Crushed Granite

FrankP999

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I am looking for a source of crushed granite in a color other than white. I have read that "engineered granite" countertops use crushed granite with a binder. These counter tops are available in a variety of colors. I can buy Grani-Grit at farm supply stores as chicken grit but it is a stark white. I would like to hear from anyone has a source of granite in colors or knowledge of these types of countertops.

Thanks

Frank
 

Smoke

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Why crushed granite?

There are no benifits from crushed granite as a soil additive. It is heavy, has no pourosity, and is hard to find in dark colors. If you are set about useing ballest material in your soil mix just go to a local rock yard and find a suitable crushed stone in a darker color. Many rock yards carry crushed stone for decorative topping around landscapes. So.. if granite will work, any stone will work. In fact just go to Home depot and buy a bag of pea gravel it will be of the same use.
 

HotAction

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I collect my own colored granite. I still use the white stuff because it is easier to get. However, a simple top dressing goes along way. Maybe I can find some in the garage and take a picture.

Al, Granite when crushed has a very coarse texture, which in turn, greatly increases surface area. This allows more molecules of water to adhere (due to the cohesive properties of water). So, while I agree that it is heavy, it can be SLIGHTLY more useful than smoother rock. Not that I think the plants gain or suffer much from its presence. Just some things to think about when choosing soil components I suppose.

Dave
 

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I collect my own colored granite. I still use the white stuff because it is easier to get. However, a simple top dressing goes along way. Maybe I can find some in the garage and take a picture.

Al, Granite when crushed has a very coarse texture, which in turn, greatly increases surface area. This allows more molecules of water to adhere (due to the cohesive properties of water). So, while I agree that it is heavy, it can be SLIGHTLY more useful than smoother rock. Not that I think the plants gain or suffer much from its presence. Just some things to think about when choosing soil components I suppose.

Dave

True, but beyond the rough surface...rock is rock. I think we are splitting hairs on the water retention issue.

Now pumice or lava thats a different matter, wouldn't you agree?
 

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yeah, I would agree. As I was writing, I realized I wasn't really making any sort of point to argue. Kinda of just thinking "out loud"?:confused: For those of us on the east coast, pumice can be hard to find. Just to clarify, I wouldn't ever claim that granite is a bonsai "secret" or "must have" or any of our other bonsai myths.

Dave
 

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FrankP999

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As Dave said, crushed granite has sharp edges. Supposedly that promotes root ramification. At least that's what have read over the years. My first bonsai teacher who spent years in Japan in the service, used granite, turface, and bark and I have stuck with that simple mix. I have tried pea gravel and not had as good growth as with granite. On another web site there was a link to National Building Granite Quarries Association, Inc. http://www.nbgqa.com/colorclasses.htm

Call it cabin fever - we have more heavy rain headed this way in Georgia and no pourosity sounds real good (I am 24 inches above normal for the last 12 months) and I started thinking about drainage and looking at my minimal supply of Grani-Grit. I was kinda hooked on the variety of granite colors mother nature provides. On that same web site, the guy said he was buying bags of different colors for $12/50# from firms that make custom countertops. It was news to me but apparently they mix crushed granite with a binder of some kind then machines countertops from that once the binder hardenes.

I have wanted to try pumice and so ordered some from a farm supply store as product called Dry Stall. I would like comments on pumice. But that's another thread.

Frank
 
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Tachigi

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Granite when crushed has a very coarse texture, which in turn, greatly increases surface area. This allows more molecules of water to adhere (due to the cohesive properties of water). So, while I agree that it is heavy, it can be SLIGHTLY more useful than smoother rock. Not that I think the plants gain or suffer much from its presence. Just some things to think about when choosing soil components I suppose.

Dave

Dave, Lava is also as sharp as granite, but is porous and retains moisture. It also has very high levels of Paramagnetism which is beneficial to plants. It also gives substantially more surface area than the same size grain of granite. So it definitely gives more bang for the buck. Lava maybe difficult to get locally but their is a vast amount of it here on the east coast, I speak from personal knowledge;).

Granite is fine and good and there is nothing wrong with it, but falls far short when compared to lava or similar material that has found its way into recent fast draining soil recipes. As soils have evolved granite has fallen by the way side and is a basically antiquated. It is not often seen in today's mixes and considered a bit old school by seasoned enthusiasts.

Your commitment and wallet will determine whats best for you....just don't be put off of other ingredients based on local
 

HotAction

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A local guy produces soil professionally, and I am trying his mix for my better trees this coming season. I think he uses haydite among other things. For stuff in development, I'm looking at turface, granite, and bark. Of, course, I wouldn't mind finding some pumice, and I keep my eyes open. Like I said, granite is HEAVY!!!!!!

Dave
 

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A local guy produces soil professionally, and I am trying his mix for my better trees this coming season. I think he uses haydite among other things. For stuff in development, I'm looking at turface, granite, and bark. Of, course, I wouldn't mind finding some pumice, and I keep my eyes open. Like I said, granite is HEAVY!!!!!!

Dave

Being in New York so close to William Valavanis would be a benificial thing when looking for soil components. Doesn't he have this soil thing on a rail?

No horse or livestalk places in your area that will bring in Dry stall? No nurseries carrying pumice in 1 cubic foot bags. Look at Hyrroponic stores in your area. Every small town has one these days for growing gonja, they have huge bags of hydroponic soils, (fired clay and ceramics) for growing.

