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Old 30-12-2003, 08:03 PM
Andy Hunt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would have
washed the sand clean by now?

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?

Thanks in anticipation!

Andrew



  #2   Report Post  
Old 30-12-2003, 08:12 PM
shazzbat
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?


"Andy Hunt" wrote in message
...
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to

use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would

have
washed the sand clean by now?

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer

of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?

As with a lot of people, my garden soil is/was largely builders rubble
including the mortar etc that they always leave on site. It doesn't seem to
do much harm to the plants, although I suspect if used in plant pots it
would be washed away in heavy rains. I don't know what chemicals if any it
has in it, but if it's been lying around for three years I would expect it
to be riddled with catcrap, but that's a whole different thread/flamewar.

Better would be to break up the polystyrene you got wrapped round your
Christmas X-box or whatever and use that.

HTH

Steve


  #3   Report Post  
Old 30-12-2003, 08:34 PM
Spider
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

Hi Andy,
I'm not a builder and can't answer the chemical side of your question.
However, most gardening experts agree that builders' sand does not promote
drainage as the particles are too small and smooth. Sharp sand or grit is
usually advised.
A modern and usually free (recycled) drainage medium is polystyrene, as used
in packaging. It has the advantage of being very light and clean. Again, I
don't know if there is any chemical leakage. However, most ornamental
plants seem happy with it, but be cautious of planting vegatables with it if
you're worried.
Spider
Andy Hunt wrote in message
...
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to

use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would

have
washed the sand clean by now?

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer

of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?

Thanks in anticipation!

Andrew




  #4   Report Post  
Old 30-12-2003, 08:42 PM
JennyC
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?


"Andy Hunt" wrote in message
...
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would have
washed the sand clean by now?

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?

Thanks in anticipation!
Andrew


I'm interested in this too as I have used builders sand in the past for making
cacti mix without any ill effects.

Here's a couple of sites that says it's OK to use :
http://www.users.voicenet.com/~mslater/sand_bed.htm
http://www.thegardenhelper.com/rootlessjade.htm
http://www.kings.co.nz/GrowingGuides.cfm?NLID=50

Jenny


  #5   Report Post  
Old 30-12-2003, 09:02 PM
Nick Maclaren
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

In article ,
Andy Hunt wrote:
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.


Pour him another tankard of beer and sit him in the corner with the
other old fogies. He doesn't have a clue, I am afraid. Firstly,
builders' sand DOESN'T have chemicals added (and has any salt washed
out, to prevent trouble making mortar). Secondly, why on earth would
builders add chemicals (which cost money) if they could avoid it?
And, thirdly, they would have leached out.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would have
washed the sand clean by now?


What it will have done is to wash the 'softness' out of it, leaving
it as unsuitable for mortar - I had a lot like that, and got caught.
However, the converse is that it will be OK for using to increase
drainage! It won't be as good as sharp sand, but will do. You can
also dry it and sieve it (yes, using a kitchen sieve) to make fine
sand suitable for filling in between paving blocks.

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?


Yes. No problem. Just remember that it will be somewhat less free
draining than sharp sand, and will clog quite a lot faster, but
otherwise use it as sharp sand.

Now, this does assume that it was in a relatively shallow layer. If
it was in a high pile, then the softness probably WON'T have washed
out enough, at least at the bottom. You can test by mixing it up
with water in a bottle and seeing how fast it settles. If it all
settles very fast, it is washed; if not, it isn't.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.


  #6   Report Post  
Old 30-12-2003, 09:02 PM
Nick Maclaren
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

In article ,
JennyC wrote:


I'm interested in this too as I have used builders sand in the past for making
cacti mix without any ill effects.

Here's a couple of sites that says it's OK to use :
http://www.users.voicenet.com/~mslater/sand_bed.htm
http://www.thegardenhelper.com/rootlessjade.htm
http://www.kings.co.nz/GrowingGuides.cfm?NLID=50


Also Cormaic did, too, and he is both a builder and gardener.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
  #7   Report Post  
Old 31-12-2003, 03:31 PM
kenty ;-\)
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

I personally wouldn't use this sand for drainage in pots there are better
materials available,i.e gravel,polystyrene,crocks,pebbles etc these would
provide better drainage,sand would probably wash out of the pot leaving no
drainage!If you want to get rid of it mix it in with the soil in your
border.
kenty
"Nick Maclaren" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Andy Hunt wrote:
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to

use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains

lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.


