[PBS] coir mats

ROBERT PARKER skylark20@msn.com
Thu, 10 Jul 2003 13:55:55 PDT
Hail to thee, blithe spirits......! (especially Arnold and Kelly)

At a nursery the other day, I acquired a coir hanging basket liner, with the
intent of cutting it up to fit into 4" square plastic pots on the bottom , to  
contain the potting soil from coming out of all those holes that manufacturers
seem to think are needed for drainage.  In the old days, I used sphagnum moss  
crammed into the pots and it worked very well.  I can't always find bags of sm
nowadays, so I hit upon the use of SHOP TOWELS.  These are rolls of thick
blue paper towels available at Albertson's and most Hardware stores.  I cut
each in quarters, fold to fit in each square 4" pot, then fill with mix , then plant.
It lasts long enough till repotting or transplanting time, and is certainly very

The sphagnum moss was ideal, especially when one could find rolls of compressed  
moss to use in hanging baskets.  Some of it always lasted at repotting and could
be used again.  Also roots could be dislodged from it with minimal damage.  Prior
to this I used wire screening cut-to-fit in the bottom of the pots, but at repotting
time root damage was excessive.   

My current method is dictated by the amount of things to be potted up.  Since  
becoming a PBS member, and being a staunch supporter of the BX offerings -
(WHAT an understatement!) I now purchase pots by the case, SUPERSOIL by the
ten bag lots, sand by the six bag lots (they're so HEAVY!) and I now suffer from
carpel tunnel syndrome from all the labels and lists that must be made.  I owe all
of this to that warlock Jim Waddick, who suggested to me that I purchase a
computer, from which I learned about PBS, and through the loving and benign help
(or is it wicked and malign - since it has become almost an obsession) of Cathy
Craig and Mary Sue Ittner, among others, to try planting things I never tried before.
Today is totally different from the way things were when I started.  Working with
40 to 50 pots at a clip, I no sooner finish a session, when another BX offering pops
up - sometimes three in one month! when I must needs (or is that needs must?)
start again.  
 In a way, I sometimes laugh out loud when I consider that I started purchasing from  
the BX mostly to help out the organization which I assumed was small and struggling to
make it - WHO KNEW!  that it would become the behemoth it threatens to be!

To get back to the subject:  What I am presently looking for is a source for coir
compressed squares say 4" square, which can be popped into a pot prior to filling
it with potting soil.  Working with large quantities at a time (such as a commercial
nursery does) there may be an outlet for such an item - it would save a lot of time,
a commodity of which some of us are in short supply.  I did explore the websites
provide by Kelly (I think) and the http://vgrove.com/wholesale.htm  site offers something
called pot covers with no further details.  Maybe I should consider the chips?
Any info will be greatly appreciated.   

Also, a source of square 4" pots with NO BOTTOM HOLES - only four slits on the
sides  like Farrand Jardiniere pots (no longer being made, Farrand informs me) would
also be appreciated.

ROBERT   PBS  10038

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