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  • Need info from recent am leonard perlite buyers

    I just received the bag of coarse perlite from the recent A M Leonard sale,I believe other forum members may also have bought this. What I got really did not look very coarse. Leonard listed 2 grades horticultural and coarse and the same photos were posted for both grade perlites.The brand is American garden and the writing on bag had 3 grade perlites listed with a check box for whichever was supposed to be inside the specific bag.The grades in order from top are: HORTICULTURAL, GNORMOUS,COARSE .I do not know if the above order corresponds to decreasing particle size, if so coarse came in last and would be smallest,conversely the opposite way coarse would be largest.BUT Wills wrote that Gnormous is the biggest particle size perlite he found available.All I know is I bought another brand coarse perlite before and the Leonard coarse perlite is far smaller particle material
    What do other perlite buyers think?

  • #2
    It's not real coarse It's the same size as the stuff I source locally from Griffith Greenhouse. I ordered it from them last year hoping it was larger particle size. It's still a good price about what it costs me locally
    Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,

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    • #3
      Disappointed to hear this. I was hoping it was a coarse grade.
      Did you enter your data in the Fig ripening Calculator?: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...zD4/edit#gid=0

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      • #4
        Bummer. I also ordered a bag of perlite hoping it would be coarser than last year's stuff from Griffins Nursery Supply.
        Bill - Long Island, NY 7a
        Wish List: Glacia Negra, I-258, Sicilian Red and any fig from Bari.

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        • lifigs
          lifigs commented
          Editing a comment
          I had tried bean bag filler which is polystyrene beads about 5/16" diameter. A big bag was about $15. It was a little difficult to work with due to static electricity. It also didn't mix easily in with my potting mix since it was so light.

        • AndyG
          AndyG commented
          Editing a comment
          Whoa, I wouldn't want all that plastic in my potting medium...

        • lifigs
          lifigs commented
          Editing a comment
          Only brought it up because YAMATA mention using chopped up packing peanuts.

      • #5
        Mind posting a few pictures?

        What did you use to sift it?
        Nashville, TN Area - Zone 7A
        Wish list: UCR 187-25, Col Littman's Black Cross, Smith, De La Senyora, Sangue Dolce, Sodus Sicilian, and any great local/unknown figs

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        • #6
          unable to do photos from here. I sifted like this: took piece of coarse mesh window screen a yard long and 2 ft wide, poured perlite in middle and grabbed ends making a hammock like effect, then ran around in the yard wearing a dust mask when wind was blowing good and raised and lowered hands making perlite move back and forth inside the screen, also bounced it up and down every several seconds, dust and sand got blown away from me and went downwind, when dust ceased coming out put the sifted perlite in my save bag and refilled with more to sift,I did not sift entire bag ,just enough today to see how it would look, maybe 10% was sifted out rest is in keep bag to use.Not bad stuff just not the real coarse chunky stuff I hoped for.

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          • tyro
            tyro commented
            Editing a comment
            Geez,just dump the stuff in a garbage can,fill with water and sift it out as needed.A video of your method would be a riot though.

          • pverdes3
            pverdes3 commented
            Editing a comment
            Would gladly watch the ritual dance to the perlite gods if you had a video of you running around waving hands releasing a cloud of perlite dust. Thanks for the laugh.

        • #7
          I’m waiting for mine.

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          • #8
            I would think Gnormous is bigger than Coarse but amleo only had the other two in stock. Horticultural grade is usually the smallest ones.

            I got #4 and Coarse locally(Mother earth is the brand I think). They are big but also contains lots of dust (often results from packing and moving). I sift them 5 cups at a time outside with a good mask on and got 4 cups worth in the end through a colander. Yep, that is 20% dust.

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            • #9
              Hydroponics stores carry or can get perlite #3 and #4. Those are the big chunks that I use. I rinse the dust off a small layer at a time so it doesn't get in my lungs. If you don't rinse it away the dust will cling to the cutting, hold water there and rot it. Sifting it or letting the wind blow it away will not get rid of all of the dust.
              Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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              • #10
                I got the same and not happy with size.
                Naeem
                Maryland Ellicott City Zone 7A

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                • #11
                  Waiting for mine also.
                  Brenda East Tn. wishlist: Maltese beauty, moscatel pretoia, Panache, LdA, Red Lebanese bekaa valley, Col de Dame Blanca/Negra, CdD gris.

