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 Pumice and Coir

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MichaelCactus
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Number of posts : 293
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2008-06-24

PostSubject: Pumice and Coir   Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:47 pm

Im not really happy with the mix i use in my pots, so im going to try a mix i've been reading about.
It contains Coir and Pumice, and i was wondering if anyone knows if Bunnings sells Coir and Pumice?
If not i can get the Coir easily, but i cant find anything about bags of Pumice for sale? Anyone know anywhere to get bags/buckets/truckloads of Pumice if Bunnings doesn't sell it?

Thanks, Michael.
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Lachy
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Number of posts : 733
Location : Langwarrin
Registration date : 2008-04-05

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:31 am

Try landscaping supply companies. They should sell pumice or scoria relatively cheaply. The only downside is that you may have to crush it yourself.

Hydroponics retailers may also be of assistance.
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Hellonasty
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Number of posts : 1824
Location : NSW
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:46 pm

Yeah, Scoria is pretty easy to find, Pumice a little harder. I got my last lot of pumice at a large pet store, they were selling for aquariums.

Coconut fiber you can get from bunnings.

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Gracie
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Number of posts : 158
Location : Bendigo Victoria . Zone 6
Registration date : 2008-05-02

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:39 pm

i use a coir "brick" that you place in water to expand it out.
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MichaelCactus
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Number of posts : 293
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2008-06-24

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:04 pm

I use Scorria, but i want to try Pumice, although its basically the same.

Cheers HN.

Gracie, did you buy it in Bendigo? And if so, where did you get it?
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Gracie
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Number of posts : 158
Location : Bendigo Victoria . Zone 6
Registration date : 2008-05-02

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:13 pm

i got mine at IGA strathfieldsaye.
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MichaelCactus
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Number of posts : 293
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2008-06-24

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:00 pm

Cheers Gracie. I'll check the IGA here, and if not, i guess im heading to Strath.
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kazzy33

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Number of posts : 1
Location : Victoria
Registration date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: What I Use To Grow My Cacti   Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:29 am

Hello Guys,It is great to be here with other Cacti growers.

I don't know if this helps anyone but I use part cacti soil,part crushed scoria,part propergating sand,and part vermiculite and all my cacti's are growing great and blooming well.
It is nice to meet you all and hope to chat with you soon..Bye for now Karen...
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AmnesiA

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Number of posts : 134
Location : Gippsland
Registration date : 2008-12-03

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:05 pm

Welcome to ACF Kazzy... Did you enter some into show? Hope to see more of you round the forums. And keep the helpfull info flowing!

-A
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Scooby



Number of posts : 18
Location : Australia
Registration date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:25 pm

delete


Last edited by Scooby on Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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shortly



Number of posts : 127
Location : SEQ
Registration date : 2008-06-28

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:49 pm

I have given up on the comercial cactus mixes as well, as a general cactus media i now use:
5 parts coal ash (needs to be mixed grade, not fines! its cheap & very porous)
+ 1 part decomposed granite (this gives weight & a high CEC)
+ 1 part compost or searles garden soil compost (the organic bit)
and a handfull of crushed oyster shell to keep it all sweet (its a tough job but someone has to eat all the oysters)
mix it all in a cement mixer. It should be around 25 to 35% porisity.
It works out to be about $190 M3
For seed i dry it out then put it through a 2mm seive.
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MichaelCactus
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Number of posts : 293
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2008-06-24

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:15 pm

Cheers Shortly.
What does the coal ash do, is it just for the drainage?

Welcome also Kazzy.

My old mix was just, some potting mix, sieved sand, some scorria and sometimes some small river pebbles which i had laying around.
The cacti grown in the mix, but it could be alot better.
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tripsis

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Number of posts : 82
Location : Gondwana
Registration date : 2009-11-12

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:17 pm

It's interesting that no one mentioned that they use diatomite here.

I was convinced of its brilliance by a master cactus grower I know. It's good for drainage and apparently the plants take up a small amount of the silica too. I was also told it holds around 2 times it's weight in water, but dries out quickly.

I've noticed that whenever I've repotted something with diatomite in the mix, the roots cling to the diatomite more than any other component in the mix.
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shortly



Number of posts : 127
Location : SEQ
Registration date : 2008-06-28

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:01 pm

The coal ash is for bulk & structure without being too heavy, as well as drainage. It also has the advantage that it never gets hydrophobic, so even after a long dry spell the media wets up very quickly. It does have the disadvantage that it isnt heavy enough to hold tall plant well so i have taken to putting lead ingots in the bottom of the pots of things like cereus etc to stop them blowing over in the wind.
I used to use a 0.5mm - 2mm grade of diatomite, but I havent been able to get hold of it for ages.
I havent been game to use the powder fine stuff they use in pool filters.
How does the filter grade go in growing media?
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tripsis

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Number of posts : 82
Location : Gondwana
Registration date : 2009-11-12

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:43 pm

What do you mean by filter grade - as in the powder they use in swimming pools? If so, I've never used it in my mixes. I have used the fine stuff they have as an insecticide to combat sciarid flies though.

There's two grades available from where I buy it - coarse and fine. The coarse is made up of pieces around 15mm - 30mm in size, which I haven't used. The finer grade averages around 0.5mm - 5mm in size.

I'd send you a a bag, but the cost of shipping wouldn't make it worth it. It's pretty expensive in its own right.

Where do you get coal ash from?
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shortly



Number of posts : 127
Location : SEQ
Registration date : 2008-06-28

PostSubject: Re: Pumice and Coir   Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:51 pm

The you diatomite you describe sounds like the stuff i used to get, before orica closed the mine.

I get the coal ash from centenary landscapes, the last lot i got was $120m3. I normaly put it through a 3/4" sieve & I use the big chunks with limed pine bark for my orchids. i store it in 500L bunnings plastic water tanks to keep the weeds etc out. The mixed media i keep in wheelybins.

I think the thing is to find what is available localy & works.
I would love to try scoria if only for the look but its $375m3 here & i would rather use the money to build my new cactus house since my bunnings greenhouse didnt survive the last thunderstorm too well.
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