Start a new thread

1 to 7 of 7 replies

Perlite. Is great for adding to seed sowing compost, for growing plants that like good drainage and for top dressing small pots. Its totally safe, as far as I know, and seedlings grow well in it

Hmm yes I know that perlite is a good addition for drainage, but I wondered about this particular brand is ok to use. It is called Silvalite. On the bag it does not say anything about horticultural use, just lots of info about industrial uses!! So I just wanted to make sure it was ok, (my thinking is that it is just the same as perlite, just cheaper).


hollie hock

As far as know perlite and also vermiculite are sold to add into compost/seed compost to add drainage. I'm not sure of that it's worth spending any money on though.

All I can say is that my seeds do really well without either

Perlite is supposedly inert but so is washed sand and small grit, I bought a bag of each two years ago to make up my own mixes for seeds pricking out and potting on there is still some of each left.
I find perlite difficult to get rid of after use, put it on the garden and it washes to the top like a soap stain. Now they are using ground up polystyrene, that means we gardeners are left to get rid of it, stick to sand and grit at least that helps with drainage when dug in after use.



I used to get silvalite from local allotment store. It's perlite, a natural substance. I have never had a problem with it and I really think there is none. Most professional gardeners use it. Sand, small grit or perlite, take your pick but a bag of perlite is much lighter to carry, cleaner than the others and totally safe. It's good we can argue and disagree but we shouldnt look for problems that simply aren't there. When I hear and read how the old gardeners used nicotine and other more toxic "natural" chemicals I wonder how the planet survived.

My argument is that any material that has to be manufactured cannot be natural and far too many substances are being called a sort of perlite substitute such as I mentioned in another post, ground up Polystyrene. Fair enough I do break up Polystyrene boxes and use it as crocks in large pots then it is binned as it would have been in the first place.
Any DIY store will lift stuff into the back of a car and then I drop it in a barrow to where I leave it against the potting bench, natural stuff, easy to use and fully integrated into the garden later.
The first sort of mixer I remember was a sort of pumice processed into small balls, it was light did the job and seemed to disapear in the pot after a time.
I was brought up with all the old fashioned methods as the garden had to feed the family and yes all kind of weird things were used to fight the bugs, the best way was to let the hens wander the garden, they kept the nasties down.
My Father used them because there was nothing else and over time he knew what worked, when DDT came into general use he refused to use it, not natural he said and proved to be right.
Argue we will, who is right who knows, I do things my way as do others, we are gardeners, we work in the knowledge of our own experience and so may it ever be.


Sign up or log in to post a reply