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                  • #12
                    My question is.. why are we still buying perlite? It's sterile, breathing in its dust is horrible for you (which I'm sorry.. without a mask is inevitable) & there's an alternative that's better called rice hulls sold by the same company. Rice hulls will break down into something plants can actually use, they provide great water retention & porosity AND may actually provide something very useful to figs in addition to your standard NPK, which is silicon.

                    Same thing with peat moss. Completely sterile, hydrophobic (it doesn't like water according to Webster), unsustainable... I mean why are we using this crap? Pro Mix my ass. Go get some rice hulls or bark + compost. Add in some mycorrhizae and call it a day folks.
                    Ross - Zone 7A - Philadelphia
                    My Figs! / Facebook / YouTube

                    Comment


                    • nycfig
                      nycfig commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hi Ross. How much was the shipping for the rice hulls?

                    • ross
                      ross commented
                      Editing a comment
                      nycfig Zero. They often have free shipping promos.

                    • drew51
                      drew51 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I myself love peat moss. Nothing works as well for me. It does not have much nutritional value, but has some. Worms love the stuff, so in raised beds your beds will be loaded with worms. The worms bring the nutrition. I not buying peat is not going to stop it's harvest. I feel it's up to the locals to decide how they want to use their land. I have tried coir and for me it is an inferior product. Pine trees are not free either, harvesting them has it's own consequences. I bet most bark is a by-product from prepping construction grade pine. It's hard to find good boards these days, lot's a crap out there. If you're not using peat, you probably should not be using pine either. Why are we using this crap? To quote another. Anyway no offense, I feel robbing Peter to pay Paul is not a reason to feel good about it. Shifting the burden doesn't solve anything.

                  • #13
                    I’m using rice as well. However in the small containers I like perlite

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                    • #14
                      Unfortunately all of the perlite available locally or in the big box stores is crap at best. The best was a Hydrofarm product called Growit. Very little if any sifting to do right out of the bag. Hydrofarm changed the name to Plantit and the quality of the perlite changed as well. Now it's crap like the rest. I ran to every local hydro store that was on Hydrofarms vendors list and bought whatever remaining stock of Growit they had. The next best product is a chunky perlite bagged by FoxFarm. Very expensive though. May be able to get this stuff steady at a reasonable cost. We'll see.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Danny; NYC Z7b

                      List safe. Bid safe. figBid.com

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                      • #15
                        I wonder how chopped styrofoam is working for any forum members using it instead of perlite?local landfill has lot of discarded styrofoam .I'm not yet sure how to best chop it up into pieces size of biggest perlite chunks. Have leaf blower thats also a leaf vac that chops up leaves ,blows them into a bag. might be a good styrofoam chopper too.

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                        • #16
                          Just got mine, no difference in particle size than the bag of miracle-gro perlite I had, but it was really cheap and shipping was free, so I'm not complaining. Luckily, I did also snag a bag of rice hulls which I'm pleased with.
                          Michael

                          WL: Craven's Craving, Hative d' Argenteil, LSU Red, Planera, St Rita, UCR 187-25, MIB

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                          • #17
                            Originally posted by YATAMA View Post
                            I wonder how chopped styrofoam is working for any forum members using it instead of perlite?local landfill has lot of discarded styrofoam .I'm not yet sure how to best chop it up into pieces size of biggest perlite chunks. Have leaf blower thats also a leaf vac that chops up leaves ,blows them into a bag. might be a good styrofoam chopper too.
                            I think styrofoam will float when you water your plants. Never tried though.
                            Naeem
                            Maryland Ellicott City Zone 7A

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                            • #18
                              I got my perlite from a hydroponic store #4 size pretty big
                              Attached Files

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                              • nycfig
                                nycfig commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Nice size! How much was that bag?

                            • #19
                              I think 30 dollars not 100% on that

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                              • #20
                                I also got my HP pro mix in same store

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                                • #21
                                  I have never used rice hull directly(because they are hard to find locally). It doesn't seem to hold much moisture. And pine bark is not available locally

                                  What else can I use in the potting mix for our hot dry weather?

