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    Perlite alternative/s

    Ok all y'all, in yesterdays learning I found that perlite kills earthworms! It does this because it has sharp edges that cut the worms and they die from it. Vermiculite retains water, styrofoam is just unacceptable, so what can I switch to that does not have sharp edges, does not retain water, something (as organic as I can stay) that my worms can live with!?
    I can get river sand, but that shit is heavy.

    #2
    Good question. I dont have an answer but am interested. Only thing i can think of is tiny pebbles but i think that would be as heavy or heavier than river sand. Subbed!

    Comment


      #3
      Just a thought here, but what about clay pebbles? Like the kind used for hydro. They're super light and not very sharp usually and don't retain water. I don't really know, just an idea.

      Comment


        #4
        I have seen 1 inch perlite that was ball like, that seems to large to me. I could do the river sand/pebbles outside, but to much for my back inside.

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          #5
          Crushed up clay bricks work good but may still be a bit of a hazard to the worms.

          Comment


            #6
            Long ago, we used to use cotton seed ,an soybean husks, in our outdoor grows, to help aerate to soil.
            Cfls for a week or two
            315lec for everything else
            Dug up Ms.topsoil, with perlite added
            36x36x63 inch tent.
            6inch - exaust - intake fans an scrubber
            Smart pots
            Molasses
            Autoflowers

            Comment


            • FunkyButtLovin
              FunkyButtLovin commented
              Editing a comment
              +1 These types slipped my mind! Rice hulls work as well!

            #7
            Pumice works too

            Comment


              #8
              Clay pebbles are great! Or man up and carry that sand! =)
              Indoor grow. LED, Soil. Autos.

              Outdoor grow. Autos, fem's, bagseeds

              https://forum.growweedeasy.com/forum...944-grow-diary

              Comment


              • Rwise
                Rwise commented
                Editing a comment
                Even with a broken back, there have been few young men that could stand and work beside me.

              • swegrow
                swegrow commented
                Editing a comment
                Rwise @Funkybuttloving I hear you. Dealing with kind of a broken back myself atm. I sometimes say stuff without thinking though. Love and respect brothers! Sorry for my slip of tounge. And good luck finding a source Rwise, If there was not an ocean between us I would havfe carried that river sand for you with a smile.

              • Rwise
                Rwise commented
                Editing a comment
                swegrow I think I will go with the clay pebbles/beds, from what I am seeing it is the best for the worms, and will do the job in my soil.

              #9
              I am reading, searching whats posted, keep em comin!

              Comment


                #10
                I didn't know that about earth worms and perlite. Going back into soil so it will have to be clay balls and vermiculite perhaps.
                .

                Comment


                  #11
                  Originally posted by Rwise View Post
                  Ok all y'all, in yesterdays learning I found that perlite kills earthworms! It does this because it has sharp edges that cut the worms and they die from it. Vermiculite retains water, styrofoam is just unacceptable, so what can I switch to that does not have sharp edges, does not retain water, something (as organic as I can stay) that my worms can live with!?
                  I can get river sand, but that shit is heavy.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  #WormLivesMatter ..lol
                  Last edited by vostok; 05-31-2020, 01:07 AM.

                  Comment


                  • Rwise
                    Rwise commented
                    Editing a comment
                    LOL worm porn!

                  #12
                  I use pumice. I buy it where gravel is sold for $39 a yard. Great stuff. They sell it in 5/8 and 3/8 inch.

                  Comment


                    #13
                    The clay, the only concern I have is that it may take on elements out of the soil such as sulfur. And sulfur mixed with water produces sulfuric acid, and lowers the PH. I have seen this with perlite when I used water soluble powdered sulfur (now using pelleted), shot my PH below 3 with no hope of recovery (I put the plants in new soil).

                    Comment


                      #14
                      What about aquarium rocks? Like for a fish tank, the small colorful stuff. Obviously you probably wouldn't want colored, but it's another idea

                      Comment


                      • Rwise
                        Rwise commented
                        Editing a comment
                        All kinds of stuff used there, from river rock to glass, the river rock I can get for elbow grease. I can even get it from the creek here. It is nicely rounded,

                      #15
                      Hmm the worms in my soil seem to be fine? I use lava rock and rice hulls for aeration and I also added pumice. I learned that perlite turns into cement after a while so no good in a “living soil” maybe in a soil that you will throw away after each grow would be fine.i often find worms on lava rock with no issues and they are big that’s why I decided to add small pumice for better aeration I think those three options would be fine. Then again I wouldn’t know if the worms are getting cut up inside the soil I only see the ones moving around.

                      Comment


                      • Rwise
                        Rwise commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I have not heard nor seen the perlite form into concrete, I have found I can float it out of the soil which is my plan for fall, get that shit out of there!

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