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 Some really amateur questions.

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Doc59



Number of posts : 3
Location : Brisbane
Registration date : 2011-05-08

PostSubject: Some really amateur questions.   Sun May 08, 2011 8:02 pm

First off, G'day all, just joined this forum as I want to start a cactus garden. As the title say's I'm a complete newbie when it comes to gardening let alone growing cacti but I have always loved the look of them. I'm converting an old cement water feature into a cactus garden, it's basically a 2 metre quarter circle with a bit off one end and roughly half a metre deep. So far all I have done is fill it half full of rubble for drainage (it has an opening for the water to get out so should drain well) now I am wanting to fill it full of cactus friendly soil. Done lots of searching on the net and popular opinion seems to be a formula containing potting mix, sand, perlite, gravel etc. Considering that my garden should be prety well draining anyway from the rubble base' do I realy need such a mix? A local landscping place has this:

Organic compost is mixed with a standard sandy loam to meet with Australian Standard AS4419 “Soils for Landscaping and Garden Use”.
The result is a soil suitable for most planting situations. It has an approximate pH of 7 which is neutral and is excellent for the majority of plants except acid lovers. Add a little Organic Extra Fertilizer to boost its performance.
Read more: http://www.centenarylandscaping.com.au/soils#ixzz1LkhPJ7tm

Would this soil be good for cacti or would I need to mix something (course sand, gravel) with it? Sorry but I have no idea what cacti are going in it, I'll just pick what I think look nice from bunnings or the markets, as i said, total newbie here and just starting.
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blowng
Calm and Collected
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Number of posts : 256
Location : Mellville
Registration date : 2008-10-28

PostSubject: Re: Some really amateur questions.   Mon May 09, 2011 7:05 pm

whats up doc? welcome, it all depends on what you are growing but if you stick to easy to cultivate types you should be right outdoors. perhaps a nice Echinopsis species Smile
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cooky173

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Number of posts : 50
Location : Brisbane
Registration date : 2010-08-02

PostSubject: Re: Some really amateur questions.   Mon May 09, 2011 9:29 pm

I use the 'deco' (decomposed granite) from there, but I have to sift it to get all the fine stuff out first, probably too much work for you have planned.

The other normal 'soil' I use it pea gravel mixed with coconut coir. Its not great, but it works, and is cheap, you can buy a big thing of the cocunut coir from bunnings, and then you just mix it with a bit of water and it expands a fair bit.
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Doc59



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Location : Brisbane
Registration date : 2011-05-08

PostSubject: Re: Some really amateur questions.   Tue May 10, 2011 9:24 pm

Thanks for the replies. No idea if i'm going for the easy to cultivate types, I'll have to google Echinopsis. Basically afer some nice looking standard cactii. I need roughly a cubic metre of soil so even mixing it with course sand would be fun. Since the lower half of my garden should be well draining might give this garden soil a try. Worse case, everything dies and i have to dig it out again :-( I'll talk to the landscaping mob first and see if they have ideas for well draining soil.
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Doc59



Number of posts : 3
Location : Brisbane
Registration date : 2011-05-08

PostSubject: Re: Some really amateur questions.   Wed May 11, 2011 8:18 pm

Back again. Is this a quiet forum or am I just really inquisitive? Picked up the soil today, ended up going with 1/3 course bedding sand and 2/3 of the commercial soil mix I mentioned. Centenary landscaping were really helpful and a bloke behind the counter seemed to know what he was talking about and reccommended mixing the sand which gelled with what I've read on the internet. Took 2 trips in the ute of roughly 500kg each which they mixed for me,the bloke on the loader mixed them better than I ever could with a shovel. Now it's time to find some cactii for it, at the moment I have 2 African milk tree plants in it that my sister gave me but after researching them I think they will get moved out. Aside from being succulents (I googled) they were bought from the markets and have bugger all roots so will probably die anyway. Also looked up Echinopsis, yeah, thats the sort of thing I'm after.

Cooky, your obviously in brisbane, can you reccommend anywhere to go cactus shopping?
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cooky173

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Location : Brisbane
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PostSubject: Re: Some really amateur questions.   Wed May 11, 2011 9:14 pm

Hmm,

Cactus shopping - My grandma sells cactus at the markets...:p

There is a woman in Goodna/Redbank Plains who has a fair range for good prices. (At least they were a couple of years ago). She sells in oztion.com.au (or is it quicksales.com.au now?) as ozcactus. You could probably contact her to arrange a visit. My experience with her was that some plants aren't in the best condition, so you should look them well over for pests, having said that, the bulk are in good nick.

Some ebay sellers who I have been happy with:

http://myworld.ebay.com.au/usmobhere
http://myworld.ebay.com.au/cactiman321 - he got me a pile of different echinopsis (marble to golf ball sized) for a couple of bucks each (I think it was that cheap)

And I think most people here would recommend Lester Meyers (plants by mail order) http://www.cssnsw.org.au/LesterMeyers2011PlantList.pdf

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