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                                • #22
                                  well,I heard rice hulls are intended not to be a water absorptive moisture reservoir but ,instead, a substitute for perlite by improving aeration .Pine bark likewise, although bark in the mix if soaked in water before placement in the direct rooting cups does absorb water and doubtless releases some later as the mix tends to dry out.the peat.coir.etc are water absorptive to a great degree of course.

                                  In thinking about what you might have available as a bark substitute,the wood chips from a chipper seem to be a reasonable substitute to try this wood will increase mix porosity and will absorb and later release some water like bark does.Sure, wood does eventually decompose but for a rooting mix wood chips should retain integrity for a season .Perhaps local tree services, landscape maintenance,and public works entities may produce loads of wood chips one could get free.I also think some wood chips are even sold by stores to use as mulch.I once read a report about wood chips working ok in soil mixes in SOCAL,but that eucalyptus wood chips tended to decompose after one full year, but did work fine before fully decomposed

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                                  • #23
                                    Kate, you meant Turface/Oil Dry DE bits. They do hold moisture but I didn't have much luck with it last year at 40% on younger plants. And they are heavy. I can probably use them to weigh down the pot

                                    Yatama, we do have wood chips from muni for free. Those are very big though(3-4" chunks). I have some of them as mulch. I am going to see if I can find smaller ones or double shredded ones.

                                    I wonder if there is a potting mix formula for hot dry weather that involves rice hull. What ratio would the rice hull/pine bark fines/wood chips to be?

                                    Comment


                                    • grasshopper
                                      grasshopper commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      I am convinced to give them a try. It is probably a good idea to put it in its own thread so others are more aware of this alternative.

                                      In our dry area, we need mix that is more water retentive in summer. But I can see this work for the cutting stage and then gradually move up to a water retentive media once established.

                                    • ramv
                                      ramv commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Cuttings dont need much water at all so even in summer I doubt you will under water cuttings if you water them frequently enough (say every 2-4 days). Because there is zero perched water table and lots of air exchange at the roots due to air being pumped in from all the watering, cuttings love it and they take off.

                                      Once they start growing and have rooted well and have lots of leaves, then they can be transplanted to something more water retentive. A peat based mixture might be good at that stage but not before.

                                      I agree this needs its own thread.

                                    • drew51
                                      drew51 commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      I only use compost if I have a rot problem. I'm happy with peat mixes myself. I have good luck with them. I use them for seeds too. I add DE particles to help keep them from being too wet. Just a little bit. Perlite is fine too. DE is more a benefit to mature plants, perlite works better for cuttings. I just don't have any. I don't use it for mature plants.
                                      Wood chips require large amounts of nitrogen to break down. i would not use it as anything but mulch. This was mentioned in another message.

                                  • #24
                                    I once bought at walmart a bag of what was labelled cedar mulch. it contained a little bark but mostly pieces of wood.none 3-4 inches some were sort of long and stringy couple inches long most in small shreds but I can conceive of using this stuff in a mix with peat , coir etc even a gritty mix with turface or equivalent and perlite . If I used it would first soak in water or very dilute miracle grow to saturate it and then add in the other stuff.From seeing it would sure open up the mix to air and prevent packing down.I bet it is as cheap there as here about 3 bucks a bag.. The plant doesnt care what the shape of the component is, only that it's nontoxic and opens the mix up to allow air penetration and prevent packing down, plus damp wood like damp bark would gradually release water as the mix dries out.Check this stuff out.

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                                    • #25
                                      Ordered 3 bags perlite 2 bags rice hulls during the free shipping promo and received a shipping quote of 76 dollars so I had the order canceled maybe it was just bad luck

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                                      • DrDraconian
                                        DrDraconian commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Not bad luck, you just ordered too many bags. I think they honored the free shipping for up to 2 bags total, any more than that and people seem to have been given large shipping quotes. For me, I didn't see the deal until late on the day it ended, it was 10PM my time but after midnight their time, so even though the website still had the banner ad showing free shipping, I was past the deadline.
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