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Thread: Play Sand

  1. #1
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    Play Sand

    I just bought some play sand to place on top of my seed pots to deter FUN-gus gnats and also damping off. I just can'tremember if play sand is a no-no ?
    The bag says : screened, washed, and dried. Can be used for moulding and building. I t also says after it is outside it will pick up humidity and pack--making it ideal for moulding.

    sshheesh--hope it's not ideal for molding !

    The plan is to use a thin layer.

    If that's not the right sand and sand is OK what sand should I use.
    I also read about chick grit but we don't have that. There's also inert stuff, for chickens, but I'm not paying $20 for 50 pounds--I don't think I'd even pay that if I was raising chickens.
    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 02-20-2005 at 07:33 PM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    Builders sand would probably work better since it isn't as fine as play sand, but I'm all for using what you got! Just be careful when watering as it may be easily displaced. If that happens though, just fill in the voids.

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
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    Fungus will grow on moist, cool soil or sand or practically any other media. Put small seedlings in the mix and you have a formula for 'damping off'. Less water, from the bottom is usually the best solution.

    The best method for preventing damping off is sterile conditions.
    Here is a site by Scotts that will offer several inexpensive solutions to gardening problems:

    http://www.gardenadvice.com/index.cf...seaction=home.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  4. #4
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    Tom,

    Thanks for the link!

    I haven't had a problem with "damping-off" with the dayliliy seedlings, but I do get fungus gnats and have found that growing the seedlings a bit dryer helps me the most. Using a fungacide also doesn't hurt! White fly is a bigger problem for me.

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  5. #5
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    "Using a fungacide also doesn't hurt!"

    Be very careful with fungacide, and other chemicals. Many of them CAN hurt you.

    Placing your filled cell packs in a microwave for a couple of minutes before planting will eliminate a lot of insect eggs and other nasties before you start.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  6. #6
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    disinfecting?

    when you place the potting soil cells in the microwave, is the soil wet or dry?
    When it recommends to sterilize your tools after each cutting, do you wash your clippers in soapy water? alcohol wipes, bleach? tilex spray? I am interested in what is used to sterilize plant cutting tools. do you oil the clippers after sterilizing them?

    Do you have any suggestions as to where to find horticultural oil?Thanks!!
    Linda
    Linda

  7. #7
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    As you know, bypass clippers will gum up after a short session, and will stick closed, or fail to cut properly. When moving from one plant to the next there is always the possibility of transferring problems.
    So, when I start to prune, I take a small spray bottle with me that has a mix of water/alcohol/bleach (50/40/10, approximately). If I'm working on a big task, I also take along an old towel to help clean as I go. So the answer is the clippers are sterilized and cleaned continuously. When pruning a plant with disease problems I spray the pruners between each cut. When finished, I dry them off, and spray a bit of WD40 on them.

    Wet or dry, the microwave will kill insect eggs in potting mix. It will also kill many seeds and spores. You are less apt to burn yourself with dry mix, but I don't think it really matters.

    The farmers co-op here has both dormant oil spray, and year round oil spray. They say the year round is good for all applications, but I prefer the dormant spray for fruit trees.
    Last edited by Tom; 07-12-2005 at 08:26 PM.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Tom
    I love the idea of a spray bottle mix. Easy enough to make up and use!!

    The horticultural oil, I gather, is an insecticidal type spray. I had read about it in Jerry Baker's Amazing Plant recipes but didn't exactly know what it was...is it like volic? oil spray or something? I am really battling whiteflies on my azaleas, they are ailing and I am trying every recipe I can find to help them out.

    Sorry to be so ignorant on this. thanks for the answer on microwaving. I usually use sterile potting mixes, but lately have been adding peat, and builder's sand and am getting gnats and moss growing.

    Don't know if you saw my other posting. I had seen a thread by you on virburnum? and thought they were hydrangeas and propagated them the way you showed.....I have new growth on all four cuttings, no leaves (they long since fell off), so i am excited!!
    Thanks again, Linda
    Linda

  9. #9
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    I'm not familiar with volic oil spray, but I think it is one of the ultra fine sprays that can be used on some plants year around. But it or other oil sprays, or safer soap sprays only work on the adults and juveniles, not the eggs.
    Because the eggs hatch very fast, and the young develop so fast it is important to keep them from developing into breeding adults and you may need to spray every other day for a week or two. You cannot see the eggs, and will rarely see the juveniles, so complete coverage of all surfaces of the leaves, stems and the soil below is your only hope to eliminate them. If they are not stopped, they will eventually kill the plants.

    Good the hear that you are having success with the cuttings. Those large leaf plants do have a tendency to use up a lot of moisture. Next time remove most, or all the mature leaves, because you now know that they will drop off any way, and slow down the rooting process.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  10. #10
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    Linda and all--just a thought about sterilizing the garden tools. I would use lysol if I was organized, and worried, enough!

    Have a look at this discussion--http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda%20Chalker-Scott/Horticultural%20Myths_files/Myths/Pruning%20tools.pdf

    Glen

  11. #11
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    Thanks Glen,

    I first started using alcohol to clean the prunerís periodically because it was so effective in removing the sap and other plant residue. I found that a 50/50 water/alcohol was just about as effective. The addition of Clorox was based on recommendations I had read for disinfecting tools, pots and workbenches. I always use my formula before making cuttings for propagation, but I only disinfect when switching from one kind of plant to the next.

    Based on Linda's comments, I will eliminate the bleach. However, she did not say anything about the concentration of Lysol for disinfecting tools.
    In your opinion, does that imply that it should be full strength, or could it be substituted for the bleach in the mixture above?
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  12. #12
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    It took me a couple of days to remember where i USED TO GET THE YEAR ROUND OIL. It is a company called Worms Way. They have other products, too. They do have a website. See if they have what you need,
    tennessee sue

  13. #13
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    Tom--I think undiluted lysol would be way too strong.

    It should be diluted similar to the bleach, as it will still be a fine disinfectant at that concentration.

    Diluting alcohol is an entirely different subject...some like water, others ice and soda. Then there's shaken or stirred...

    Glen

  14. #14
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    Gee thanks Glenn, what is it that we are propagating--Happy Hour?

    Thanks for the website I'll check it out.
    Linda

  15. #15
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    Bolton, Ont
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    Glen, one order of deluted shaken not stired please!

    I actually use 2 succateirs a old one for dead pruning etc. And a new one for my other pruning tasks. Mind the typos, Its a Saturday afternoon. Kinda my day off spelling wise. George.

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