Pour him another tankard of beer and sit him in the corner with the
other old fogies. He doesn't have a clue, I am afraid. Firstly,
builders' sand DOESN'T have chemicals added (and has any salt washed
out, to prevent trouble making mortar). Secondly, why on earth would
builders add chemicals (which cost money) if they could avoid it?
And, thirdly, they would have leached out.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would

have
washed the sand clean by now?


What it will have done is to wash the 'softness' out of it, leaving
it as unsuitable for mortar - I had a lot like that, and got caught.
However, the converse is that it will be OK for using to increase
drainage! It won't be as good as sharp sand, but will do. You can
also dry it and sieve it (yes, using a kitchen sieve) to make fine
sand suitable for filling in between paving blocks.

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer

of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?


Yes. No problem. Just remember that it will be somewhat less free
draining than sharp sand, and will clog quite a lot faster, but
otherwise use it as sharp sand.

Now, this does assume that it was in a relatively shallow layer. If
it was in a high pile, then the softness probably WON'T have washed
out enough, at least at the bottom. You can test by mixing it up
with water in a bottle and seeing how fast it settles. If it all
settles very fast, it is washed; if not, it isn't.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.



  #8   Report Post  
Old 31-12-2003, 03:31 PM
kenty ;-\)
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

I personally wouldn't use this sand for drainage in pots there are better
materials available,i.e gravel,polystyrene,crocks,pebbles etc these would
provide better drainage,sand would probably wash out of the pot leaving no
drainage!If you want to get rid of it mix it in with the soil in your
border.
kenty
"Nick Maclaren" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Andy Hunt wrote:
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to

use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains

lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.


Pour him another tankard of beer and sit him in the corner with the
other old fogies. He doesn't have a clue, I am afraid. Firstly,
builders' sand DOESN'T have chemicals added (and has any salt washed
out, to prevent trouble making mortar). Secondly, why on earth would
builders add chemicals (which cost money) if they could avoid it?
And, thirdly, they would have leached out.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would

have
washed the sand clean by now?


What it will have done is to wash the 'softness' out of it, leaving
it as unsuitable for mortar - I had a lot like that, and got caught.
However, the converse is that it will be OK for using to increase
drainage! It won't be as good as sharp sand, but will do. You can
also dry it and sieve it (yes, using a kitchen sieve) to make fine
sand suitable for filling in between paving blocks.

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer

of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?


Yes. No problem. Just remember that it will be somewhat less free
draining than sharp sand, and will clog quite a lot faster, but
otherwise use it as sharp sand.

Now, this does assume that it was in a relatively shallow layer. If
it was in a high pile, then the softness probably WON'T have washed
out enough, at least at the bottom. You can test by mixing it up
with water in a bottle and seeing how fast it settles. If it all
settles very fast, it is washed; if not, it isn't.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.



  #9   Report Post  
Old 31-12-2003, 03:38 PM
Andy Hunt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

Thanks Nick, I've forwarded this onto my dad!

There isn't that much of the sand, so I think it will probably have been
washed through by now. There was all sorts of stuff growing in it anyway,
like sphagnum moss, ferns and evening primrose, so I think it's OK.

Happy New Year everyone!


Andrew


"Nick Maclaren" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Andy Hunt wrote:
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to

use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains

lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.


Pour him another tankard of beer and sit him in the corner with the
other old fogies. He doesn't have a clue, I am afraid. Firstly,
builders' sand DOESN'T have chemicals added (and has any salt washed
out, to prevent trouble making mortar). Secondly, why on earth would
builders add chemicals (which cost money) if they could avoid it?
And, thirdly, they would have leached out.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would

have
washed the sand clean by now?


What it will have done is to wash the 'softness' out of it, leaving
it as unsuitable for mortar - I had a lot like that, and got caught.
However, the converse is that it will be OK for using to increase
drainage! It won't be as good as sharp sand, but will do. You can
also dry it and sieve it (yes, using a kitchen sieve) to make fine
sand suitable for filling in between paving blocks.

