Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

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matchat
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby matchat » Thu May 28, 2015 8:36 pm

Hi Jess,

What compost mix are you using? It looks like pure peat/ multipurpose? If so it would benefit from added grit to improve drainage.

Aloe peglerae is a nice Aloe. I had one when I first began collecting but lost it when I allowed it to get too cold in my greenhouse over winter. It definitely prefers to be kept a little cosier than frost free which is all I heat to. Other than that it should grow well without much trouble.
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Jess
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby Jess » Thu May 28, 2015 9:08 pm

Mat: It's "cactus" compost, from my local garden centre. Not multipurpose, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't ideal. To be honest, I don't know... where to get grit? Haha. Otherwise I wouldn't mind making up something a bit more free-draining.

I find aloe peglerae really aethetically pleasing, and all aloes that have that sort of rosette-shape! Plus I'm fond of it because it's been really easy for me. I've even totally knocked it out of a pot (dirt ALL over the carpet) and had to clean it of pests before and it's bounced back, though it's somewhat scarred on the outer leaves (adds character). That's made me fonder! Luckily frost shouldn't be a problem for the windowsill, if anything, it's plants that like a winter rest that may be less happy in here as we keep it fairly warm all winter as well. I wonder if that translates for all aloes? If so, my others should be happy too.
- Jess (a ragtag windowsill garden[er]).
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matchat
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby matchat » Fri May 29, 2015 3:17 pm

Hi Jess,

You can buy fine alpine grit from your local garden centre or homebase/ b&q e.t.c. For a simple mix use half and half with either John Innes no:2 or a regular multipurpose compost. Read around on the forum and you'll see that some of us add vermiculite, perlite, cat litter and even pumice to our mixes.

Aloes are a very diverse genus. Some will tolerate a little frost - Aloe polyphylla, Aloe aristata, Aloe plicatilis, Aloe striata. Others like Aloe parvula from Madagascar need to be kept warmer. There are plenty of people on here that know a lot more about Aloes on this forum than I do though.
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Jess
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby Jess » Fri May 29, 2015 7:19 pm

Mat: Thank you, that's really useful! I'm not too far from a really big Homebase, I will go and check it out. I really need to learn more about soil, I think, and what suits which plant. (I know it's a big and well debated subject, so it's slightly scary to dip my toe into it).
- Jess (a ragtag windowsill garden[er]).
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matchat
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby matchat » Fri May 29, 2015 10:45 pm

No problem Jess ☺. All I can suggest is to take notice of the type of soil your cacti come in when you buy them (especially from proper nursery's) and learn from that. Try different mixes and see what you like. I personally use 6 parts John Innes no:2, 2 parts Tesco cat litter, 3 parts hen grit and 1 part chick grit. For anything considered more temperamental I alter the ratio slightly from half compost/ half inorganic matter to a third compost/ two thirds inorganic matter. This suits my watering regime and I like the way it feels. Hard to describe but it just feels right to me.
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby Cactushunter » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:35 am

I loved your windowsill tour!
I live in a flat and have sky lights, most of my cacti love it and have thrived.
I was too shy to put any pictures on though. Cuz everyone has super greenhouses and super big cacti and they know all the names and, it's a bit intimidating really!
I'm going to do it though!!
Be careful with this windowsill gardening though,I'm lucky to have the skylights, I've always had a few, but have spread to about 140 plants!! Many in a tray on the dining table! And my cat hates me for it and sometimes gently nibbles off the top spines so he can step over them regularly without catching his feet. Madness
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby kamos » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:46 am

Great looking collection Jess! Thanks for posting. :smile:
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby rodsmith » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:16 am

Cactushunter wrote:I was too shy to put any pictures on though. Cuz everyone has super greenhouses and super big cacti and they know all the names and, it's a bit intimidating really!
I'm going to do it though!!

I expect most of us started our collections indoors. I have been growing cacti on and off for almost 60 years (I can't believe it! :eek: ) and have only had a greenhouse for the past 4 years. Prior to that I housed my collection indoors and in a lean-to then a conservatory. I would love to see your photos.
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Growing a mixed collection of cacti & other succulents; mainly smaller species with a current emphasis on lithops & conophytum.
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby IainS » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:19 pm

Hi Cactushunter: Can I second Rod's encouragement?! It would be good to see your growing collection.
"Avoidance doesn't work"
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Re: Jess's Sunny Day Windowsill Tour

Postby Liz M » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:30 pm

We have nearly all started on windowsills then eventually, if the obsession grows, ended up in greenhouses. The route between the two is an interesting one and I am intrigued with skylights. So, let's all have a look, we will all learn something. That's what this forum is about.
Obsessive Crassulaceae lover but also grow, Aloes, Agaves, Haworthias and a select number of Cacti

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