowcase originally but it didn’t work very well. Couldn’t get nearly as much water out of it that way so I just went back to doing it by hand. It may work better with a different material though, so next time I have to do a large batch again I may try that.

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