Cultivation > Composts

Cat Litter

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David Nicholson:
Earlier today I contributed to a discussion on the PBS List about drainage in growing materials and drew attention to some members of the Forum using cat litter as part of their compost mix, although it was not appropriate for me to refer to Forum members by name. From memory Darren has used it for Calochortus; Diane for Hepatica; Anthony for Cypripedium; Dave(Slug Killer) for Cyps I think; John Hampshire(Greenmanplants) also for Cyps, and I'm sure their are others.

This has prompted one reader of the discussion, Tom Mitchell, to contact me by my home Email asking if he might be put in touch with members who have experience of using cat litter, and I quote below:-

"I am in the early stages of establishing a small specialist nursery and am learning the trade as I go along, mainly be making a lot of mistakes. Later this month I am due to receive a small shipment of tissue cultured Cypripedium from Canada and so was most curious to read your recommendations regarding the use of cat litter in the growing medium. I wonder if you would mind letting me know who in the UK you mentioned. I'd love to get some advice from an expert"

Tom's Email address is tomAT(replace with @)

I have suggested to Tom that he could do much worse than to join our discussions and to show him how effective this Forum is I do hope that those with the experience will make contact with him please.

Anthony Darby:
It is important that you use the cat litter made from baked clay granules that doesn't clump, as some cat litter just turns to 'mud' when wet.

Maggi Young:
Tom has joined the Forum and has also posed this query in the Orchid section... here...

There is a lot of discussion on this topic on the British Cactus and Succulent Society forum if that is any help? The stuff is quite well established as a compost ingredient in this branch of horticulture.

My experience is recent, and limited, but I'm happy with results for seed composts for bulbs and cyclamen especially. I just noticed good germination this morning in a pot of Calochortus seed. Very few seedlings survive to flowering in normal composts so I'm intrigued by how much this might improve things. I will keep you posted.

mark smyth:
I've met Tom somewhere. While clearing/tidying the computer desk this week I through away his card


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