Return to the Container Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

Posted by JeffPhxAZ (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 9, 11 at 16:39

Does anyone know where I could get Turface or an equivalent in Phoenix, Arizona? I am currently using a product called Hydrolite by Botanicare (http://botanicare.net/grow-substrates/hydrolite) because I got a free sample and it's been working amazingly but when I went to buy some, it was $30 per cu. ft. Also, how do you think Turface and Hydrolite compare? I know just about nothing concerning Turface and from pictures they seem to look similar... Thank you all for helping me out :)


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 9, 11 at 17:30

Simplot Partners
Phoenix
(623) 879-0839
www.simplot.com

Horizon - Store & Corporate Offices
Phoenix
(602) 276-7700
www.HorizonOnline.com

Any of the 3 Ewing irrigation outlets
or
the John Deere Landscapes dealer 22010 N. 21st Avenue, Phoenix (623)587-5636

Al


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

Thanks! i'll try the Ewing outlet on Curry tomorrow and see how much it is. Is it similar to the Hydrolite? I have a sneaking suspicion it's the same thing, just repacked and marked up for the hydroponic industry.


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

Were I you I would seek out Axis in Phoenix. Axis is produced in AZ by EP Minerals (you can read about it here: http://epminerals.com/axis.html ). It is calcined diatomaceous earth (DE). It has a higher Plant Available Water (PAW) and a slightly lower CEC than Turface. You can use it as a direct 1:1 substitution for Turface in most mixes - including the gritty mix. It has a much higher internal porosity than Turface and other calcined clay products and while I have both available here in St. Louis I almost always use Axis over Turface. The bag price here is ~$5.50 if you buy in pallet quantities (more like $10-$14 retail - on par with Turface). You should be able to get a great price on the product there since it's local. It comes in 3 varieties: Fine, Normal, and Coarse. Don't use "fine" for the gritty mix. I use Normal since it's all that's available to me here but I know there is a coarser version. The "normal" works great for me but if "coarse" is just slightly larger particles it might be better. I can only get that in like 1000lb quantities by special order - I'm told it's used mostly in the filtration industry. If you do try to track down Axis take a picture of the coarse version for me with a quarter next to it :)

It's hard to find good information on the Hydrolite product but it's only 70% silicate rock based and I don't see any notes about it being calcined or fired as both Axis and Turface are (this makes them lighter, stronger, longer-lasting and increases their internal porosities somewhat). Most people I know that use Hydrolite use it as a substitution for perlite but maybe you know something about it that I don't. I can't find anything on its CEC, PAW, or any other stats. That it includes things other than a plain substrate make me leery - I don't want rock phosphate or bat guano (both of which it contains) in my gritty mixes.

I think Axis will be your best bet. If you're using the mix in larger pots you might want to consider substituting lighter ingredients for the granite component...


 o
warning

I forgot to mention that if you're going to use either Turface or Axis you will be screening them to get rid of the tiny unwanted particles. If you do this make sure you wear a mask and gloves. I learned that the hard way. The axis dust in particular is hard on my hands if I screen it without gloves. Breathing the dust from either product is pretty bad for you.


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

From what I can guess, hydrolite is also DE based, however I'm still waiting for a call back from the company. It's about twice as big as the turface MVP and heavier per cu. ft. so it might not be fired as high to allow for the slow release of silicate? It is hard like the turface but doesn't seem to absorb water as fast. It's (.05-.05-1)+ a little calcium so just enough to balance the CEC, which is also done with perlite but i don't think it's structure is similar to perlite at all. I'm thinking that axis might just be exactly what i'm looking for :) of course I jumped the gun and got a 1.4 cu.ft. bag of turface MVP and it all looks alot smaller than the bark i've been using. Will this be an issue? What size screen should I be using for the turface and the bark? In the past I've used 1/8th in. screen to get out the small stuff but the bark is mostly 1/4-3/8 in. and the turface seems to be just about 1/8in. Thanks again for all the help! I'll have to try and find a place that sells that axis for next time, especially if it comes in different sizes :)


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

Fir bark is best between 1/8 and 1/4 inch.
Pine bark can be a little larger due to its shape, 1/8 - 3/8 of an inch.

Turface should be screened over a 1/16 inch screen.

Josh


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

In case anyone's interested, I just got off the phone with EnviroTech Soil Solutions inc. that works with Axis to distribute their product and he said that Axis and Hydrolite are very similar but Axis holds more water and is lighter which makes it better(My guess is it's fired at a higher temp). The downside, no one sells it in Arizona :( the "coarse" size would be a perfect match with the bark i have too :(


 o
Thank You Sooo Much!!!!

Thank you Al, "redshirtcat", and Josh for all of your suggestions!!! Really helped me get a handle on these products and how to use 'em!!! Hopefully all goes well and I can get some pictures up! WOO!


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

Oh! Sorry. I was confusing AZ and NV :( You're sure you can't get any there? Did you contact epminerals.com and ask about distributors? They found me a distributor in Texas for my brother and we couldn't find one before...

I did some more looking into the Hydrolite - no one at Botanicare has got back to me but based on how they are describing it I believe it is basically pumice with some additions/adulterants. As I understand it pumice is a description of a generic volcanic rock that has certain physical properties (micropores) - it isn't a specific substance. I found this MSDS on Hydrolite: http://www.hydroblaster.com/files/MSDS/hydrolitemsds.pdf

That they don't simply call it pumice makes me believe that it doesn't even meet that physical standard for porosity and thus probably holds *significantly* less water than Turface or Axis. It is certainly not DE-based as they call it a volcanic rock and DE is a biomineral.

I would make sure you try Hydrolite on a plant you don't value at all if you're going to go that route. Botanicare suggests mixing it with peat or coco coir (both very water retentive) and says nothing about using it as a pure medium. Be careful.


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

I'm still waiting on them getting back to me too... But I've been using it as a sub for turface for awhile now in a similar mix to Al's Gritty Mix with fir bark and perlite and it has worked pretty well. The problem is they charge 30 bucks for a cu.ft. which is ridiculous compared to turface. I talked to EPMinerals and they gave me the number for Enviro Tech Soil Solutions saying that he handled SW distribution. Enviro Tech said they didn't have a distributer out here and that I could buy a pallet if I wanted. I gave him my email tho, so if a distributer pops up he'll let me know. I think the Turface will be fine tho as long as I have the right particle size for the other components. I'll keep an eye out for that Axis tho, thanks :)


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

  • Posted by whip1 z5 ne Ohio (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 11, 11 at 18:07

If you have a NAPA Auto Parts in your area, they have a floor dry (part #8822) that is made from Diatamacous Earth. It's what I use.


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

Hi,
I have a bag of Turface mpg. I got too much for my project - so if you pick it up, you can have it for free. I live in Sun City, AZ

woody


 o
RE: Where to find Turface or inexpensive equiv. in Phoenix, AZ?

Hi,
I have a bag of Turface mpg. I got too much for my project - so if you pick it up, you can have it for free. I live in Sun City, AZ

woody


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Container Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here