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Vermiculite on the out in Ontario?

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Vermiculite on the out in Ontario? Empty Vermiculite on the out in Ontario?

Post  DarrylP on 6/30/2016, 11:04 pm

So I am new to the whole SFG thing. I purchased a home a couple years ago without a fence around the property, so I put off starting a new veggie garden until I got the fence up. Now have a yard of about 7,000 Sq ft that I am dedicating about 160 Sq ft to SFG beds.

Anyways, I'm a little late into getting started this year, so going to plant some fall crops in the beds I just built, just needed to make the Mix, so utilizing a combination of the database and my pre-existing knowledge of various greenhouses/nursery's in the area (Durham Region) I started to call around.

After calling 10 different nursery's/garden centers (some I consider "Mega" nurseries like Vandermeers in Ajax that sell pretty much everything under the sun) I got the exact same answers from all of them. "We normally stock Vermiculite but this year we discontinued carrying it" OR "We normally stock Vermiculite but this year we couldn't source any due to SCOTT'S buying out our normal supplier and closing the operation".

On my 10th call however I finally found some, 4 - 4cu ft bags, stock from last year, that he had not completely sold, I bought them all.

The guy who had a couple bags mentioned the SCOTT's buyout as well but also said a lot of greenhouses don't use it anymore because of the health risks (Vermiculite dust is a known irritant to the lungs, nothing to do with asbestos).

It looks like ULINE may be the only source in Ontario left now? Unless anyone else has recently this summer found a source that has a large supply of it?

BTW, all of them tried to sell me HUGE 1L to 5L bags of perlite for $6-$10.....so a 4 cu ft bag would only be a couple hundred dollars!!
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Post  trolleydriver on 6/30/2016, 11:20 pm

Welcome DarrylP to this great SFG forum. I'm in Ottawa and I'm currently acting as the "welcomer" on behalf of Kelejan who is the Regional Host for Canada. You will find a lot of good information on the forum and the members are very friendly and helpful.

:canada: 

This year and last I purchased 4 cu ft bags of vermiculite from Ritchie's Feed & seed in Ottawa. The problem is that they are the only suppliers that I have found in this area so I hope they keep selling it.

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Post  PVPind on 7/5/2016, 10:45 am

I have been trying to get an audience with some Ontario supply outlets for several years to carry our perlite and vermiculite up your way. Nothing has happened as of yet. Either way here are two locations that may be able to help. They carry Perlite Canada's products.

http://www.amaplas.com/ViewCategory.aspx?search=vermiculite

http://orders.sunparlourgrower.com/Product/Catalog
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Post  skidmoca on 4/17/2018, 8:35 pm

@PVPind wrote:I have been trying to get an audience with some Ontario supply outlets for several years to carry our perlite and vermiculite up your way. Nothing has happened as of yet. Either way here are two locations that may be able to help. They carry Perlite Canada's products.

http://www.amaplas.com/ViewCategory.aspx?search=vermiculite

http://orders.sunparlourgrower.com/Product/Catalog
I found 4 cu bags of vermiculite from Perlite Canada for $49.99 At Holland Park Gardens in Burlington.  Is this price on par with eveyone else?
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Post  trolleydriver on 4/17/2018, 11:37 pm

@skidmoca wrote:
@PVPind wrote:I have been trying to get an audience with some Ontario supply outlets for several years to carry our perlite and vermiculite up your way. Nothing has happened as of yet. Either way here are two locations that may be able to help. They carry Perlite Canada's products.

http://www.amaplas.com/ViewCategory.aspx?search=vermiculite

http://orders.sunparlourgrower.com/Product/Catalog
I found 4 cu bags of vermiculite from Perlite Canada for $49.99 At Holland Park Gardens in Burlington.  Is this price on par with eveyone else?
I pay around $30 for 4 cu ft here in Ottawa.

