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Old 09-09-2009, 05:37 PM  
NEBogger
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southeastern Nebraska
Default Saga of a new Bogger

SAGA OF A NEW BOGGER

Ever have an idea of something you'd like to try - Click here to read the entire garden article
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  #30  
By Equilibrium on 04-12-2010, 11:07 PM
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Oopsie... cross posted. You have carnivorous plants in there already. What kind of water did you use and how well did you rinse your sand before you put it in the bog.
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  #31  
By stapleton on 04-12-2010, 11:27 PM
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woops, most of the photos I took are upside down. Sorry about that. I hope they don't make you sea sick. If it's soupy and I add more peat, will it compact down to a firmer feel or just mound up? And if I add more sand, do I need to mix it like cake batter or something? Sand is so heavy wouldn't it all sink to the bottom eventually?
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Saga of a new Bogger-img_0288.jpg   Saga of a new Bogger-img_0282.jpg   Saga of a new Bogger-img_0189.jpg   Saga of a new Bogger-img_0232.jpg  
Last edited by Fearless Weeder; 04-12-2010 at 11:50 PM.. Reason: rotating images by 180
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  #32  
By stapleton on 04-12-2010, 11:38 PM
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I used water from the rain barrel till I ran out, then the hose. I knew I shouldn't use hose water...but we aren't expecting rain for a few weeks...and I wasn't sure what to do with the plants in the mean time...I guess leave them in the rain garden. Also, I didn't rinse the sand. While I know there was something posted on here about rinsing it, other instructions I found somehwhere on the internet said nothing about it-and being lazy I guess I went the easy way out. Why exactly is it important to rinse the sand? The kind I used was coarse sand from Home Depot. Oh bother....
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  #33  
By NEBogger on 04-13-2010, 08:52 PM
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Thanks for the pictures stapleton. My understanding of carnivorous plants, is that they've evolved from nutrient poor soil, so to get their nourishment, they attract insects, then use them for their hunger pangs.
This is why it's important to wash the sand, to get all the soil out. They've 'evolved' away from that, to where they won't thrive. In your pictures, I noticed that dirt might get washed in your bog with a heavy rain.
In tap water, many supplies have been treated with chlorine and who knows what else. Not healthy for these types of plants. Also, most water sources have too much stuff in it, called 'TDS', total dissolved solids. Different minerals and such, again, too much of the wrong kind of nutrients.
While making mine, I mixed the peat and sand together as I filled it. My problem with that was, I put the peat in dry, and it's hydrophobic. Took a long time to get soaked. Mine is solid, and could be walked on, but choose not to.
I wonder if you might not be happier if you tried your pitcher plants in a pot instead, then use your bog for other moisture-wet loving plants?
Good luck! Keep us posted.
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  #34  
By stapleton on 04-14-2010, 04:46 AM
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So you should wet it as you put it in? I think the pot idea is a god one. I just don't have the time to dig out the bog and fix it right now, but I would still like to have one some day. If I do use a pot, I should just alternate layers of sand and peat-but be sure to wash the sand first-right? Thanks so much for your and equilibrium's advice, I appreciate it!! Unfortunately, no one I know personally has seen a bog, let alone tried to grow one
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  #35  
By NEBogger on 04-14-2010, 09:07 PM
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My sand and peat are mixed together.
This site will keep you busy for a long time.