I travel alot, not at all back east so don't get me wrong, but I hear so much bitching on the internet about the unavailability of soil products. Right here in California I hear it all the time. I go to a town close by and within a couple hours I can find so many suitable products in places that say "we don't have anything like that available". Just gotta look and hit the yellow pages and make some calls. Go to some construction sites and ask around, their getting their heavy sands and fill from somewhere, and believe me it's close by because of shipping. Stucco yards for homes will have many suitable sands in many sizes. Filter sands for water and swimming pools are readily available.

Just remember rock is rock and adds nothing but weight and not much else. As far as a filler you would be better off adding equal measure of orchid bark (seedling size) and forget the rock.

Bottom line if one is looking to make a wheelbarrow full of good bonsai soil for $3.00 find a different hobby!
 

Klytus

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Is granite an alkaline or acidic rock?

Is it too 'Hot' for finely figured work surfaces?

I would favour igneous over metamorphic,if Scoria cannot be had i would opt for slate products instead of granite.

I also wonder if Horticultural grade Kimberlite can be had?
 
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FrankP999

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Soooo.... back to one of my original questions: the use of crushed granite in custom countertops and countertop shops as a source? (Say that three times real fast). Anybody ever heard of such?

Tom, I do have a bag of lava I picked up last time I was at the Monastery in Conyers. Thanks for the advice on that vs. granite.

Frank
 

Tachigi

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Soooo.... back to one of my original questions: the use of crushed granite in custom countertops and countertop shops as a source? (Say that three times real fast). Anybody ever heard of such?

Tom, I do have a bag of lava I picked up last time I was at the Monastery in Conyers. Thanks for the advice on that vs. granite.

Frank

My pleasure! As far as crushed granite form counter tops...never heard of such a beastie. I would think it would be pretty hard to grade and size.
 

Jason

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Not that I'm advocating granite but I know many feed stores (at least around here) carry Cherry Stone grit for chickens and Turkeys which is granite. It's not white. It's like a brown-red color. Most people that do the granite/bark/turface mix advocate the Turkey grit (See their website on sizes:http://www.cherrystonegrit.com/). The stuff is heavy as hell but it's not ugly and it's got sharp surfaces. I've used this in the past but what Al and Tom have to say has merit. I've been migrating towards Lava. Oh...and did I mention this stuff is heavy as hell?
 

rockm

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"many feed stores (at least around here)carry Cherry Stone grit for chickens and Turkeys which is granite. It's not white. It's like a brown-red color"

Be EXTREMELY careful in using other poultry granite--I've run across very nicely colored crushed granite (reddish brown) in feed stores that was grit used for pigeons. Thing was, it contained an oil additive (anise flavored oil) to get the silly pigeons to eat it. Oil in bonsai soil is a very bad thing....

The only Cherry stone grit I could find online is traction grit made in Minn. It's not white, but it's not exactly inconspicuous. I'd use #1 or #2:
http://www.cherrystonegrit.com/grit_sizes.html

Crushed granite is a very acceptable, inexpensive and readily available soil additive, despite what the Californians and California wanna-bees:D:D:D say. Pumice is vastly expensive and mostly hard to come by on the East coast--despite what you hear. I

However, more directly to answer the question asked,--if you're searching for specialized granite and are willing to pay for such a thing, you might as well use pumice. You're probably going to be about as lucky finding special granite and you're probably going to pay a premium for it. There are no extremely special qualities that granite has that can't be filled by pumice or a number of other ingredients. If you don't like the color, I'd search for haydite...expanded shale
 
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kytombonsai

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Frank,

I used to use a product called Texas Grit. It was a mixture of browns in color and fairly sharp. I was told that it is used for a couple of things, one being for sand blasting and the other for a mixture that contained epoxy and grit and covered sidewalks and patios. Mainly around pools. The problem with it is the weight. Works great in a literati style pot where you can use the weight for the pot but terrible for larger trees.

Tom
 

Smoke

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Crushed granite is a very acceptable, inexpensive and readily available soil additive, despite what the Californians and California wanna-bees:D:D:D say. Pumice is vastly expensive and mostly hard to come by on the East coast--despite what you hear.

However, more directly to answer the question asked,--if you're searching for specialized granite and are willing to pay for such a thing, you might as well use pumice. You're probably going to be about as lucky finding special granite and you're probably going to pay a premium for it. There are no extremely special qualities that granite has that can't be filled by pumice or a number of other ingredients. If you don't like the color, I'd search for haydite...expanded shale

I went out to the rockery today to shoot some pictures of supplies readily available in my area. I live in a modest town, not that big and surly close to the same size as Macon Georgia.

This California wanna-be has tried everything under the sun to grow plants in. I have used granite products, mostly DG in my soils. There is nothing wrong with using this as a soil additive if shear weight is what your after. Other than weight there is no other benifit from this component that could not be fullfilled with the simple addition of sand which is readily available everywhere.
A quick google search in Macon Georgia turned up many possible places that will sell crushed rock products with this place even showing crushed brick, which I have used and find a very valuable soil component. It is not readily available to me or I would use it more.

My rock yard carries in bulk and pre bagged:

1/4 red and black lava. They were out of the black when I was there.

1/4 Cali-gold crushed rock. Pretty good stuff if adding rock to your soil is what your after.

1/4 DG (decomposed granite) grey in color and good size. Good if wanting rock again.

Sand, best component if no other good components available. Sand and potting soil 50/50 makes great bonsai soil.

1/4 brown crushed rock. I have no idea what this is, probably a crushed shale product, again good if you wish to add rock.


All my other components are imported Japanese soil products that I buy at bonsai conventions or bonsai dealers. They ain't cheap but they are best, cause they are bonsai soil specific and that means something. Will they make better bonsai? Probably not. I can afford them so I use them, your mileage may differ.
Cheers, Al
 

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