Gardeners do not like it when plants become sulky and wilt. When the soil is overwatered, the roots won’t be able to bring up the oxygen, causing plants to die. To prevent that, you must first know your soil type. That is where garden grit comes in handy. Before you spread these small fragments of stones into your garden, you might ask – what is grit in gardening? In this article, we are going to discuss what horticultural grit is and how to use grit to improve your garden drainage.
What is Grit in Gardening?
What is grit in gardening? Grits are finely ground fragments of stone that are used to enhance compost drainage. It consists of 2 to 4 mm particles, which are washed and graded by a screen.
Gardeners and experienced growers use horticultural or commonly known as garden grit for several years. With some manure, it helps to facilitate proper drainage and aeration. You can use garden grit for cactus plants, alpine plants, spices, and lavender plants.
Soil characteristic is of utmost importance to growing healthy plants and productive garden. Horticultural grit can assist your garden soil to receive adequate nutrients, giving the following main benefits:
- Neutral pH
- Clears up heavy clay soils
- Improves drainage
- Helps minimize ‘clumping’ in clay soils
- Easy to rake out
What is Horticultural Grit?
Horticultural or garden grit is washed small stones with a particle size of 1-4 mm and contains neutral pH. You can use horticultural grit in specific potting mixes or make a natural potting mix free-draining such as for alpines plants. Hard soil can loosen up if you apple garden grit. Horticultural grit also increases irrigation and aeration and helps loosen the clay. They have a smaller particle size that is used for potting soil.
Here are some advantages of horticultural grit:
- Affordable than vermiculite and perlite
- Lime-free and tightly grounded
- Improves drainage and aeration
- Great decorative garden top dressing
- Produces less dust
- Great for plants that have waterlogging roots
- Great compost mixture
Why Use Garden ‘Horticultural’ Grit
Horticultural grit is frequently combined with manure or peat to produce a soilless root growing that is well-drained. The mixture’s loose form is useful for germination and root cuttings.
Garden soil is not ideal for container growing since it becomes a compacted and brick-like look. The roots suffocate as water can not escape or drain, and the plants will die. You can mix compost or peat and horticultural grit to develop an ideal environment for your plants. You can mix one part of the horticultural grit into two sections of peat or manure for several plants. But cactus and succulents usually favor a grittier 50-50 blend.
It can be challenging to improve heavy clay soil, but grit may render the land more resilient and increase drainage. Place several inches of horticultural grit over the surface of the ground. If the soil is thick clay, you may add nine-ten inches of soil. You will need to add enough grit about half the total amount of soil to allow a substantial garden improvement.
Garden grass can get tough and waterlogged in poorly drained soil, especially on rainy days. One approach to alleviate excessive water is to rake horticultural grit into holes using an aerator that you drilled through the grass. When the grass is low, you can use a pitchfork or rake to make holes.
Where To Buy Garden Grit
Amazon and Walmart sell garden grit, or you can go to the nearest farm supply shop and inquire about the horticultural grit. You can also go to the stone center and ask about the garden grit. Garden grit is nothing but small shaped stones but not pea gravel. You can use horticultural grit for drainage in gardens, how much courage depends on how clean you like the drainage to be. You can apply it to lavender beds or alpine beds with a crushed oyster shell for calcium.
Prices for these garden grits depend on your location and availability, but most builders’ sand would be cheaper.
How to Use Horticultural Grit to Your Plants
The key to improving our plants in the garden may reside more in what we do with the soil, as compared to what we pick. You can use grit as a soil supplement in horticulture.
Excavate 30 cm and add a sheet of grit around 10 cm in depth before planting to a new bed or individual plants. It provides many benefits as it allows roots to travel down the grit layer in pursuit of nutrients and water. You may also go a little further by applying a coat of high-nutrient compost like chicken manure or farmyard manure. It also benefits the plants to have stronger roots to survive strong winds during storms.
The other significant benefit of utilizing horticultural grit is that during times of heavy rainfall, the grit can eliminate the moisture from the base of the plant. It makes the plants less vulnerable to fungal infection and basal rot that grow in waterlogged soil. Know more about gardening tips.
Remember, adequate watering is essential in plants. If you get it right, your garden will flourish. But if you under and overwater your plants, they will die. Getting the right soil type and nurturing it can feed your plants. Having grit with your soil will ensure that your plants receive balance nutrients. Hopefully, we’ve answered every aspect there is to know about – what is grit in gardening?