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Anybody who has ever mixed their own substrate has done it. Shredding Sphagnum…
Sounds simple enough, unwrap the brick slowly and snip it apart bit by bit. The trouble is that when working with a large quantity the scissors start to hurt your hands pretty quickly! Time to evolve… The next time around I unwrapped the whole brick and pulled it apart with my hands into a small box. Then with one hand on each handle of the scissors I found I was able to open and close the blades very rapidly with minimal fatigue to the weaker hand muscles. Using the muscles in my arms to work the scissors while moving them up and down in the pile of moss proved to be quite the step up from the original technique but still felt wildly inefficient. Currently I am using the technique I just described but with one modification. I now hold several pairs of scissors (placed in line) at a time so that I’m opening and closing multiple blades in unison (all while exerting roughly the same energy as with a single pair), the difference obviously being that I’m accomplishing twice the work..
Still, there has to be a better way. I don’t think a food processor would to it. I’m searching for “best practice” here, how do break your Sphagnum up and why?
 

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Still, there has to be a better way. I don’t think a food processor would to it. I’m searching for “best practice” here, how do break your Sphagnum up and why?
Buy it precut... it is sold as milled sphagnum moss and can be purchased in fairly large bundles if you want to go that route..

Ed
 

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+1 for the palm milling. actually seems pretty quick to me and I can do alot more in a short time. I dont think anything else could be quicker or easier
 

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I just rub it between my palms to mill it. It takes a while, but the results are great.
I'm going to pass on running the risk of cutaneous sporotrichosis...which is why I'll just spend a couple of extra dollars and get it premilled.

Ed
 

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Lol you must be one crazy party animal Ed :p

Im sure gloves would help prevent your hands from getting raw. Ive never had to break up a large enough amount of it though. At most it makes up 10% of my substrate.
 

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I have milled it by hand and used a mini coffee grinder. The grinder gets better results but I think i'll stick with hand milling. it's much easier for me. PS: Can you really get sporotrichosis from dried sphagnum moss?
 

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Lol you must be one crazy party animal Ed :p

Im sure gloves would help prevent your hands from getting raw. Ive never had to break up a large enough amount of it though. At most it makes up 10% of my substrate.
I've done my share of partying in my time... now my body doesn't recover as fast so I limit it...

I've had some friends actually get it from sphagnum so if I can make some simple changes and avoid the risk I'm all for it. It is more uncommon for me to not have a cut or scrape on my hands than to have one and any breaks in the skin are potential sources. I'd also suggest trying to do anything that aerosolizes it it (like using a coffee grinder). It isn't like it is expensive given that it is used in large amounts as a soilless germination media for plants to avoid damping off....


Ed
 

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You learn something new every day

Because S. schencki is naturally found in soil, hay, sphagnum moss, and plants, it usually affects farmers, gardeners, and agricultural workers.[2] It enters through small cuts and abrasions in the skin to cause the infection. In case of sporotrichosis affecting the lungs, the fungal spores enter through the respiratory pathways. Sporotrichosis can also be acquired from handling cats with the disease; it is an occupational hazard for veterinarians.
Sporotrichosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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And occasionally not knowing is bliss...

Ed
Now that Ive looked into it, im surprised that I never got it.
When I worked at a shelter Im sure I was exposed to it, among other zoonotic diseases.... (Which reminds me, post exposure prophylaxis rabies shots hurt! but my titer level was off the charts 2 years later lol).
Ive hand milled a fair bit of moss.
I have rose bushes that I always manage to hurt myself on all around my house.
 

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My doctors shudder when I discuss all of the odd things we know that I was exposed to... Balantidium coli, histoplasmosis, foamy cell virus, to name a couple off the top of my head... I've had lymes...

Ed
 
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