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Peat Fibre for Orchids (S521a: 1896)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A brief request for information printed on page 117 of the 15 February 1896 issue of The Garden, answered by its editor. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S521A.htm

    Peat fibre for Orchids.--Will you kindly say whether the enclosed sample of peat fibre could be used for Orchid potting? As it can be bought for 4d. a lb., it would be economical and save much trouble to amateurs in picking and beating peat, much of which (even the best now obtainable) is more than half dust. --Alfred R. Wallace.

    Judging by the appearance of the material sent, I should say it would not last well in the moist heat of an Orchid house, and though the plants may possibly grow well in it for a time, I imagine it would run together very closely when decayed. For the ordinary run of Orchids there is nothing to beat good heath peat, and if a good price is paid for it splendid samples are easily obtained. Try a plant or two in it this season that you are not particular about, a free-rooting kind for preference such as Dendrobium nobile, and if you find it answers you may easily extend its use. I should not care to pot valuable plants in it; it has not that tough, wiry feeling about it that one likes in Orchid peat, but it is worth a trial, and without this it is impossible to say with any degree of certainty whether it is suitable or not. --H. R.

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