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BPB

Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Messages
34
Hey folks. After doing lots of reading I've decided to try my hand first at an outdoor container bog. As I've mentioned in previous posts I'm in Texas, zone 9, near Houston. I plan to do mostly sarracenia with a couple VFT, sundews, bladderwort, and even a cobra lily if one would survive for me.

I recently picked up a wood barrel style container super cheap. It's 22.5" diameter and 14" deep. Made of stained pine with steel belts on the outside. There's a single hole drilled at the bottom. I intend to do equal parts peat, sand, and pearlite, with a long fiber sphagnum layer on top. Does this sound like I'm on the right track? Should I forego the perlite?

Second. What if anything needs to be done with this barrel to make it safe. Should I line it with pond liner, plugging the hole to help retain water?

My starter sarracenia purpurea is doing ok. It's tolerating the intense heat well so far, and the dry LFS I planted it in is coming back to life which is a pleasant surprise. Not sure how that's possible, outside of a couple live bits that may have been attached to the roots.

Thanks for any help and advice! Would love to get this going before it gets cold!

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Joined
Oct 15, 2010
Messages
159
Location
Birmingham UK
Hi BPB
Firstly as we don't know what the barrel has been preserved with you should definitely line it. Wood preservers can have some nasty stuff in it so unless you are sure what it is preserved with, put a liner in, it may also help to stop the pine rotting too quickly.
You will either have to have make a hole in the liner for drainage, or perhaps better still would be to put a tube into the mix before you fill the pot, so you can see down it to see how high the water level is and more importantly to syphon off excess liquid in wet periods to prevent the mix going anaerobic, and killing your plant. A lot of people don't pay too much attention to this aspect and loose plants as a consequence.
I just use a 50 5- mix of peat and perlite others use peat and sand or a mix of peat perlite and sand, it doesn't make a lot of difference so whatever you can get readily or cheaply will do the job.

Good luck with it.

Cheers
Steve
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
3,413
Location
Boston, MA
I couldn't disagree more about the drainage aspect, especially in Texas. Drainage holes in a bog might work in England or the PNW but all it means for most of the rest of us is constant watering. I have several bogs, 2 of which are over 15 years old and are not drained. Plants are all happy and healthy. Line the planter with a pond liner and do not perforate it. Mound your media about 2" above the rim of the planter, this will settle with time. Use a mix of sand and peat, perlite will rise to the surface and looks unsightly.
 

BPB

Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Messages
34
Good info. Should I not punch holes a few inches from the top rim as spill over holes so it doesn't become a pond if it rains? If so, I imagine some
Bulkheads or something to keep water from leeching into the wood constantly would be a good idea


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Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
399
Location
New Haven, CT
Unless you get a lot of rain and keep the barrel already sopping wet that probably will never happen. Even if it does though, with a half barrel you can probably just tip it to drain. Some and let the rest dry on its own after the rain ends.
 

BPB

Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Messages
34
Peat and sand it is. Anyone have experience with quikcrete play sand? It's cheap and easy to acquire and is just comprised of quartz. The tractor supply here doesnt carry the larger grain blasting sand. I'll go without drilling holes at the top of the barrell or perforating the liner in any way. I don't imagine it will overflow too often. I'm never gone for more than 12 hours at a time honestly, and if I go on vacation it's an easy instruction to just tip and pour. I have animals that need caring for when I leave so that is easy enough for a house sitter to do if needed.

As previously mentioned, we did have a TON of rain this year. Enough to completely fill the nearly empty aquifers in austin and san antonio, as well as bring lakes from 20% full up to 100%. It was definitely a record breaking year for rain in our state, but that has subsided. We aren't exactly in drought conditions, but my yard is dead if that means anything. I think it's rained overnight, once, in the last few weeks. I've taken to watering my garden with the hose on a daily basis because of the heat.

I'll run by the hardware store today and check the availability of pond liner, peat, and sand. Should I forego the use of LFS in this instance? it's all I'm currently using on my small pots with the VFT and Sarracenia.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
3,413
Location
Boston, MA
As long as it's quartz sand, it will be fine. Swimming pool stores carry better quality sand than hardware stores generally though. The addition of lfs to a bog is not needed unless you'd like to add some live stuff for the visual effect. Some Drosera species will also appreciate live lfs but it isn't a necessity.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
495
Location
New Jersey, US
I use Quickrete and it's fine after a thorough washing. However, play sand is usually sourced locally (or as close as possible), so what works for some people may not work for others.
 

