LECA planting medium.

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

LECA planting medium.

Post  Mike Jones on Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:19 pm

I'm new to this product ... for a medium with plants in pots. My good friend Warren helped me locate a bag, and so a sieving I did go (hmmm there is a song hidden in that line methinks). I'm sure someone will tell me what it actually is, (LECA that is) but it seems very much like a volcanic lightweight particulate; thingymajiggy. I've not been brave enough yet to use it at a 100% ratio for my little trees (well, I hope they look treelike Smile I have however used it as a percentage for Elm, Pine (Scotch ... [on it's own no water thank you.] ) 'Shat-shki's (spoken like Bond; Jamesh Bond),' and a few others; but ... where I am chuffed to bits is the response with little miniature Hosta.

Yes, it dries out quickly and is possibly most suited to old fellas that be retired loike I, (my best West Country accent), but heck it is is clean and light and it is so darned tactile. I cannot stop fiddling with it every-time I pass a pot with it (I know how that sounded ...sigh)

Yes I suppose a plant, tree will grow in pretty much what it is given but ... I know no better cos I was told that as long as you can MANAGE correctly; free draining is absolutely legion, hence I have been a free draining addict for just a few years. I'll have a pop at anything in a pretty bag, or that feels nice. NO, I don't do cat litter, those that know me know my feelings on the stuff. But this LECA (how do you peeps do that little 'TM' thingy?) is .... in my initial tried (trying) and tested (testing) opinion is really really good.

Because text gets boring I'd do some images but images of a medium don't really do much for me so will ass-u-me you feel the same. Probably been talked about to death but I thought as I had the conversation with someone today I'd mention it. If you REALLY want a picture just say Smile

Mike Jones
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:06 pm

Never heard of the stuff, I wonder what the American English translation is?

Billy M. Rhodes
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  gope on Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:14 pm

Come on! post some pictures! Smile

gope
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Emil Brannstrom on Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:25 pm

Light Expanded Clay Aggregate, used as a drainage layer or top dressing for regular potted plants. Also used as insulation and as a substitute for bricks. Binds moisture and contains a lot of lime.

Best regards
Emil

Emil Brannstrom
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  drgonzo on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:32 pm

LECA is used extensively in hydroponics, and Orchid culture. It should have a neutral ph. Not sure about High Lime content thats news to me.
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Mike Jones on Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:38 am

Me too Emil. Has come out at completely neutral; thus pH or is is Ph ( I never know?) can be increased or decreased as you wish. Thanks all. Pics later then. I know, you can hardly wait Wink

Mike Jones
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  marcus watts on Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:31 am

here you go - these are the makers - leca site

Looks to be the same stuff we used hydroponically years ago - will drain excess water but retain reasonably high humidity levels. Hydroponic results are excelent with it, but hydroponics and bonsai are millions of miles apart - a hydro grown plant has a short life before cropping, it is a method for ultimate fast young new growth and requires the grower to provide every single nutrient in perfectly measured concentrations constantly - the nutrient solution is recirculated round and round a closed system by timed pumps, sprays and drippers. Each day the solution is re-measured and replenished with the nutrients that were used by the plants.

The medium used to hold the roots in place doesnt need to be much more than light and cheap as it plays no part in keeping the plant alive - these clay balls, cubes of rockwool, pressed coconut fibre blocks all do the same job - actually the best hydro systems actually use no medium at all - the bare roots hang down in a mist chamber and the plant is held in place with a plastic clip.

As an inexpensive soil bulking agent it will be really good (light too - helps with big pots) but I would not go down the 100% route either - turn your back and the plants show many signs of depleation without quite intricate and technical feeding regimes. I'd say if used 100% traditional feeds will give average results and you would need to look to Canna and other leading hydro feed labs for success - they know the difference between rooting mediums and even make different solutions for plants in cocoa fibre to the ones in clay balls - it really is that much of a science.

