Square Foot Gardening Forum
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HELP! Vermiculite

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HELP! Vermiculite

Post  FRED58 on 4/18/2015, 6:57 pm

I am having a huge problem finding vermiculite.

I have found one source who is offering 5 liters for $25. Five liters is about one cubic foot. I am going to need about 15 cubic feet. That's $375!

So, does anyone know a god Canadian source of vermiculite that isn't going to leave me with a tomato sandwich worth fifty bucks.
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Re: HELP! Vermiculite

Post  boffer on 4/18/2015, 7:16 pm

There are some Canadian sources listed in the international vermiculite database.  Have you checked there?

Uline is a source that is shipped.  Do they ship to Canada?  If I consider the time and gas to drive to my usual local source for vermiculite, Uline is price competitive.  But our local prices are higher than in some other parts of the U.S.

http://www.uline.com/BL_3801/Vermiculite?keywords=Vermiculite

Yes, you can leave out vermiculite if you need to. However, be aware that straight compost doesn't drain nearly as well, or hold air as well, as MM by the recipe.
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Re: HELP! Vermiculite

Post  FRED58 on 4/18/2015, 7:27 pm

Ok, I Googled International Vermiculite Database and got nothing. Do you have a link?
ULINE's Canadian prices are a lot better, if I can get it delivered.
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Re: HELP! Vermiculite

Post  boffer on 4/18/2015, 7:31 pm

Sorry, I can't get a screenshot easily on this puter.

On the homepage, look for the forum called 'Vermiculite'. Click on the link underneath that says 'Database'.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/Vermiculite-Entry-Form-h1.htm
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Re: HELP! Vermiculite

Post  FRED58 on 4/18/2015, 7:44 pm

Sorry. I didn't see that. Can we just delete this whole useless thread? (And my post on  the other thread?)? I'll stumble on...
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Re: HELP! Vermiculite

Post  llama momma on 4/18/2015, 7:47 pm

Try this
There is a listing for Ontario- through Holland Industry
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-pViVQaxJjWFuZuYdUdnALyLUpRpL-3uLf8BBGcxFGA/edit?hl=en#gid=0
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Long shot

Post  Richard L. on 4/18/2015, 10:56 pm

@FRED58 wrote:I am having a huge problem finding vermiculite.

I have found one source who is offering 5 liters for $25. Five liters is about one cubic foot. I am going to need about 15 cubic feet. That's $375!

So, does anyone know a god Canadian source of vermiculite that isn't going to leave me with a tomato sandwich worth fifty bucks.
Hi!
I live near Québec city and have recently bought 3-20pounds bags (they are huge)of coarse vermiculite from a local gardening material provider 
http://www.gerardbourbeau.com/magasin/bienvenue.htm
I paid 30$ each bag. They had tons of fine/regular/coarse pallets of the stuff.
 
The manufacturer of this product - Envirofil - is listed in Lachine, Québec.
You might as well try to contact them, who knows?
http://www.plantproducts.com/ca/images/vermiculite.pdf
Good luck!
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Re: HELP! Vermiculite

Post  sanderson on 4/18/2015, 11:29 pm

Richard,  Welcome to the Forum from California, US! glad you\'re here

Edited: I'm embarrassed that I thought your name was Long Shot. Just rushing to fast.


Last edited by sanderson on 4/18/2015, 11:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Wrong user name)

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Re: HELP! Vermiculite

Post  FRED58 on 4/19/2015, 8:39 am

Thank you Richard. They don't seem to sell in Ontario.

The nearest source seems to be ULINE in Toronto, near the airport, about three hours away from me. The good news (for me) is that they sell to the public, are open on the weekends and effective a week ago I get to pay and extra $25 "convenience fee" on an order of less than $300 Mad (16 cubic feet is going to run me $160 plus tax).

I have not exhausted every source: on Monday I am going to call the pool guy in town (it is used under pool liners),  the water garden place, and the "Farmer store" (the Co-op). I checked TSC stores; they sell pre-mixed peat and vermiculite / perlite at almost the price of the vermiculite.

If the remaining local sources don't pan out, it happens that I will be in Toronto next weekend, about 20 minutes away from ULINE. So, all you lurkers, is there anyone near me (Kincardine ON, right where highways 21 and 9 meet) who (a) need vermiculite (b) are willing to pay $40 for four cubic feet and (c) can meet me somewhere to make the swap? (Just my Scottish forebears insisting that I try to save the $25).

Failing that, and at the risk of asking yet another stupid question, has anyone actually tried to use the SFG method without Mel's Mix?
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Re: HELP! Vermiculite

Post  nosmok on 4/19/2015, 11:59 am

I get my vermiculite from a local pool company.  You have to make sure it's not pre mixed with cement!  It's a little finer than traditional Mel's mix vermiculite but the cost savings are huge.  I but a huge bag for $17.  Has worked well for me in the past.
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Re: HELP! Vermiculite

Post  sanderson on 4/20/2015, 3:03 am

@FRED58 wrote: Failing that, and at the risk of asking yet another stupid question, has anyone actually tried to use the SFG method without Mel's Mix?
Fred,  It's not a stupid question.  ANSFG is defined by Mel's Mix.  People make all kinds of different blends, put them in a 4' x 4' box, make a grid and call it square foot gardening.  But, it's not SFG without Mel's Mix.  His recipe works.  If your forebears  can't get past the high cost of vermiculite, use perlite.  But, I strongly encourage you to buy vermiculite.  Every time I winced, and my husband complained, about the cost of vermiculite (I've paid $65, 85 and finally only $35 for 4 cu ft), I've told him I can sell the left over on Craig's List.  But . . . . so far I have never had any left overs!  Always one more bed to made, a pot to fill, a bucket for potatoes or tomatoes, a storage bin for sweet potatoes, a gift box for my son.

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