elaineo wrote: ↑Sun Mar 06, 2022 3:38 amWait, really??? Do you use Hydroton + peat for sarrs & neps? This is so cool. I will be very happy if I can stop buying perlite. Turface is just like hydroton, but with smaller particle size, right?Hydroton (LECA) might be harder than Turface and I believe has more large air pockets in it. Also it won't pack down as much as Turface.
For Neps (or orchids) I usually use Hydroton + bark/coconut husk chunks + sphag. But "usually" is the operative word here as it depends on what I have on hand. If I have wine corks on hand, I may make use of those instead.
Similar situation for Sarrs except I do use peat with them instead of sphag. The only time I have used Turface with Sarrs is when starting seeds and then it is a Turface + peat blend.
Do be careful when choosing Turface substitutes. (I have known folks who gave clay based kitty litter a try. They found that it turns to mush rather quickly making it unsuitable.)
If you can find Growstone, it is a good replacement for perlite. It is made from recycled glass that is whipped into a frothy foam while in a liquid state before being allowed to cool. It is stronger and heavier than perlite.
You can also look at using turkey or chicken grit (those are 2 different sizes) found at feed stores. It is granite which will be inert. Just make sure it hasn't been coated with calcium (some brands will do that).