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Old January 21, 2022   #1
Milan HP
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Default Zeolite in container mix

I've just learnt of the existence of zeolite, the porous mineral that is supposed to absorb nutrients and prevent them from leaking out of the containers.

I am sure there are lots of people here who have had some experience of using it. My questions are: How much zeolite per gallon? What size of the particles is the most suitable? And finally: How useful is it? Does it really help?

Thank you.
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Old January 23, 2022   #2
RayR
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Zeolites are a mineral deposit that formed from volcanic ash and an alkaline water source creating a inert hard glass-like mineral with a honeycomb-like structure that absorbs water and has a high cation exchange capacity (CEC) which makes it attract positively charged nutrient ions like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and ammonium
If your soils have a low CEC like sandy soils where water and nutrients easily leach out , then amending it with zeolite can help retain both water and nutrients and slowly release them back into the soil for plant roots to take up.
There are no general rules for how much to use since the situations vary, especially in container mixes.which generally don't have a low CEC. You'd have to experiment with it.
You would usually buy it in granules the size of sand grains ot coarse sand.
I have some and have played around a little with it. I wouldn't go crazy using a lot of it in a container mix because too much can give you the opposite result that you are looking for.
Zeolites are commonly used in horse stalls because as an adsorbent with a high CEC it has a high affinity for trapping ammonium nitrogen which reduces ammonia odors in the stalls.
Using too much of it in.a container mix can have a similar effect but locking up too much ammonium nitrogen would not be beneficial to the plants
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Old January 24, 2022   #3
hl2601
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Gosh Ray! Excellent information. Thank you!
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Old January 24, 2022   #4
Milan HP
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Thank you a million, Ray.
That's all I need. Actually, I have bought some and the size of the particles is about 3 - 5 mm. My mix is home-made, a mixture of clay soil from my garden and two different commercial seed mixes that don't hold water very well. I'll probably put some thirty to forty grains in each pot and see what happens. And I am not really heavy on ammonium nitrogen.
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Old January 24, 2022   #5
biscuitridge
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Old January 26, 2022   #6
RayR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milan HP View Post
Thank you a million, Ray.
That's all I need. Actually, I have bought some and the size of the particles is about 3 - 5 mm. My mix is home-made, a mixture of clay soil from my garden and two different commercial seed mixes that don't hold water very well. I'll probably put some thirty to forty grains in each pot and see what happens. And I am not really heavy on ammonium nitrogen.
Milan HP

It'll probably work well to improve water retention in your commercial mixes.
I would guess your home-made mix with the clay doesn't have a problem with water retention and clays naturally have a higher CEC for holding on to nutrient cations which minimizes leaching..



These N. American zeolite mining companies has some good information on uses and benefits as a soil amendment.


https://www.absorbentproductsltd.com/soil-conditioner/


https://www.kmizeolite.com/soil-amendment/#tab-id-1
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