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  • Is there a use for perlite dust (and just larger than dust)?

    I'm about halfway through sifting 8cf of perlite into 1/4"+, ~1/16-1/4", dust-1/16". The large will be used in rooting mixes and the medium in potting mixes. I remember Wills commenting once that perlite dust kills (I assume because it packs like concrete...or will give you cancer, thus the respirator), but is there a use for it?

    Also...what is your method of cleaning/sorting your perlite?
    Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

  • #2
    Pasta strainer filled with perlite under running water for 10 min. Rest is history.
    But now I am liking grow stone. No dust and is absorbnt
    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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    • don_sanders
      don_sanders commented
      Editing a comment
      How much are you paying for what size? Seems like good stuff but 4x the price of perlite from what I've been able to find.

  • #3
    Well, I've already sifted it down to the dust...just wondering if there is something I could use the duse/fines for. If it's a case of just let the wind carry it off, I'm in a good location for that.
    Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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    • #4
      The dust / fines can be used in the larger containers/ older plants since there is a large portion of fines in those mixes anyway. It can also be mixed into any garden soil, its just "stone dust"
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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      • #5
        I just spread my dust around the yard and in the garden bed. When I first started getting into figs, I didn't sift or rinse the perlite, and I'm surprised that the cuttings survived. That stuff really does turn into a block of junk. Luckily I caught the problem in time, and I learned a good lesson.

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        • DBJohnson
          DBJohnson commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah...I didn't do that with the perlite before starting the bagged cuttings. This weekend I plan to see what I can salvage of the ones that are left.

        • JohnnyK
          JohnnyK commented
          Editing a comment
          What a bummer, but I wish you good luck saving them. I had to bare root mine, but in the end everything turned out alright. Just take your time and you'll be ok.

        • DBJohnson
          DBJohnson commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks! I divided my cuttings into 3 groups to test 3 different methods. Have has about a 33% rate of roots developing with the bags to this point and the rest are like concrete now. The 3-cup method and direct potting have both seen 50% success to date with more showing promise.

      • #6
        I've entirely switched to pumice here in Oregon, I can get it from local pumice mines and it maintains structure far better than perlite ever did. It also benefits from not coming to the surface during heavy waterings, while it still floats it is much less inclined to rise to the surface like perlite. Look into the benefits of pumice vs perlite online and you will have others that have made the switch. If you can find it locally for a good price, highly recommend it.
        Cayuse, Oregon Zone 6a

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        • FigHappy
          FigHappy commented
          Editing a comment
          We have lava rock free here a lot of the time, Would crushed lava rock offer similar benefits like pumice?

      • #7
        The problem with pumice is when it shifts, like when you remove the cutting from one place to up pot it. As the pumice rubs against the roots it can tear them. Perlite won't do that.
        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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        • #8
          http://youtu.be/Wb-HtBIpxG8
          Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
          1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
          2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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          • #9
            I've been saving some to add to a worm farm. I guess they use sand/sand-like substances in their gullets to help mash food. Dunno if it will work, but that's the plan at least.
            Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

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            • #10
              Birds love the stuff......my ducks eat it like candy, have no idea why.
              Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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              • #11
                Is the GS2 type normal I pay I think $12.00 for big bag
                Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                2) This weeks ebay auctions.

                Comment

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