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Old November 24, 2018   #1
greenthumbomaha
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Default GrowIt for aeration with Jiffy Mix or ProMix

I am looking for an alternative to perlite as an amendment for peat based soilless mixes. I try and wet it down and mix it in the garage to cut down on airborne particles in the house in the dead of winter but it still goes everywhere. For my taste, many bagged expensive soilless mixes don't have enough aeration, and I use to much of this stuff for comfort.

I was considering Growit, which my local hydro store used when I purchased a 4 inch starter plant. The only drawback I can envision is if the area got tilled, there would be clay shards in the soil. I don't know how much of a concern it would be with such a small amount of clay material. Any sage advice?

Also, I don't want to spend the month of January washing it and have no idea if it would stuff up the drain.

- Lisa
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Old November 24, 2018   #2
salix
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How about diatomaceous earth? Ultrasorb or something like that - can find at auto parts store...

I use it for some of my seed starting in spring; mix it up in garage and bring inside to sow and grow. It is a bit dusty, but I have gotten into the habit of wearing a dust mask when mixing up my tubs of potting mix.

Don't use the diatomaceous earth used as a feed supplement - it is powdered, i.e. ALL dust.
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Old November 25, 2018   #3
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I used to add perlite to Jiffy Mix or Promix and it worked very well. All I need to do is try to remember the ratio of what I used since no way was I going to pay what anyone of those nonmixed products asked for price wise.

BUT when mixing up stuff for seed germination I used the best I could find and I discovered what Charlie,my farmer friend used and that was Farfard. I think I spelled it correctly.

Nope,I didn't spell it correctly,here is the proper spelling

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&....0.DASlqVVtgtM

No seed germination,no worries about using anything for any purpose the way I see it.

Carolyn
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Old November 25, 2018   #4
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Carolyn. Fafard in the green bag is awesome, and it's my favorite too, but the cost is high near me. Everything in that particular nursery is super expensive so no surprise there. The added bark fines make peppers very happy, so it gets rationed to those starts. But I do love it.



I purchased a large 2+ cu bag of Jiffy online and on sale this weekend. Carolyn, you mentioned transplanting once. I am trying to simplify my process and hold the babes in the six packs a little longer than I have done in the past. Trying not to breathe in as much peat and perlite dust as I think it is getting in the air (and filter). I do wet the medium but sometimes I rush and omit this step. So I am looking for a perlite substitute before I break down and order a mega bag.


Salix, I start germinating in phases beginning in January, and my garage is pretty cold! I have used DE but it is not my preferred method. The roots were amazing initially, but when I transplanted into soilless mix it didn't seem to produce as robust a transplant in the end. I am surprised you don't start earlier. What zone are you in?


- Lisa
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Old November 25, 2018   #5
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Lisa, how about considering what is called pearl barley. Progresso makes a soup with pearl barley with other veggies and I have a heck of a time knocking those small white things to get them out of the thermos that is given to me to eat,no I don't eat the thermos,and organic as well,maybe called polished pearls.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...99.6qcdvauksas

Carolyn
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Old November 25, 2018   #6
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Hey Lisa, bet your garage is not as cold as ours! I just mix up and wet the potting mix in the garage, get it into the trays or pots, then bring into basement to warm up and for the actual sowing. I start at the end of February, and it is probably -25 C at the time... No point in starting any earlier, can't plant much before the end of May.
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Old November 26, 2018   #7
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Hi Lisa, I don't know if I'm answering what you asked, but I can give you some thoughts from my experiences.

Last year was my first year of buying and using Perlite. I bought a huge bag of chunky Perlite 3.5 Cubic Feet. I read countless posts about not breathing in the dust, so I waited until there was a windy day and mixed the pro mix with Perlite outside. I didn't notice much lingering dust at all. I did not wash the perlite. I don't know if mixing it outside is possible for you?

I did look up 'Growit', but only found Apps at first. Then I added "hydro" to the search, and came up with https://www.google.com/search?ei=9YX...13.bgboDbaA4y8 It's something I am unfamiliar with. I wish I could help.

The clay shards in the soil; again from my experience - the short version is that clay holds in moisture much better than silt, sand, and mixes. That can be a good thing if you don't get too much rain/overwater. Clay also holds more nutrients https://homeguides.sfgate.com/soil-c...and-99972.html

A good mix of 40-40-20 mix in the above link sounds perfect, but I have a whole lot of questions.
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Old November 26, 2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
I am looking for an alternative to perlite as an amendment for peat based soilless mixes. I try and wet it down and mix it in the garage to cut down on airborne particles in the house in the dead of winter but it still goes everywhere. For my taste, many bagged expensive soilless mixes don't have enough aeration, and I use to much of this stuff for comfort.

I was considering Growit, which my local hydro store used when I purchased a 4 inch starter plant. The only drawback I can envision is if the area got tilled, there would be clay shards in the soil. I don't know how much of a concern it would be with such a small amount of clay material. Any sage advice?

Also, I don't want to spend the month of January washing it and have no idea if it would stuff up the drain.

- Lisa
Pumice and expanded clay are popular here in CA.
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Old November 26, 2018   #9
greenthumbomaha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
Lisa, how about considering what is called pearl barley. Progresso makes a soup with pearl barley with other veggies and I have a heck of a time knocking those small white things to get them out of the thermos that is given to me to eat,no I don't eat the thermos,and organic as well,maybe called polished pearls.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...99.6qcdvauksas

Carolyn

Mmmm mushroom barley soup. I might just eat it by mistake. Have to get on this!

- Lisa
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