Horticultural grit for pots

Horticultural grit for pots

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Horticultural grit for pots &, garden soil

I’m a novice gardener and am starting a new garden this year.

When I originally chose a location, I did not know much about gardening and was lucky enough to get an area that is already established with a lot of organic material. This means that I can do the work required with the least amount of work, but my area is also surrounded by a high amount of construction and road work so the soil is really hard and needs to be worked on first before I start planting.

As part of the preparation, I dug out the existing top layer of soil. This was a really bad idea and caused a lot of problems for me. My garden bed ended up being much larger than expected and ended up with very clayey soil. I was able to put in some topsoil but it was mixed with all the old construction and road detritus so was very coarse and the clay is still all too evident. I needed a lot of mixing to get a good consistency and have some hope that I can get good results.

I’ve bought a big spade, some grit and a wheelbarrow and have been mixing the topsoil and coarse grit and then rolling the mixture into the garden beds to make a new mix. It’s a slow process but I am getting better at mixing with a shovel, but not so good with the spade. I don’t know how much to use of each, but it’s hard to get enough to mix to my liking. In addition I’m trying to keep the grit contained in the bags for the next time I need it.

What’s your experience of using grit for garden soil? Are you satisfied with the results? Has it improved the soil for you?

4 Responses to Horticultural grit for pots &, garden soil

I got some from a garden centre for putting in my flower bed. I did not realise it came in a bag and did not use any compost or garden soil to mix in. I had lots of it for a very long time. I got very annoyed and threw it away.

It’s great that it’s still available. I was lucky enough to get some at the local garden centre where I shop often.

Thanks for your comment. You can buy a bag of grit from many garden centres, but what you’ll notice is that the mix in the bag is not the same as when the bags were made. If you were to put a little of the bag into a wheelbarrow you’d get your hands on just about anything you want. It’s cheap and available in so many different sizes and styles.

I’m going to find out if it’s possible to do some kind of composting using it. I’ve always thought that it would be a good fertilizer. I know that it’s mainly sand. I suppose the sand will help add structure to the soil. Sand alone won’t do that.

Hi John,

Yes grit is very different to garden soil. It’s good for planting your plants, it holds the grit together, but it doesn’t have the structure of garden soil. Your soil has micro-organisms living in it which are responsible for giving it structure. I don’t know if this would be worth doing, but I have been looking at ways to compost with grit, because I’m not so keen on using the bags.

If I find out anything about it I’ll let you know.

I bought some from the market, and there are others in the market now. I don’t have a big amount and I am looking to expand so will try to re-use it. It is fine for a flower bed.

If it doesn’t work out for any of your neighbours, try another person. You could be the first.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your comment. You should be able to get it from the supermarket without too much trouble. I hope that the bags turn out well for you. Take care!

I saw it in the garden shop a few weeks ago. I am not sure what it is used for. It looks like it can be mixed with ordinary sand but not all bags have that. I think this is mainly used for making sand. I will look at it but I was going to buy some bags of compost because I know it is best to use and doesn’t need to be mixed with ordinary soil. There was no one around the garden shop when I went but hopefully someone else will come in and say ‘what is that thing in the sand?’

I wonder if it can be composted?

Hi Tilly,

You are right. The bags should be added to the compost heap. I’m not too sure about the other things because it seems it is used as a kind of artificial sand.

It might be that you can get bags for the ground, but not the other things. I can’t help much because I don’t know what it is used for.

It may have come from a garden store. I just bought some compost. I might try and use it.

There’s also a place to get all of these things I think. It’s called Homebase. They sell a lot of garden stuff. They also have other little bits and pieces. I can’t remember what it was called. But they do sell bags of compost, mulch and all of those things.

As someone who’s been gardening in England for most of my life, I’m interested to see what it’s like in the warmer climes. This year we’ve been blessed with a warm, dry summer and everything I planted is healthy. That being said, I’ve had to be more picky about what I plant because I’m much happier with what I get in my basket at the end of the season. I also like to know what I’m using where it’s going. I’ve started to think of planting a garden for my yard that I’ll use the first year and leave out for my children. I want to know that it will be as good for them in years to come.

I was wondering if I can buy some of these composters because I can’t buy any new in the UK – if any one has any experience of these items (i.e. do they work? what do they cost?). I’m sure I could make a do-it-yourself version, but it will be much nicer if it is all done for me, so a lot less time spent in the kitchen!

Thank you for a useful post


Hello Janine, I haven

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