Which size screened gravel to use

Leo A. Martin leo@possi.org
Sun, 18 Aug 2013 10:28:51 PDT
I wrote of screening gravel from a desert wash for use in containers
> I have to screen mine, though, through
> 1/4" / 10mm wire mesh."

Alberto asked
> And which size do you use?

Most of the time I use what falls through this screen and return the larger pieces. This
is really good for almost all cactus and succulents as-is, as well as for bulbs needing
good drainage. If I am planting a large container that I will need to move from time to
time, I may add a large quantity of perlite or pumice to make the container easier to
move. But pumice is hard to get here now, since the one mine in Arizona was closed.

For bulbs that I think need a more silt- or clay-like medium I use another screen after
this, a large kitchen strainer that has a mesh size of 1 or 2mm, and use the fine
material for those seeds. Generally when I read something comes from sandstone soils or
need a well-drained mix I use the larger size; for something from shale soils or
renosterveld, or something that is semi-aquatic, I would try and use the finer size.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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