Kitty Litter: is the name given to material that is used, in trays, to soak up the waste material produced by pet cats that are kept inside. The most frequently used material, for this purpose, is Fullers Earth. This is naturally mined clay that is known chemically as: Magnesium Aluminium Silicate. Now this is all very interesting but what has this to do with our interests?
Late last year we read about using Kitty Litter as a seed-raising medium. We bought a bag of Kitty Litter and tried germinating seeds in the material straight out of the bag. Unfortunately this was unsuccessful, as the Kitty Litter became a sticky mess as soon as it was watered. The next step was to make up a mix of one part Kitty Litter and five parts of river sand. This proved to be very successful and Eucalypt seeds germinated happily in the mixture. When the seedlings were potted on, their roots were coated with moist Kitty Litter. We have found that this coating insulates the seedlings from transplanting shock. Kitty Litter coated seedlings make faster growth, in their individual tubes, than seedlings germinated in conventional seed raising mix. We now use Kitty Litter/sand mix for all our seed germination.
This is not the end of the Kitty Litter story. If you are interested in the next chapter please have a look at Fern Germination.