Saturday, April 13, 2013

Perlite, Plant Food and Transplanting

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Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2013

Last week, I have finally transplanted my basil herbs and have added perlite and some plant food to my soil mix. My basil herbs are actually housed in a wide flower pot. I noticed that some of them are not growing that well so I made some research and learned that basil actually needs to be six inches apart because it is somehow greedy since it grows lots of roots.

harvested basil ready to be transplanted
While doing my research, I stumbled upon this gardening miracle, the perlite. Perlite is actually an amorphous volcanic glass, which is relatively high in water content. To those who are not familiar with perlite, you can actually mix it with your potting mix or even use it as a soil replacement.

Here are some of the great benefits of using perlite:

1) Prevents compaction, which improves aeration and drainage
2) Promotes root initiation and growth
3) Insulates and minimizes temperature fluctuation
4) Holds moisture to your soil mix
5) Helps keep your soil free of weeds, diseases and insects
6) Promotes faster germination to your seeds

Since, I'm recycling my existing soil mix, I just added the perlite and mixed it very well. On top of my soil mix, I have added some fresh poting mix and sprinkled it with some perlite again.

soil mix before mixing a generous amount of perlite
Here is the finished product after a week with perlite. My basil on the left contains perlite and plant food while on the right (separate pot) contains only perlite.  The basil on the left is noticeably healthy compared to the basil on the separate pot.  Just an experiment whether the plant food is really effective.  By the way, I also noticed that the soil never dried up, which is my biggest concern.  Because of perlite they seem to be well hydrated.  Can you notice how green and big the leaves are?

basil after a week with perlite and plant food

I need to get more of perlite and will use it for my seed planting. I actually have tomato and chives but they didn't germinate at all. Hopefully, the perlite will be my answer.

26 Responses to “Perlite, Plant Food and Transplanting”

Mei said...
April 13, 2013 at 7:14 PM

I wish I also know how to plant. I mean, I've tried gardening before, because it's part of our project, but I haven't tried taking care of plans or even flowers.

Chubskulit Rose said...
April 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM

That's so nice to you grow your own herbs...

Gven-Rose said...
April 14, 2013 at 11:08 AM

good job Makoy, been wanting to have a small garden in our backyard but the soil is not healthy enough.. :-(

Makoy said...
April 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Gven Rose, you can buy the potting mix if the soil in your backyard is not that good. Or you can tilt your soil then mix with compost for starters.

jheylo said...
April 14, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Wow! you sure are reading for growing some vegetables :) basils are good herbs

Marms @ Home and Household said...
April 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM

I love gardening. Planting veggies and flowering plants is one of my interest.

working mama said...
April 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM

wow! You are into planting too.. Nice idea, I seldom know a guy who's interested in planting.

Rochkirstin Santos said...
April 17, 2013 at 5:17 PM

What type of basils are you planting? How many leaves per week can be harvested? Where can we get Perlite?

Franc Ramon said...
April 17, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I think plants should be spaced apart for proper sharing of minerals and resources.

joy adalia said...
April 17, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Where did you get your perlite? The experiment you did is fantastic :) Clear comparisons sa with perlite and w/o perlite :)

Makoy said...
April 17, 2013 at 6:05 PM

It's actually sweet basil. I got the perlite from my Myanmese friend. She bought it from a gardening store.

Regarding the number of leaves, maybe around 10-15 leaves per 2 weeks.

Paula Nicolas said...
April 17, 2013 at 6:12 PM

I envy your basil :) I had one before and it died rightaway. Putting perlites might be the answer. Thanks for the information, I just have to research as to where to get it here.:)

Kim Nieves said...
April 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM

I better share this post to my mom because she has such a green thumb! :)

Mai Flores said...
April 17, 2013 at 7:24 PM

This is actually the first time that I'm hearing about Perlite and its great effect on potted plants. I should have known about this earlier. It would have been a great article topic for a gardening company that I used to work for. :)

Algene May C. said...
April 17, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Good luck with this! I also want to start my own planting project pero with my hectic sched, I don"t see it coming to life soon

Joey said...
April 17, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Wow! That's a great discovery. Though, I'm not really into gardening and stuff. Still, this is something I can forward tell my other friends about. Thanks

Gigi Beleno said...
April 17, 2013 at 9:44 PM

First time I read all about Perlite. I used to do gardening before when I got engrossed with some flowering plants I just used Paul bloomers and the compost mix which I purchase from a nearby garden shop. Goodluck to you.

papaleng said...
April 17, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Perlite, new term for me. I love gardening and would like to us, where can I buy this Perlite?

Sarah Jean said...
April 18, 2013 at 12:04 AM

Wow I wanna make my own backyard gardening of herbs and spices too. But for now, still on my checklist. Hindi ko pa talaga nasimulan. Good Luck and look forward to read more about your plants

Marri Bermudez said...
April 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

I'm not into gardening yet but I have plans and this information about Perlite will definitely of use to me in the future.

DiaryniGracia said...
April 18, 2013 at 8:49 AM

i may don't have plant on my own now. .because I don't have enough time to take care of them. Is there any plant that don't need much attention like this?

Pao Tolentino said...
April 18, 2013 at 10:07 AM

This is the first time I've heard of Perlite.. but looking at the significant difference between the two, it must be good :)

The Manila Urbanite said...
April 18, 2013 at 12:18 PM

You must have what they call a "green thumb!" :) Looking forward to be reading some more of this!

Erika ♥ said...
April 18, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Good for you! I wish I can grow my own herbs but the only plant I can grow are monggo seeds. Haha!

:) Erika

Kenneth Ravida said...
April 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM

I do not know anything about perlite, but when I heard that it is a some kind of volcanic glass, I know that is a good fertilizer for a plant. Anything that comes from volcano after it cools down is a good fertilizer, because it contains a lot of minerals.

Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen said...
April 24, 2013 at 6:48 AM

It's great that you have a green thumb. I think I have black thumbs because I could keep a plant alive.

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