Yo, what’s good fellow cannabis enthusiasts? My name is Dan, and I’m here to tell you about the benefits of using perlite in your grow room or garden. If you wanna improve the health of your cannabis plants, keep reading!
So, what the hell is perlite anyway? You’ve probably seen those white dots in your bag of soil before. Well, those are little glass particles that come from obsidian, a volcanic glass that forms when lava cools rapidly. After some crushing and heating, it expands up to 20 times its original size and becomes a popcorn-like white substance that helps with soil structure.
Now, let’s talk about the benefits. First of all, perlite enhances drainage. Plants need to avoid those smelly anaerobic bacteria and fungal diseases that thrive in wet conditions. Perlite helps reduce the risk of root rot and stagnation because it creates a structure that enhances drainage.
Secondly, perlite improves aeration. Roots need to breathe too! Gas exchange takes place between the root zone and atmosphere, so poor soil structure can negatively impact this process. Perlite creates many small pockets of air, providing the roots with an ample supply of oxygen to facilitate respiration.
Thirdly, perlite is pH-neutral, meaning it won’t mess with the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. This helps prevent issues like nutrient lockout.
Lastly, perlite reduces compaction. Soil compaction takes place when the pore spaces between soil particles are reduced, inhibiting drainage and aeration. Perlite features a solid structure and contains many small holes, thus resisting compaction and working as a superb amendment for already compacted soils.
But let’s not forget about the downsides. Perlite can break up into tiny dust particles during transport and can irritate your eyes and throat. Plus, huge mining operations strip it from the ground and international shipping operations bring it to your local store, taking a toll on the environment.
Now, how do you use perlite? It works best as a soil amendment. Just weigh up how much soil you need, add the desired amount of perlite, and give it a thorough mix. The amount of perlite you use depends on your goals. For example, 10-20% perlite works great if you want to aerate and enhance the drainage of your soil without having to continually feed your plants with nutrient inputs. On the other hand, using 30-50% perlite ramps up drainage but leaches nutrients from the soil, so you’ll need to add more nutrients during the growing cycle.
Can you grow weed using nothing but perlite? We don’t recommend it. Perlite alone lacks the key microorganisms, nutrients, and water-holding capacity of soil. However, perlite alone works as a viable growing medium when used in hydroponic net pots.
So, why not vermiculite instead? Mining companies also ship it to gardeners all around the world. Vermiculite has a neutral pH and holds on to nutrients well. However, perlite boasts more porosity, meaning it works slightly better at draining and aerating growing media.
In conclusion, perlite makes a great soil amendment for cannabis and more. If you wanna improve soil structure, drainage, and aeration, give it a go!