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Big Box Fiasco

This is a discussion on Big Box Fiasco within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; There was a time in the not too distant past I was able to purchase ...

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  1. #1
    DeLandDad's Avatar
    DeLandDad is offline Member
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    Default Big Box Fiasco

    There was a time in the not too distant past I was able to purchase what I needed for the small Orchid Culture collection I play with. I bought other specialty horticultural products also, like Metro-Mix in several grades & mix combos, along with pots, containers, hangars & so forth.
    We had a few Mom & Pop Garden Centers, a Hardware store with an incredible Plant-O-Phile section as well as many other options. But we've progressed. Now we are supplied by Big Box Stores. Orchid Media of a "fits all" variety in a bag nobody can see in with no description of what the mix contains at all. We have clerks who say; "its for Orchids" (silently wanting to add; See that Stupid? It says so on the Bag right there).
    The mix had plenty of perlite, huge Pine Bark Nuggets (never saw an Orchid grow on bark of a slash pine [pinus taeda]) & lots of other unknown chunks. Not any natural charcoal, no cocoanut fiber & what appeared to be spanish moss cut up. The label did say for "all Orchids". Don't I already know better?
    I'm thinking a terresterial orchid, or a huge Phalionopsis, or a Cat would be in a world of hurts in that stuff, Dendrobiums would probably fare alright if okay with perlite altho Perlite is terrestrial . How an epiphite could ever acclimate to a soil born mineral seemed a tad odd to me.

    There were only wooden crate baskets, no slashed clay pots, no airy plastic with good drainage, no anything I can use. I did buy a bag of sphagnum moss but was annoyed to find it was not from Michigan or Canada, but from Chile instead. What's up with that? I wasn't too bothered over containers. I went in there looking for Cat Mix with bark, charcoal, lava rock particals & without any hostile, toxic or water storing ingredients. I know my expectations were way too high. I left with South American Sphagnum and disappointment.

    I guess I'll be begging to buy small quantities of growing media from our own local growers or going to Apopka soon as I get a chance. The Big Box Stores are doing me too much of a favor "saving my money for me" by not offereing what I came to buy & trying to sell me something else I don't want or need.
    Anybody else run into this problem lately?

    CIAO
    DeLand Dad

  2. #2
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Sure! I now order goodies over the internet instead of depending on buying local.

  3. #3
    maria1971 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeLandDad View Post
    There was a time in the not too distant past I was able to purchase what I needed for the small Orchid Culture collection I play with. I bought other specialty horticultural products also, like Metro-Mix in several grades & mix combos, along with pots, containers, hangars & so forth.
    We had a few Mom & Pop Garden Centers, a Hardware store with an incredible Plant-O-Phile section as well as many other options. But we've progressed. Now we are supplied by Big Box Stores. Orchid Media of a "fits all" variety in a bag nobody can see in with no description of what the mix contains at all. We have clerks who say; "its for Orchids" (silently wanting to add; See that Stupid? It says so on the Bag right there).
    The mix had plenty of perlite, huge Pine Bark Nuggets (never saw an Orchid grow on bark of a slash pine [pinus taeda]) & lots of other unknown chunks. Not any natural charcoal, no cocoanut fiber & what appeared to be spanish moss cut up. The label did say for "all Orchids". Don't I already know better?
    I'm thinking a terresterial orchid, or a huge Phalionopsis, or a Cat would be in a world of hurts in that stuff, Dendrobiums would probably fare alright if okay with perlite altho Perlite is terrestrial . How an epiphite could ever acclimate to a soil born mineral seemed a tad odd to me.

    There were only wooden crate baskets, no slashed clay pots, no airy plastic with good drainage, no anything I can use. I did buy a bag of sphagnum moss but was annoyed to find it was not from Michigan or Canada, but from Chile instead. What's up with that? I wasn't too bothered over containers. I went in there looking for Cat Mix with bark, charcoal, lava rock particals & without any hostile, toxic or water storing ingredients. I know my expectations were way too high. I left with South American Sphagnum and disappointment.

    I guess I'll be begging to buy small quantities of growing media from our own local growers or going to Apopka soon as I get a chance. The Big Box Stores are doing me too much of a favor "saving my money for me" by not offereing what I came to buy & trying to sell me something else I don't want or need.
    Anybody else run into this problem lately?

    CIAO
    DeLand Dad
    Honestly, the only things I buy in big box stores nowadays are clay pots (when they have them available) and cutting tools. That's about it.

    I buy everything else online, even though I live near Homestead---the heart of orchid growing here in South Florida. Come to think of it, I buy the majority of my plants online too.

    Question for you though---I'm surprised that anyone would buy moss from Canada or Michigan???? I've never heard of either being known for quality moss. Isn't NZ moss the best? I'll take Chilean as a far second, but would never spend a penny on moss harvested in the U.S. or Canada.
    Last edited by maria1971; July 29th, 2010 at 09:43 AM. Reason: change text

  4. #4
    DeLandDad's Avatar
    DeLandDad is offline Member
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    Time was when I hauled Sphagnum & other horticultural products from central midwest & southern Canada like peat, rice hulls, etc. Forest products are big business there. I never had a problem with any of it myself. In fact I've hauled stuff back to growers in Homestead or to Apopka & other FL Growers as backhauls when I had my trucks.
    My post was 1/2 reminiscing & 1/2 ranting @ big box stores & sending our cash away from N. America. I went a different route & decided to mount a struggling "gift" Cat, 1 of those "there's something wrong with my orchid" do you want it ?, deals. I was going to repot it and pot up a couple kiekes from a dendrobium I have. Instead I mounted the Cat on a piece of a Cork Tree, and used the mix the Cat was in , after sorting, resizing & cleaning it, for the kiekes. It all worked out well. I left out large hunks of Lava Rock. I think they were meant for a grille or BBQ, not as potting media.

    Anyway, Cindiras & Maria, thanks for your input I appreciete hearing all ideas
    & comments. It is best way I know to keep learning new things.

    CIAO
    DeLand Dad


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