B&Q Recycled Glass Sand

North West Neps

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This doesn't really apply to me and my neps, but i just spotted this on B&Q whilst looking for something else, and thought it might be worth sharing.

Back when i got into CP's and had several drosera growing, i read of a lot of people using glass sand in their mixes to aid drainage, because glass is inert. So i went out and bought a small 5kg bag of "horticultural grade" to try, which if i remember, was quite expensive at the time. I also used it as a top dressing because it looks quite nice when the sun catches all the different colours of the glass.

Anyway, enough waffle, here's the link...



As i say, just a headsup in case anyone's interested. £2.74 for 22kg. I would've thought it be fine after a thorough rinsing before use.

Diss or discuss at your leisure :biggrin:

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As far as i'm aware, sand isn't inert, whereas glass is. So glass is therefore arguably better than sand for CP mixes.

Good point, and very well presented if I may say so  :laugh2:


Guess a trip to B&Q is in order. I'm already starting to plan my new (ie first and so far only) bog garden, and am looking to gather everything I need before the time comes to build and plant it. This will be the first item!



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I thought I'd get a bag and see what it's like. 

In the bag it doesn't look like glass, there's quite a bit of "sand" in there so as this is an unknown quantity it needs to be washed off. Washing also shows up just how much plastic etc is also in there so the pieces of thin sheet plastic also have to be washed out. Two hours later I'd completed the washing of the entire bag and had a full  10 litre bucket and perhaps a couple more litres of clean glass. There are also still pieces of other materials in there but I don't think they represent a threat to the plants. If it was absolutely desperate to get them out it could be done manually.
Here's some small samples, before and after. I'll let you work out which is which.




My investment in less than 12 litres of usable material is £2.70p and two hours of my time.

I also use Granite Grit Sand which has to be washed and that will give about the same volume for cost and time washing.

Then there's Westland Potting Grit which I use unwashed which comes in at around £5.00 / 20Kg. This is more coarse than the other two so really it's better for some uses to add a suitable sand, if available. I have a "Guaranteed Lime Free" one ready to try, we'll see if it is.

One of the possible conclusions there is that I'm worth about £1.15 an hour  shocked.png

I think the glass will be used as a surface dressing on a couple of pots of VFT seedlings in the spring to see how it looks. In the meantime I'll continue with the potting grit and try the sand in it.

Edited by FredG
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You can't beat someone doing a 'hands on' test, nice one Fred.

But i was pretty shocked actually, i wouldn't call this glass sand at all. Looks like the actual glass that remains after washing away the beach sand is pretty chunky, what size pots are those ?

So avoid at all costs i presume ?

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Those are 3" (75mm) saucers so they're showing over life size. The glass I would class as a grit sand, there's quite a bit of fine glass in there too.if you use gravel and sand in your mixes this will cover both.


I wouldn't say it was an avoid at all costs. Once washed it can give a decorative topping to pots. Washing a small amount at a time for this application would be a lot easier. Plus it is inert which is a big advantage.

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With my monitor resolution being 1920x1080, those trays are showing as pretty much lifesize (3.5 inch with a rule against my screen). So yeah, the remaining glass looks very chunky, so much so that i wouldn't be surprised if you encounter the odd sharp edge. Or does it appear to be thoroughly tumbled ? As you say though, probably only good for a top dressing and not for actually mixing with peat.

Just as a comparison for anyone new looking in, this is the 'horticultural grade' (aka shot blasting) glass sand that i purchased a few years back. More expensive though at £15 for 25kg, but perfect for CP mixes.




As you can see, the B&Q stuff doesn't even compare, so sorry for starting this thread, it was worth a try  :blush:

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I've just checked through my emails Carl and it was listed as course grade back in June 2013. Looking at the sellers page now, they only have fine and medium that i can see. Might be worth ringing them on 01994 232760 to see if they still sell the course grade, they might even be able to post you out some small samples.

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So it is, i didn't think to see if they have a website, but then again, i'm not looking for any more. I've probably still got 20kg left and i don't grow drosera anymore. I've even used some to make sparkly cement ! :laugh1:

But yeah £12 + vat (+ shipping no doubt). It was £15 with free shipping on Ebay, but i admit that was 2 years ago.

Anyway, good find, i'm sure Carl will pick up on your post if he's looking for some :good2:

Edited by Welshy
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I would guess that the glass is old bottles and jars etc. that have been pulverised. I wouldn't be too sure if there isn't any residues from what the bottles and jars had contained.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 5 years later...

Waste glass comes in a variety of sizes, from a fine powder and sand grain pieces to small and larger aggregates. Due to different requirements on particle sizes, you can adjust this equipment from minimum size to maximum size.


Common sizes of recycled glass sand.jpg

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