International Carnivorous Plant Society - Outdoor Bog Gardens
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  #36  
By Equilibrium on 04-15-2010, 03:27 PM
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NEBogger’s got it. Carnivorous plants co-evolved in nutrient deficient environments. Their various trapping mechanisms are adaptations to these harsh environments. We wouldn’t stick a leafy green salad, a juicy steak, a twice baked potato with all the trimmings, and a chunk of Eli’s cheesecake into a blender then pour it into a baby bottle to feed a new born infant…. we’d kill the baby on that diet since they lack the digestive enzymes an older kid has… their digestive systems aren’t developed enough to handle that kind of a nutrient load. Sorta the same deal with CPs. Roots of most carnivorous plants aren’t “designed” to do much more than anchor the plants and allow for water uptake. CPs are “designed” to get their nitrogen “fixes” from their “meals” not from the soil. Overload em with nutrients and we end up with dead plants. Tap water is usually a problem. It can do them in over extended periods of time. I need to cheat a little bit and cut and paste from a past post of mine, “Among all ions present in the tap water, Ca2+, Mg2+, SO4(2-), and HCO3- are the most dangerous for CPs, as they precipitate as CaSO4 or MgSO4 on the topsoil or plants as incrustations or increase the peat pH value. The concentration of all these four ions should be at minimum since in a soil with a high concentration of these ions, the normal mineral nutrition (e.g. K+ uptake) is disturbed.” Ha! I read you were a med student so I know you’ll get the gist of this. CPs will do best with water testing between 50-100 ppm. I have a TDS meter but…. I have an RO/DI machine too.... neither of which need to be bought if we stick to rain water since…. it’s not all that important what exactly is in our water but how much is in it. Here’s a good explanation of TDS meters, What is TDS? by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com. Seriously…. nobody needs to invest in this kind of equipment and in a drought, we can buy distilled water from our grocery stores or take water from our sump pump pit or from the tray of a dehumidifier. My gut tells me the amount of tap water you added probably wasn't enough to do em in and some well water tests out pretty good but…. the unrinsed sand is probably the "silent" killer and it’s a big bummer the information wasn’t out there to rinse our sand since that’s the most common pitfall of new boggers…. I know… I’m a lazy corner cutter by nature and sorta “cheated” on the process once myself. I was at one old school where there was no outside spigot. I usually have kids rinse the sand by swishing it around in buckets and adding fresh water until the water starts running clear. Takes at least 10 rinses per bucket of sand usually more depending on where the sand came from. Wellllll…. with no outside spigot…. the school where I was volunteering wasn’t too thrilled about kids setting up sand-rinsing shop in the janitor’s room so we rinsed the sand like only twice and that was it. Every Sarracenia I had brought for them for the project died within ohhhhh…. about 3 months. God only knows what was in that sand. I went back and tested and came up with a ppm of 1000+. Does this make you feel better? Everybody kills plants…. I killed about 100 that day…. only about 10% of the plants in the school’s bog had come from me personally. The rest of the plants were donations from other CPers across the US to get this school’s CP program up and running and… I trashed the whole thing. I felt like dog crap after that since…. I did something I knew I shouldn't have done to keep peace and to avoid having to schedule another work day. I guess what I’m saying is don’t beat yourself up over your bog. Med school is faaaaaaaaar more important than gutting a bog for a re-mix or starting over which…. would probably be the easiest since rinsing sand and peat is like next to impossible but… some diehards have done it. If it were me…. I’d look at this mistake as an opportunity. I’d add some regular soil to what you have and convert your acid bog into one of those knock down drag out gorgeous rain gardens..... what I should have done at the school. There are lots of cool native plants that would love those “digs” you made and the excessive nutrients aren’t going to do in rain garden plants as long as you haven’t added any vinegar or muracid and…. I see what looks like a downspout real close so you could run that straight into the rain garden. One last thing for when you get a breather from med school and have time for round two of an acid bog… the easiest way to mix bog “ingredients” IMO is to wear shorts and get in barefoot and start stomping around in your mix like you’re crushing grapes. You’d think the sand would sink over time but it doesn’t and you’ll end up with the thick cake batter consistency faster than if you did it by hand which…. will take the hair off your arms after a few hours. Look at it this way…. you won’t have to shave your legs the week you mix ingredients for a new in-ground bog!!! The sand will take care of that so that's another silver lining in what you thought was a cloud!!!
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  #37  
By stapleton on 04-15-2010, 09:32 PM
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Thanks equilibrium, that did make me feel better-and very informative! I need to look up the post you are referring to and read the whole thing. Yeah, I did this on spring break after talking to a CP nursey man at the local plant expo. What's weird is one of the pitcher plants is putting out new growth that I was hoping might be a flower bud (and I've been abusing it for a solid year now by originally putting it in the rain garden). But maybe it just hasn't had enough time to reach the unwashed sand yet. Also, we haven't had any rain since I made it, so who knows. I love the stomping idea-I bet the kids got a kick out of that! A friend was telling me the other day that a local elementary school here has a bog garden as well. It's great you and other volunteers take the time to teach kids about bogs!
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  #38  
By stapleton on 04-17-2010, 06:08 PM
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I visited a GA native garden today run by volunteers. They have 2 or 3 beautiful bogs. When I told them about my bog gardening mistake of not washing the sand they just gave me a blank stare and said they didn't wash theirs either-just chucked it in there. So this is giving me more hope my bog will be ok because their's has flourished for several years. I wonder if washing the sand is more important in certain parts of the country? Or if it depends on what brand you buy and how clean it is? Or if they just lied to me...
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  #39  
By NEBogger on 04-17-2010, 09:25 PM
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Hey, this sounds like a new saga to me! Aren't there native carnivorous plants in Georgia? I don't know enough to say anything.
I do know you'll find Equil to be a very helpful sweetie. Her fingers must fly like no other when she types, 'cause she does give out lots of info.
You will definitely have to keep us posted on your plants.
I'm excited about the flower buds I'm seeing on my plants, so do hope it's buds your seeing on yours too.
Here's some pictures.
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Saga of a new Bogger-p1010007.jpg   Saga of a new Bogger-p1010002.jpg   Saga of a new Bogger-p1010001.jpg  
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acidic peat bog, bog, bogs, building a bog, dionaea muscipula, drosera, droseraceae, droseraceae dentata, droseraceae. red dragon, how to, make a bog, peat bog, pitcher plants, saga, saga of a new bogger, sarracenia dixie lace, sarracenia flava, sarracenia judith hindle, sarracenia leucophylla, sarracenia ornata, sarracenia purpurea, sarracenia rubra, sarracenia tarnok, sarraceniaceae, venus fly trap

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