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All Kitty Litter Equal???

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    For clients that like to have huge planters I was thinking that Kitty Litter would be an excellent amendment to the potting soil...
    I first heard about it as 'Zeolite' Kitty Litter having excellent CEC and filtration capabilities...

    They no longer have zeolite on the kitty litter label, just the generic "Fuller's Earth" which can be any number of elements...

    Is it safe to assume that it is going to be fine as long as it is the natural extraction without added ingredients???
    All Kitty Litter needs to be absorbent, so will function the same basic way in the pots,,, correct??? :)
  2. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 757

    don't use kitty litter, it's no good. Use Turface. Based on availability, my preference would be as follows -

    Profile Field and Fairway
    Turface All Sport Pro, or Pro League
    Turface All Sport, or MVP
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,348

    I thought Bobby G was back.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Here is Turface:
    "Turface is pure calcinated clay sold under the brand name of Turface MVP. It is used on baseball fields to increase aeration of the soil. It is also prized by Orchid and Bonsai growers as a growing media ammendment. "

    Sounds like Turface is another Fuller's Earth... :)
  5. mishmosh

    mishmosh LawnSite Member
    from OH
    Posts: 45

    Turface is also popular as a substrate in planted aquariums. But then again, so is cheap bentonite clay kitty litter.
  6. sdk1968

    sdk1968 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    ^^ yeah was gonna ask... arent lots of kitty litters just clay?

    but then again, wont this attract cats to the planted items?
  7. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    What’s your goal with these applications? What are you trying to accomplish?

    Turface is mostly used in the skinned areas of baseball fields (the dirt base paths) to provide something that will HOLD moisture predictably and evenly. It is NOT a product that drains water away! It’s main use is in DIRT areas, NOT grass areas.

    On the rare occasion that Turface is used in grassed areas, it is when those areas are very wet and they need to soak up the water. In that scenario, Turface acts like an oil-dry product and soaks up (holds onto) water.

    Are you trying to maintain a dirt area or soak up a puddle for a short-term solution? If not, you don’t need Turface and it will do nothing for you.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    This thread is about pots in the landscape... I should've posted it in the landscape forum of Lawnsite instead of the lawn renovation forum... sorry for the confusion...

    Some kitty litters are Corn and other materials, that I think should be better than particalized clay, because if clay returns to its normal state it will definitely NOT good in pots...

    Anyways I've potted some things here at home with "Fullers Earth"(clay) kitty litter and I'll check texture changes at the end of the season when I dump out the pots...

    Thanks for the interest... :)
  9. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 757

    not exactly, It depends on which one you are using. Turface comes in 5 pellet sizes depending on your needs. The Quick Dry / Gamesaver is the smallest, like a powder and intended for soaking up puddles. The larger pellet sizes will DEFINITELY drain, after it has reached its saturation point. While some kitty litters and Turface may be the same starting material, the biggest difference is that Turface is kiln fired at 2000+ degrees to burn off impurities, greatly increasing its pore space, nutrient and water holding capacity. I don't know what kitty litter you are looking at, but I know Fresh Step will turn to MUD if its saturated with water after a while. Turface will not do that. I remember reading somewhere that Turface degrades like 5% every 20 years or something. I don't work for Turface, I'm just a fan - went to Turface class a few years ago. I mix it in all my containterized pots, use it as a sole medium for bamboo containers, and incorporate it in heavy traffic turf areas.




  10. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    So, again, I'll ask: What is the purpose of this application?

    It sounds like you've been drinking from the sales rep's Kool-Aid and you've been wowed by what he had to say, whether it made sense or not. I'm hearing a lot about how this will improve your drainage, then a few sentences later you guys talk about how it holds water. So it gets rid of water at the same time it holds water?

    Perhaps it has some CEC, but do the math on how much o it you would need to move the needle on the total CEC in your rootzone. Do you have the money and the ability to apply 100+ pallets (not bags -- whole pallets) per 1000 sq ft and incorporate it?

    It's a great thing to use for skinned areas on baseball fields, but I wouldn't try to use it as a soil amendment in lawns.

    Axe, you can usually find pre-mixed potting soils that will do what you're looking for. IF you want to try to make your own, you could combine things like peat moss, sand, perlite, and vermiculite (among lots of others -- take your pick). I don't think that processed clays are going to produce what you want.

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