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Perlite – How to Make the Most of Perlite in Gardening
Perlite for Hydration
Better Hydration – Better results – Perlite
Perlite is a volcanic matter that expands several times larger than its original size when exposed to heat. Its entire surface is covered with cavities. Such characteristic are useful for plants as it helps retain moisture as well as trap air to improve soil aeration. This makes perlite an excellent soil amendment although some plants can even grow in 100 percent perlite.
There are certain steps to remember when using perlite in enhancing the richness of soil. These steps ensure that you will get optimal results – both for soil condition and plant growth.
For potting soils, the recommended mixture is one part peat moss, one part loam and one part perlite. Peat moss can aid maintaining proper drainage while loam brings in important nutrients. Perlite then lightens and aerates the soil. Just make sure that you use sterilised loamy soil, as they can be a haven for harmful pests and pathogens.
For garden use, directly apply three to six inches of perlite on the topsoil and then mix it into the dirt as thoroughly as possible. Keep in mind, though, that perlite is actually soil amendment and not a fertiliser. You still have to add fertilisers to keep your plants healthy. Perlite main advantages are its neutral pH, aeration, moisture retention and sterilised attributes. When it comes to fertilisers, perlite can work as an effective carrier to the plants.
Perlite is also perfect for starting seed. Simply create a mixture of one part peat and one part perlite to use as a medium. This is good enough to provide seedlings with the right amount of moisture and support as they sprout and reach the primary stages of growth. When seed-starting, try not to use perlite that has added fertiliser as it could only do more harm than good.
In planting greenhouse crops like tomatoes, for example, perlite is also a very useful medium. In these cases, reusing perlite is a good idea as purchasing more can be quite expensive. You just have to remember to do some important steps like sterilising to eliminate potential problems, such as salt buildup and fungi growth, that come with reusing it.
Gardening with perlite is always a good idea as it can work with any type of soil. For sandy soil, it can help in retaining moisture. For clay soil, on the other hand, the air passages that perlite particle contains can improve aeration and drainage. So, whatever type of soil you use, be assured that perlite is beneficial to your gardening needs.
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