Chicken grit vs. Turkey grit for 'gritty mix'

topieMarch 4, 2010

Hi again everyone,

Well, looks so far like I can get everything I need for the "gritty mix" at our local Agway, but the Agway closest to me only seems to carry this product called "Manna Pro Poultry Grit" instead of Gran-i-grit. There is a picture of a chicken on the package. The bag says it's "Insoluble crushed granite for all classes of poultry", but it's hard to tell without opening the package how big the grit particles are. The particles should be like 3/32 to 3/16 of an inch, right? I figure chicken grit may be smaller than turkey grit.

How much does it matter if the grit particles are smaller than 3/32 to 3/16? If the grit particles are on the small side, should I use this chicken grit combined with some pearlite to get some larger particles in the mix?

There's an Agway much farther away from us that does carry the Gran-i-grit. Is it worth it to drive all the way there?

Thanks in advance!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

'Some' large particles won't change the drainage characteristics of what you started with - like mixing a handful of perlite into a quart of sand isn't going to change either aeration or drainage, so it does make quite a difference. The grit should be the same size as or a little larger than the screened Turface. 1/8" would be perfect. The gritty mix is actually designed to hold lots of water in the Turface and bark pores, but still no perched water. Using smaller particles will work, but you will have some perched water to deal with. You could prolly get by if you had to by wicking, but the great thing about the gritty mix is you don't have to worry about things like perched water, and to a large degree - over-watering.

Al

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
topie

Thanks very much, Al! Ok, that's good to know...looks like I will go on a grit trip. I definitely don't want to risk over-watering because the calibrachoa hybrid I'm hoping to grow prefers "dry to moderate" soil moisture and well-drained soil, plus is prone to root rot in poorly drained or over-watered soil as far as I know.

It's so cool learning about container mix aeration, drainage, etc. The Turface is interesting to me... I was surprised to find out that a clay material still absorbs water even after it's been fired, but I guess it's sort of like lots of crushed up terra cotta pots? This is all very exciting to learn about!

Thanks again for all your generous time and info...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 11:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I grow LOTS of calibrachoa in singular plantings every year, and they do well in both the 5:1:1 mix and the gritty mix, but they do do a little better in the gritty mix. Remember to stay on top of your fertilizing though. ;o)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
topie

Thanks, that's good to know! Hmmm, still can't decide if I should go with the "5:1:1" or the "gritty".

So far the pros about the calibrachoa in the gritty mix seem to be that it will keep the calibrachoa from developing root rot. But then it was suggested by a poster in another thread that my containers might dry out too quickly if I use the gritty mix. I usually water all my containers every day in the summer, so it won't be too much more work to water my three basket containers every day as well. I kind of enjoy watering time, since it's a nice peaceful time to walk around outside and enjoy nature and all that. Would I need to water more than once a day or something with the gritty mix?

Knowing me I will probably do one of "garden science experiments" and do one container with the gritty mix, and one container with the 5:1:1 and see which one does better.

About fertilizer: I was planning on mixing in the Osmocote into the gritty mix, and watering with "Earth Juice Microblast". Just had some questions about this:

1. How often would I need to use the Earth Juice?

2. Do I need to fertilize with anything else additionally?

I'm not that experienced in fertilizer usage, and the only watering/liquid type of fertilizer I've ever used is MGro.

Hope I'm not asking too many questions...I'm just fascinated with this (new to me) concept of potting soil and want to find out everything I possibly can about it!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

1) Not often. The range of concentration of micro-nutrient levels between deficiency and toxicity is quite small. You're better to err on the side of caution and use a little too little than a little too much.

2) There are lots of Osmocote formulations. Some you would need micro-nutrients with, some you wouldn't. There is certainly nothing wrong with MG fertilizer. I used it for many years before I took up with Foliage-Pro. I'll be going on my third year using that this year, and I prefer to use it regularly rather than CRFs. I like to know and control exactly what my plants are getting and when they are getting it. If you know you can be diligent about fertilizing regularly, I would suggest you skip the CRF and go with either MG 24-8-16 (or Peters or Schultz .....) or Foliage-Pro 9-3-6.

