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Perlite in the garden? Is it organic?

 
Posts: 126
Location: Western North Carolina
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We bought too much perlite when building our outdoor ovens. The store will not take it back. We have four huge bags of it. Not sure how to say the amount but the bags are about 4 feet long by 2 feet wide and we have four of them! Can we use it in the garden beds? How? Just mix it in? Is it considered "organic"? I know that sounds like a silly question but thought I would ask anyway. Thanks.
 
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
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It's just an expanded volcanic rock, it's fine to use in the garden, although it's more useful in pots. I find biochar to be superior in both, though.

You're in Saluda? I live up in Madison County, if you're interested in selling them for a fair price I might buy them from you for building our rocket stove.

peace
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 126
Location: Western North Carolina
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Hello - thanks for the offer but we are going to use it in the garden and also for rooting plants. I did not know it could be used for rooting medium but several people mentioned that use.
We are near Saluda just outside the Pearson's Falls area. It is going to get cold this weekend! I am looking forward to a good fire in the wood stove. Thanks for saying hello.
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I wouldn't use perlite in the garden, but I've used it growing seedlings and it's fabulous in seedling mixes; I've used around 1/4 coconut coir, 1/4 perlite and 1/2 screened compost.
In NZ perlite's widely used by organic growers, but I'm pretty iffy about organic=good. Over here it's mined, then 'expanded', so very much not sustainable.
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 126
Location: Western North Carolina
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Thank you. We are going to try several things. Some we will save for potting mixes and rooting and we will use some in a raised bed.
Saving one bag too for later. I agree it is not sustainable but we have it and cannot return it and so we will put it to good use. Thanks!
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 126
Location: Western North Carolina
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We did not use the bags of perlite yet. They were stacked in the barn. One morning we noticed that a bag of perlite looked like it had sunk in a bit. We looked and looked but could not find a hole in the bag and so we just set it back down. A few days later, we see another sunk in area on the bag. Same thing - look all around and cannot figure out why the bag was all sunk in. Next morning my youngest son goes to the barn and found our cat Pirate all curled up on the bag of perlite where she had patted it down to make a "nest" (sunk in area) and she was snuggled in and warm!
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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"Pirate" has her own 'bean bag' cushion. lol
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 126
Location: Western North Carolina
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Yes, Pirate does have her own bean bag. She also has a Sun Porch solar collector that heats the barn! And she has a box full of fabric scraps for a bed and she spends part of the day in my younger son's room curled up on a chair she loves. Pirate used to be a "loner" cat and rarely came to the house. Her brother, Fluffy (an enormous but carefree and wild cat) was the cuddly one. Pirate, sadly, witnessed the death of Fluffy by a coyote in June of this year. That day, when we came home and found Fluffy gone (never to return) Pirate raced in the house and has been friendly and sweet ever since. She "asks" to go to the barn each night by 5 PM where she safely rests on the "bean bag perlite" till morning.
 
                        
Posts: 66
Location: San Diego
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Perlite does add air to heavy soils. As far as I know it is neutral so far as organic goes.
 
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