• Lightweight expanded shale and clay soil conditioner can play a valuable role in today's horticulture.
  • The product will not compress, degrade, decompose, or react with agricultural or horticultural chemicals.
  • Lightweight has the ability to release the water to the root system at a later time.


For innovative, cost-effective, long-term solutions for horticulture projects, professionals often turn to lightweight aggregates. From creating an ideal planting media to designing a soil for an athletic field, Arcosa Lightweight is the logical solution.

For horticulture and landscape design applications, Arcosa Lightweight's aggregate is environmentally inert, generally neutral pH, and absorbs water and nutrients, making them available to the root system as the surrounding soil dries out. Landscape pros prefer its lighter weight to reduce dead loads and improve ease of handling. This ceramic material made by calcining clay at temperatures in excess of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, so it does not degrade.

Natural sand and soil are heavy. Native soils have silts and clays that may clog the filter materials or drainage layer and reduce effectiveness. The physical properties of natural volcanic aggregates vary widely with source and location. Organic materials may degrade and compact over time, and require additions to or replacement of planting media. Some horticultural products used in greenhouses and container planting, such as vermiculite and perlite, are extremely light in weight and do not offer adequate anchorage and support for larger plants. In exterior applications vermiculite and perlite often float to the top of the planting media where they can be carried away by wind or water.

Lightweight aggregate has a higher absorption rate than competitive products and helps neutralize acid rain runoff and maintain pH levels in the growing medium.

Combining lightweight aggregates with varying amounts of organic matter creates a lightweight planting media for intensive and/or extensive rooftop gardens. These designer soils can be created or altered to meet design specifications or address precise project requirements. Designer soils are often required for rooftop gardens, raised planters, containers and urban tree plantings.

Incorporating lightweight aggregate into heavy clay soil can provide permanent aeration and drainage within the root zone. This can improve the properties and qualities of existing soils to meet the requirements of the landscape design. When it comes to Turf applications, lightweight is combined with peat, sand and other amendments to form root zone soil mixes for golf courses, athletic fields and related turf surfaces. It is also applied as topdressing over established turf.

Selected Case Studies

 Expanded Shale Used at Dallas Arboretum

Expanded Shale Used at Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Garden is home to one of the largest floral planting displays in the Southwestern United States with over 2.9 million annual bedding plants, yearly attendance exceeding 500,000, and visitors from 50 countries.

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Lightweight Aggregate  Amends Heavy Clay Soil On Texas Campus

Lightweight Aggregate Amends Heavy Clay Soil On Texas Campus

The new Business Leadership Building on the University of North Texas campus is an integral part of their business school.

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 Expanded Shale Ideal for Use as Rain Garden Media

Expanded Shale Ideal for Use as Rain Garden Media

A prestigious honor was given to The Green at College Park when it became certified by the Sustainable Sites Initiative some years ago.

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Pavilion Connects Two Neighborhoods with Green Space

Pavilion Connects Two Neighborhoods with Green Space

The new Renzo Pavilion in the Fort Worth Arts District is an outstanding example of architecture and landscape coexisting in an urban setting.

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Lightweight Solves Urban Park Challenge

Lightweight Solves Urban Park Challenge

Designing an urban park in a downtown area is quite a challenge but constructing one over the sunken Woodall Rodgers Freeway demands more expertise, coordination and teamwork.

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