Update on Permatill

Peggy L Kinnetz pkinnetz at JUNO.COM
Wed Aug 30 01:33:04 CEST 2000

Being new to the list, I'm not too familiar with Permatill. What are some
sources for the stuff?

Louisville, Zone 6a

On Tue, 29 Aug 2000 16:23:50 EDT "Jim McClements, Dover, DE z6"
<JimMcClem at AOL.COM> writes:
> A-Lrs
> Last winter I reported that I seemed to be having excellent results
> using
> Permatill (a granular substance made of fired slate, used primarily
> as an
> additive to heavy clay soils) as a medium for growing arisaemas
> under lights
> in their 2nd or 3rd growth cycles. I've been using it by itself,
> standing in
> shallow water containing a dilute fertilizer solution, more or less
> in the
> fashion of "hydroponics". It holds enough water to create a moist
> medium, yet
> the particles are large enough to allow oxygen to easily permeate
> and avoid
> anaerobic conditions.
> At least, that's what I thought! Extensive use of the system over
> the past 10
> months hasn't totally borne out my initial enthusiasm. It still
> works well
> most of the time, but I'm seeing occasional pots where as many as
> half of the
> tubers are rotted. I'm not sure why. It may be that I've gotten
> overconfident
> and have had the standing water too deep at times. It may be that
> some
> species are more prone to rot than others, although A. sikokianum
> (which I
> always think of as a "rotter") has had no problems thus far.
> I'm still going to use the system and let the pots get fairly dry
> before
> adding more water to the flat, but I just wanted anyone who is
> trying this
> method to know that it's not a panacea. And any suggestions,
> theories, etc.
> would be welcome.
> Jim McClements

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