Aquaponic Gardening

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I wanted to give expanded shale a try for my growing medium. I know TXI has a plant in/near the DWF area so I figure there have to be some places in and around the area that carry shale.

Anyone have any luck finding some around the Austin area? I've tried Natural Gardner, they usually have it in bulk but have been out of it for some time and have no ETA for their next shipment.

Just curious if anyone has has any luck finding some nearby or has any suggestions, please let me know!


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Ahh... Maybe we can convince to bring the "1/2 to 3/4 inch" exp shale down as long as they're fetching it. Instead if the all-sizes-including-fines grade.
Conference call with Rick, Nat, Richard (LivingEarth Sales) and Rene (TXI Horticultural, 972-647-3393)??

I can dream, can't I? :)

I'd be up for that! 

Yeah bro, let's light 'em up tomorrow. Need big media for Harris / Ft Bend!!

I see this discussion is a bit dated, but are you still selling the expanded shale or know where I can pick some up? I live just about a mile south of the Woodlands. 

Sandy Mathieu said:


The correct size of the expanded shale is the larger 3/4" material. We buy it by the truckload then sift out the small stuff and sell it 100 lb bags for $25. This stuff is used for special road construction, so most landscape suppliers do not carry it. We are located in the woodlands area of houston. We have several grow beds running with the material. Here is a link to the product with a picture.

I'm interested in seeing if Sandy still offers large ES too.

Hi Terry. I envy how close you are to Nature's Way Resources... my favorite mulch maker. In fact you might talk to John (Ferguson) there about them bringing in a load of the larger-screened expanded shale.

I haven't been around to the soil yards this year to see if any more have started dealing in ES.

On the other hand, this group of ours is growing so much that we probably have at least two bulk orders to dangle in front of TXI...

Yes, Rick, Nature's Way isn't far off. I went there looking for expanded shale in fact. They had some on site, but it was small. They did tell me I could sift through it if I wanted to, and I may end up doing that, but I need to make a screen of the appropriate size first before I bother going up there again. I will say the shale they had was larger, on average, than what I've been seeing in the bags. I planted a very small grown bed with some of the bagged stuff, and it appears to be working just fine, but it is so small, a lot of it sticks to your hands if it's wet. Almost like REALLY big sand. Still, the plants that are in it appear to be growing just fine, and the worms I've got in there appear to be thriving. Maybe the size isn't such an issue after all. I dunno. I'm still trying to figure all this out. 


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