Lyn Edwards
Tue, 30 Jul 2002 00:53:03 PDT
Greetings all,
We did discuss Merenderas recently on the Australian Bulb Association
I have only two, M.montana and M. robusta.I would grow more if I could find
them but have to make do with what I have. Rob spoke about another but that
is for him to write about.M.montana flowers here in mid March with some of the early colchicums and like them without leaf growth, they do look like spidery pink colchicum flowers but
opening flat on soil level, just a little different.
			M.robusta flowers in July in the middle of winter with some of the very late colchicums,the flowers are quite small white ones compared to montana and appearing with the  leaves.The soil where I live is very heavy clay so I grow mine in pots using  a mix of 1/2 a standard potting mix and half coarse river sand with some long term fertilizer added.
			Merenderas aren,t widely grown here but they should be as they are something a little different and certainly are not difficult. When the leaves die down in late spring I just put the pots in an out of the way
place in cool shade and leave till the next growing season.They get water
when it rains. This is a fairly low rainfall area with most rain generally
falling in Autumn, Winter and Spring and mostly storm rain in our dry low
humidity Summers.
			The varieties mentioned by Dr.John Lonsdale sound fascinating.
Lyn Edwards
approx. zone 8 USDA

From ???@??? Tues Jul 29 13:05:34 2002
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Message-ID: <002d01c23762$eab8d6a0$6501a8c0@John>
Reply-To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
From: "John Lonsdale" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
References: <>
 <001501c2375a$a3e392e0$6501a8c0@John> <>
Subject: 'alpine bulb mix'
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2002 20:49:07 -0400

Coming from an alpine background in the UK (7 years ago now), where all
God-fearing composts contained some form of John Innes loam-based compost,
mixed with various grits and a touch of peat, it still makes me cringe to
admit that I now use.........composted peanut hulls (in the form of BioComp
BC5) mixed with a least 50% supercoarse perlite.

I've been using this mix for 3-4 years for everything that I grow, and also
sow seeds  onto the same compost.  It wets easily, holds water nicely, has
exceptional air holding capacity and is very light.  For some of the more
moisture sensitive Juno and Onco irises I mix in some grower grade
grani-grit, but don't think this is important other than possibly making the
compost faster drying when watering stops in early June.  I grow a wide
range of bulbs from seed (iris, erythronium, corydalis, calochortus, crocus,
fritillaria, colchicum, narcissus, tecophilea, etc.) and germination and
seedling growth are robust, with constant weak in-line feeding.  Mature
bulbs also are happy, although I try to  get as much as possible into the
garden if there is a chance of it being hardy.

Hope this helps.


Dr John T Lonsdale
407 Edgewood Drive
PA 19341  USA

610 594 9232 - phone
801 327 1266 - fax

Zone 6b

From ???@??? Tues Jul 30 13:05:34 2002
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
From: "Mary Sue Ittner <>" <>>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 17:27:45 -0700
Subject: Re: 'alpine bulb mix'

Dear John,

I looked up BioComp BC5 and composted peanut hulls on Google and didn't find much about availability, but find your comments fascinating. Is this something you mostly find in the Eastern part of the U.S.? Also you hear such dire warnings about perlite. I know Roy Sachs uses it, but it makes me cough if it dries out even a little. But you grow many things I want to grow successfully. When peanut hulls break down I wonder what they might have in the way of nutrients. I continue to find it amazing all the different mixes people use to grow bulbs. Your description of its properties make it sound ideal. Thanks for sharing it and telling us about what you grow.

Mary Sue

From ???@??? Tues Jul 30 13:05:34 2002
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Subject: Re: 'alpine bulb mix'
From: "John Lonsdale" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 20:59:23 -0400

Mary Sue,

The compost originates from a company in the deep south  where I assume they
have a surplus of peanut hulls.  It is made by BioComp Inc, Airport
Industrial Park, Edenton, NC.  They distribute up and down the east coast.
It certainly should be treated as nutrient depleted very soon after you pot
up and start watering - hence my regular in-line feeds with Miracle-Gro.

Re. perlite - the real dodgy period is mixing the compost.  Folks say wet it
before use but that only works if you use tiny amounts, and then I guess it
is a pig to mix.  I just wear a dust mask whilst measuring and mixing, then
leave the basement for a few minutes whilst the dust settles.  Once mixed I
don't find problems, even if it gets dry.


Dr John T Lonsdale
407 Edgewood Drive
PA 19341  USA 

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