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5348 Vermiculite - soilless growing media, 1 gal bagVermiculite is a hydrous, silicate mineral. It is a wonderful growing media for many purposes:
Soilless growing media: exfoliated vermiculite is combined with other materials such as peat or pine bark to produce soilless growing media for the professional horticulturalist and for the home gardener. These mixes promote faster root growth and give quick anchorage to young roots. The mixture helps retain air, plant food and moisture, releasing them as the plant requires them.
Seed germination: either used alone or mixed with soil or peat, vermiculite is used to germinate seeds. Very little watering is required. When vermiculite is used alone, seedlings should be fed with a weak fertilizer solution when the first true leaves appear.
Storing bulbs and root crops: pour vermiculite around bulbs placed in container. If clumps are dug, allow to dry for a few hours in the sun and then place in cartons or bushel baskets and cover with vermiculite. The absorptive power of vermiculite acts as a regulator that prevents mildew and moisture fluctuation during the storage period. It will not absorb moisture from the inside of stored tubers, but it does take up free water from the outside, preventing storage rot.
As a soil conditioner: Where the native soil is heavy or sticky, gentle mixing of vermiculite up to one-half the volume of the soil is recommended. This creates air channels and allows the soil mix to breathe. Mixing vermiculite in flower and vegetable gardens or in potted plants will provide the necessary air to maintain vigorous plant growth. Where soils are sandy, mixing of vermiculite into the soil will allow the soil to hold water and air needed for growth.
See Info sheet about growing media (2 pages).