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#1 *GreenPassion*

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 09:59 AM

Does anyone use horticultural charcoal in there soil mix here?


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#2 BloodShotI'z

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:51 AM

I havent used or have seen it used yet. I'll go look around and see what I find.

#3 SHAMAN

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:12 AM

whats it do???

#4 BloodShotI'z

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:17 AM

Here's what I found. For those of you who want an indepth typed report....knock yourself out. Here's a link to get you started.

http://www.reedsgreenhouse.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=116

It says it helps with drainage and plant odor....The odor control may be useful.

#5 *GreenPassion*

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:39 AM

I've also heard that as an added benifit that it draws any salts away from the roots into the charcoal. I heard that a layer at the bottom of the containers is the way to go.

#6 BloodShotI'z

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:50 AM

Duely noted, GP.

#7 SHAMAN

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 12:00 PM

I might have to look in to this...HUMMMMMM

#8 Guest_HBB_*

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 03:17 PM

I put a layer of black hawaiian charcoal, and lava rock at the bottom of large containers a couple inches thick right inbetween the medium and at the very bottom where I put an inch of earthworm castings.

Here is some info I found in my search.

Barbecue charcoal has binders added that are reportedly sufficiently toxic to plants that barbecue ashes are not recommended for composts or garden soil enrichment. So I would presume it would have the same problems crushed for potting soils. Horticultural charcoal is a cheap grade of natural charcoal, but there is no reason to go for the highest grade "aquarium" filtering carbon which costs ten times as much with no added benefit.

Filtering charcoal is not the same thing as horticulatural charcoal. Much of what is sold for aquariums is not a wood charcoal at all, but is made by a completely different process from bituminous coal, peat, lignite, hardwood, or animal bone, followed by further processing & chemical washes. It retains a great deal more water than does horticultural charcoal, & less oxygen. Unlike filtering carbon, horticultural charcoal is untreated & unprocessed, hence much more a "natural" product.

Of the more-or-less inert moisture-retaining potting soil ingredients, perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, grated bark, & charcoal, serve the same functions. Any of these, or mixtures thereof, can be excellent addition(s) to potting soils especially for ferns, african violets, pitcher plants, & others that are particularly sensitive to dryness.

The inert quality of these additions makes any of them especially good for pitcher plants or orchids, as opposed to ferns or African violets which also require a rich soil. Charcoal is sometimes used as a dominant component in home-made potting mediums for orchids & epiphytes, but reports are confused, some hobby growers claiming a great deal of charcoal harmed their plants, others swearing they had good outcomes. In tried-&-true recipes for orchid potting medium, charcoal is frequently a minor component, & there is more certainly nothing wrong with it in such mixes. However, consumers should understand that the numerous claims of amazing additional values beyond that of the bark or peat or perlite are baseless.

Any claims that charcoal has some benefit above oxygen- & moisture-retention in the soil are unfounded. Its one real value is for its porosity. If a gardener were planning to use it for any other reason, such other uses should be carefully re-assessed.


#9 BloodShotI'z

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 03:23 PM

H-Town....Thats the way to jump on in!!...Nice post.




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