Silica...I can't find it anywhere

Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers
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DesertPat

 
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Silica...I can't find it anywhere

by DesertPat » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:50 am

Alright, I hope this topic hasn't been beaten well into the ground already and if it has I will go slap myself for not finding those threads. I can't find suitable silica sand locally to save my life. The closest I've seen but not tried yet is the "silver sand" from Lowe's which is apparently pure silica, however it is graded to a #30 mesh which I believe will be far to fine. I know silica is a popular media for potting mixes around here, so my question is WHERE THE HECK ARE Y'ALL BUYING THIS STUFF?? Seriously, I think I'm starting to become obsessed in my quest. Normally I just do a 1:1 peat perlite mix with the occasional bit of chopped LFSM but I'd like something with a little more weight to it.

SOS

Patrick
Why are there no carnivorous plants native to the desert??

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evenwind

 
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Re: Silica...I can't find it anywhere

by evenwind » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:11 am

Try "pool filter sand" from your local pool supply store
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Re: Silica...I can't find it anywhere

by DesertPat » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:19 am

evenwind wrote:Try "pool filter sand" from your local pool supply store


I've considered that but it is finer than what I would like to use, I want to avoid compaction...I suppose I may try it next growing season with a pot or two in a 5:3:2 of peat perlite and pool sand??

Patrick
Why are there no carnivorous plants native to the desert??

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Re: Silica...I can't find it anywhere

by m80torpedo3 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:02 am

look at insoluble chicken grit for chicks its normally found at tractor supply or other farm stores. I use it when making my ping mix.

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Re: Silica...I can't find it anywhere

by mcgrumpers » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:20 am

I feel your pain.

Ended up buying hth pool filter sand, but as you feared, the particles are overly small and it compacts easily.

Chicken grit is granite. Chick grit comes in smaller particles than chicken grit. I couldn't find this anywhere. While trying feed supply stores, at least I ended up stumbling upon pumice that I now use instead of perlite (the product is called "dry stall" and is somehow used for horses).

Ended up buying #12 silica sand from Amazon. Shipping cost wasn't ideal but i got tired of searching locally.

I may still add pool filter sand to ping mixes for taller pots as it wicks water a lot better than #12 sand. Still experimenting.

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DesertPat

 
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Re: Silica...I can't find it anywhere

by DesertPat » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:22 am

m80torpedo3 wrote:look at insoluble chicken grit for chicks its normally found at tractor supply or other farm stores. I use it when making my ping mix.


I'll definitely go check out tractor supply for that tomorrow, I never would have thought of something like that. You find the chick grit to be about the right coarseness? Thanks for the idea!

Patrick
Why are there no carnivorous plants native to the desert??

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Re: Silica...I can't find it anywhere

by m80torpedo3 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:16 pm

i screen out the bigger pieces and just crush them with a sledgehammer

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Re: Silica...I can't find it anywhere

by jpappy789 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:50 am

I hear ya on PFS. I've had issues in the past getting stuff that compacts, and I couldn't find coarse enough PFS around here either despite living in a state literally littered by swimming pools lol

I ended up biting the bullet at getting some 20# sand on Amazon marketed as orchid/bonsai/CP sand. Shipping wasn't cheap as mentioned.

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DesertPat

 
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Re: Silica...I can't find it anywhere

by DesertPat » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:43 am

Today I made a trip to TCS. They didn't have the chick grit mentioned before but they did have chicken grit. The granules are about the same size as the perlite I use, so I figured I would give the full size stuff a try. I made my mix 2:1:1 of peat perlite and chicken grit. My initial impression is that I like the mix, however I wonder if the larger pieces of rock may cut/break roots when the soil shifts. I'll do my best to update this thread with any observations/updates about the mix as I've never read about anyone else trying this before.

The only thing I used the mix for today was seeding some D capensis Alba from the seed bank. Now to wait...

Patrick
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Why are there no carnivorous plants native to the desert??


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