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer

of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?


Yes. No problem. Just remember that it will be somewhat less free
draining than sharp sand, and will clog quite a lot faster, but
otherwise use it as sharp sand.

Now, this does assume that it was in a relatively shallow layer. If
it was in a high pile, then the softness probably WON'T have washed
out enough, at least at the bottom. You can test by mixing it up
with water in a bottle and seeing how fast it settles. If it all
settles very fast, it is washed; if not, it isn't.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.



  #10   Report Post  
Old 31-12-2003, 04:42 PM
kenty ;-\)
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

I personally wouldn't use this sand for drainage in pots there are better
materials available,i.e gravel,polystyrene,crocks,pebbles etc these would
provide better drainage,sand would probably wash out of the pot leaving no
drainage!If you want to get rid of it mix it in with the soil in your
border.
kenty
"Nick Maclaren" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Andy Hunt wrote:
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to

use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains

lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.


Pour him another tankard of beer and sit him in the corner with the
other old fogies. He doesn't have a clue, I am afraid. Firstly,
builders' sand DOESN'T have chemicals added (and has any salt washed
out, to prevent trouble making mortar). Secondly, why on earth would
builders add chemicals (which cost money) if they could avoid it?
And, thirdly, they would have leached out.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would

have
washed the sand clean by now?


What it will have done is to wash the 'softness' out of it, leaving
it as unsuitable for mortar - I had a lot like that, and got caught.
However, the converse is that it will be OK for using to increase
drainage! It won't be as good as sharp sand, but will do. You can
also dry it and sieve it (yes, using a kitchen sieve) to make fine
sand suitable for filling in between paving blocks.

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer

of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?


Yes. No problem. Just remember that it will be somewhat less free
draining than sharp sand, and will clog quite a lot faster, but
otherwise use it as sharp sand.

Now, this does assume that it was in a relatively shallow layer. If
it was in a high pile, then the softness probably WON'T have washed
out enough, at least at the bottom. You can test by mixing it up
with water in a bottle and seeing how fast it settles. If it all
settles very fast, it is washed; if not, it isn't.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.





  #11   Report Post  
Old 31-12-2003, 04:44 PM
Andy Hunt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

Thanks Nick, I've forwarded this onto my dad!

There isn't that much of the sand, so I think it will probably have been
washed through by now. There was all sorts of stuff growing in it anyway,
like sphagnum moss, ferns and evening primrose, so I think it's OK.

Happy New Year everyone!


Andrew


"Nick Maclaren" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Andy Hunt wrote:
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to

use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains

lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.


Pour him another tankard of beer and sit him in the corner with the
other old fogies. He doesn't have a clue, I am afraid. Firstly,
builders' sand DOESN'T have chemicals added (and has any salt washed
out, to prevent trouble making mortar). Secondly, why on earth would
builders add chemicals (which cost money) if they could avoid it?
And, thirdly, they would have leached out.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would

have
washed the sand clean by now?


What it will have done is to wash the 'softness' out of it, leaving
it as unsuitable for mortar - I had a lot like that, and got caught.
However, the converse is that it will be OK for using to increase
drainage! It won't be as good as sharp sand, but will do. You can
also dry it and sieve it (yes, using a kitchen sieve) to make fine
sand suitable for filling in between paving blocks.

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer

of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?


Yes. No problem. Just remember that it will be somewhat less free
draining than sharp sand, and will clog quite a lot faster, but
otherwise use it as sharp sand.

Now, this does assume that it was in a relatively shallow layer. If
it was in a high pile, then the softness probably WON'T have washed
out enough, at least at the bottom. You can test by mixing it up
with water in a bottle and seeing how fast it settles. If it all
settles very fast, it is washed; if not, it isn't.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.



  #12   Report Post  
Old 31-12-2003, 04:45 PM
Andy Hunt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?



Better would be to break up the polystyrene you got wrapped round your
Christmas X-box or whatever and use that.


Lol I have some from an oil-burner that my sister gave me. I don't have a
television or radio, let along an x-box . . . my internet connection and my
stereo are the only hints of technology here! But I will certainly take your
advice on the expanded polystyrene.

