This material is well known to builders. But the erection of buildings is not the only scope of expanded clay. Expanded clay gravel is widely used in gardening and landscape design.
You probably know what looks like expanded clay. This material is a light particle with a melted surface and pores inside. Expanded clay is produced by burning clay or shale in special furnaces at temperatures from 1050 to 1300 ° C.
The color of expanded clay can be beige-gray, gray-brown, dark brown, terracotta
There are several types of claydite:
- expanded clay gravel - characterized by an oval shape, while the size of the granules can be different: 5-10 mm, 10-20 mm and 20-40 mm;
- expanded clay crushed stone - it differs from gravel only in that its granules are of cubic form with sharp edges and corners;
- expanded clay sand - the same gravel, the size of the granules is less than 5 mm.
In the garden and vegetable garden, ceramsite gravel is most often used with granules from 10 to 20 mm in size.
Properties and advantages of claydite
This material has deservedly received wide popularity not only among builders, but also farmers, landscape designers. What are the main advantages of claydite?
- High strength. Expanded clay is durable, so it can be used repeatedly.
- Good sound and heat insulation.
- A light weight.
- High frost resistance (from 25 cycles and more) and fire resistance.
- Chemical inertness and acid resistance. Expanded clay is resistant to chemically aggressive environments.
- Low water absorption (no more than 20%). Expanded clay does not allow moisture to evaporate and thereby controls the water balance of the plant.
- Environmentally friendly material. Expanded clay does not contain harmful additives, so it is safe for health.
- Presentable appearance. Small pebbles of expanded clay fit perfectly into the design of any flower garden. They look natural, barely noticeable and do not overshadow ornamental plants.
- The optimum ratio of price and quality. The material is already inexpensive, and if it is not thrown away after the first use and reused, it will cost a mere penny.
The use of expanded clay in the country
Thanks to these properties, claydite is used as a heater in the construction of garden buildings (for floors, walls, roofs, basements) and aggregate solution for the foundation. And also - during the construction of garden paths. This is especially true in areas located in wetlands.
A special pillow is made of expanded clay, which forms a dense layer and withstands strong pressure.
But most often expanded clay is used in a garden, a kitchen garden and landscaping. It performs the function of insulation and drainage for the roots.
Clay gravel provides plants with comfortable growing conditions: improves the soil structure, making it air and water permeable, protects the plant roots from drying out in hot weather and the formation of mold - rainy, reduces the risk of plant diseases, as well as the appearance of various pests.
Mulching with expanded clay increases the yield of fruit and vegetable and vegetable crops.
Also expanded clay can be used when growing various crops in hydroponics.
It is possible to increase soil fertility with the help of expanded clay. two ways:
- During the planting of trees and shrubs, dig a hole, fill the bottom with expanded clay gravel, and on top of it - a small layer of soil on which to plant a seedling. From above, you need to sprinkle the seedling a little with earth, and fill the remaining space of the pit with expanded clay. This method is called layered.
- Just mix small (about 5 mm) clay with soil and plant in the resulting mixture.
And fine-grained expanded clay can be used in the garden for mulching. This will help protect the surface of the soil from mold, as well as reduce the number of waterings and permanently retain moisture in the soil.
In horticulture, expanded clay is widely used for drainage under apple trees, pears, currants, grapes, etc.
Expanded clay in landscape design
Expanded clay not only brings great benefits to plants, but also performs a decorative function in the flower garden. With the help of this material, you can fill the formed space in rock gardens and rockeries, as well as, by filling up the pits, level the surface.
If the traditional brown material seems dull, use decorative expanded clay painted in various colors.
Now you know how to increase soil fertility, save the plants from stagnation of water and poor air circulation, and create an attractive flowerbed. You have a rich harvest and beautiful ornamental plants!