Sand - Update

Bonaventure Magrys magrysbo at SHU.EDU
Wed Oct 31 17:19:52 CET 2001

Interesting observation: in woodlands here in mid-atlantic eastern USA,
under deciduous trees and shrubs, the soil is hard, dry, and compact by
late summer. In autumn several inches of dry, loose leaf-litter cover this.
Winter brings wet snow and compacting conditions which reduce this layer by
spring into rich humus a fraction of its original depth. This seems to
"disappear", subsume, by late summer, leaving tubers and rhizomes entering
dormancy semi-exposed. Please note that I am excluding stream beds, flood
plains, swampy areas, troughs between hills, ect. .

I believe this exposure is critical for many of the moisture-sensitive
woodland early-dormancy tuberous and rhizomous herbaceous perrenials.
Finding Arisaema triphyllum tubers, Podophyllum and many unidentified
rhizomes this way in late summer/early autumn, it wasn't so shocking to me
to find my asian Arisaemas and Paris species to have "lifted" themselves
out of the medium of the raised beds I had constructed. These were made
last autumn by alternating layers of the native sandy, coastal soil with
decidous leaves, mostly oak. They were planted this past spring and by now
have fallen several inches.

Again in autumn the loose dry leaf-litter covers them and does not become
very wet and compact until spring when it is reduced to rich humus ready to
receive the new annual roots of the Arisaemas, and others. Bacterial and
fungal action also hasten with warming weather and this timed with new
growth may release nutrients and chemical factors neccessary for growth.
Repeating late summer conditions in the dry (by then) hillsides and
woodlands this short-lived humus layer turns much thinner, dry, and dusty,
and the tubers are exposed again, with only a dry leaf covering from winter
to early spring.
Bonaventure Magrys
(the aptly named) Cliffwood Beach (lots of triphyllum), NJ, USA

"Andy Y. S. Wong"
<asiatica at EZONLIN       To:     ARISAEMA-L at NIC.SURFNET.NL
E.COM>                  cc:
Sent by:                Subject:     Re: Sand
Enthusiast Group
(AEG) Discussion
List (and other

06/11/2001 04:25
Please respond to
Enthusiast Group
(AEG) Discussion
List (and other

Dear Group,

The quality of drainage makes an enormous difference in year to year
survival in the garden here.  Even though our soil (decomposed sandstone
loam) drains very well, we still get the best survival on steep
hillsides and raised beds.  There are a few species, such as A.
heterophyllum, A.tortuosum, A. ringens, A. ternatipartitum, and A.
candidissimum, that don't seem to mind periodic wet feet, but in
general, the more drainage the better.  We think a good way to grow them
is in a pure coarse sand raised bed with a layer of rich soil about 5
inches below the top of the sand.  Jim McClements garden layer cakes
should be ideal too.
This is not too surprising when you see how many Asian arisaemas grow in
the wild.  Their corms are often in a layer of partly decomposed humus,
not in the underlying soil at all.

Allowing them to go somewhat dry in late summer helps a lot too.

We find this to be true for Japanese and Chinese native species.

Barry R. Yinger and Andy Wong
USDA Mid-zone 6
Lewisberry, PA

"George R Stilwell, Jr." wrote:
> David,
> I thought sand might help too, especially with the Chen Yi imports that
> rot so easily
> and A. sikokianum that dislikes wet conditions. But I used GraniGrit,
> starter grade (like
> many of us use for germinating seedlings) instead of sand. It's a bit
> coarser and drains
> more easily.
> Sorry about that, I could see no difference in the rot rate at all.
> Ray
> GRSJr at
> ________________________________________________________________
> Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
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