Cheers Marcus


marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Jerry Meislik on Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:07 pm

Just a quick note that I have used Leca as a soil mix component for my indoor bonsai for several years. It seems to work fine as a percentage of the soil mix. My main problem is that it does float. So particles will literally float out of the soil during wet spells. Appearance wise it is a decent color brown but the round pellets can look like insect eggs to the observer.
Jerry

Jerry Meislik
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Mike Jones on Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:41 pm

Jerry Meislik wrote:Just a quick note that I have used Leca as a soil mix component for my indoor bonsai for several years. It seems to work fine as a percentage of the soil mix. My main problem is that it does float. So particles will literally float out of the soil during wet spells. Appearance wise it is a decent color brown but the round pellets can look like insect eggs to the observer.
Jerry

Thanks Jerry. Not found that to be a problem as yet. Then again I don't do tropical trees and so far I'm delighted. Time will tell of course Smile

Mike Jones
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  paulf on Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:54 pm

I tried to buy some from those weber folks in SE England. I could only get it by the pallet / and none of them knew what it was when i tried to buy it - so i gave up and bought biosorb from kaizen. I have the lowest regard for the distributor in SE England. To desrcibe them as oxygen thieves would be generous.

paulf
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Mike Jones on Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:59 pm

paulf wrote:I tried to buy some from those weber folks in SE England. I could only get it by the pallet / and none of them knew what it was when i tried to buy it - so i gave up and bought biosorb from kaizen. I have the lowest regard for the distributor in SE England. To desrcibe them as oxygen thieves would be generous.

monkey I do like that expression; thankfully a buddy came to the rescue and I collected a bag at the Swindon winter image show. Sifted out and lost maybe a third but it was a big bag ( I think 50 litres, maybe wrong though; maybe more). I chose the smaller sized particulate. I understand it comes in many sizes. I honestly am huffed with it, but it is early. Reusable for certain. bounce

Mike Jones
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:07 pm

Hi Mike

I have used LECA for my bonsai for about 20 years now....It comes in diffrent sices, I use the pearl-sice...The gravel-sice is too crushed, and the bigger sice is too big for my taste, allso is this sice too "closed" in the surface, they are almost like lightweight stones in the soil...pearls is the best.
I use one cup of Leca, and one cup of cocopeat for close to all trees, it works very well..I would not dare to use it alone, as it holds no water, only air. The cocopeat is the waterholder.

LECA is very nice in big pots, as they are easier to carry. For shohin and mame will I use a little more cocopeat.

In housebuilding is the product used for isolation.

Kind regards Yvonne

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Mike Jones on Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:48 am

Very informative and helpful Yvonne. Thank you.

Mike

Mike Jones
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  marcus watts on Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:43 am

I started using this stuff at 20% this year and so far love it - it is black, so absorbs warmth, is light, and is very cheap - £21.00 for 50 liters with total zero waste dust. It is UK sourced i believe too so cancels the airmiles of my akadama Very Happy

Black fired soil stuff

Roots will go mad in this for sure, but akadama, bark or kanuma essential to keep in some moisture while i'm at work.

cheers Marcus


marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:54 pm

Hi Marcus

My product is middlebrown....I am surpriced you say yours are black?

Could you show a picture, and let us know, where it was made?

Kind regards Yvonne

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:25 pm

Marcus - your material looks like either Lava or maybe even a kind of ash from coke or coal.

I thought what everyone was talking about was a more clay based product like our Turface in the USA.


Billy M. Rhodes
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Mike Jones on Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:14 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Marcus - your material looks like either Lava or maybe even a kind of ash from coke or coal.

I thought what everyone was talking about was a more clay based product like our Turface in the USA.


Hello Billy

LECA (Light Expanded Clay Aggregate), is indeed a clay product. http://www.leca.cc/

http://www.leca.ae/

I must say though my own is black not brown; well dark grey and black when wet. I realise it has been around for a very long time. I was interested to know if others have tried it. Again I would 'think' that it is probably best used with other products; it would seem to dry in no time.

