Horticultural Vermiculite

Raw Vermiculite, when passed through a special heat treatment, exfoliates many times it's original size providing an excellent medium for growing all types of plants, vegetables and fruits.

Properties of Mandoval exfoliated Vermiculite for use in the horticultural and hydroponics industries :

  • Vermiculite is an excellent growing medium and can be mixed with peat and/or bark
  • When used on its own it is necessary to add nutrients
  • The grade of Mandoval Vermiculite used for growing purposes is Medium grade which is packed in 8kg/100Lt bags
  • It is important not to squash the vermiculite as the material is friable, the air trapped between the laminae is important to the life of the plant.

Using Mandoval Vermiculite

Simply place cuttings (preferably treated with a growth hormone) into wet Mandoval Vermiculite. A mixture of vermiculite/peat may also be used in the proportion 50:50 by volume. Place cuttings in semi shade and mist over lightly each morning till the cuttings take.

Soil Conditioning
Mix Mandoval Vermiculite in roughly equal proportions with clayey soil (by volume) in order to absorb the excess water. Similarly, equal parts of Mandoval Vermiculite mixed with sandy soil will help to aerate the soil, stop compaction and will improve both its water holding capacities and its surface tension.

Hanging Baskets
Because Mandoval Vermiculite is so lightweight it makes sense to use a 50:50 mix with peat for both hanging baskets as well as containers.

Lawn Conditioning
Fork/spike the area well and then sprinkle vermiculite over the surface. Brush or water the Vermiculite into the open areas. Alternatively mix the Vermiculite with lawn food before watering in. Ideal for golf courses.

Seed Sowing
Sow seeds into pure Mandoval Vermiculite in seedling trays. Press seeds down firmly and cover with a layer of Vermiculite and mist with water daily. Seeds will germinate within a few days. It will, however, be necessary to add nutrients after a few days as the roots will be protected with the vermiculite which will also act as an insulating and moisture retaining medium. Commercial growers will have developed their own feeding spray regime.

Store bulbs in a bag or box of dry exfoliated sterile Mandoval Vermiculite till the next season.

Points to remember

  • Mandoval Vermiculite is sterile so avoid contamination with dirty tools, infected soils, etc.
  • Plastic and Polystyrene seedling trays should be cleaned by steam or with a mixture of bleach and water to kill bacteria from the previous growing season.
  • Mandoval Vermiculite is sterile and will therefore need to have nutrients added to the growing mixture.
  • The addition of Mandoval Vermiculite to a potting soil will aerate and hold moisture improving the surface tension of the growing medium.
  • Commercial growers will develop their own medium for growing purposes. Generally, however, the grower will be guided by the required pH as to how the potting soil should be mixed.

It is beyond the scope of this web page to deal with all aspects of growing and/or hydroponics. Additional information can be obtained from Cape Agricultural Products sales department or from specialists in the field of horticulture and hydroponics.

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