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I went out to Home Depot and picked up some lime. Here is a picture of the stuff: Any one ever use this stuff? Is this the right kinda stuff I need to raise the PH in some peatmoss? if so how many parts peatmoss to how many parts lime would be a good mix? any help is appreciatted.
It depends on the source of your peat, in that different sources have different acidity. Your best bet is to test the acidity of the peat and buffer accordingly (or test unbuffered and then with add small amounts until you reach your desired ph for the strain concerned). If you want just an approximate, you can look it up in one of the many casing teks here.
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That's the stuff you want. In my experience it's very hard to overdose on limestone in your casing mixture. Better add too much than too little. Unbuffered peat contaminates very easily (often green molds).
If the texture is course you need more than when it's finely powdered.
There are many recipes for casing soil going around which all seem to work. Here's the recipe we use (taken from our website:
Recipe and Preparation of the casing soil
We use the following recipe:
10 parts of peat 5 parts of vermiculite 2 parts of limestone (Marl)
The ingredients are mixed in dry form and while stirring water is added. The amount of water of course depends on the moisture content of the peat. The object is to get as much water in the casing soil as possible without turning it into mud. If the casing gets too wet just add a little more dry ingredients. This casing soil is then filled into oven bags (made of nylon), autoclave bags (PP) or jars and these are sterilised for one hour in the pressure cooker. When the soil has cooled down to room temperature it's ready to use.
We know that some authors advise against sterilisation of casing soil because it would kill all the beneficial organisms. We however have had only bad experiences with untreated or pasteurised casing soils. We just tell what works best for us!
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