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  • Calcined clay and clay (non-clumping) kitty litter

    Are they interchangeable? I've seen varying opinions but most seem to say you can use the clay kitty litter in place of calcined clay when making growing media.

    What say you?
    Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

  • #2
    Let your kitties use it first and you'll save money and get some free fertilizer 😸

    I never use the stuff but I hear that the same manufacturer that packages oil-dri also packages Walmart's Special Kitty litter and that it is 100% calcined bentonite clay. A call to the manufacturer should confirm.

    Disclaimer - Cat feces is not recommended as fertilizer for health reasons by most sources.
    Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra

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    • #3
      I think perlite cheaper? And you cat will no want poop in your Fig pots😬
      Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
      1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
      2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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      • #4
        I have confirmed that the Special Kitty is 100% calcined betonite clay. Got a bag of it today 25#/$3.97. Yeah...having lived with cats a majority of my life, I don't want cat feces near my figs.

        Cugino Fabio... I'm planning to use the 4-2-1-1 mix to use in both containers and SIPS. It calls for both clay (for moisture retention) and perlite (for drainage).
        Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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        • Taverna78
          Taverna78 commented
          Editing a comment
          If you want wait few day I sends you gallon of tis grow stone to try side by side?

      • #5
        Bryant,

        Calcined Clay, Calcined Diatomaceous Earth, Fullers Earth and other Calcined products are very different from most Clay Kitty Litter products. The Calcined products form "small gravel sized pieces" that do not "dissolve" when wet.

        I would test a sample first before using it in your mix, place a small amount (about 1 cup) in a quart of warm water, stir and check if it breaks down (dissolves into silt) after about a week. Oil Dry doesn't pass this test. Good Luck.

        BTW, I've used the mined Fullers Earth product (Oil Absorbent, http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...p-65-compliant ) from Tractor Supply, 40 lbs / $5.00 for a few years with little to no breakdown over that time.
        Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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        • eboone
          eboone commented
          Editing a comment
          And Pete - great to see your posts again - missed hearing your experience and wisdom recently

        • DBJohnson
          DBJohnson commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Pete! I'll get a test going on what I got today. In the meantime, I'll go get the Oil Absorb from Tractor Supply for the batch I use this weekend.

        • AscPete
          AscPete commented
          Editing a comment
          Ed,
          Thanks.
          I've been here, just very busy at work on new projects.

      • #6
        Originally posted by AscPete View Post
        Bryant,

        Calcined Clay, Calcined Diatomaceous Earth, Fullers Earth and other Calcined products are very different from most Clay Kitty Litter products. The Calcined products form "small gravel sized pieces" that do not "dissolve" when wet.

        I would test a sample first before using it in your mix, place a small amount (about 1 cup) in a quart of warm water, stir and check if it breaks down (dissolves into silt) after about a week. Oil Dry doesn't pass this test. Good Luck.

        BTW, I've used the mined Fullers Earth product (Oil Absorbent, http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...p-65-compliant ) from Tractor Supply, 40 lbs / $5.00 for a few years with little to no breakdown over that time.
        If the product is used for moisture retention, why is it important for it to dissolve when wet? Am I missing something here?
        Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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        • jmaler
          jmaler commented
          Editing a comment
          Got it. Thanks

        • eboone
          eboone commented
          Editing a comment
          Bryant, Pete is asking you to check your kitty litter product to make sure it DOES NOT dissolve when in water. You want it to remain solid chunks

        • DBJohnson
          DBJohnson commented
          Editing a comment
          Understood! Fell asleep on the couch last night so I didn't get the test started before bed. Will do so this afternoon.

      • #7
        Originally posted by DBJohnson View Post
        I'm planning to use the 4-2-1-1 mix to use in both containers and SIPS. It calls for both clay (for moisture retention) and perlite (for drainage).
        I used a 2-4-1 mix (PBF- Peat - Calcined Clay) last season successfully in several 5 gallon SIPs, originally trialed it in 2014. Perlite is not really required due to the PBF (Pine Bark Fines) and Oil Absorbent (Calcined Clay Product). Calcined Clay has the attributes of Vermiculite including aeration and it also has trace minerals. The fig trees were mostly well rooted 1 gallon plants that were up potted to the 5 gallon easy SIPs.

        The attached photo is ~ 4 months of growth in the 2-4-1 mix and described here, http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...8857#post48857
        Click image for larger version

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        Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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        • DBJohnson
          DBJohnson commented
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          Pete, is that correct? Twice as much peat as PBF? I can see where that would help with wicking, but that pretty much flips the ratios. Thanks.

        • AscPete
          AscPete commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes!

          The recommended potting mixes for the commercial SIPs have a 70% or more peat content, http://earthbox.com/approved-for-earthbox . The PBF has more than 50% larger than 1/4 inch, the Calcined Clay has more than 50% larger than 1/8 inch, both add aeration and take several seasons to break down. If you do an approximate percentage breakdown the 2-4-1 mix is approximately 75% fines (peat and equivalent PBF and Calcined Clay fines).

          Another added benefit of the Calcined clay is that the peat based potting mixes (with Calcined Clay) are very easy to re-wet (wick moisture) when dry and rarely become hydrophobic like many other peat based mixes.

      • #8
        Thanks, Pete! I like the idea of only using the clay instead of the perlite.
        Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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        • #9
          Hi Bryant, did the test work out ok?
          Greg, Maine, zone 5. Wish List: Green Michurinska

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          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            Bryant,
            Thanks for the reply...

            Greg,
            I've mixed up 5-1-1-1 mix in early spring and late fall and left them in a pile to either overwinter or compost (settle), its usually filled with earthworms and castings as soon as the weather warms up. BTW, I'm currently eliminating Perlite in my 5-1-1-1 potting mixes and substituting Pea Gravel.

          • GregMartin
            GregMartin commented
            Editing a comment
            Pete, if you ever want to try replacing the perlite with biochar PM me your address. The worms probably did a great job over the winter!

          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the offer...

            I've used charcoal and wood ash for years (wood Stove and fireplaces).
            But instead of burning the waste wood I'm currently burying it to form low hugelkultur mounds, http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

        • #10
          Bryant,

          Any update on the Tractor Supply Product?
          Thanks.
          Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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          • #11
            So slight cloudiness to the water, but I think that's from the dust and fines that went in with the rest at the beginning. I'm not seeing any breakdown of the pebbles in the Safe-T Sorb.
            Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the reply...
              I've had the mix (Safe T Sorb) exposed outdoors to winter weather with little to no breakdown.

              BTW, the Safe T Sorb that I use for cutting mix is always rinsed in a colander to remove the fines and dust.

          • #12
            I'm learning that everything needs to be rinsed--perlite, coir, clay, cuttings themselves....
            Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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            • Harborseal
              Harborseal commented
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              Yourself, occasionally

            • DBJohnson
              DBJohnson commented
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              Every Saturday night...whether I need it or not.
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