[NAFEX] shot gravel as an ingredient in growing medium for pots and containers

Alan S. yarrylo at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 10 18:07:00 EST 2005

On account of a suggestion by a  local nurseryman(based I guess on purely 
theoretical grounds because he hasn't used it himself) this fall I used a 
mixture of shot gravel, humus and peat moss in a 1:1:2 volume ratio 
respectively for repotting some container trees (citrus, avocado and fig) as 
well as potting some one year old seedlings for later bench grafting. Shot 
gravel is the finest commercially available gravel I could find, averages 
about the size of an eraser head, and so smaller than the pea gravel which 
is commonly available at garden centers.I obtained it from a building supply 
house which had dredged it from a nearby riverbed. I am using it as a 
substitute for perlite over which it has the advantages of greater weight 
and stability to guard against blowovers as well as lower cost for larger 
projects $16/ton. I am also hoping it to be superior to shredded conifer 
barks (which are likewise used in growing media to promote drainage and 
increase aeration but quickly degrade) for long term applications.I have no 
observations yet to report but would be very interested to hear if anyone 
has used this or similar material in their growing media.
Alan Stein
zone 6

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