Yours organically,


Andrew




  #13   Report Post  
Old 31-12-2003, 04:45 PM
kenty ;-\)
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

I personally wouldn't use this sand for drainage in pots there are better
materials available,i.e gravel,polystyrene,crocks,pebbles etc these would
provide better drainage,sand would probably wash out of the pot leaving no
drainage!If you want to get rid of it mix it in with the soil in your
border.
kenty
"Nick Maclaren" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Andy Hunt wrote:
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to

use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains

lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.


Pour him another tankard of beer and sit him in the corner with the
other old fogies. He doesn't have a clue, I am afraid. Firstly,
builders' sand DOESN'T have chemicals added (and has any salt washed
out, to prevent trouble making mortar). Secondly, why on earth would
builders add chemicals (which cost money) if they could avoid it?
And, thirdly, they would have leached out.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would

have
washed the sand clean by now?


What it will have done is to wash the 'softness' out of it, leaving
it as unsuitable for mortar - I had a lot like that, and got caught.
However, the converse is that it will be OK for using to increase
drainage! It won't be as good as sharp sand, but will do. You can
also dry it and sieve it (yes, using a kitchen sieve) to make fine
sand suitable for filling in between paving blocks.

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer

of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?


Yes. No problem. Just remember that it will be somewhat less free
draining than sharp sand, and will clog quite a lot faster, but
otherwise use it as sharp sand.

Now, this does assume that it was in a relatively shallow layer. If
it was in a high pile, then the softness probably WON'T have washed
out enough, at least at the bottom. You can test by mixing it up
with water in a bottle and seeing how fast it settles. If it all
settles very fast, it is washed; if not, it isn't.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.



  #14   Report Post  
Old 31-12-2003, 04:45 PM
Andy Hunt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?

Thanks Nick, I've forwarded this onto my dad!

There isn't that much of the sand, so I think it will probably have been
washed through by now. There was all sorts of stuff growing in it anyway,
like sphagnum moss, ferns and evening primrose, so I think it's OK.

Happy New Year everyone!


Andrew


"Nick Maclaren" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Andy Hunt wrote:
I have some builders' sand hanging around in my yard, and I was going to

use
it for drainage in some new pots I've bought today.

My dad however has advised me not to, he says that this sand contains

lots
of chemicals which won't do plants any good, because it is building sand.


Pour him another tankard of beer and sit him in the corner with the
other old fogies. He doesn't have a clue, I am afraid. Firstly,
builders' sand DOESN'T have chemicals added (and has any salt washed
out, to prevent trouble making mortar). Secondly, why on earth would
builders add chemicals (which cost money) if they could avoid it?
And, thirdly, they would have leached out.

The sand has been outside in the rain for at least 3 years - does anyone
know if my dad's correct about this, and if so, whether the rain would

have
washed the sand clean by now?


What it will have done is to wash the 'softness' out of it, leaving
it as unsuitable for mortar - I had a lot like that, and got caught.
However, the converse is that it will be OK for using to increase
drainage! It won't be as good as sharp sand, but will do. You can
also dry it and sieve it (yes, using a kitchen sieve) to make fine
sand suitable for filling in between paving blocks.

Even if it is full of chemicals, if I just use it for an inch-thick layer

of
drainage material at the bottom of each pot, would it be OK?


Yes. No problem. Just remember that it will be somewhat less free
draining than sharp sand, and will clog quite a lot faster, but
otherwise use it as sharp sand.

Now, this does assume that it was in a relatively shallow layer. If
it was in a high pile, then the softness probably WON'T have washed
out enough, at least at the bottom. You can test by mixing it up
with water in a bottle and seeing how fast it settles. If it all
settles very fast, it is washed; if not, it isn't.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.



  #15   Report Post  
Old 31-12-2003, 04:45 PM
Andy Hunt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Builders' sand for drainage?



Better would be to break up the polystyrene you got wrapped round your
Christmas X-box or whatever and use that.


Lol I have some from an oil-burner that my sister gave me. I don't have a
television or radio, let along an x-box . . . my internet connection and my
stereo are the only hints of technology here! But I will certainly take your
advice on the expanded polystyrene.

Yours organically,


Andrew






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