Mike

Mike Jones
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  marcus watts on Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:27 pm

hi Billy
My guess it is a fired dirt of some description Very Happy - certainly not lava as we arent that volcanic over here and this stuff is UK produced (I think it is a furnace based industy or power station by-product). These cavity wall insulation granules are all very similar and some people reading did not like the floating brown clay balls so I linked to these black ones as they are slightly different and very cheap. Also a black component will absorb more warmth, promoting root growth and increasing humidity as long as there is available water. The common theme of the growers commenting is that we are using it mixed with our favorite soil mixes rather than to replace them - it isnt a 100% solution for most applications.

marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:57 pm

Hi Marcus

It is easy to avoid floating brown balls....as soon as the soil is set, can a toplayer without leca being added....I do this all the time on trees I want to prepare for exhibitions, or just because I want too...no problem.
I am not expecting my trees to grow well, I know they do, I used this product for 20 years. In Denmark is the summer sometimes nice and hot, and to use black leca for higher heath here, would not be a good idea...I use a lot of energy to prevent my trees to become hot in the pot, as the roots will exhauste .

Kind regards Yvonne

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  marcus watts on Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:11 am

Hi Yvonne,
I dont have floating balls Razz - someone else earlier said they didnt like the lica medium because it floated so i just showed an alternative that looks equally good, is very easy to buy in small amounts and costs very little money.

It is very interesting though - have you used 100% pure fired clay granules for all your bonsai for 20 years ? - all species?

cheers Marcus

marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Guest on Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:53 am

Hi Marcus

No I dont use Leca/cocopeat to all trees. Only to the trees who likes standardsoil. Azalea and pines, and olives will have something else.

I know the brown leca I use give no healthproblems to my trees. Have you checked the black leca?

Kind regards Yvonne


Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  marcus watts on Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:58 am

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Marcus

No I dont use Leca/cocopeat to all trees. Only to the trees who likes standardsoil. Azalea and pines, and olives will have something else.

I know the brown leca I use give no healthproblems to my trees. Have you checked the black leca?
Kind regards Yvonne


Hello Yvonne, excelent, very interesting

I only basically included the black in my soil to reduce the weight of the pots - all the trees I regularly move about, take to meetings & talks etc are big pots - 25-32" and the black product is very light but much nicer to look at than perlite (too white Cool ). It also made the total soil recipe much better value as I needed about 200 liters total to repot this year. The tree health comes from the other parts of the soil providing my prefered conditions so kanuma, bark, akadama and sphagnum for all the deciduous trees, while kiryu, bark & akadama is used for the conifers. I also totally trust the seller = Graham Potter, to offer a safe and good quality product.

Then the particle size is adjusted for each tree -
Conifers.... big particles - (10-20mm) for the black & white pines, medium particles (8-12mm) for the junipers & yews, fine (5-6mm) for the hinoki, and small conifer pots - this controls the available pot moisture perfectly so the tree that wants most water (hinoki) gets the same conifer soil but the finer particles hold more water than the large ones do. Now I dont need to water a thirsty tree far more often as the soil does the work for me.

My decidous broadleaf trees are basically just acers, 1 large European Beech group and some Japanese White beech.
The acers get the larger particles 6-10mm, the beeches get a finer mix 5-6mm. Again this holds and supplies moisture in line with the exact trees needs(I am just starting a few shohin ready for my old age and these are in 4mm ish soil particles, and pure kanuma for the one satsuki).

It may seem like a lot of work, and I do stick with traditional soils through confidence of known results, but many of these trees are now done and wont be repotted for many years (other than trees that get new 'show' pots thumbs up ).

best regards Marcus



marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Guest on Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:38 am

Sounds good, all of it Smile

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Joao Santos on Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:44 pm

Hi,

I use fired clay (lecca and other brands) for all of my trees at 95% in bigger pots and arround 75% in smaller ones and it works just fine.

Even when it seems to be dryed out, you just dig a bit and see it moist inside - it retains humidity verry well.

Some time ago I've left aside one pot with a dyed tree for months and when I took it out, in the center it was still moist.

For me it's the best soil for all of my trees.


Regards,
João Santos

Joao Santos
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Lee Kennedy on Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:02 pm

The most important thing not mentioned on here yet---Do the root hairs penetrate the granules?

Lee Kennedy
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: LECA planting medium.

Post  Sponsored content Today at 3:02 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum