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Attack on 'dusty' peat moss.

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Durgan  Send Durgan a private message!




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Posted on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 04:39 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

Attack on 'dusty' peat moss.

My main thrust of the post is the use of peat moss. Some people utilize peat moss to lower pH, plus the supposed moisture retention properties of the product.

My argument is that the moisture retention properties of peat moss as sold today is considerably reduced by the slurry method of handling; in that the product is not nearly as good as it use to be. The moss sold in stores is simply dust, with no chunky texture.

Peat moss use to have a chunky texture years ago, the stuff sold today is simply dust, any absorbent properties are probably not even present. The manufactures slurry the product for ease of handling, and this destroys the old chunky texture. I put ten bags about four years ago to mix with my garden soil in a relatively small area. It simply disappeared and I felt it did absolutely nothing beneficial.

How to Make Soil More Acidic (Decrease pH) Peat moss is acidic and will reduce pH, but there are other methods.

Some ornamental plants and fruit plants like blueberries require an acidic soil. To make your soil more acidic (decrease its pH value) you can use either aluminium sulphate or sulphur. Aluminium sulphate is the quickest acting as it will increase the acidity as soon as it disolves into the soil. The downsides are though that its effects can be short term and it is possible to over-apply it.

The more recommended but slower way to increase your soil pH is to use sulphur. Sulphur converts to sulphuric acid with the help of bacteria in the soil but this takes time depending on factors like the presence of bacteria, texture of the soil and moisture levels. This could take months if conditions are not ideal.

For my peppers (like a ph around 5.5) I feed them a cup of vinegar in water periodically during the summer, in the home garden. This is very local treatment. http://etooj.notlong.com/ 31 August 2007 Harvest of the produce from five plants.

Another way to decrease the pH is to use evergreen needles. There is no shortage of these in most areas.

My preference for making friable soil in the garden is small wood chips (rather than peat moss) mixed in the soil, along with compost. I find these chips disappear in a year, and I add about three inches evey year, and the level of soil never increases. There appears to be sufficient nitrogen in the compost to balance out that used in decomposing the wood chips, plus I plant a fall crop of red annual clover that fixes soil nitrogen. The proof is in the pudding. Here is the garden. http://poqua.notlong.com/ 27 June 2007 Zone 5B.

Durgan - Ontario, Zone "5B"
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Stephie  Send Stephie a private message!


Posted on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 05:32 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

I have the opposite problem....and I apply lime. Soil in coastal B.C. tends to be acidic which is okay for alot of our local plants but not for others, so am sweetening the soil regularly. I mulch using blow-down conifer branches around my blueberries and rhodos.....peat moss here is still lovely but it is bad for the environment as sources are being depleted. We are very fortunate to have a big old "rainforest" on our property (we have 30 acres) so I go down and help myself to a little bit of bog dirt....with all those firs you'd think it would be acidic, but it isn't...I tested and it's perfect balance!! Many, many years of compost there. I don't harm anything because it's only me and a few buckets. I have even taken a bucket of pond dirt out of the natural pond we have..lots of fish poop etc. Bought a chipper last year so am with you on wood chips (no cedar though)..I use them as mulch around trees too and as protection in winter. We have a few stands of over-grown poplar for sources as well as blown-down limbs and limbs off old orchard trees that fell down during winter...seems a constant supply anyways! Love your garden! I notice those poppies you have...are they somniferums?

Stephie
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Posted on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 07:00 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post


Stephie wrote on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 01:32 pm:

I notice those poppies you have...are they somniferums?



Yes they ar papaver somniferums. They are not illegal to grow in Canada, but I suppose the authorities would be knocking on the door if one were to lance the seed pods. It takes thousaands to get any reasonable quantity of opium. I often see them growing in municipal gardens. Most people don't recognize them as papaver somiferum. The vegetation is the same on all of this type. They have a large range of colours and shapes, and are most beautiful. Of course, the Shirley poppies are nice too.

Durgan - Ontario, Zone "5B"
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Posted on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 07:29 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

I think these poppies are quite beautiful...I had a plum coloured one (well, lots) and I enjoyed their colour and then their pods afterwards. I know about their opium content but alot of plants are "drugs", even the common salvia officialis...so I don't much care about that aspect of poppies except if the real bums out there rip them off (and it's been done).

