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 Spring 2012 topic

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Lachy
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PostSubject: Spring 2012 topic   Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:38 pm

Spring has well and truly, err... sprung.

After the better part of six months with no cacti-related activity in the garden, I have spent this afternoon repotting a heap of Trichs, Echinopsis (yes, I still refuse to lump them together Laughing ), Mamms, Tephros and some assorted succs. Everything is now starting to awaken, with juicy new growth appearing on many plants.

Unfortunately, the warmer weather and the occasional shower has also brought the armies of the Snail King out of hiding, causing mass carnage and continual drive-by munchings on all the new growth. Hopefully my latest bout of chemical warfare on the little blighters will hit them for six and give my plants a chance to recover.

So, what's going on in your garden this Spring?
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SnowFella
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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:19 pm

Moved the whole overflow bench into it's summer position a few days ago, it's just not protected enough from rain to stay in place during winter. Going to build a whole new wooden one on wheels later on in the year, current one is an old plastic table and is starting to get to flimsy.
Everything got it's first light watering of the season aswell.

Plus I finally started breaking ground for my planned raised cactii bed after having work stalled for a year.

The raised portion is to go 2 foot inside the border edge, giving me a decent "firebreak" from creeping grass. Got all the grass inside killed now and half of it is dug out now.
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Lachy
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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:40 pm

Nice work. Having a dedicated bed for cacti is the best thing I ever did in the garden. Speaking from bitter experience though - make sure to put a plastic barrier that goes down at least eight inches to stop the grass runners from invading the bed.
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mitchell101



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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:52 pm

Crushing broken terracotta pots up to use in my soil mix and repotting lots!

Already gone through two large bags (20-30kg) of C+S potting mix and still got another bag or two to go before I've repotted all that I want to. Lots of things needed repotting so most of my collection will be repotted.

Everythings growing now and many are pushing out buds.
A couple of epi's, a few gymno. baldianum, an echinopsis, some mamms, and an Eriosyce senilis are all budding up.

One gymno has three buds and another one has one so I'm hoping to cross-pollinate them and get some seed.
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SnowFella
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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:48 pm

Planning on tripple protection for that bed, first the edge bricks that are sunk down about 3 inches, right inside them I'll hammer down a ridgid plastic edging (should force any runners up between the brick and plastic where I can spray them easily) and finally some double layer weedmat underneath the "firebreak". I'm going to fill that break with some kinda crushed stone, likely the same I'll use for dressing in the bed, that way I can hit it with path weeder whenever needed too.
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Lachy
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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:56 pm

mitchell101 wrote:
Crushing broken terracotta pots up to use in my soil mix and repotting lots!

How do you go about crushing the pots up? I've heard of people placing the pots in a heavy hessian sack and then tally-ho! with a sludgehammer. Sounds like a lot of work...
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Lachy
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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:53 pm

I got another tray of 20 plants repotted before going into work this afternoon. Had a close encounter with a redback in the process. Remember: if you see an egg sac, odds are mummy spider isn't far away... Shocked
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IXOXI
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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:51 pm

Back before I found a reliable source for DG, I used to use scoria, and since I could not find it in the right size, I used to buy multiple bags of it, and smash the chunks (2-3cm) till they were could fit through a 5mm sifter, then I graded that material a second time, removing anything 1mm and under. It was killing my back, plus I was losing over 40% of the weight of the scoria as it turned to dust during the breaking process.
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SnowFella
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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:57 pm

I did something similar last week but using Rich-Gro Aquatic mix, pieces was just to darn big so I had to crush them down in size. Found what worked best for me was to "gently" pound them between 2 smallish concrete pavers. That way I could expedite a fair bit in just 2 or 3 whacks but at the same time I had to be careful to keep my fingers out of the way!
Crushed, sifted through an 6mm mesh and then washed the resulting mix through another fine mesh to get rid of the fine particles.
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IXOXI
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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:05 pm

Unfortunately, when I did try that with the scoria, it was breaking the pavers...
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mitchell101



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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:32 pm

I didn't go through quite that much effort in crushing the terracotta. I just put the pots on concrete and hit them with the hammer. Didn't need any force on my behalf all I had to do was lift the hammer up and let it fall onto the terracotta and it would break.

Pieces ranged from 1-8mm. It was a bit large for my liking but I made do because I didn't want to make too much dust from hitting them too much.

But basically I broke it up and then any bit that was too big I would just give another hit with the hammer and that would do it.

I really didn't get much terracotta from it though. I used it to pot up 4 plants and used it as top-dressing also which looks good and then I was out of it.

I really have to source something which is the right size because I don't want to be crushing up things each time I repot.
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PostSubject: Re: Spring 2012 topic   Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:10 am

Quote :
I really have to source something which is the right size because I don't want to be crushing up things each time I repot.

I get 6mm scoria from Burdetts in Langwarrin. I buy it in 25kg sacks, and then sift it as there is still a moderate amount of dust to remove. It's a bit of a pain, but overall I find it to be a pretty good option. Unsifted material is fine for topdressing.
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