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Vermiculite – The Valuable Advantage of Vermiculite in Gardening
Vermiculite improves Aeration
Vermiculite enhances Drainage
Vermiculite is a volcanic mineral that has many practical uses. In gardening, this mineral is used as an effective soil conditioner for greenhouses or indoor gardens. Light, clean and odourless, vermiculite provides many benefits to the soil and plants. These include the following:
Improves aeration – Vermiculite can lighten and aerate soil. It can break up finely compacted particles of clay soil, which normally do not allow the passage of air. It loosens heavy soil to allow the plant roots to reach down with ease and effortlessly grow through it.
Enhances soil drainage – When added to the soil, each little bead of vermiculite effectively creates tiny pockets between the soil particles. This allows the water to flow easily through the soil and reach the roots.
Retains moisture – Vermiculite can retain water more efficiently than other soil amendments like, say, perlite. Its water-retention capability makes it ideal for sustaining seedling growth. It can hold a significant amount of water, which is then released to the roots as required. With its neutral potential hydrogen level or pH, vermiculite creates an appropriate root setting in which plants will thrive.
Long-lasting soil conditioner – Vermiculite provides a permanent drainage and aeration solution because it does not break down or decompose in the soil. Unlike compost and most other organic materials, it does not deteriorate or rot.
Lightweight and portable – As a light potting material, vermiculite is perfect for large containers that would be otherwise too heavy to lift if you use sand or rocks to improve drainage.
Potent soil replacement – Many gardeners use vermiculite as their preferred medium for plant cuttings or seedlings since it does not draw harmful insects or parasites. It also does not rot or turn mouldy and along with its other benefits, it can increase the chances of a starter plant’s healthy growth.
Gardeners use vermiculite as part of a synthetic soil mixture. When combined with fertilisers or other soil amendments, it can carry nutrients to the plant’s roots and to the beneficial micro-organisms that exist in the soil. With vermiculite’s presence in the potting soil, water can gain deep access and help maintain it there so the plant can use it over time. Thanks to this water retention capability, vermiculite can help sandy soil preserve moisture that would typically drain away. To condition sandy soil, the most favourable vermiculite to soil ratio would be half soil and half vermiculite. The mixture will be efficient enough to hold water and air necessary for maximum plant growth.
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