What Is Vermiculite?
Vermiculite is a type of rock that contains calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Its name comes from the Latin word “vermicelli” which means white stone. It is one of the most common types of natural mineral used in construction materials and home building products. It was first discovered in 1795 when it was found near a mine in Italy. Since then, it has been mined all over the world.
The main use of vermiculite is its ability to absorb water vapor and hold it in solution until needed. It’s also used as a fire retardant material because of its high thermal conductivity.
When heated, vermiculite releases CO2 gas which helps keep a room cool during hot weather. It is also used in making plastics and rubber products.
It has a very low odor and does not stain fabrics or carpets. It is also non-toxic and biodegradable.
It’s color varies depending on the source of supply, but generally ranges from light green to dark brown.
How To Make Vermiculite Soil For Your Garden Or Landscape?
How Much Does Vermiculite Cost And Where Can You Get It?
The price of vermiculite will depend on where you get it. For small quantities, it can cost less than $100. You can find it at your local garden supply store if there’s one close to your home. It’s also available online.
Here are some examples of online shops that offer vermiculite:
Make sure that you get the right product. Do not buy vermiculite that is intended for use in the oven or for use as an insulator.
You will need horticultural grade vermiculite.
Where And How Do You Want To Use The Vermiculite?
Before you purchase the vermiculite, you need to decide where you want to use it. The main places where you can use it are your yard, garden or house plants. If you have a larger project in mind, such as building an entire room, you might have to get more than one bag of it.
How Do You Want To Apply It?
If you want to apply the vermiculite directly to the soil, you need to get a box-shovel or any other tool that can evenly spread it on the ground. If you want to apply it directly to the plants, you will need both a spreader and a sprayer. If you want to create a growing medium, you will need to get a tray or container in which to mix it.
You may also need to get additional tools and equipment, such as gardening gloves, masks and safety glasses.
Other things that you need to consider are:
Does your community have any rules about using expanded vermiculite in your yard?
Some communities have banned the use of expanded vermiculite because it might cause harmful asbestos-like fibers to spread.
How are you going to water the soil after applying the vermiculite medium?
You need to let the soil dry out between watering, and then apply water.
What types of seeds or plants are you going to start?
Some plants need more water than air, such as tomatoes. Other plants need more air than water, such as begonias.
What is your experience in gardening? Do you have a green thumb?
If you don’t have much experience, it may be best to start with an easier plant, such as a cactus.
How large is your yard?
The larger your yard is, the more room you will have to grow a wide variety of plants.
Once you have answered these questions and thought carefully about them, you’ll need to decide how many bags of vermiculite you need. One small bag can cover 2-3 square feet, so you will need 10 square feet per bag.
If you have a small yard or garden, one bag should suffice. However, if you have a large garden or yard, you may want to consider buying more.
How Much Does Vermiculite Cost?
The amount of bags that you will need will depend on the size of your yard or garden as well as your budget. A small bag of horticultural vermiculite costs anywhere from $4 to $12, with an average price of around $7. Larger quantities of vermiculite can cost as little as $2-$5 per bag.
You may find that your local garden center or hardware store sells smaller quantities of vermiculite, such as 1/2 pounds. If you want to buy larger quantities, you can try buying directly from a mine.
When purchasing from a mine, you have to buy at least twenty-five pounds of it. One hundred pounds of vermiculite costs around $100.
How To Apply Vermiculite
To apply the vermiculite, you have to prepare your soil first. The best time to apply it is in the spring or the fall, although you can also apply it in the summer or winter.
You should incorporate organic materials, such as peat moss, manure, leaves, sawdust, compost and small amounts of fertilizer into your soil. Moisten the soil after incorporating these materials, or wait for rain to do it for you. You should do all this at least one month before applying the vermiculite to allow the soil to settle and take shape.
After your soil is ready, you can apply the vermiculite. You can use a box-shovel to evenly spread it over the top of your garden or yard.
Remember that one small bag of horticultural vermiculite can cover 2-3 square feet, so you will need 10 square feet per bag. For larger gardens or yards, you may want to apply more than one bag.
After applying the vermiculite, you should water it immediately to keep it from blowing away in the wind. Keep watering your garden or yard every few days to a week to keep the vermiculite moistened.
How Vermiculite Helps Your Garden
Vermiculite is a type of mineral that expands greatly when it comes into contact with water. This helps prevent soil from losing moisture, and it keeps the soil loose and easy for plants to grow in.
The small size of the vermiculite also allows water and nutrients to seep down to the roots of your plants, so they stay strong and healthy.
Vermiculite is not just used for gardens and yards. It can also be used for a number of purposes, including for flame-resistant insulation and as soundproofing material.
Other Tips For Your Garden
In addition to vermiculite, there are a number of other things you can do to make your garden stronger and better for your plants.
Make sure that your garden gets at least six hours of sunlight a day. If you have an area that doesn’t get enough sunlight, you can buy a solar spotlight to help increase the sunlight in that area.
Water your garden daily, or whenever the soil feels dry. Do not overwater your garden, though, as this can cause just as many problems as underwatering.
Turn over the soil once a year to allow air, water and nutrients to better reach the roots of your plants. You can also add fertilizer or other nutrients during this process.
Fertilize your soil every three months. You can also use natural materials for this, such as manure, grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds and more.
Pests and other issues are to be expected, so always be prepared with the right chemicals and sprays to fight them off before they have the chance to wipe out your garden.
Vermiculite can help make your soil stronger and more fertile for your plants to grow in and reap the benefits. Whether you need a small amount for a potted plant or a large amount for a massive garden, you can find exactly what you need online at websites like ours.
Order from us today for fast and reliable shipping!
Sources & references used in this article:
Root development of in vitro hybrid walnut microcuttings in a vermiculite-containing gelrite medium by A Grant – Retrieved September, 2017
Root growth and oxygen relations at low water potentials. Impact of oxygen availability in polyethylene glycol solutions by C Jay-Allemand, P Capelli, D Cornu – Scientia Horticulturae, 1992 – Elsevier
In-vitro plantlet regeneration from shoot tip of field-grown hermaphrodite papaya (Carica papaya L. cv. Eksotika) by PE Verslues, ES Ober, RE Sharp – Plant Physiology, 1998 – Am Soc Plant Biol
Replacing agar with vermiculite, coconut fiber and charcoal ricehusk in culture media for embryo rescue of immature nectarines seeds by SB Panjaitan, MA Aziz, AA Rashid… – International Journal of …, 2007 – researchgate.net
Roots of Pisum sativum L. Exhibit Hydrotropism in Response to a Water Potential Gradient in Vermiculite by S Promchot, U Boonprakob – Thai Journal of Agricultural …, 2007 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
Efficient rooting for establishment of papaya plantlets by micropropagation by S Tsuda, N Miyamoto, H Takahashi, K Ishihara… – Annals of …, 2003 – academic.oup.com