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OfflineVhal
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Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions.
    #4354261 - 06/30/05 05:05 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

hey guys, i been trying to get my casing mix settled in, just wanted to get a few things cleared up first.

1) if i were to use jiffy mix (anyone have a brand name on this?), would i need to add hydrated lime to it?

2) about how much hydrated lime should be added to a 50/50 mix? like, how much per 1cup of 50/50?

3) if i were to use my own mix of 50% verm and 50% peat moss, is there any specific type of peat moss i should use? i saw a few different types while at the store today, ranging from some that looked like potting soil to some that looked like...well, dried peat moss heh. so which of those 2 should i get?

thanks.


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Offlineblackout
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: Vhal]
    #4354306 - 06/30/05 05:29 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Is your hydrated lime calcium oxide CaO?
That is all I could find, it is not recommended and is said to be more aggressive that CaCO3. In one thread Anno said it will work (while not recommending it)
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=Forum2&Number=533746

But I cannot find how much to use. I have an accurate scales and want to use it. Mine is 53% CaO.

I found another thread which says Stamets says CaO can be used to treat straw instead of pasteruising.
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=Forum13&Number=2755050


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OfflineGamera
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: blackout]
    #4354574 - 06/30/05 09:45 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

On the issue of lime - there is some information here:

http://www.lime.org/faqs.html


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OfflineGamera
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: Gamera]
    #4354590 - 06/30/05 09:53 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Also, if you have trouble finding shell flour or similar sources of Calcium Carbonate, you can get something called "edible lime" or "lime paste" at some Asian groceries - its just powdered limestone and water.


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Offlineblackout
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: Gamera]
    #4354870 - 06/30/05 12:11 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

From the FAQs, it seems the CaO will work but it is not really a buffer and can send your ph to 14...

"Can I use hydrated lime in my casing mixture?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can, but you have to be very carefull how much you add.
In theory one should add 2/3 hydrated lime compared to the amount of limestone(calcium carbonate)needed.
The problem is that you have to add exactly the right amount if you use hydrated lime. If you add too much, the pH will go towards 13. If you use limestone, the pH can't go above 8, despite the amount used.
To prevent this make sure to measure the pH of the casing material, it shouldn't go over 8"

So does anybody know how much to add to standard peat in weight measures?


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Edited by blackout (06/30/05 12:13 PM)


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InvisibleEonTan
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: Vhal]
    #4355034 - 06/30/05 01:19 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Jiffy mix should be close to PH 6.5, and it is buffered.

To increase the PH a point to 7.5. FOLLOW the directions on the bag of the hydrated lime. Usually it will give a recommendation for pottet plants. IT is like add X amoount of tablespoons lime per gallon of water to increase ph 1 point. You mix up the gallon of water and lime, thouroughly, and then you hydrate the jiffy mix with it until you get to the proper moisture content. Now you should have a casing that has PH 7.5 in the moisture it is holding.

READ THE LABEL ON THE BAG OF HYDRATED LIMe TO GET THE EXACT AMOUNt OF TABLESPOONS LIMe TO ADD TO THE GALLON OF WATER TO raise 1 point ph.


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OfflineVhal
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: EonTan]
    #4355309 - 06/30/05 02:36 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

cool, lots of useful replies on my thread for once :smile:

what about peat moss? (question 3)


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Offlinescatmanrav
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: Vhal]
    #4355573 - 06/30/05 03:52 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

It should say "Peat Moss", nothing more...no different kind of moss, just "peat moss". It looks like fiberous soil.


--------------------
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Growing with bags, start to finish (including my new grain and substrate prep)
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InvisibleEonTan
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: Vhal]
    #4355644 - 06/30/05 04:13 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)



If you are going to lime the peat :vermiculite, you have to measure the starting PH of a small amount of the peat:vermiculite hydrated to proper moisture content, with a PH meter, or tape. Then you add the Lime water solution with the correct amount of lime, to raise the PH to the level you want it with the rest of the casing mixture. Just know that hydrated lime is a fast acting ph raiser. It offers no buffering for long term ph stability. You need to add oystershell, or coarse calcium carbonate. I never hold onto casings long enough to have it matter.

