Weight issues. Erm.... concerns.
No, not ME.
More precisely, the non-plant contents thereof.
I was all set to start hunting down some 511 / gritty ingredients, though prepared to go with the old MG/perlite 50/50 with a dash of vermiculite and whatever orchid bark cactus mix I *could* find in the meantime if time ran out.
Then yesterday I *finally* found the perfect ideal exact container I've been searching high and low for to put my sans. cylindrica in -- only to find that I couldn't lift the (smallish overall but THICK terra cotta) *empty* planter without hurting myself. Yet another reminder that the laws of physics haven't gotten that memo I sent a while back about a few changes.
Seriously, I have many containers in the 25 - 40 gallon (I think that's what they say) range both for large single plants and because I make overgrown dish gardens rather than gazillions of tiny pots (yeah, I know, boo hiss). I still need to be able to more or less handle them to fill them, turn them, move them, change them. I don't have ready assistance more than very occasionally. And it's *my* project, dammit.
I use dollies and hand trucks and so on, but there are limits to the overall utility of those options. I have on occasion used packing peanuts or other spacers to lighten planters but prefer not to -- sort of why bother with the big planter if it's not being used, get one the right size. And I use almost exclusively plastic and foam containers (yeah, I know, boo hiss) because hurting myself does not lend to enjoyment so there is no more weight to lose there either.
What is the very *lightest* substitution or formulation of one of those mixes that would be most beneficial to the plants without danger of immanent physical distress every time I had to do anything as minor as turning the plants a quarter turn, and will also stand up to being outdoors with occasional strong winds (e.g., Perlite alone or only water isn't going to work unless there's some way to cover the surface)?
(Sorry for the PITA repetitive question. I swear I've read at least three forums back all the way to the beginning in an effort to find it for myself and I'm trying to understand but it's been very confusing with all the difficulty finding materials in different parts of the US and different product names and descriptions and mixed up threads. Links? Idiots Guide to Grit? Dirt for Dummies?)