Stephie
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Oldiebutgoodie  Send Oldiebutgoodie a private message!


Posted on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 08:13 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

That's quite a harvest of hot peppers, James. What do you do with all of them?

Oldiebutgoodie - Ontario, Zone "5"
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Posted on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 10:23 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post


Oldiebutgoodie wrote on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 04:13 pm:

That's quite a harvest of hot peppers, James. What do you do with all of them?



The peppers are dried in the sun, absolutely dry, then they are put in the blender and beat to small particles, and used as paprika, for flavouring on various foods, particularly eggs, and chili sauce.

From that shown in the picture, I got about 400 ml of 'paprika'.

Durgan - Ontario, Zone "5B"
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Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 12:27 am EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

Wow! I have had considerable success with various hot peppers (but very little with sweet peppers.) It never occurred to me to dry and grind them. I generally can salsa, pickles, etc., but I'd like to try drying them down. Do you simply lay them in a single layer in the sun and let nature take its course?

Oldiebutgoodie - Ontario, Zone "5"
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Durgan  Send Durgan a private message!




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Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 11:49 am EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post


Oldiebutgoodie wrote on Thursday, March 27, 2008 - 08:27 pm:

Do you simply lay them in a single layer in the sun and let nature take its course?



I place the peppers on a screen mesh and in a shady area and let them shrivel up. On rainy days they are moved to the shed. I do give them a bit of sun exposure but limit it somewhat-for no good reason.

Durgan - Ontario, Zone "5B"
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Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 01:24 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

Thanks, James. I have a lot of screens for conditioning my onions. How will I know when the peppers have dried down sufficiently?

Oldiebutgoodie - Ontario, Zone "5"
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Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 02:23 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post


Oldiebutgoodie wrote on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 09:24 am:

How will I know when the peppers have dried down sufficiently?



After the peppers are all shrivelled and appear dry, they are placed in a paper bag for further drying, and simply left in this state until it is desired to place in the blender.

They can be kept indefinitely in a paper bag. I usually leave them in the shed, until I notice them someday and further process them. I have kept them for over a year in this state,when I had too many to process.

I always have more than can be utilized, depending upon the particular variety grown. I find the large sized hot ones are easier to pick and the result is the same.

The Explosive Ember have a relatively small fruiting body, and they will not be grown in the future. Usually I purchase the seedlings from a supplier, so get what is available, usually with good results. I grew the explosive ember from seed, without knowing that the pods were so small.

Durgan - Ontario, Zone "5B"
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Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 07:44 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

Thanks again for your advice, James. I can make only so many jars of hot pickles since I'm the only one in my family who likes them.

Now, do you have any tips on growing sweet peppers? I make a mean red pepper jelly, but I have to buy the sweet peppers. I've virtually given up on growing them.

Oldiebutgoodie - Ontario, Zone "5"
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Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 09:25 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post


Oldiebutgoodie wrote on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 03:44 pm:

Now, do you have any tips on growing sweet peppers?



Here is my method. Last year I grew beautiful large green slightly red sweet peppers. I had four plants and they were loaded. No pictures were taken.

Apparently peppers like a slightly acidic soil. I achieve this by putting a cup of vinegar in a five liter watering can, and applying now and then. This can be easily tested by not applying the vinegar to one or two plants to determine the difference. I do this for my hot peppers also. This method is locally lowering the pH, and I suppose the soil goes back to normal the following year.

Peppers like hot weather, so don't put them out until the first week of June, or their growth is inhibited, particularly if the nights are cool.

Durgan - Ontario, Zone "5B"
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Posted on Friday, March 28, 2008 - 09:28 pm EST :   Last Buddysize PhotosCopy highlighted text to new message Print Post

Coir Peat
Anybody familiar with coir peat? It appears at first look to be a good replacement for the standard peat moss.

Coir Peat is the 'coir fiber pith' or 'coir dust' produced as a bi-product when coconut husks are processed for the extraction of the long fibers from the husk. CoCo Coir Peat is the binding material that comes from the fiber fraction of the coconut husk.
A very Special Grade of coir dust is washed, screened and graded before being processed into various CoCo Coir Peat products for Horticultural and Agricultural applications.

http://www.greeneem.com/cococoirpeat.htm URL to more information.

Durgan - Ontario, Zone "5B"

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