I go peat:vermiculite 50/50 add water until i can only squeeze out a few drops of water at the most, and sterilize it. No lime, or any additive. I loose about 10% of the casings by the end of the second flush MAX. If I fan everyday, less then that. The losses come when I am really lazy, and don't fan at all for three days or more.

PEat:vermiculite: hydrated lime to neutral PH, and you should be absolutely fine. If you want to shoot for 7 flushes or more, you might want to include some oyster shell or some other coarse calcium carbonate long term buffer.

I just get the regualr peat moss that comes in a bag at homedepot. It is fine particles.


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OfflineVhal
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: EonTan]
    #4356652 - 06/30/05 08:46 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

the reason i ask what kind of peat moss is i saw 2 different kinds at the store. they had some that looked like soil, and some that looked like a cake of weed. was just a big clump of dried peat moss thrown in a bag, green and everything.

is it really necessary to add lime to a 50/50 mix though? im not really in the mood to hassle with taking pH readings and adding this and that to make everything stable...

figured that using jiffy mix would be better since i hear its pH is already adjusted. i just cant seem to find any. if anyone has a brand name on jiffy mix i would much appreciate it. they people at the nursery look at me like im a retard when i ask for plain jiffy mix. they always ask me who makes it... so yeah.

thanks


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OfflineVhal
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: Vhal]
    #4358203 - 07/01/05 04:05 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

bump for kicks


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Invisibleagar
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: Vhal]
    #4358473 - 07/01/05 05:58 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Something i wrote in another life:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Casing material pH & why it is important.

"pH", is a measure to describe the acidity of a medium. pH 7 is neutral; higher means alkaline, lower acidic.

Peat is a major constituent of preferred casing mixes. The pH of peat is variable, dependent on the source it came from. Meaning, the pH of peat differs from various sources.

The preferred pH range of a casing mixture is 6.5 to 8. 7.5 is optimal. Peat is acidic. Consequently, to achieve an optimal pH range of a casing mix, the pH of the casing mixture must be adjusted accordingly (within the range of 6.5 to 8).

The pH of the casing must be within certain limits to support strong mycelial growth. An overly acidic or alkaline casing mixture will depress mycelial growth and supports unwanted competitors.

It is generally easier to make casing materials more alkaline (i.e., increasing the pH) than it is to make them more acid (i.e., reducing the pH).

A movement of 0.5 is easy but, because the pH scale is logarithmic, a movement on the order of, 2.0 points becomes more difficult because there is a factor of 10x between each full point, so pH 5.0 is actually 100 times more acid than pH 7.0.

There are several common types of lime available for use, though care should be exercised with all of the products. Lime is caustic and a skin and eye irritant and can be dangerous if misused. If you choose to use such products, carefully read and follow all manufacturer directions exactly. The major types of lime products include:

Hydrated Lime: fast acting, but not long lasting. It is very effective to produce a fast change in pH level. It is also the "strongest" form of lime generally available, and you must follow all manufacturer precautions, since your skin and eyes can be easily irritated or burned if the product is misused.

Ground Limestone: a naturally occurring type of limestone that has been ground to a fine powder. How quickly it will act to modify pH and how long it will persist depends on how finely it was ground.

Generally, ground limestone is weaker than hydrated lime, needing about 30% more to raise the pH by the same amount. It has the advantage, however, of usually being significantly cheaper than the hydrated lime, and usually works more slowly and lasts much longer.

Mixed Lime: usually sold under a brand name. Most brands contain a variety of particle sizes to provide some immediate benefits, as well as a longer persistence. (this is often referred to as "time released" lime).

pH gradually falls to less than optimal by the end of cropping due to acids secreted by the mushroom mycelium. Consequently, a long lasting buffering agent is preferable.