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Post  jimmy cee on 4/20/2018, 11:26 pm

@PVPind wrote:I have been trying to get an audience with some Ontario supply outlets for several years to carry our perlite and vermiculite up your way. Nothing has happened as of yet. Either way here are two locations that may be able to help. They carry Perlite Canada's products.

http://www.amaplas.com/ViewCategory.aspx?search=vermiculite

http://orders.sunparlourgrower.com/Product/Catalog
PVP Industries is one great company. it shows here when trying to help provide access to their products.
In forums when problems with purchasing vermiculite, I always mention PVP and how great they are in customer relations....Thank you PVP....
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Post  jimmy cee on 4/20/2018, 11:29 pm

@DarrylP wrote:So I am new to the whole SFG thing. I purchased a home a couple years ago without a fence around the property, so I put off starting a new veggie garden until I got the fence up. Now have a yard of about 7,000 Sq ft that I am dedicating about 160 Sq ft to SFG beds.

Anyways, I'm a little late into getting started this year, so going to plant some fall crops in the beds I just built, just needed to make the Mix, so utilizing a combination of the database and my pre-existing knowledge of various greenhouses/nursery's in the area (Durham Region) I started to call around.

After calling 10 different nursery's/garden centers (some I consider "Mega" nurseries like Vandermeers in Ajax that sell pretty much everything under the sun) I got the exact same answers from all of them. "We normally stock Vermiculite but this year we discontinued carrying it" OR "We normally stock Vermiculite but this year we couldn't source any due to SCOTT'S buying out our normal supplier and closing the operation".

On my 10th call however I finally found some, 4 - 4cu ft bags, stock from last year, that he had not completely sold, I bought them all.

The guy who had a couple bags mentioned the SCOTT's buyout as well but also said a lot of greenhouses don't use it anymore because of the health risks (Vermiculite dust is a known irritant to the lungs, nothing to do with asbestos).

It looks like ULINE may be the only source in Ontario left now? Unless anyone else has recently this summer found a source that has a large supply of it?

BTW, all of them tried to sell me HUGE 1L to 5L bags of perlite for $6-$10.....so a 4 cu ft bag would only be a couple hundred dollars!!
Try the small mom and pop farm and garden stores in your area..They just might have access to distributors who handle vermiculite. They would most like be delighted for your business.
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Post  sanderson on 4/21/2018, 3:14 am

Also try hydroponic stores and "specialty crop" stores. Some folks find it in the building supply area. Or pool builders.

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Post  trolleydriver on 4/21/2018, 7:33 am

The original post on this thread is from 2016.  For the past four years I have had no problem purchasing vermiculite from "Ritchie Feed & Seed" here in Ottawa.  In fact I bought a 4 cu ft bag less than a month ago for $30 CDA ($23.50 USD). I expect other Canadian cities have similar outlets where it can be purchased but it takes some searching. With the upcoming legalization of a certain green plant it will most likely find its way into other outlets as well. I admit it's not easy to find vermiculite. Last year I asked at another garden center and they had one bag which was soaking wet and they wanted over $40 CDA for it. Needless to say I passed on that.

Perlite Canada Inc. manufactures and distributes vermiculite.  I've sent some questions to them concerning availability and if I get a response I will share it here on the forum.

http://www.perlitecanada.com/en/vermiculite-products.php

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Post  Nikko on 4/21/2018, 9:32 am

For what it’s worth....be mindful that the growing season is early for your area. I’m a bit south of you and places are just starting to restock here. Maybe there’s a chance that items will be restocked in the coming weeks. Employees may not be so into their jobs and it’s easier to just deter you away vs giving you the right information. The person that orders stock items isn’t always the person helping customers and those two people may not communicate well

Anyhow, I say this because I have experienced this a few times this spring. Good luck
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Post  sanderson on 4/21/2018, 1:22 pm

TD, Thank you for researching.

Nikko, You make good points. I'm always amazed when an employee actually knows if the store has vermiculite, or it's on order, or where it's hidden.

