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Permatil as a substitute for Turface?

Posted by dsb22 z7 VA (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 18, 13 at 0:40

I am looking to repot some Japanese maples into Gritty Mix. They are currently in a 1:1:1 mix of pine bark fines (unscreened, only largest pieces removed), MiracleGro potting mix, and Permatil. I've been successfully using this mix for 6-7 years, though it's probably worked well for me because I've also potted up, root pruned, and refreshed the soil every couple of years. I purchased the trees online at the Size 1 and they now need the largest size pots I can manage/afford.

So, I am still hunting for the right size bark, but I have tracked down crushed granite (Gran-i-grit) and Turface and have both. However I am looking at needing to screen major amounts of Turface...going to start tomorrow, but I wanted to check to see if I could use Permatil as a sub. Permatil particle size is close to that of Gran-i-grit and uniform. From the PermaTill website:

PermaTill expanded slate characteristics include:
Sterile and Inert
Durable; High Compressive Strength
Particles contain 50% available porous surface area
26.9 me/100g CEC for enhanced nutrient retention
6 - 10 % moisture retentive
High water release curve allows for root uptake and movement through the soil

I am particularly wondering how the 6-10% moisture retention compares to Turface.

Thanks for any help

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Permatil as a substitute for Turface?

Well, in case anyone is interested, I experimented with adding water to a cup of Turface and a cup of Permatill. Turface immediately soaked up all the water--quite amazing. So I will definitely use that. I think a gritty mix with Permatill as a sub would drain too quickly for what I need it for. I think it could be used as a sub for Gran-i-grit in a pinch (at Southern States the cost difference is $12 for 40 lbs vs $7 for 50 lbs).

RE: Permatil as a substitute for Turface?

Thanks for sharing. Many people worry that the gritty mix won't hold any water, but I have noticed that the turface seems to hold quite a bit.

RE: Permatil as a substitute for Turface?

Thanks for the info !

I like the Turface. Works great in the Gritty!

Thanks for the experiment!


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