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Why does my vermiculite have perlite in it already?

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Why does my vermiculite have perlite in it already?

Post  NHGardener on 3/27/2011, 9:15 am

Do they sell vermiculite w/o perlite added? I'm wondering if that's why it was $25 for a 4 cu. ft. bag...

I went to one garden store, they were out of vermiculite altogether. So I went to another one, they only had 2 bags left, but after I paid for the whole order, I was like, wow, that was expensive! I'll have to go back to get my 3rd and maybe 4th bags (as now I'm thinking of expanding the garden already...)

Also, the guy at the garden store said that organic growers refuse to use vermiculite altogether. What's that about? I thought SFG was fairly organic?
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Re: Why does my vermiculite have perlite in it already?

Post  Megan on 3/27/2011, 9:19 am

I'm confused. I've never heard of vermiculite sold with perlite added. $25 is not an uncommon price for a 4 cu ft bag of pure vermiculite. I got mine for just under $17 but I was lucky, and it was only medium grade, not coarse.

There was an asbestos scare with vermiculite some years ago that was limited to one place, that may be the rumor your guy at the garden store heard. I am not worried about it.
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Re: Why does my vermiculite have perlite in it already?

Post  camprn on 3/27/2011, 9:28 am

Good morning,
I have not seen a product of vermiculite/perlite mix.
I do not know why the fellow at the garden store said that organic growers refuse to use vermiculite. I have a few certified organic farmer friends and they use the seed starting mix with vermiculite. I would assume some folks would not want to use it due to the mining practices and transportation requirements and carbon footprint etc... but I don't really know.
Click here for vermiculite info from USDA and the industry.
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Re: Why does my vermiculite have perlite in it already?

Post  NHGardener on 3/27/2011, 9:45 am

Oh wait a minute. Duh. The bag says Therm-O-Rock (brand name) vermiculite & perlite, but then there are checkboxes on the side of the bag, and vermiculite is checked, so I guess they use the same bag for several different types of product, and then they just put a checkmark on what's in that bag.

Okay, well I just learned something new.

If I go back to Agway where I bought this, I'll ask the guy to clarify about the organic comment. It could be the carbon footprint issue, that sounds likely.

$25/bag still surprises me tho. The peat was a lot cheaper.
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Re: Why does my vermiculite have perlite in it already?

Post  Megan on 3/27/2011, 9:48 am

My vermiculite bags mention perlite, too. I think the same packing bags are used for both, which makes sense; one manufacturer would not need to make different bags for the two products, as texturally and weight-wise they are similar, and the checkbox is all they need to differentiate filled product.
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Re: Why does my vermiculite have perlite in it already?

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/27/2011, 9:50 am

@camprn wrote:Good morning,
I would assume some folks would not want to use it due to the mining practices and transportation requirements and carbon footprint etc... but I don't really know.

That would be my guess too, some people go all out with this and live off the grid totally.
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