Will this be ok for a substitute for Turface?

danesnpits(2a)November 14, 2013

It's called Axis, and this website is here. This is what the guys at the feedstore recommened. If it's no good I still have the receipt to take it back. I want to make Al's gritty mix with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turface substitute called Axis for Al's gritty mix

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smishgibson(7b)

Its made from Caclined DE, same as oil dry and many other products. Do a search for napa 8822 and you will find many posts about it. I would say it should work great so long as the particle size is good. You don't want it to be too fine. Sift it over an aluminium insect screen would be good.
Its very similar to turface but:
Usually more gray colored
Weighs less
Holds a bit more water
Slightly higher pH

Where did you find this product?

-Jess

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 8:40AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

That Axis is diatomaceous earth (DE). I don,t think that it if fired. But it is designed as soil conditioner for better aeration and drainage and prevent compaction. That is what turface does, I think.

I checked online, O'Reilly Automaotive has two kinds : One is DE and the other is as they describe it:

""" Detailed Description

Safety Absorbent(R) is a premium calcined clay all- purpose absorbent designed for the quick clean up of water, oil, and grease and made from Montmorillonite Clay, a naturally occurring mineral with superior absorptive ability.""""

But then they say it is "coarse" . How coarse ?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 6:10PM
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smishgibson(7b)

Found this page on axis, looks like it is fired at 1800F

http://epminerals.com/applications/landscaping-sports-turf/Landscaping-rooftop-gardens

If this is the same stuff. Not 100% sure. :-)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 9:14AM
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calistoga_al

Axis is made for the exact same use as Turface, that is for athletic field use, such as a baseball infield where it will absorb water without turning into mud. We gardeners have just found another use for the product, either one will work just fine for our use as well. Al

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 9:15AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Here are links to two informative threads about Axis...

Axis info...vs. Turface

Axis like Turface?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I really like the NAPA auto parts Floor Dry product #8822. It is DE too. Do you know what the volume of a 25 pound bag of Axis is? I have been paying $10-12 for 24 quarts (6 gallons) of Floor Dry. I would guess it weighs about 25 pounds. If I'm right, it's a lot cheaper than Axis at $17.95 for 25 pounds. The particle size is just right and you don't lose much by screening through an insect screen. I use it in gritty mix and also as a substitute for perlite in 5-1-1 for my summer vegetable containers. It is slightly more absorbent than perlite and doesn't float to the top of the container like perlite.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:43PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

BUMP !

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 11:36PM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

seysonn,

I had the same question about some of the DE products. I bought a bag of the NAPA Floor Dry and also a bag of OptiSorb to compare the two products. I'm posting a photo of them both as a comparison. Product on the LEFT is NAPA Floor Dry #8822, product on RIGHT is OptiSorb #8925. Both were screened with wire insect screen to remove dust and very fine particles. As you can see in this photo, the products are very similar and both come in #25 bags.

The OptiSorb particles on the right are slightly larger than the NAPA Floor Dry on the left, but not by very much. The bag of NAPA Floor Dry I bought seemed to have more fine particles that were lost in screening compared to the OptiSorb, however this could vary greatly from bag to bag.

The NAPA Floor Dry costs about $9.00 and the OptiSorb was about $13.00 I believe.

Being new to this gritty mix and 5-1-1 mix world my thinking is that both of these DE products would work equally well in soil mixes. Maybe some of the veteran members here would have different observations but I think these two DE products are basically the same.

Thanks.

TYG

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 8:28AM
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danesnpits(2a)

Thank you all so much for the links and info! I made a batch of the gritty mix using the Axis, and I do quite like it alot. I bought it at a feed store where they also had the fir bark and granite grit #2...plus I got some gypsum. A one stop shop for the whole ingredient list for Al's gritty mix. I can't believe it was that easy. I have read on here how people hunt down these ingredients having trouble finding them all.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 6:51AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I love playing with known carcinogens, and this is a good excuse!

Here is a link that might be useful: Material Safety Data Sheet

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 12:30PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

To me, as long as they don't fall apart they serve the same purpose: Drainage. The next thing is their water absorption rate:
Take ,say, 100 grams. Soak it in water, drain and weight again . The one with higher absorption should be better. For example, common bricks have have an absorption rate of 10 to 12% by weight. Those made for higher standard may have 5% absorption rate. The higher the firing temp, the less absorption rate.
Their killer is FREEZING. If you soak them and then freeze them few times, they will fall apart, due to water expansion force. That is why it is better for indoor use.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 5:03PM
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plantcrazed101

So...which of these products are known carcinogens? I kind of don't want to get cancer to have some happy plants in gritty mix...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 5:06PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

The one with higher absorption should be better.... The higher the firing temp, the less absorption rate.
Their killer is FREEZING. If you soak them and then freeze them few times, they will fall apart, due to water expansion force. That is why it is better for indoor use.

I am sorry Seysonn, but I don't think anything you said is factual. Do you have any evidence to back up what you say? When making a container mix, you don't select Turface or its equivalent for its absorption capacity; you select it because it doesn't break down rapidly like the organic components of your mix. Turface is calcined (which means fired at a very high temperature) precisely because that makes it less likely to break down, which is good in a container mix. Turface is used primarily outdoors as an amendment to playing fields. It doesn't fall apart due to freezing. I don't know where you get this stuff.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

The carcinogen in DE and clay products is crystalline silica, a natural quartz like substance that is also in perlite, sand and many other products you probably encounter in daily life. There is only a trace of the stuff in DE. Breathing silica dust may cause silicosis or lung cancer. That's why you need to use a mask when screening and mixing any container mix. Touching the stuff won't hurt you.

This post was edited by Ohiofem on Wed, Dec 4, 13 at 21:22

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 9:18PM
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