minimum perlite ratio for raised beds

Discussion in 'Outdoor Growing' started by patch of pentaphyluum, Feb 8, 2018.

    patch of pentaphyluum

    patch of pentaphyluum New Member

    hello all
    I used to have a user name on here but I forgot it? :confused: All I can recall is my icmag name. Anyway
    I used to do a fair bit of indoor, I knew then the power of chunky perlite..
    That led me to commercial citrus, I have concentrated plantings about to go in underneath screen in florida
    My soil is good in most areas however it gently slopes down in to a muckier area. Still has a high sand content but poor drainage and aeration. I have dug out ditches and mounded areas but still the soil is not aerated enough. it has a poor smell.

    My Question:
    What is the minimum percentage of chunky perlite you all would recommend to have some effect? I know it largely depends on the soil, it has very low clay content, I have added a lot of composted tree company trim but it still packs down too easily and gets mucky. The smell is just swampy and I know MJ nor citrus would be happy here. Would 2.5% coarse perlite, consistently incorporated to 18" be worthwhile? Anyone with experience with large begs and perlite, your help is appreciated.

    SchmoeJoe Well-Known Member

    Perlite breaks down too fast to use it in anything other than short crop cycle situations. I'd look into something like hydroton, diatomite rock, silica rock, or even some of the new grow stones made from recycled glass.

    I can't recommend this book enough. It's very thorough but easy to understand. It covers pretty everything but doesn't get so technical that it can be hard to understand.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
    patch of pentaphyluum

    patch of pentaphyluum New Member

    I know perlite is pretty insubstantial, could crush or powder etc, but it is expanded volcanic glass as well, it doesn't rot, and sources say it will not break down. But your experience is that eventually it does?
    Do you know of any economical sources of any of those you mentioned? I need a large amount and there is a perlite expansion facility less than 2 hours from me.

    SchmoeJoe Well-Known Member

    Perlite turns to dust with very little pressure. Everytime I've got a compressed bail of soil the perlite looks like it's solid but it's only held in that shape by the compressed soil around it. As soon as I touch it it turns to dust.

    I've had others call BS on this but that's been my experience and everyone in the stores I go to and other growers I know all agree. If you take a piece of perlite and roll it between your fingers with just the slightest pressure you'll see what I mean. None of the options I mentioned are cheap but they all either last a very long time or are considered permanently non compactable. Coco chips or fiber are another good option but it isn't cheap either.
    patch of pentaphyluum

    patch of pentaphyluum New Member

    I know perlite crushes easily but with the chunky stuff i was hoping to maintain most of it. I was concerned that the ratio would be too low to do anything anyway.
    I am going to buy a few truckloads of sand instead. Thanks for the book rec. Gonna go browse the forums and see what ever happened to the emerging evidence about UVB..

    SchmoeJoe Well-Known Member

    There's a company that originally was making uv curing lamps for certain types of resins that openly asked people with legal gardens who could control all variables to help do basically a crowd sourced controlled experiment about the affects of uv on thc content. It was SolarCure or solacure or something like that. They have some test results on their website.

    There was also a college or University that did their own experiment using a drug type and hemp type strain. Both studies found an increase of thc of about 25% over the baseline without uv. There was no change in the hemp strain.

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