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

tanis cuff tanistanis at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 10 18:24:01 EST 2005

My reaction is-- lower total surface-area per volume, so less 
nutrient-holding capacity.  And less just plain water-holding capacity (will 
it dry out too fast in high summer?)

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Alan S." <>
To: nafex@
Subject: [NAFEX] shot gravel as an ingredient in growing medium for pots 
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 23:07:00 +0000

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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