Horticultural Grit...

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by lizzie Grouch, Nov 29, 2021.

?

What's your preferred brand of grit?

  1. Branded - i.e. Westland, RHS etc

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Un-branded - B&Q, Homebase own-brand etc

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. lizzie Grouch

    lizzie Grouch Apprentice Gardener

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2021
    Messages:
    4
    Ratings:
    +7
    I'm new to planting and have been advised to get Horticultural grit!
    I don't know where to start! There are so many variables and brands!

    - Do I really need it?
    - Does buying more expensive make it better
    - What brand/type would you advise

    Thanks Lizzie
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    36,429
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Mid Kent
    Ratings:
    +52,769
    What are you growing, some plants need better drainage so you add grit.
    But for most plants you can use compost straight from the bag.

    I often use sharp sand from builders merchants.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • ricky101

      ricky101 Total Gardener

      Joined:
      Jun 15, 2016
      Messages:
      2,401
      Gender:
      Male
      Location:
      Sheffield
      Ratings:
      +3,145
      You can add Sand as @ pete suggests or grit, but the important thing to know is that many sands or grit/small gravel sold particularly in the diy shops may contain Lime which most plants do not like.

      For this reason Horticultural labelled Grits /Gravels /Sands are Lime free, or at least contain very little.

      A cheaper alternative to Hort. Sand, you can buy the builders merchants sand known as Sharp, Grit or River Sand. but its sold in 20kg bags for about £4.

      Perlite is an alterative / addition to sand or grit as it also opens up the compost and allows easier drainage.
       
      • Like Like x 3
      • Michael Hewett

        Michael Hewett Total Gardener

        Joined:
        Mar 13, 2016
        Messages:
        1,975
        Gender:
        Male
        Occupation:
        Retired
        Location:
        Carmarthenshire Wales
        Ratings:
        +8,296
        It depends what plants you're growing. I use grit for my cacti and succulents, and also for things like Rosemary, Lavender etc which need good drainage but I don't add as much for those as for the cacti.
        I don't know about the different makes, I just buy what's available. It isn't worth stressing too much about it.
         
        • Agree Agree x 2
        • lizzie Grouch

          lizzie Grouch Apprentice Gardener

          Joined:
          Nov 29, 2021
          Messages:
          4
          Ratings:
          +7
          Apparently my soil is 'claggy' not quite clay. I've usually just done potted plants in planter/tubs (small town garden) and have recently moved so have actual garden to plant in - so wanting to do hardy borders and some seasonal bits. Not doing anything currently due to this very chilly weather! It is a mine field if you don't know though! Thank you
           
          • Like Like x 1
          • JWK

            JWK Gardener Staff Member

            Joined:
            Jun 3, 2008
            Messages:
            23,319
            Gender:
            Male
            Location:
            Surrey
            Ratings:
            +29,295
            Most plants are pretty tough and forgiving, they adapt to soil conditions without you having to do too much to your soil. There are a few fussy ones that do need good drainage though, so you can just target those by adding grit to the bottom of the planting hole. Let us know what you intend to plant and we can help.
             
            • Agree Agree x 3
            • Friendly Friendly x 1
            • pete

              pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

              Joined:
              Jan 9, 2005
              Messages:
              36,429
              Gender:
              Male
              Occupation:
              Retired
              Location:
              Mid Kent
              Ratings:
              +52,769
              Clayey soil will break down with the addition of compost and rotted vegetable matter, it also improves the fertility.
              Adding grit will breakdown clay, but you will be, IMO, better adding it to the whole border if its all claggy.
              Over a period of time you can change your claggy soil just by emptying out all your old potting compost on the beds and digging it in.

              But as previously said, it really depends in what plants you want to grow.
               
              • Agree Agree x 2
              • ricky101

                ricky101 Total Gardener

                Joined:
                Jun 15, 2016
                Messages:
                2,401
                Gender:
                Male
                Location:
                Sheffield
                Ratings:
                +3,145
                Would ask if you saw the garden earlier in the year, did it have plenty of good looking plants or just neglected ?

