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Brad Mondel

Best sand for potted palms?

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Brad Mondel

I've tried builders sand, play sand, aquarium sand and I do not like them at all except the aquarium sand but it is too expensive. Would pool filter sand be any good? I need a larger coarse grain size that drains well, not sugar grain sized. 

Edited by Brad Mondel

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Rickybobby

I added the same thread on pool filter sand a few months back and not one answer. Hopefully someone chimes in 

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Fusca

I gave up on trying to find course sand to use for potted palms and have just been using Turface MVP (Seramis) as a moisture-retaining substitute.  Really helps to improve drainage as well.

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Merlyn2220

I read on a palm (or possibly cycad?) page that they recommended using #20 sieve silica sand for planting and potting.  That's 0.033" diameter or 0.84mm.  The finer grain #40 is half that diameter, and the pool filter sand is somewhere in the 20-40 range.  I've been using the Sakrete Multi-Purpose sand, which seems to be around 0.020-0.060" diameter, a range of #35-#12 sieve.  It seems to work okay and is coarser than the typical play sand.

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RJ
3 hours ago, Brad Mondel said:

I've tried builders sand, play sand, aquarium sand and I do not like them at all except the aquarium sand but it is too expensive. Would pool filter sand be any good? I need a larger coarse grain size that drains well, not sugar grain sized. 

Have you tried the mushroom compost at Lowes?  It's sand based. I like it as it adds some weight to the root mass in case of winds. That with pine bark seems to be working well so far. It however isn't a very large grained sand. 

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RJ
1 minute ago, Fusca said:

I gave up on trying to find course sand to use for potted palms and have just been using Turface MVP (Seramis) as a moisture-retaining substitute.  Really helps to improve drainage as well.

I picked up a bag of this the  other day but have yet to try it. Good to know you like it. 

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Laaz

Turface MVP is the way to go I just picked up 5 more bags @ $15 each. 50/50 mix with Miracle-gro "garden soil" is about perfect. Stay away from "potting soil" it turns to muck very quickly.

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hbernstein

Sandblasting sand, if available, comes in several different sizes. I've found that it makes an excellent potting media ingredient. Just make sure that it isn't composed of limestone.

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Brad Mondel

I went to the pet store today and found some coarse sand. A five pound bag was $6.99 or twenty pounds for $20.  It has a larger grain size and air pockets between the grains. I also picked up some nice gravel and garden soil. Let's hope this mix is just right!

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palmsOrl

I just use playground sand and it works well for me.  I was going to get builder’s sand one time but there was a warning on the bag about being hazardous to handle.

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 10:21 AM, Laaz said:

Turface MVP is the way to go I just picked up 5 more bags @ $15 each. 50/50 mix with Miracle-gro "garden soil" is about perfect. Stay away from "potting soil" it turns to muck very quickly.

Where did you pick up the Turface at ? is it the same stuff online at Domyown . com 50# sack for 45 $

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Allen

Turface is sold to fix ball fields so look for a specialty turf company that professionals use.  Here they have it at Dickens Turf for $17.  You can't really ship it as it's heavy like rocks.  The store in Nashville TN has over 600 bags it's so popular.  

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
2 hours ago, Allen said:

Turface is sold to fix ball fields so look for a specialty turf company that professionals use.  Here they have it at Dickens Turf for $17.  You can't really ship it as it's heavy like rocks.  The store in Nashville TN has over 600 bags it's so popular.  

Thanks Allen appreciate the feedback =)

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Laaz

Look like Ewing Irrigation  is the biggest supplier in your area. Go to their site & enter your zip & it will give you a list of suppliers in your area.

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OC2Texaspalmlvr
1 hour ago, Laaz said:

Look like Ewing Irrigation  is the biggest supplier in your area. Go to their site & enter your zip & it will give you a list of suppliers in your area.

Thanks ill look into them =)

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cm05

Wouldn’t turface wick moisture from the roots if the medium dried out too much?

Edited by cm05
Typo

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Allen
On 5/18/2019 at 8:17 AM, cm05 said:

Wouldn’t turface wick moisture from the roots if the medium dried out too much?

Good question.  I use about 20%-30% in my mix. 

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Laaz

I've had nothing but good results with it.

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Silas_Sancona
On 5/18/2019 at 6:17 AM, cm05 said:

Wouldn’t turface wick moisture from the roots if the medium dried out too much?

With Turface, the opposite happens as the soil mix dries.. It will release what extra moisture all the grains had absorbed to the roots over a longer period of time, while also allowing good oxygen flow thru the mix, thus, less possible issues w/ root rot.. Clay Pellets, Pumice, and Grow Stones will retain some moisture and release it slowly into the mix afterward as well.

The only time it dries faster ( sometimes too fast ) for me is right about now,  ..during our late spring / early summer ..before Monsoon season starts here.. Humidity at this time can drop to the teens / single digits. Dew Point can also crash to the low 20s / teens. Combined w/ day after day 100-110+ heat, a lot of stuff dries out quick, especially stuff in small containers, in more / full sun exposure, and/or stuff i have that requires using nearly 80+% Turface in the mix..  Luckily, most of that stuff resents anything more than occasional watering at that time. High night time lows we see here during Summer can cause certain things to rot if watered / watered too often.

Outside this time of year, especially after October, i rarely have to water stuff more than once or twice a month, even those things in the high - Turface mix. Interestingly, anything where Peat moss is the main soil mix component dries out even faster here than the nearly 100% Turface soil mix can and peat will shrivel and is difficult to re-wet adequately afterward, even mixes that have perlite included. Turface will re-wet easily and evenly even if dusty dry.

 Unlike soil mixes high in Peat / other organics that break down and turn to sloppy muck quickly, stuff where turface is included rarely stays wet longer than it should, and i have far fewer issues w/ root rot  helped along by cooler / cold and/or overly wet conditions thru the winter.  Sand, especially finer stuff, or too much organics, causes me more grief that time of year than Turface.

If or when you get a bag to try it out, play around w/ soil mix ratios ...just to get a feel for which % ratio of Turface in your mix works best..

 

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Laaz

I totally agree.

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palmsOrl

I wish the bonsai substrate akadama was affordable to use as a soil component for potted palms.  The best quality type doesn’t crumble for a very long time and akadama holds nutrients and water in just the right way.  It looks much like Turface.

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SWFLchris

I have found that no matter what sand, unless its large grain silica sand (very expensive), will compact and get too heavy. I grow in large volumes and have thousands of palms in a mix of 1/3 cheap potting soil, 1/3 perlite and 1/3 vermiculite, from cold hardy to uber tropical stuff, works very well.

 

EDIT: I also add a hefty amount of nutricote 18-6-18

Edited by SWFLchris
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Merlyn2220

I have heard of using "chicken grit" as a sand replacement, but I haven't gone out to a Tractor Supply to see about grit size.  I'm guessing it's around #8-12 grit, they have a smaller type called "chick grit" but this is the normal stocked stuff.  It's 2x-3x more than plain sand at the big box stores, but might be useful:

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/manna-pro-poultry-grit-25-lb

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