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Ishmael Fleishman

Potting Mix Options & Horse Manure

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I mostly grow cacti and succulents and I make up my up my own substrate.


My basic mix for tricho is 50% organic and 50% inorganic.


Over the last couple of years I have been using Fine Farms 25L Blended Poultry Manure - however I stopped using it because it just had so much bark in the mix.


I then moved to Fine Farms 25L Sheep Manure which was better but still had a good amount of large chunky bits and bark.


I recently bought a bag of Richgro 25L Black Marvel Garden Compost and this is very even and very fine with almost no bark visible.


Saving me having to sift it and throwing a 1/4 of the bag out.


Their is a price jump from $4 to $6 to $9.50 with these bags but those few extra dollars seems worth it to me.


Where I live a local horse owner gives away horse manure for free - and I got a large amount of fresh manure - I placed it into a large bin filled with water and I am allowing it to sit until spring to take the edge of it. I plan to then to start using it in my potting mixes. Horse manure is less potent then chicken or cow with less nitrogen which is good for cacti. But most of all its free.


So the question is what do you use for organic matter? and have you used horse manure? Do you think 4 months is enough time to age the manure if I am going to blend it with 75% other substrates?










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Home compost. 


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You can get grass and other weed seeds in horse manure, as well as in cheap commercial potting mixes. 

I tend to withhold rich organic matter from cactus and succulents. Something like coir is "organic matter" but without the nutrient load (mind you, it retains too much water, probably). Wood shavings and sawdust deplete nitrogen, but also retain moisture. They can be used very sparingly. 

Someone has used mushroom compost with great success, as a soil admixture for growing Trichocereus. I tend not to use it unless I can find/afford to splurge on the certified organic one. Commercial mushroom cultivation is pesticide-intensive, for the most part. 

Keeper Trout made the point in one of his lectures, that the (minimal) nutrients in peyote habitat were mainly of plant, not animal origin. 

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