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Post  trolleydriver on 4/21/2018, 2:29 pm

@sanderson wrote:TD,  Thank you for researching.

Nikko,  You make good points.  I'm always amazed when an employee actually knows if the store has vermiculite, or it's on order, or where it's hidden.
In addition to that there is one guy where I buy vermiculite who always tries to sell me medium instead of large vermiculite. He says medium is what I need for SFG and I say I need coarse (large). I always win.

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Post  sanderson on 4/21/2018, 4:09 pm

Razz Amazing that money always wins!

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Post  Nikko on 4/21/2018, 6:08 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:
@sanderson wrote:TD,  Thank you for researching.

Nikko,  You make good points.  I'm always amazed when an employee actually knows if the store has vermiculite, or it's on order, or where it's hidden.
In addition to that there is one guy where I buy vermiculite who always tries to sell me medium instead of large vermiculite. He says medium is what I need for SFG and I say I need coarse (large). I always win.

Is it so bad to use medium?

Smaller particles = more surface area
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Post  trolleydriver on 4/21/2018, 6:15 pm

@Nikko wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:
@sanderson wrote:TD,  Thank you for researching.

Nikko,  You make good points.  I'm always amazed when an employee actually knows if the store has vermiculite, or it's on order, or where it's hidden.
In addition to that there is one guy where I buy vermiculite who always tries to sell me medium instead of large vermiculite. He says medium is what I need for SFG and I say I need coarse (large). I always win.

Is it so bad to use medium?

Smaller particles = more surface area
I suppose it is not so bad to use medium especially if that is all one can find.  In fact I expect that the large particles break down into smaller particles over time. Having said that I don't understand why people question what Mel Bartholomew recommends after years of research on what makes the best Mel's Mix. I'll stick with coarse/large as long as it is available. I do use fine vermiculite sometimes in my indoor seed starting activities.

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Post  jimmy cee on 4/21/2018, 11:12 pm

Medium vs course vs super course.
Medium grade vermiculite in many bags that I have purchased in the beginning was only a bit courser than fine.
Course in my opinion should be labeled medium and super course could be course.
I shoot for super course once I ordered a few bags and will stay with it unless I can only get course.
I'll drive the 300 miles one way if need be, to me it's well worth it..especially for the $23.00 per bag.
At 600 miles though that cost increases drastically.
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Post  trolleydriver on 4/27/2018, 11:47 am

I sent an email to Perlite Canada asking if they sell vermiculite direct to the public. Here is the response I received. Not sure what I would do with 30 four cubic foot bags.


=============

Hi,

Yes we sell to the public, shipping will depend on quantity, I suggest you buy one pallet of 30 bags to absorb the cost of shipping, I can have a quotation for you, or you can come here at the plant, for more information call me:

Nicole Duchaine ext 222

Perlite Canada inc.
Bureau de commande/Order desk
1775 52e Avenue
Lachine, QC
H8T 2Y1

TÉL: [url=tel:+15146314251]514-631-4251[/url]
FAX: [url=tel:+15146314254]514-631-4254[/url]
COURRIEL: commande@perlitecanada.com

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Post  jimmy cee on 4/27/2018, 11:13 pm

trolleydrive wrote:
Yes we sell to the public, shipping will depend on quantity, I suggest you buy one pallet of 30 bags to absorb the cost of shipping, I can have a quotation for you, or you can come here at the plant, for more information call me:
If I had the space I'd go for this , not as an investment but as a lifetime supply along with the opportunity to assist others that would be willing to travel, pay and pick up what they needed.
I checked locally and there is a nursery offering me 6 cubic foot bags for $11, per cubic foot. I never heard of 6 cubic feet bags..be interesting to find out who is doing that packaging.
I just did a search on U line and found a location that is 30 miles away from where I am now...$33.00 4 cubic foot of course... I am set for my needs. When I do decide to get some I will note here and pick some up for anyone in the area.
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