If you wish to achieve optimal results, when adjusting pH? It is highly advisable to use litmus strips (with color chart), or acquire a pH test probe (available at most garden supply stores, under $20) to accurately test, and adjust the pH of your casing mix, prior to application.

Doing all other cultivation steps properly. Then, applying a casing mixture outside the proper pH range, most often creates poor cropping results.


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Offlineblackout
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: agar]
    #4358492 - 07/01/05 06:21 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I went to the biggest garden/diy centre around and they had no CaCO3, they had 5 different brands of garden lime, all CaO. I already had CaO lying around. The mixture sounds good to me. I can get the ph up with the CaO and then add my ground seashells when I collect them.

I had been asking for accurate weights of CaO to peat but it no doubt depends on the peat and CaO, they will all vary.

I saw some ph testers, they looked a bit crap to me, can they be trusted? You can't calibrate the ones I saw but at least it would tell you if they were wrong if you stuck it in distilled water. It was a metal probe (no batteries) with a little dial at the top, must just work due to 2 disimilar metals, the tip of the probe was a different metal. I would prefer a digital one that you can calibrate.


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Edited by blackout (07/01/05 06:23 AM)


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OfflineHerbanShaman
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: blackout]
    #4358801 - 07/01/05 10:38 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I have always like vermiculite and peat that was homemade; store prepared mixes always runs the risk of having too many nutrients in it. The lime is essential because the peat's pH is usually way too low for the mycelium to live comfortably near. Even if this weren't the case in the begining and they somehow struggled and survived, in later flushes the pH would increase. You would get fewer fruits and increased risk of contamination. If you buy a mixed lime compound, usually there are shortterm and longterm pH buffers in it to help keep the pH stable. I suggest getting a pH meter from Rural King or someplace like that to help. Good luck! btw - rural king has oyster shell in several forms too! great longterm lowstrength buffer


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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: HerbanShaman]
    #4602557 - 08/31/05 06:26 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I added a fair bit of lime (CaO) to some peat moss with no verm. Maybe 3-4 teaspoons to 500ml of peat. I cased some grain with it. It is looking very well now.

I then read this FAQ
http://www.shroomery.org/index/par/23455
where Blue Helix says to use only "About a teaspoon per 15 cups of peat moss will do it".

Well it seems I have used up to 30 times that amount!
Agar mentions the log scale so maybe mine is still in an OK range. The extra I added should keep on working as time goes on gradually lowering in Ph rather than the buffering of the CaCO3, but in effect sort of doing the same thing. It is growing well now so I would use the same again, high Ph is good protection against green mold which is what usually gets my grows.

Does anybody else have figure on how much CaO to use. Also if I was to get the correct ph at the start, can I add it to my misting water so I can keep raising the ph as the grow continues. How much should I add to the water?


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OfflineRogerRabbitM
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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: blackout]
    #4602661 - 08/31/05 08:49 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

In my opinion, hydrated lime is the best type to use simply becauase it's water soluable and works very fast. Most types of lime work great on your lawn where they have all season to break down, but the average life of a casing layer is two months or less, so granulated lime doesn't have time to be of much use.

My formula that has always worked fine is to use hydrated lime at 5% by volume of the peat moss used. In other words, for ten cups of peat, use 1/2 cup of lime. Don't count the vermiculite when making the calculation, only the peat. This will give a starting ph in the area of 8 to 8 1/2.
RR


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Re: Peat Moss and Hydrated Lime...Casing questions. [Re: RogerRabbit]
    #4602732 - 08/31/05 09:46 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks Roger, I was too cheap to buy a ph tester, I got a loan of a digital one but it didnt seem to work right.
Seems I may have added a little more than the 5% but it looks very well, nice and spikey at the moment. Vermiculite costs about 10 times as much for me as peat. I perfer peat because it is easier to see if it is drying out.


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