floor dry for gritty mix?

Polly381(5/6)October 25, 2012

I just spoke with napa and they have their own floor dry product. I was wondering if it is safe to use in pots. It contains

Diamethus earth, Chrysolite stone & Quartz. Now I figure these are all safe but how do I know that there isnt some other chemical added. It doesnt say on the bag.

6.29 for a 25 lb bag sounds pretty good to me if its ok to use. Has anyone used this product?

thanks

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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Diatomous earth is certainly safe, its the stuff that the white cliffs of dover are made of, basically chalk composed of the bodies of dead algae (diatoms)
Not sure about the other bits, tho quartz is a natural rock. D.earth may change the pH of soil tho, making it more alkaline.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:53PM
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PRO
The Ficus Wrangler

I went through this a couple of days ago on another forum with Al, he said take a couple of spoons of your floor dry in a cup of water and freeze it overnight. when it's thawed the next day, if it still holds its structure, it's good to use in place of Turface. Needs to be sieved before use, same as Turface.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 12:58PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

True that the Dover Cliffs are made almost entirely of chalk (calcium carbonate - CaCO3), but chalk and DE are quite different, with DE being almost entirely SiO2 (silicon dioxide). "Safe" is relative. It's not poisonous, but you do need to be careful not to breathe the dust, because of its Si content. DE is pH neutral, at 7.0.

A lot of growers substitute NAPA floor dry, part #8822, for Turface when Turface can't be easily found. If you need help devising a plan to use it ......

Al

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:17PM
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Polly381(5/6)

I dont know where to buy turface. If I did, I prefer that. My BBS don't carry it. Any idea where I might buy it. What kind of store sells it?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:40PM
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odyssey3(7 noVA)

I got mine at a John Deere store.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dealer Locator

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:56PM
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cactusmcharris

Polly,

Turface has a North American locator (Canada and the US) on their website for clicking and gritting. You want the MVP.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:59PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Where do you live, Polly?

Al

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:29PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

I don't even know what turface is!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:05PM
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Polly381(5/6)

Can I use crushed granite from a rock quarry? OR would that not be bug free

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Polly381(5/6)

AL I live in NE PA. Near Mt Pocono/ stroudsburg area

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:18PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Turface MVP is calcined clay of a certain type.

Try the link below, Polly - just add your ZIP.

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: JD Outlets

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Polly381(5/6)

Al none of those are near me. But while I was out I found this product called Thrifty-sorb. THey told me its the same as Turface. AND It says safe for plants.
I found it at advanced auto.
Is crushed marble an exceptable product?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:24PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I wouldn't necessarily take an auto parts store person's word as gospel when it comes to growing plants - know what I mean? ;-) What does the 'same' mean? Made of the same type of clay, same size, fired at the same temperature or at least high enough to ensure it's stable? These are the more important considerations, with size distribution and stability being very important utilitarian considerations.

In looking to see what TS actually IS, I found this:

Just an FYI for those looking for alternative substrates

So, I was having a hard time finding SMS / Turface / Pro League / Pro's Choice in my area, and I know that the oildri products are often made by the same companies...

Well I bought a 40lb bag of Moltan brand Thriftysorb Montmorillonite Clay at the local Orielly's auto supply. It looked like a lot of the turface, etc pictures and seemed like a nice fit. However, after a week under water, or 2-3 freeze/thaw cycles in a zip lock bag with water, about half of it had decomposed to mud/clay. This is even after sifting to remove the smallest particles and Heavy rinsing (it was soooo dusty).

Well, I finally found a distributor for Pro's choice, drove an hour to get two bags.... this stuff is WAY better. almost no dust, rinsed clear in no time, and degradation with freeze thaw. Apparently it's fired to a much higher temperature, which maintains the stability.

So, cliff's notes... alternate substrate can = [thumbs up], Moltan brand = [thumbs down)

Al

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:41PM
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cactusmcharris

If you're able to get it, crushed granite (I find #2 ideal) is a wonderful additive. A wash to rid it of dust and away you go.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:51PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

I started using cat litter, the cheap stuff
Cacti growers and bonsai folks swear by it!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:13PM
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Polly381(5/6)

ok I will return it.

so what about the crushed marble or I did see pea gravel.

Cactus, cant find it around here.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:21PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Marble is primarily CaCO3 - the same stuff the White Cliffs of Dover are made of, only in a slightly different form. As such, it's not appropriate as a significant fraction of a soil because of pH issues.

If I were you, I'd put my patient hat on & make sure I understood what moving forward with a change of soils entails and what advantages there are in it. It's worth getting right the first time, as opposed to moving ahead in haste & missing something important, only to end up disappointed as a result. There is lots of guidance at your disposal ......

Cat litter varies WIDELY in it's ability to fill a need as a soil component - very few are suitable for a variety of reasons.

Al

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:40PM
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Polly381(5/6)

alright well if I cant find what you suggest so I guess I will just forget it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:47PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Polly,

How much do you need right now?

It does take some time to find the right ingredients and Al is right about understanding the reasons to use the right materials. Understanding why they work is the start of happy healthy roots. This is where it all begins...

If you want, i will be more than happy to send you some until you can find a good source. Let me know and you can always send me an email.

I found my sources at different places and it did take some time, but once i found everything that i needed to make my mix it was worth the wait.

Take your time to locate.. and learn about soils and why it is important. This is a great time of the year to catch up... locate and store your bags and get ready for the spring when it is best to pot up.