BPB

Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Messages
34
And to think I just dumped a whole ton of it out in the flower bed.


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Knuckles

Chief Cat Behavior Specialist
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
432
Location
North TX
Haven't you been watching the news? Texas got over 37 trilliion gallons of rain in May which is claimed is enough to cover the entire state with 8 inches of water.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/30/us/severe-weather/

+1
All of the succulents outside needed additional soil added after running off from the recent rains. Things have settled down recently; but, when it rains, it pours around here. I would agree with the idea of adding drainage a few inches from the top instead of the bottom, still allowing for nearly full water retention. I only have a few outdoor CPs so not much of a bog expert - Just common sense here based on location :water:
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2011
Messages
171
Location
Austin, TX
Nice to see even more people attempting bog gardens in Texas! good luck with this, It's definitely possible! mines doing great right now and I live in Austin, Tx, where we just recently had a 111 degree heat wave that killed a lot of plants in commercial areas. But the CPs? didn't even phase them :) If I could suggest one thing, It would be to save yourself the headache and just go ahead and use Peat and Perlite. As it stands there is no consensus over what sand is absolutely safe to use (that is, what is sold locally as 'play sand' in local department stores).
 
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BPB

Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Messages
34
Thanks for replying especially since you're only a couple hours from here. Austin weather is usually a mirror image of ours. If I could ask what all species have you had the best success with and which ones have been harder to adapt to the heat? Also what ratio of peat and pearlite do you suggest. 50/50?


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Joined
Aug 19, 2011
Messages
171
Location
Austin, TX
Thanks for replying especially since you're only a couple hours from here. Austin weather is usually a mirror image of ours. If I could ask what all species have you had the best success with and which ones have been harder to adapt to the heat? Also what ratio of peat and pearlite do you suggest. 50/50?

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No problem! yes, I roughly estimated a 50/50 peat-perlite mix. I currently grow a Red Dragon VFT, Drosera Spathulata, Sarracenia Leucophylla, Alata, Rubra, Flava (red tube), and Purpurea. In my experience with these so far, I have found that the Rubra, Alata, and Purpurea are the fastest and most vigorous growing. A thing to watch out for is those little red wasps that fly all over (we have them all over Austin). These little guys love to tear holes in my purp for the water inside. In fact they are so bad that I havent seen a fully formed pitcher without a hole in it in a month. Anyway the VFT's love our heat as well. The Flava I cannot say yet as It is an early season grower and I just recently got it mid-summer. As for the Leucophylla, It hasn't grown an INCH. I see new growth but It never actually develops. But this is it's first year as well so we'll see.

And the Drosera... don't do it. Austin is way to dry for them, and if your climate is anything like ours I would save yourself the heartache.

My bog is constantly watered by a recirculatory solar pump that constantly keeps the water in the reservoir moving. I think the plants are responding well to that in general. Might be something you could try as well.
 

BPB

Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Messages
34
Thanks again. We may have a touch more humidity being that we are in a valley but I'm not sure. I don't check the humidity too often. Perhaps this will give me a reason to start. I haven't made any headway on this bog build. Wife is on summer break so I seem to spend a lot of time on "our" projects and not as much time on "my" projects lol. Once she starts school back up I will begin working on getting the barrel plant ready and maybe pick up a couple more purps and vft just to let them ride out the summer heat and I'll pick up some dormant sarrs from the California carnivorous plant place and some drosera seeds to try out since they're so cheap. I'll then hopefully fully plant it in February when the freezes are done with. Do you have a link to your recirculating pump build. If it's cheap enough I may try it. My lone vft and s. Purpurea are really coloring up nicely. It's been a challenge keeping the stupid toads out of the wet sphagnum moss though


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Joined
Aug 19, 2011
Messages
171
Location
Austin, TX
Sorry for late reply, that sounds great! I would also suggest order from a little store in the SOUTHWEST that sells SARRACENIA (hee-hee!) their plants are plug-and-play as they are cultivated in conditions you would normally find garden vegetables. I will also be updating my bog thread In a few days where you can see the solar setup.

And one more thing! I was browsing Austin Reef Club and found ya! I love coincidences.
 
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BPB

Joined
Aug 2, 2015
Messages
34
I think I catch your drift. Awesome finding people across hobbyist sites. There are a couple CP keepers on Austin reef as well. One of the locals here where I live used to have a huge indoor cp shelf. Dozens of different tropical and highland species that would never make it outdoors here. All shut down unfortunately now


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