Expanded Perlite Horticultural Media has been used for many years by gardeners and growers. Perlite offers numerous benefits to gardener’s that is extremely beneficial to heavy soils. Perlite is a lightweight media and is used extensively to loosen and lighten heavy soils and composts for plants that require a free draining medium. Perlite Horticultural Media can also be used to great success with root cuttings, whereby it can be mixed with compost to produce a light growing medium with much less chance of the cuttings rotting.
Perlite’s many uses and beneficial properties include:
¤ Perlite is inert.
¤ Great root aeration and drainage.
¤ Long lasting
¤ Stimulates root initiation and vigorous growth.
¤ Insulates and minimises temperature fluctuations.
¤ Neutral pH.
¤ Holds moisture but does not become soggy.
¤ Free from disease, weeds and insects.
PERLITE AS A SOIL CONDITIONER
Commercial growers often use the terms “soil structure” and “soil texture” interchangeably in discussing soil characteristics, but this is neither accurate or correct. Soil texture refers to the size of the soil particles present in any mass of soil, while soil structure refers to the arrangement of these particles. Texture is more or less a permanent property of a basic soil a grower uses which he can usually change very little. Soil structure may and usually does change however. These changes are brought about by variations in the nature of the materials present in the soil which bind the particles together in several arrangements. These changes are accomplished by the manner in which the soil is cultivated, handled or used.
The maintenance of proper soil structure is equally or more important to the commercial grower than the maintenance of soil fertility. From a practical growing standpoint three types of soil structure are readily identified by the commercial grower, landscaper, or homeowner–single grain structure, crumb structure and “puddled” soil.
While soil texture is a more on less permanent characteristic of any soil, texture can readily be changed to provide conditions for maximum plant growth by the addition of soil amendments or soil conditioners. The addition of perlite changes the arrangement of the particles in the basic soil, so that a suitable mixture for growing plants is developed that has the ideal crumb structure necessary to produce maximum plant growth.
The addition of soil amendments or soil conditioners is a common practice followed by most commercial growers in preparing soil for growing plants in pots, containers, greenhouse benches, nursery beds or nursery stock in the field.
Soil structure is often modified by adding organic matter, a good soil conditioner, gypsum, sulphur, and through the use of proper cultural procedures.
OTHER HORTICULTURAL USES OF PERLITE
- Packing, Storing, and Shipping
Perlite is an excellent material for use as a lightweight packing material for rooted cuttings, dormant plants or bulbs.
- For Plants and Cuttings
Mix one-half wet perlite and one-half wet peat moss by volume, squeeze dry, and package plants or cuttings in the conventional manner.
- For Bulbs
Use dry perlite as packing medium for those requiring dry conditions, and for those requiring moist conditions use mixture recommended for plants and cuttings.
- For Bulb Storage
Perlite is an ideal material for use in maintaining a thermal and moisture barrier around stored bulbs, roots and tubers. Fill storage container to a depth of one inch with perlite. Place bulbs on this one inch layer and cover with perlite. In instances where some moisture is required, moisten the material very lightly with fine mist at very infrequent intervals.
- Filler for Planters
Perlite will serve to overcome a major problem in the proper maintenance of plants used in planters in residential and commercial applications.
Plants used for this purpose should be well established and well watered before placing into planters or permanent tubs. Place two or more inches of perlite in the bottom of the planter or tub. Use enough additional perlite under plants to raise them to within two inches of the top of the planter. Using a mixture of one-half wet perlite and one-half wet peat by volume, fill all the remaining area around and above the plants and pack the material lightly.
Our horticultural perlite is available in a variation of grades and packaged in 30, 100 and 200 litre bags. We can also supply the material in IBC Bulk Bags if required. For more information please contact us