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Hello, Fresh addict here. need help building a bog garden.

This all started only a few short weeks ago while building a wet woodland native orchid garden in zone 7b. I ran into a spot that was low, boggy and acidic. I immediately thought of north American pitcher plants to fit the bill. After buying a few I realized that spot only gets about 3 hours of direct sunlight. From what I read this will slowly kill my new pitcher plants. So instead of planting these in the north facing garden I have decided to make a bog container garden. I have a pretty epic self watering garden that I got for free and I would love to use.
I have perlite, coir, peat moss, vermiculite, and soil moist on hand. I can get long haired moss and sand if needed.
I was thinking a solid 2 inches of perlite on the false bottom then a 50/50 mix of peat moss and coir to fill it up. Is there any reason to go all the way to the top? or is 12'' of substrate above the false bottom seem okay? I have seen sand recommend to add to the peatmoss but this container will weigh over 100 pounds if i go mixing in sand at a decent ratio.
I sharpened up my rabbit teeth and chewed through the bottom. siliconed a taller stand pipe in there.
nice to meet you all. i would love to hear comments or feedback.

A list of the plants selected/ in possession of:
Sarracenia x Red Apache Medium
Sarracenia x Yellow Jacket Large
Sarracenia x white"Juthatip Soper"
Viola lanceolata Bog Violet
Grass Pink Orchid Young
Nodding Lady Tresses Young
Rose Pogonia1


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Put in a solar powered pump at the bottom. Covered it up. Put a false bottom over the extended stand-pipe. Covered the whole thing in 2-3 inches of perlight that I washed in rainwater. The charcoal was just cause I had some extra. After this i filled it up with mixed coir/ peat/verm/sand . Flooded it with a mix of rain and distilled water. Popped in a tester pitcher plant. Still have to re organize the stick so the water flows to the ends and plant it up. Just waiting for the weather to warm up a lil bit.
I have collected many more species. Spatulate and round leaf sundews, Northern small cranberry and some fly traps for the wife. ( How can I say no?)
Thanks for all the input!


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I put a lot of work into that post and got zero feed back so i never came back. Alas i made it here cause im bored. Here is a few shots from this summer.


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Hmm, I totally missed this original post. Did you end up going all 12" of media or the perlite base? That's plenty deep I would say but deeper of course allows for more spread between watering and temperature swings. I've seem 6" pots grow some really nice Sarrs but I think 10-12" would be plenty on the high end especially with plenty of sideways room available. I do notice over time peat:perlite seems to settle/shrink so going to the very top will allow for that shrinkage and likely it will sink a bit over time.

Looks like everything settled in and grew well for you over summer. Where are you and have you taken any special steps for them during dormancy?
Im zone 7b LI,NY
Yes I filled the entire thing up. About 75% coir 25% peat, perlite,verm. I have not taken any care to over winter. I wanted to see what was strong enough to survive. I know the fly traps are dead but everything else should be cold hardy or hybridized with a cold hardy specie. Possibly keeping it alive.
So far we were only in the 20's one time. This weekend is supposed to be below zero F so maybe ill lug that heavy planter inside...
This is really interesting, and I would love to try something similar, but alas, I have faaaaar too little sun to pull it off. I would be very interested in hearing what plants have survived your winter. Please keep us posted! Also, wondering how your peat/coir mix worked out. Any problems?
I've had Sarrs survive outdoors with temperatures close to -10F here in CT. However, I bury the pots in the ground to within a couple of inches of the rim of the pot and pile leaves over them to provide some insulation against the coldest temperatures and, maybe equally importantly, to reduce the freeze-thaw cycles. I want them to freeze, stay frozen through the winter, and then thaw.

I had to put them in a less desirable spot for this winter and there have been too many warm days so I'm imagining various things that could go wrong, especially with the approaching sub-zero weather. I'll slowly begin removing leaves in several weeks and that's when I'll start to see how everything is doing.
I did end up asking a friend to help me lug it in for one night it went down to -4F. Then he came back 2 days later and helped me bring it back out. Today it's supposed to be 60F.

Coir is 100% perfect. I think people are just afraid to change or something. Kinda sad since coir is a by-product and peat is irreplaceable.
Do you rinse your coir? I have read you must be wary of salt, any problems with that? Also, how often do you have to repot with coir? I would imagine that it doesn't go "bad" very fast, but who knows?
No I did not rinse the coir. Information about salt in coir is false and outdated. I have seen proof of that in the mushroom growing community. Just hydrate with boiled rain water. Just received all my plants for round two. Gonna make another one of these this week .
I just received a new batch of coco peat and coconut husk chips. When making the peat just wet enough to have puddles and squeezing that out, the TDS was over 1200. The coconut husk chips when soaked over night and testing the standing water, it was about 600. I would consider both of those in need of rinsing before use for CPs. I'm sure it varies by vendor, the stuff I used to get was much much more acceptable out of the bag but definitely something that should be tested before use IMO.
Both of mine were 10lb packs from Envelor. I was told if you get ones for the reptile trade, they're generally prewashed and such vs ones marketed for the garden.