A study was conducted to determine if raising tomatoes in sifted, cleaned and disinfected used perlite would be more economical than new perlite and have no negative impact on yield.
Sifting, cleaning and disinfecting used perlite for recycling saved 56% of the cost to replace the media and reduced salt content to the optimum level recommended for raising container grown plants.
Disinfecting used perlite with hot water raised media temperatures above limits necessary to kill several fungi and nematodes.
Tomatoes planted in recycled perlite produced greater marketable yield and heavier fruit than those planted in new perlite.
Used perlite can be cleaned and disinfected as needed and recycled for many years because it is not organic in nature and is physically and chemically stable.