If using crumbed polystyrene instead of brown rice be sure to soak it overnight before cooking. I don't know where to get organic crumbed polystyrene.....sorry Olly, just couldn't help myself
John, the DR1 garden gurus seem to be Johnny of hausen landscapes or J-D Sauser. Perhaps they can help. I've only seen tiny little bags of potting media in the larger hardware stores here.
you can find Perlite (perlita) here, althought it is very expensive.
over 30dlls for 1 bag.
depend on the use you need it for, you can use some alternative.
if it is just for use in interior plants, perlita is fine. but if you gonna use in a large yard area to increase aeration and drainaje of poor soils. you have other alternative less expensives.
Paja de arroz (rice hull)
Fibra cascara de coco (coconut husk)
Bagasse of sugar cane
all of them provides aeration and drainaje to soil and also estimulates root growth and holds moisture. are very easy to find and very cheap.
sand and gravel also helps in drainaje.
The best stuff is the Fibra cascara de coco (coconut husk) which is called coir in the US. It improves drainage and is an excellent buffer for controlling moisture. About 10% in any soil will help. It's also suppose to repel slugs/snails.
Yes, this is ancient, but it is still relevant.
Where can you get good potting soil on this island? I haven't had any luck and anything I bought at so-called nurseries that looked good in the bag (dry) turned to clay or something close to it, once you added water to it.
I brought coconut fibre pellets with me from Canada, mixed it with the soil I got here and it was still not good.
I am an avid gardener, but I have resigned myself to the fact that what I am used to grow in Canada during the Summer months will just not do well here even during the Winter.
I brought some seeds for Basil (which uasually will do ok here) Parsley??? and Mint??
My orchids are doing very well.
Planting here in the Dominican Republic needs a suitable planning medium such as Humus Abono Organico , Producto de Lombricultura, HUDQCA.This Humus Abono Organico has a pH between 6.6 and 7.3. This is obtainable in ten pound bags from Ochoa and National Supermarket in Santiago.
Similar Organic abonos also are available with slightly better pH made from worm cultures. These are sometimes found in National Supermarket and La Sirena in Santiago and Puerto Plata.
We also use well rotted horse manura from local stables - they use straw or rice husks as a horse bedding in stables but you need to leave it for about 6 months in the bags before you use it.
I posted here many years ago about using crumbed polystyrene but only got abuse but I have just picked 62 lemons from my Myers lemon tree grown in pots with the above soil and am enjoying a G&T with real lemon - not this lime Sh~~
I have lots of potted trees and plants, I make my own "mix", I buy that regular dirt you can find at local nurseries, usually around 80 pesos for about 100lb bag, then I add a small bag of shredded coconut coir, this is cheap, about 40 pesos. from Ferreteria Americana, has available "sunshine mix" I use the #4, has more perlite in it these run around 120 pesos. and finally a bag of worm castings also 100-120 pesos, I mix this up real good, and it makes a pretty good potting soil.
Superplants has pre mixed stuff available also, they are located on Autopista Duarte, around Villa Mella, best time to go is on Saturday, you can find them, they are past the Rica outlet on your left if your comming from S.D. you'll see a lot of Bamboo growing. but that is a drive, and what you spend in fuel you can make your own, but if your passing by superplants anyway , take advantage, they also have lots and i mean lots of plants for sale, and at pretty good prices.
perlite is available on its own, but is expensive, and usually only comes in humongous size bags.
As for Basil, I have Holy Basil, growing very well, peppermint also does ok. I have Lemon balm, also, medicinal herbs, Andrographis ( from india ) is naturalized in my back yard, Ashwagandha is prone to white flies and mold,
experimenting this year with Epazote , Mexican tarragon, Klipp Dagga, so far all doing well, so there is lots of stuff that will grow in the heat down here, i have had bad luck with tomatoes though, I brought back some Florida Everglades tomato seeds, and have a few plants sprouted, hopefully Ill be successful with these, supposedly they taste great, and can take disease, heat and humidity.
the only insecticide I use is Neem oil, which is available cheap locally, I try to stay as chemical free as possible.
am a new member here and also quite new in the DR. I like gardening, searching for uncommon fruits on markets and eating them (in most cases). New member - lots of questions :beard: : At the moment i am searching perlite (perlita expandida) here in Santo Domingo.
Nipero, be careful with that stuff. I think I remember one or both having asbestos in it. So, if it is out of date and bad for your health and banned in other countries I know you will find it here. Need any DDT: massive stores in the capital, really!
Yes, there was a problem with asbestos. Some natural vermiculit deposits contain asbestos, and about 20 years ago asbestos was found in vermiculite (and in perlite, which was contaminated at vermiculite producing facilities). Perlite itself is generally free of asbestos however and as safe, as a potting soil can be.