The Ball bearing incident

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The Ball bearing incident

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:28 pm

So this lady, known to a few as Ms.Iris, mentions spaces and ball bearings.

That a collection of ball bearing shaped objects give the optimum spaces for air and root growth.

Well we had to test that one. Subject was a collected Ficus p. found in the armpit of a tree's branch/trunk at knee height over at what was what the dispensary, in Forest Reserve when I was a little boy.
Pencil thin and just about 12 inches [ 30.5 cm ] tall.

The closest material that I could find to a ball bearing shape, was aquarium gravel at around 5mm. This is a stone that has been coated with acrylic white paint [ says non-toxic to fish ] and I imagine is not porous.
The mix was a simple 80 % aquarium gravel to 20 % compost.
I theorized that the roots would eat the compost and the aquarium gravel would remain behind with the spaces.

Placement was morning sun and from 10 a.m dappled shade provided by my pomegranate shrub.

It was pretty amusing watching the roots throw out the stones as they developed and thickened. Then the moss I have on the other trees, took over and somewhat stabilized the surface, though stones did still fall out, and I would just put them back.

Ah, but here is the kicker, this ficus out performed the other collected ficus in my normal soil mix. The roots actually ate everything organic out of the pot. The other pots ended up with a mush mix at the bottom, and root growth that was not as aggressive.

Now I have to check and see if the slight depth inequality in the pots made any real difference. The test subject only had an inch [ 2.5 cm ] of soil and the others were in 1.5 inches [ 4 cm ] of soil.
I am very happy with results and intend to reclaim the aquarium gravel, redo the mix and go again. See if I get the same result.

Thank you Ms. Iris for the education and perhaps a more efficient way for me to grow my ficus victims. I always do poorly with Ficus and Bougainvilleas.
Later.
Khaimraj

Khaimraj Seepersad
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Re: The Ball bearing incident

Post  rps on Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:35 am

Khaimraj.
Permit me to express my appreciation and respect for your curiosity, careful experiments and sense of humour. I'm always both educated and amused by your posts --- and this one is a perfect example.
Thanks
Bob.

rps
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Re: The Ball bearing incident

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:12 am

Thank you Bob, you are most kind.
Khaimraj

Here is the victim. A Ficus p.


Khaimraj Seepersad
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Re: The Ball bearing incident

Post  my nellie on Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:37 pm

Khaimraj, my friend, you and your experiments are such a happy touch of optimism.

my nellie
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Re: The Ball bearing incident

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