If the goal is to optimise the growth of fruit and vegetables, you will be faced with a decision between growing in perlite or growing in vermiculite. These options promise to enhance air flow within the soil (Air filled porosity) and regulate moisture to help plants thrive. (water holding capacity) However, there are small differences to keep in mind too. Here are the benefits of each.
Why Use Perlite?
Perlite works well as an additive to the soil, but it can also be used as a soil replacement. It can hold around three times its weight in water, and yet still aids in maximising drainage. It is extremely porous and therefore allows plenty of soil aeration, making it a top choice for growing succulents as well as fruit and vegetables that require fast and effective drainage.
Why Use Vermiculite?
Vermiculite can hold up to four times its weight in water and is known to be able to trap moisture near plant roots. Unlike perlite which maximises drainage, vermiculite acts more like a sponge. The combination of the two substrates in your growing media ensures optimal air filled porosity and water holding capacity Vermiculite also has excellent cation exchange capabilities and hence absorbs nutrients form the irrigation system and then slowly releases it to the plants . Vermiculite also finds extensive use as a capping material for the germination of seeds.
Why Not Use Both?
There is evidence to suggest that utilising a mix of both perlite and vermiculite is beneficial to the growth of fruit and vegetables. Here at Sun Silicates, due to the fact that we not only manufacture both bulk perlite and vermiculite, but we also have the ability to mix and bag in-house, we are in a unique position to supply premixed products that are custom-made to our customer’s requirements. Our laboratory facilities can also assist in optimising your growing media as we can measure the air-filled porosity and water holding capacity and thereby optimise it for your specific crop.
Bulk Perlite and Vermiculite From the Leading Manufacturer and Supplier in SA
Now that you know the various benefits of growing in perlite and vermiculite, you will probably be in search of a reputable supplier. Here at Sun Silicates, we are bulk perlite and vermiculite suppliers that you can count on for quality. Contact us today to learn more.