You might consider using zeolite as a soil amendment if your garden soil is compacted and dense, making it difficult for it to absorb and retain water and nutrients. Zeolite has many benefits when added to soil, including the ability to retain water and to leach. It is quite interesting to understand the properties of Zeolite and how it changes the soil to be further suited to most houseplants.
Origin of Zeolite
Formula for zeolite’s chemical make-up: (Mn+) M stands for a metal ion (often Na in artificial synthesis), N for a metal ion valence, x for the number of moles of SiO2, also known as the silica to alumina ratio, and p for the number of moles of water. SiO4 and AlO4 tetrahedra, which are formed by the binding of common oxygen atoms to create crystals with three-dimensional network structures, are the most fundamental components of the crystalline zeolite backbone.
This mixture creates molecularly level cavities and channels with consistent pore size. “Cage” shaped holes can be separated into faujasite, hexagonal prisms, and other shapes according to their various structures and forms.
Inside the mineral, these elements produce holes and channels that draw water and other tiny molecules. It is frequently employed as a commercial absorbent and catalyst and is frequently referred to as a molecular sieve.
How does the Zeolite work in the soil?
Zeolite may hold up to 60% of its weight in water due to the many channels that make up the material. This implies that adding zeolite to the soil will increase the soil’s moisture content. As a result, surface runoff is decreased, protecting the soil from erosion.
The uses of Zeolites in Gardening and Farming are many. Zeolite functions as a kind of soil conditioner and can assist soil to retain more water; 100 grammes of it can contain 80 grammes of water, which can then be readily released to plants. Additionally, it has been noted that zeolites store nutrients and release them gradually. They may therefore be utilised with just one fertiliser.
They may be combined with soil during the stage of soil preparation.
They can be lined at the bottom of pots to capture draining water and recover nutrients that leak out.
They can also be used to line the grass bed’s bottom right before the soil is laid; this will assist your lawn to utilise water and nutrients more effectively.
Zeolite uses in Composting and Worm Beds
During the composting process, organically bonded nitrogen is transformed into ammonium nitrate and ammonia, both of which are nutrients that plants can use.
Two glasshouse gases produced by the composting process are methane and nitrous oxide. Both gases are more potent than carbon dioxide, according to scientists.
Zeolite may retain cations like ammonium in two different ways. The high surface area and porosity of the material allow for the first technique, absorption. Cation exchange is the second technique.
Nitrates, sulphates and hydrogen ions can be sequestered by zeolite, which can stop the generation of methane and nitrous oxide during the composting process.
Adding Zeolite to your Soil and Garden
Zeolite is available in granular or powder form. Wear gloves and goggles when applying zeolite to soil even if it is perfectly natural to prevent the mineral from blowing into your eyes.
Dig a pound of zeolite per square yard (0.5 kg per 0.1 sq m) of soil, or add 5% zeolite to your potting medium for plants in containers.
Head on to Daves Pet and Garden supplies to buy the most effective Zeolite Crystals in Australia