Where to get gritty mix.

RealLifeReslers(6)December 3, 2011

Hello container gardeners!

Everyone on this forum seems to be talking about gritty mix. I would love to make some for my lemon tree but I have no idea where to get the ingredients. Where to people buy granite grit? And turface? Thanks in advance for anyone who can give me some help! :)

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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

You can check this thread for your state/area and see if anyone has posted:


I prefer Axis to Turface if you can find it (some people can't). Personally I don't use the granite in lemon tree pots anymore. As the tree grows and you pot up you will end up with a *very* heavy pot (some of mine are pushing 80lbs for just the granite component). If you're in z6 you must be bringing it in every year and the really heavy pots make for back-breaking work in that scenario. You can substitute charcoal or perlite of appropriate sizes. I use a 1:1 substitution but Al probably has some better ratio - the 1:1 substitution is working for my pots.

I should note that this year I had a few large lemon trees in peat-based soil (ick). They were obviously much lighter than the gritty mix pots and as a result they would blow over regularly if they weren't braced very well. Trees in the gritty mix with granite never blew over. I haven't had a chance to see how the charcoal/perlite substituted gritty mix will perform in high winds... have to wait till next year.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 11:29PM
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Hello and thank you for your help! I hadn't thought of the weight thing-thanks for the tip. My husband already has to move the tree for me and would probably appreciate if I kept things light !

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 5:22AM
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I use the granite chips more for my smaller container grown plants and their mixes... anything "tree size", or in a very large pot gets a slightly different gritty mixture.

But as Al states, the recipes aren't necessarily set in stone... they're more suggested guidelines. I would place them in the same category as a "Breed Standard" for a dog... the information is more akin to a set of parameters that you'd stay within, and not a mandatory list. It's the basic concept of the mediums that's important... why we use them, and how they work.

It's my understanding that most people who grow fruit trees use the 511 medium, as opposed to the Gritty Mix... but that would be dependent upon several variables, I'm sure... such as climate, individual environment, where you grow the tree, etc...

Coarse perlite might be a lighter alternative... and I'm sure there are others...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 9:09AM
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Thanks, Jodik!
Not sure what 511 mix is so I'll have to do a little search on the forum. Also need to figure put what perlite is and if any stores around here have it :)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 10:15AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Do you live near Nitro or Huntington? The granite is mined in NC, so you should be able to find it quite easily at farm feed stores & elevators that cater to those who might be inclined to raise their own fowl - in more rural areas.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 4:29PM
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Thanks Al! I live very near Nitro so I'll check there :)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 4:35PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

For Turface MVP (or Allsport), try:

Diamond Solutions in Nitro - (800) 894-8050

Canvas the rural feed stores by phone for 'grower size' Gran-I-Grit, and skip looking at chain or big box stores for it, where it's unlikely to be found.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 4:56PM
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Thank you Al!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 7:59PM
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In case no one has mentioned it, you can learn all about the Gritty Mix and 511 mediums in the thread called "Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention XIV", which should be on the first or second page of the forum.

The article Al wrote is really the basics that everyone should know about container growing, but isn't circulated within the general information most gardeners learn. It's beautifully written in layman's terms that everyone can understand... as opposed to some of the more scientifically technical books you can read.

Just the little bit of information contained within Al's article changed my entire outlook on growing, and raised my success rate by about a million miles!

And it's nothing more than just the basic facts, a little science, a little physics... it all makes perfect sense, and is completely vetted by science and the experiences of so many other growers who use the concepts.

I'll be forever grateful to Al for providing it. :-)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 4:11PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)


    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 5:42PM
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I will second that Jodi!!!

"Thank you Al" is always being said in the back of my mind everytime I look at my plants and see them revel in happiness!


    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 6:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I, too, will third that, Mike, Jodi, and Al! ;-)
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right! A little work upfront, heavy returns on the back stretch!


    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 6:56PM
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