I would be more than happy...

take care,

Laura

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:31PM
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lenle(4)

Polly,

Do talk to your Napa store people and ask specifically for the Floor Dry #8822 part as Al suggested. My local Napa carries it, along with Oil-Dri which has a different part number. But the one you want *is* the Floor Dry #8822. It runs me about $9 for a big bag. If they don't have it in stock, they should be able to order it for you.

You'll need to sift it to get the dust out, and when you do, be sure you do this outside if possible. If you can, be sure to wear a mask just so you don't inhale the dust 'cause that's not very healthy for you. Other than that, the Floor Dry product is safe for your plants. It's pure DE and will say as much on the bag.

Gritty Mix takes effort, but it is more than worth it in the end.

Jeni

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:57PM
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Polly381(5/6)

Thanks loveplants that is kind of you, I found a napa store tonight about 20 miles from my house.If I get out there I will pick up what I need.
thanks Lenle for the information.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:09PM
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silentsurfer(6A OH)

..there likely came a point when each of us, having some trouble sourcing, said:
"man, forget it, its not worth it..." everyone Here will mostly tell you, It IS. :)
but the 'reasons' i persevered to find it are as Laura says,
Understanding the Value of it.

I did however 'roll-my-own' long before ever even hearing about the GW, tapla,
or that article on container soils - movement and water retention.
...maybe its instinctual? :)

just remember, your plants are fine now the way they are,, we're just trying to Improve them. ...doesnt Have to be Today. You plan on Having them tomm still right!? :)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 2:02PM
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Polly381(5/6)

Yes Silent but the plants I was concerned about were not fine, they were drenched in water.(which was over half my collection) I needed to resoil them right away so I was trying to find some alternatives that would work. I couldnt wait until I found the things suggested, They were not available in my area. Some of the plants came from the store soaked and the others were drenched from 2-3 months of rain in my yard. They were failing. the plants had to be done or they would be trash. I took off all the wet soil and repotted with what I thought was best.
I will keep looking meanwhile they got the best I could give them.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 3:18PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

P - the best way to get direct answers to an immediate problem is to clearly identify the problem. If in your original post you would have offered the info in your post immediately above, I/others would have provided information that would have offered immediate (even if used on a temporal basis) relief of the problem of your soil being over-wet. That observation is not meant to be critical, it's to help you understand how to get the advice you need in the future.

Do you think you now have control of the problem; or are you still concerned about the water retention issue?

Al

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 4:14PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Al, the cheap cat litter is the one that cactus and succulent growers swear by. Also bonsai growers.
Only the cheap stuff, useless as cat litter but great as a c&s soil component!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:29PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Larry - you don't have to, and it makes no difference to me, but if at some point you stop second guessing everything I say & give me a little credit for knowing a little something about container media and how to get them to work for you, you might end up with a significantly better understanding how much difference a little applied science can make to the average grower's o/a growing experience.

It's not the $-value of a product that determines its efficacy as a soil component, rather, it's the physical and chemical properties, like size, size uniformity, structural stability, internal porosity, CEC, pH, moisture retention curve, phytotoxicity .....

Do you know how many potential products are covered under the extremely broad brush stroke of "cheap cat litter"? [hundreds & hundreds]...... or how many of those must be eliminated because of one or more fatal flaws? [a huge % of them - probably 90% or more].

Al

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Polly381(5/6)

Al first of all my name is not p that indicates a bodily function.
Secondly I discussed with you in at LEAST 3-4 different threads that my plants were saturated from rain and were showing distress. You suggested the wick or changing soil. Remember the hawaiian ficus? That was ONE of them.
I don't come here to be scolded or spoke down to. OR engage in conflict, so Please if you are going to speak to me that manner, then PLEASE don't respond to any of my posts.
I try to treat everyone with respect when I post to them and I would appreciate the same.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:22PM
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Polly381(5/6)

For those that were helpful on this subject THANK YOU. I appreciate the help and kindness.
Everything has been replanted so this thread can end.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:24PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Al, the reason that cheap cat litter is favored over the more expensive options is not a financial consiseration, but a compositional one. I heard about cat litter on the bonsai forum on GW . Then I heard about it on the BCSS site, a long established society. I asked about it, why the cheap stuff? Its because the expensive stuff tends to contain chemicals to neutralise odour, plus less grit, more clay.
So I gave it a try, like hundreds of growers across the country!
Stop sounding skills superior!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 4:35PM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

So not skills

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 4:37PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Sorry, POLLY. This isn't said with ire, and my last post was meant to be constructive. I'll be happy to avoid your threads - no problem there. I think it's unreasonable for any poster to assume that I (or anyone else) will remember with any degree of clarity what our conversations might have been in other threads. I talk to a LOT of people, so there is no way I can be expected to have total and instant recall of past conversations with you specifically. Additionally, ANY member arriving at your thread wouldn't have had a clue that your issue was severe over-watering until the thread was 3 days old.

There was actually absolutely nothing in my post that wasn't true, and if taken in the light it was offered, wouldn't have been helpful advice. I wasn't scolding you, only trying to help you avoid the frustration I know I'd be feeling if I was in your place.

Best luck in all things.

Al

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 5:09PM
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silentsurfer(6A OH)

i read this, then left to go hit the Bank and run a cpl errands, on the way out i tossed a cpl pebbles at the neighbors window,, "dude, ya left your lights on",,,
the guy absolutely WENT-OFF!
i could hear him outside from 2 stories down, pissing and screaming,,,
i thought, 'geez, sorry to bother ya mr, go back to your crack pipe...'

yes, i live in a virtual SLUM.
so anytime no-ones Shooting at me, its a Good Day.

c'mon, lighten up guys,, this is the easy stuff.

Peace-Out.
ss

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 5:55PM
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