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Good article on peat, coir, rice hulls, etc.

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Good article on peat, coir, rice hulls, etc.

Post  ander217 on 9/15/2010, 6:37 am

I read the thread about replacing peat with coir, and we are wondering if rice hulls could also replace peat moss.

We plan to experiment next year with using rice hulls in MM instead of peat. (We have a free supply available from the local rice mill who has piles of them rotting in a field. They load them free into our pickup.) Composted rice hulls seem to stay hydrated longer than peat moss, so we hope it might also cut down on watering. It would be making use of a waste product which is another plus.

This links to a very good article which discusses soil amendments, including peat, perlite, vermiculite, rice hulls, and coir.

http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/PDF/FSA-6097.pdf

We'll let you know next year how our experiment works. We're calling it "Mel's Mix - Southern style".
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Re: Good article on peat, coir, rice hulls, etc.

Post  junequilt on 9/15/2010, 5:28 pm

Great article -- thanks for posting!

Among other things, it highlights the fact that not all peat moss is created equal. Some bales are incredibly hydrophobic, while others will hydrate with little or no effort on the part of the gardener. I've had both types this year.

Also interesting is the proportion of pine bark used in many potting mixes. I had no idea it was so high! We have an old, gradually deteriorating pile of pine bark nuggets, and I occasionally screen it for small particles and add them to planters when I am potting up. Here are two hypertufa planters in which I used about 1/3 pine bark, 1/3 very coarse sand, and 1/3 peat moss mixed with compost.

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