Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» What are you eating from your garden today?
by TNGeezer Today at 6:42 pm

» What might this be
by TNGeezer Today at 6:38 pm

» What do you think about this New product for SFG?
by RC3291 Today at 6:35 pm

» How I received free organic pest control
by TNGeezer Today at 6:33 pm

» New Old Nashville SFG
by TNGeezer Today at 6:20 pm

» Hello from SouthEast Indiana
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 6:20 pm

» Spider Mites?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 6:15 pm

» Swiss Chard laying down
by Scorpio Rising Today at 5:36 pm

» Anyone in SE Idaho or near by?
by mlpii66 Today at 4:21 pm

» Dragon Fruit!
by AlwaysHotinFL Today at 3:50 pm

» Hello from South Mississippi
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 12:36 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals Today at 12:24 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in March 2017
by CapeCoddess Today at 12:11 pm

» Any Strange and Wonderful Visitors? Photos please!
by countrynaturals Today at 12:10 pm

» My Ontario SFG Garden Spring 2017
by TNGeezer Today at 12:10 pm

» Happy Birthday!!
by Mellen Today at 11:13 am

» strawberries SFG
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 8:16 pm

» SUGA 2017
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:52 pm

» N & C Midwest: March 2017 Brink of Spring
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:25 pm

» 2017: First full year of SFGing in ND
by CapeCoddess Yesterday at 4:47 pm

» who has chickens
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 4:42 pm

» Growing zucchini in containers
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:43 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania, 3rd year SFG
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:59 pm

» Spaghetti Squash ?
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:52 pm

» Growing Strawberries in Charlotte
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:24 pm

» An excellent read for those with Diabetes
by Ginger Blue Yesterday at 1:32 pm

» Hello from Richmond
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 6:25 am

» Double layer weed cloth/landscape fabric?
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 6:20 am

» Hello from Southeast Michigan!
by sanderson Yesterday at 4:09 am

» Wick Irrigation
by sanderson Yesterday at 3:17 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  KellyEllisECS on 9/26/2011, 12:33 am

Does anyone have any information on the comparative use of Utelite versus vermiculite in the Mel's soil mix?

KellyEllisECS

Posts : 1
Join date : 2011-09-26
Location : Provo, Utah

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  shannon1 on 9/26/2011, 12:58 am

From what I read on their web site it looks like it improves drainage where as vermiculite helps to retain moisture.
avatar
shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  San Pedro on 12/10/2012, 1:32 pm

I think they both do basically the same thing: break up clay soils, improve drainage, retain and then release moisture. But Utelite has one advantage that it doesn't break down over time. Perlite will break down into smaller particles and lose its effectiveness, after which you need to reapply. That won't happen with utelite, which is rock-based. Utelite is rock, but it's also relatively lightweight, so it's also used in situations where weight is important, for example rooftop gardens, or for making relatively light-weight concrete.
avatar
San Pedro

Posts : 1
Join date : 2012-12-10
Location : Salt Lake City

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  camprn on 12/10/2012, 2:30 pm

@San Pedro wrote:I think they both do basically the same thing: break up clay soils, improve drainage, retain and then release moisture. But Utelite has one advantage that it doesn't break down over time. Perlite will break down into smaller particles and lose its effectiveness, after which you need to reapply. That won't happen with utelite, which is rock-based. Utelite is rock, but it's also relatively lightweight, so it's also used in situations where weight is important, for example rooftop gardens, or for making relatively light-weight concrete.
I can see where the Utelite not breaking down part is useful for clay soils, but in the SFG I cannot see how utelite would be an equal or better product than the perlite or vermiculite. It would be like putting rocks in your Mel's mix. I know that perlite and vermiculite absorb and retain nutrients and moisture, but I have found no sources saying utelite does the same thing.If you would please cite some study or article that perhaps has side by side comparison??I would find that very helpful.

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14083
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  Haejin on 12/10/2012, 4:00 pm

I cannot find any peer reviewed studies comparing utelite vs vermiculite, but I did find some information from a reputable source (my office just happened to have a quick reference) and so i'll just share what I found:

~They are both inert, pH neutral, organic materials (vermiculite=mica and utelite=shale) that are processed in the same manner and are also sold in similar grade (coarse particle sizes roughly the same)

~coarse vermiculite's water retention rate is about 32% (322mL/Liter); coarse utelite's rate is around 20% (200mL/Liter)

That said, I think either one will work fine although if evaporation is a worry (small or narrow beds or hot/dry climate) it might be better to use vermiculite (or you can water more).
~Haejin
avatar
Haejin

Male Posts : 5
Join date : 2012-12-08
Age : 34
Location : Utah

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  llama momma on 12/10/2012, 7:59 pm

@Haejin wrote:

~They are both inert, pH neutral, organic materials (vermiculite=mica and utelite=shale) that are processed in the same manner and are also sold in similar grade (coarse particle sizes roughly the same)

~Haejin

I wonder if radon gas from shale factors into utelite? There are parts of Ohio where homes are affected by shale, as the radon gas from it seeps into home basements. The odorless and tasteless gas is cancer causing and should be vented out of the basement. I'll see what info I can find and share any findings.
avatar
llama momma

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4711
Join date : 2010-08-20
Age : 60
Location : Central Ohio zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  llama momma on 12/10/2012, 9:10 pm

For what it's worth I found MSDS (material safety data sheet)for both utelite and vermiculite. My concern with Utelite and shale/radon issue though is not addressed anywhere, at least not from my limited online search:

http://www.utelite.com/MSDS.doc

http://ebookbrowse.com/pvp-msds-vermiculite-pdf-d416642001
avatar
llama momma

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4711
Join date : 2010-08-20
Age : 60
Location : Central Ohio zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  camprn on 12/10/2012, 9:21 pm

An interesting issue! In regards to radon gas, it is primarily a health problem in enclosed spaces (indoor air quality). An nerdy interesting read at wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14083
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  llama momma on 12/10/2012, 10:03 pm

Also, radon is not just an Ohio problem, there are maps that show which states have it since about 1 in 15 homes in the country have radon issues. I only heard of it when I moved here from Long Island. Which btw does does not have a radon problem lucky for them. What a Face
avatar
llama momma

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4711
Join date : 2010-08-20
Age : 60
Location : Central Ohio zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  plantoid on 12/11/2012, 4:05 am

When reading the thread & knowing that shale tends to be an ancient oil bearing rock formed from clays , salts & is sulphurous , it occured to me that Uelite is not as inert ( contains nothing that will cause a reaction ) as vermiculite so I put " sulfur in uelite " into google & had a good read of several references given

My thoughts have been confirmed :- it is a calcium based sulphurous rock and that is why it helps break clays down ( the calcium ) . The calcium will also tend to help release nutrients out of the composts/soil which could be advantageous in certain mother earth soils .

The sulphur content will tend to make the soils slightly acidic and for that reason alone I would not contemplate using it in my MM . Neither would I want the extra weight of in in my MM for it is much heavier than vermiculite volume for volume .
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3673
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Utelite use compared to vermiculite or perlite

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum