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Old 06-23-2014, 06:56 PM
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Tref?? potting medium

Any Aussie growers on the forum who have used above as their potting medium? I beleve it is peat based.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:40 PM
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Which Tref mix are you referring to? Tref is Jiffy's line of peat based media and they produce several different mixes. I don't use peat for orchids but I've used the Tref peat for other plants. It's a blonde Baltic peat. It's a bit coarser and more spongy than some of the other peats sold in Australia like Sunshine or Killarney; similar to the peat Attunga sell, which I think is German.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:48 PM
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Yes Andrew, I think that is it. Tref is the particular brand name, but a few orchid growers at my Club, think it's the "bees' knees". Of course, the growing conditions - water, etc. would have to be moderated. With the other peat(, I have used in flower pots), this does seem to repel water. But I'm told this is not the case with Tref, which is used 1/3 Tref, 1/3 coarse perlite, 1/3 Styrofoam peanuts. I have witnessed their orchids seem to thrive in this mix.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:23 PM
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I've heard of a few NSW and Qld orchid growers who swear by peat/perlite mixtures for a variety of orchids but I haven't tried it myself. I've only used Tref peat for carnivorous plants and I've only been using it for the last year. Peatmoss, in general, can get very hydrophobic when it's dry and needs a lot of soaking to open it up, otherwise, it dries out quickly and need rewetting again. I usually soak dry compressed bales for at least 2 or 3 weeks before using them.

I did notice that Tref bale was fairly wet when I opened it and didn't seem as compressed as other brands of peatmoss that I've used so it didn't take much to rewet the bale. The fact that it's still wet could be part of the reason why it doesn't get so hydrophobic. There is also a bit more undecayed sticks, etc. in the Tref peat than I'm used to with the Canadian brands like Sunshine and TEEM. I'm not sure whether its a shallower cut that what they export from Canada or whether the Canadian peat we get here is screened more, but the Tref peat is a lot more fibrous and open, almost like the feel of cocopeat.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:18 PM
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Andrew, sounds very interesting. At the moment, I still have some tree bark, etc. still left for my repotting, but when this is all gone, I will try the Tref. With this Tref, I think the orchid house should be in a controlled watering environment, with solar weave to keep out rain. I will then try the Tref on just a few mediocre orchids, and monitor any improvement.
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