                One common mistake in a new property, is to get out digging the borders which could destroy any perennial plants in there, often better to wait until mid to late spring to see what plants actually come up, you might have some really good ones in there already.
                 
                • Like Like x 5
                • gks

                  gks Super Gardener

                  Joined:
                  Feb 28, 2021
                  Messages:
                  576
                  Gender:
                  Male
                  Occupation:
                  Production Manager
                  Location:
                  Cumbria
                  Ratings:
                  +1,989
                  It does not really matter about the brand, they will be be packed for them by a third party.
                  I purchase sharp sand local, bulk loose loads, they are a huge set up with numerous quarries, they bag for builders merchants but also for the retail sector. Tarmac and Hanson just to name two have a network of quarries, which they will produce sands, grits, aggregates, etc etc for the construction and retail sectors.

                  So basically, when it comes to horticultural grit and aggregates, then sometimes the contents can actually come for the same quarry, it's only the brand or packaging that is different.
                   
                  • Agree Agree x 2
                  • Like Like x 1
                  • Informative Informative x 1
                  • Tomcat

                    Tomcat Gardener

                    Joined:
                    Nov 20, 2021
                    Messages:
                    115
                    Gender:
                    Male
                    Occupation:
                    Cultivating a sense of humus
                    Location:
                    Somerset
                    Ratings:
                    +274
                    I have always been given to understand that “horticultural “ grits have been washed to remove natural salt , which could harm susceptible plants and that builders grits etc haven’t ?
                     
                    • Like Like x 3
                    • Agree Agree x 1
                    • lizzie Grouch

                      lizzie Grouch Apprentice Gardener

                      Joined:
                      Nov 29, 2021
                      Messages:
                      4
                      Ratings:
                      +7
                      Thanks everyone - so the 'horti' part suggests cleaner/cleaned product hence the potentially higher price?
                       
                      • Like Like x 1
                      • pete

                        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

                        Joined:
                        Jan 9, 2005
                        Messages:
                        36,429
                        Gender:
                        Male
                        Occupation:
                        Retired
                        Location:
                        Mid Kent
                        Ratings:
                        +52,769
                        I've always had a theory about that.
                        I think years ago that might have been the case, but I tend to think these days most building aggregates have to be reasonably pure.

                        I've been using builders sharp sand for years and never found a problem.
                         
                        • Agree Agree x 3
                        • Informative Informative x 2
                        • CarolineL

                          CarolineL Total Gardener

                          Joined:
                          Jun 12, 2016
                          Messages:
                          1,194
                          Gender:
                          Female
                          Occupation:
                          Retired Software engineer
                          Location:
                          Rural Carmarthenshire
                          Ratings:
                          +3,047
                          I've even bought builder's bags of grit ie 600 kg! It was supposedly limestone, but the nice lady at Travis Perkins helped me to do a test with pH paper and it was neutral. And cheap. Whereas I've done the same test on some horti grit from a very reputable supplier - supposedly quartz and yet it came up around pH 9!
                           
                          • Informative Informative x 4
                          • Like Like x 3
                          • gks

                            gks Super Gardener

                            Joined:
                            Feb 28, 2021
                            Messages:
                            576
                            Gender:
                            Male
                            Occupation:
                            Production Manager
                            Location:
                            Cumbria
                            Ratings:
                            +1,989
                            Builders grits and sands are also washed. I get sharp sand in for JI compost, on the invoice I am billed for "washed concreting sand" even soft builders sand is washed.
                             
                            • Informative Informative x 3
                            • Like Like x 2
                            • pete

                              pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

                              Joined:
                              Jan 9, 2005
                              Messages:
                              36,429
                              Gender:
                              Male
                              Occupation:
                              Retired
                              Location:
                              Mid Kent
                              Ratings:
                              +52,769
                              Making "proper" concrete these days is a fairly precise recipe I believe.
                              Even the mixing water has to be to a certain standard.
                               
                              • Like Like x 2
                              • Agree Agree x 1
                              Loading...

                              Share This Page

                              1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
                                By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
                                Dismiss Notice