Al

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 11:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
topie

OK, great, thanks for the fertilizer info!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
granburyflowergirl(7)

Okay, I have been reading about this mix for 2 weeks and I thought I had it down, but now I am confused...please explain how and why are we "screening" the Turface? What do we use to screen it and where can that be found?
From the previous post, I am guessing that we want turkey grit rather than chicken grit? Or can we just use the "decomposed granite" they sell at Home depot and screen it the same way we are screening the Turface?

Thanks!
Nik

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 9:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The Turface is screened through a screen about the size of common insect screening or a 'standard' mesh wire kitchen strainer to remove the fine particulates that would otherwise cause the soil to hold perched water.

'Grower' grit (which is chicken grit - not 'starter' size) or #2 cherrystone is what I prefer for use in the gritty mix.

I'm not familiar enough with the product you described to say how well it would work, or whether it would work in the soil.

Al

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

I got some of the decomposed granite from Lowes, and it was a total waste of $$$! Very little in it for the size we need.

JoJo

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
granburyflowergirl(7)

Oh hallelujah! So it is Chicken Grit -thank you for clearing that up Al, I'm getting closer to my illusive first batch of gritty mix!.

I spent most of yesterday on the phone looking for grower grit, I found "cage grit", "chick grit" and "regular chicken grit" but no one knew what I meant when I asked for grower grit (and it probably didn't help that I wasn't sure what it was!).

Regular chicken grit is available at my local Arrow feed store for $6.99/50lb bag. I assumed it was the wrong stuff as they had no idea what "grower" meant. I'll go there today and just pray its granite and not oyster shells in that 50lb bag.

Bummer about the Lowes/HD stuff JoJo - that was my back up plan! ...although I could actually use the remainder for a pathway if some of it would work - what percentage would you say was usable?

I still need the illusive pine bark fines - now my clematis plants are taking off its a race against time to get their new pots ready!

BTW Al, I really appreciate all of the wisdom you have spent so much of your time sharing, thanks to you, now every nursery worker within 100 miles of my house is looking into your mixes and the guy from the distribution center where I found the MVP Turface was very interested, he even wrote down the website and your name etc to do more research, I think the light bulb went off that they may have a whole new way to market that product.

Thanks!
Nik

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Thank you for the kind words, Nik. I wish you well in your growing endeavors! ;o)

Al

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Good Morning...

I'd say less than 1/4 was usable.. And I had to sift it twice, through 2 different size screens.

JoJo

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
granburyflowergirl(7)

oh dear, 1/4 isn't worth it. Luckily I just found gran i grit locally by chance while looking for grass plugs! YAY! 2 ingredients down, 1 to go!!!!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
troubador2000

A question for Al...I found something called Cave Feldspar that is used as a chicken grit. The size distribution looked good but wondered if it would work. It was a dark red in color, flat color, looked like it would wet readily. Any info as to whether it would work or not?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jodik_gw

Feldspar is just a type of rock, no? As long as size is accurate, I don't see why feldspar would be too much different than granite.

I think the important things to keep in mind here, are the concept of the mix, and what each ingredient brings to the mix. And remember... particle size is important. You'll never find absolute perfection, but as close to comparable in size as you can get is good. All the ingredients for the gritty mix should similar in size.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 4:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Make sure it doesn't have any oyster shell or other ingredients in it. :-)

JoJo

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 5:45PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Apartment composting and container gardening.
Any tips or tricks using apartment compost with your...
newgardenelf
Help with 1:1:1 - weight and sourcing in the UK
I've just clicked that weight is going to be an issue...
containergardenerbeginner
Need help!..white spots on my lemon seedlings!!
I recently found white spots on the leaves of my lemon...
Kavitha Raghunath
Type of kale... Also, shiny metallic flakes?
Hey, my friend gave me some kale seeds from her plants...
Josie Murray
Potting into Air Pots, root length question
Hello all, My question is, air pots are supposed to...
stickstring (Northern California 8b)
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™