Horticultural Grit...

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

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What's your preferred brand of grit?

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

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  2. Un-branded - B&Q, Homebase own-brand etc

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  1. Glynne Williams

    Glynne Williams Gardener

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    Thanks so very much Pete bach! I have looked a couple of times in the past, including when down in Cerniw (Coenwal) I may well not be better than other products but my memory was that it was not'washed' so that it contained quite a lot of powder. Thus as well as having excellent drainage, it also maintained some dampness and thus prolonged watering. Yes postage! Probably get some anyway!
     
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    • Glynne Williams

      Glynne Williams Gardener

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      Must learn to check my spelling! Poor old man! It's COŔNWALL
       
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      • Glynne Williams

        Glynne Williams Gardener

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        And it was JWK not Pete! So SORRY and THANKS.
        Obviously in my case, getting old is not much fun, as my Mam used to say!!
         
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        • Selleri

          Selleri Koala

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          I bought a few bags of this from Tesco when it was on offer, £1.25/ 10kg I remember. The best bit? Free delivery with my weekly grocery order :biggrin:

          I just need a bit for succulents and some soil improvement so a couple of bags was enough last year.

          Regarding the quality, if it's good enough for toddlers to eat, it might be passable for my lovely succulents- just :whistle:

          upload_2021-12-7_18-20-55.png
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener Staff Member

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            I bought some of that stuff from Tesco for home delivery but for our grandchildren's sand pit :) I would not use it for plants, it is soft sand and may make drainage worse. You really need sharp sand rather than soft.
             
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            • hailbopp

              hailbopp Gardener

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              Absolutely correct JWK. Certain sand has amazing water retention qualities rather than increasing drainage. I have a huge sand arena which has over 150 tonnes of silica sand in it. It is the kind of small grained sand which makes excellent sand castles! It binds together and does not drain well at all. I would definitely only use large grained sand to improve a growing medium.
               
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              • pete

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

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                I was under the impression that the stuff they sell for kids sand pits was pretty much silver sand.

                I could well be wrong but I was under the impression that soft sand contained clay.
                 
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                • JWK

                  JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                  You could be right pete, can't say I properly looked at it.
                   
                • gks

                  gks Super Gardener

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                  We use silver sand in some of our composts, primarily, seed & cutting, carrot & parsnip. Sand can improve drainage but can actually act as a wetting agent we use the fine moist sand for mixes, which is the same sand for kids sandpits. We then use kiln dried sand to make lawn sand, this type of sand is also used for fine finish shot blasting. We also sell a coarse grade of silver sand, this can be used in sand pits but does not bind if kids want to make sandcastles. This coarser grade silver sand is widely used on a golf course bunkers, they would not use something to fine
                   
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                  • Selleri

                    Selleri Koala

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                    You are of course right folks regarding the play sand- by definition it should be clump forming or the young sand castle builders would be rather unhappy! :heehee:

                    The Tesco stuff seems to work just fine in my pots. Possibly this cheapy stuff is not as fine as to cause issues. What is does is that a portion of the compost mix does not hold water so dries quickly. I would think that the fact that it gets mixed in well prevents any clump forming.

                    So far so good, but I'll see next potting-on time what the compost mix feels like and consider some more appropriate sand for the purpose if this doesn't feel right. :)
                     
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                    • hailbopp

                      hailbopp Gardener

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                      Interesting gks.Having been up close and personal on MANY occasions ( far more than I would like!) with golf course bunkers I can agree the sand used is often quite a large grade. Around these parts the golf courses are very lucky and use ( with permission) sand from the beaches.The sand on St Andrews beach is perfect for topping up their bunkers.
                      Until using the wrong sand with dire consequences especially to my bank balance I had thought sand was pretty much sand, wrong, there are many different types with vastly differing qualities. The huge amount of fine Silica sand I have indeed retains moisture, so much so it supports some very healthy looking moss:rolleyespink:.
                       
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                      • Glynne Williams

                        Glynne Williams Gardener

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                        Thanks for both the information and opinions regarding the benefits and structure of SOFT SAND, which I have used in many mixtures and for other drainage purposes in the garden.
                        However ...... its not the same stuff as CORNISH GRIT. It appears this material is a by-product of fine bone clay. Thus it has a mixed coarse/ fine grit which is also possessed of some fine clay which is of course rich in plant useable minerals. Please try it (link provided above)
                         
                      • shiney

                        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                        I have never bothered to use any sand or grit in the beds and leave the plants to fend for themselves - which they do very easily. Admittedly, over the years the placing of garden compost/leaf mould has certainly improved the quality of the soil.

                        We have heavy clay solid and the only hard work we did was to transform the veggie plots from yellow/orange clay to good growing soil by digging in straw. This helped to break up the clay and compost gradually gave it good texture.

                        Generally clay and most claggy soils tend to have more nutrition in them than sandy soils. for individual planting holes for previous established plants I think that any type of horticultural grit would work.
                         
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