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Grit - not John Wayne, I'm sure

darrylpqX8tHsZdarrylpqX8tHsZ West of New York, east of LA, stuck in the middle with gluePosts: 11
Hi, 

Monty often speaks of adding grit to his soil. I am not sure what grit is. At first, I assumed he meant sand, but surely he simply would have said to add sand. Here in the US, I've not seen the mention or marketing of grit. Can someone please be so kind as to explain what it is and how much of it I should use when I am potting, i.e., a gallon pot.

Best regards,
Your twin cousin from a different mother - Darryl
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  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    Don't know where in the vast US of A you might be so no idea how easy or otherwise you might find a substitute.

    Horticultural grit is small washed aggregate about 1mm-4mm used to improve drainage. I believe the closest you might get to this is a type of grit sold for chickens - got to be worth another Google search  :)

    Iowa or North Dakota you have agriculture on your doorstep otherwise......

    Good luck Darryl
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • darrylpqX8tHsZdarrylpqX8tHsZ West of New York, east of LA, stuck in the middle with gluePosts: 11
    Thank you, enjoy your week, and stay safe. I can get chicken grit at the local farm store, so I will give that a try.

    Best regards,

    Darryl
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    You are welcome, stay safe yourself and go sparingly with the grit unless your plants need it.
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,312
    Another source of grit can be aquarium supplies ... but agricultural stores' chicken grit will be considerably cheaper  B)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • darrylpqX8tHsZdarrylpqX8tHsZ West of New York, east of LA, stuck in the middle with gluePosts: 11
    Thank you.  Seems I have a weakness for cheaper so I am going to take the chicken grit approach.

    I'm trying to figure out how to make my own potting and gardening soils. I have a whole yard full of dirt (not the measure but what my house sits on) and surely I can convert some of that into potting/gardening soil. Buying those soils by the bag is starting to wear on my conscience and wallet.

    Enjoy your week.

    Regards,
    Darryl
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    That is a fine ambition Darryl both morally and financially  :)  are you making your own compost from garden waste?

    I do buy manure as I grow a lot of veg and am gardening on clay which is thick and sticky, also seed compost as it is sterilised. The year I used my own compost for seeds I had a tray full of tomato seedlings, won't be doing that again.

    Yard dirt is good for other reasons, if it is healthy it will have all sorts of good stuff in it like bacteria and worms which make it fertile.

    I wish you success.
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,224
    We want to pictures,over here a yard is a horrible patch of concrete usually behind a factory or something
  • darrylpqX8tHsZdarrylpqX8tHsZ West of New York, east of LA, stuck in the middle with gluePosts: 11
    That is funny. We watch so many British (or UK) programs - especially during this pandemic - that I should not have made that assumption.  Over here, it is something I mow twice a week from Spring to Fall which is why I am converting it to something that grows vegetables for us and our neighbors. 

    Thank you, Nancy.

    Darryl 
  • Hi-- I am also in the U.S. (New England) and am looking for grit. Darryl -- Chicken grit is usually ground oyster shell--the birds need lots of calcium to make their own egg shells strong. So I do not use it in the garden because it messes up the pH and can encourage molds. I'm still looking for a neutral, non reactive, inorganic option to lighten my heavy clay. Ground bark also eventually breaks down, and meanwhile uses up Nitrogen in the decomposing process. It's a conundrum!
  • darrylpqX8tHsZdarrylpqX8tHsZ West of New York, east of LA, stuck in the middle with gluePosts: 11
    Thank you, kmm.  I am leary of the oyster shells if they attract rodents of any kind. This spring, all of my grape hyacinths were gone - turns out a traveling band of voles decided that part of my yard should be their forever home. They ate the 200 or so hyacinth bulbs, went to another flower bed, and ate the bottom roots off my candy crush hibiscus so that it lifted off the ground like uncle Bob's toupee on a windy day. If you are squeamish don't read the following part. "I put out mouse traps with black seed sunflower seed sprinkled around them and covered the traps with 5-gallon buckets. I caught and disposed of 9 rather plump voles and I've not had another burrow hole in that part of my yard." So, I will look for gravel of some type rather than the oyster shell.  Thank you, kmm, for the advice.

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