Jim McClements, Dover, DE z6 JimMcClem at AOL.COM
Mon Jun 25 04:29:59 CEST 2001

Ray recently mentioned an article that I wrote for the IAS newsletter last
year, which is in the AEG documents.

Since that time I have found that one of the things that I had suggested does
not work out as i previously had thought, and I want to make a correction.

In the article I wrote:

"Last year I was introduced to another soil modifier called Permatill. This
is a fired slate product somewhat similar to Turface, which will absorb some
water, but the particles are considerably larger. (It's what those
light-weight "asphalt" blocks are made of.) I decided to try wet Permatill as
a growing medium, again putting the pot in standing water, and so far it
works like a charm. I've seen no rotting, the plants grow well, and finding
even small tubers after dormancy occurs is easy."

Well, it doesn't work like a charm! I had visions of arisaemas growing
beautifully, but after almost a year's experience, found that they didn't
grow as long, and that more were rotting. Last fall (2000) i decided to split
some batches and grow half in wet Permatill and half in my usual
promix/turface mixture. Results are strikingly better with the latter.

I still think Permatill is excellent for use in the garden, both to increase
drainage and ward off rodents, but my dreams of a hydroponic paradise are

I hope that none of you followed my previous advice!

Jim McClements

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