How does Vermiculite fit in compared to Turface, Pumice, or Perlite in container mixes?
2nd: Where, in general, do you find cheap sources of the ladder? maybe 20 pound bags, bulk I guess.
Vermiculite turns to mush in containers.
It's highly water-retentive, but doesn't have much structure or durability.
In short, I don't have any use for it in containers, or any mix for that matter.
I've recently started buying Perlite from a hydroponics store right by my house.
4 cubic foot bags for $20. 4 $20, bro ;-) Sorry, couldn't resist. Anyhow,
this is a big improvement (in price and quality) over the dusty Perlite I was buying
at the nursery.
The coarse turface I got was 12 qt for 5.99, im too tired to figure that out but I'm pretty sure there are more than 36 quarts in 4 cubic feet. I'm sure sac has a lot of hydroponics supplies. Thanks J!
Yes, there are many hydro shops in Sac.
For the Turface, I pay $12.25 for a 50 pound bag.
I buy it at Sierra Pacific Turf Supply off highway 65.
Here's a Turface locator that might help:
Does that mean you prefer Perlite? Or do you buy that because it is near you?
I am dreaming of new plastic tub or 2, gonna need a lot more mix for a lot less money!
Will definitely have to find a bulk supply. What are you paying for bark fines, Josh?
Hopefully nothing living where you do. That real composted stuff I got is $5.99 for 3 cubic feet.
I don't prefer Perlite necessarily.
My mantra is Perlite for production, Pumice for presentation.
Perlite is great stuff, but so unfortunately ugly ;-)
For certain mixes - 5-1-1 - the Perlite is inexpensive and light-weight, which helps
to keep the weight down when dealing with large production containers.
I pay $8 for 2 cubic feet of uncomposted bark. I could harvest my own bark,
but that would be way too labor intensive! You're right, though, Ponderosa Pine
and Douglas Fir abound up here in the foothills.
Long ago, when I didn't know any better, I used vermiculite as a soil amendment. I wouldn't recommend using it today, though! It doesn't hold its structure, as Josh says, and just turns into a pile of mush. In a word, it's useless.
Perlite is a wonderfully lightweight product that's very useful as a medium ingredient. It's only downfall is its ugly look, as Josh states, for presentation. Pumice would look much nicer. Often, bags of perlite require some sifting or screening to remove the dust and fine particles, but it remains a useful item for the mediums I mix. A coarser grade of perlite is often very useful, if you can locate it.
I haven't used pumice as of yet, but I can see it's attraction as a nice looking ingredient substitute for our uses.
I like to think the white turface/perlite will help when summer gets super hot. Wishful thinking!
I don't think it matters much... it's only one part of the medium makeup. I think pot color is more a factor. I avoid black plastic, or dark green. I stick to unglazed terra cotta or white plastic for outdoor use... or moss baskets.
Terra cotta, and light earth tones for me. beige, tan, off whites.. :-)
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Here is a link that might be useful: vermiculite