Cinder Ballast

Cinder, also known as “lava rock,” is used for railroad ballast. You can use it for running tracks, baseball infields, driveways, pathways, flower beds, hydroponic and aquaponics. Cinder is very porous and weighs less than half that of other landscape materials. It has excellent drainage properties and is erosion resistance. Cinder provides optimum drainage to a bed, making it suitable for low-lying areas that collect water or for plants that prefer drier growing conditions. It is ideal in areas where you want minimal maintenance and plans to grow native or low-maintenance perennial shrubs, trees, and plants.

Other Usage 

The rocks are best for areas where the ground is rarely disturbed, and the stones can remain a permanent part of the landscape. Cinder ballast is a volcanic rock that gets its appearance from the simultaneous rapid cooling and depressurization process after being ejected out of a volcano. Cinder ballast has small cysts, which is what causes it to be so light in weight. These vesicles help to retain nutrients and moisture when used as a soil amendment and will also help with drainage as it creates excellent pore space in the soil. It also does not attract fungi, nematodes, or insects.

Additional usage

Cinder Sand used as an infield and warning track component for baseball fields. Cinder as decorative purposes in landscaping. Cinder rocks are lava cinders screened to two sizes: Large (3⁄4″ – 11⁄2″) and Small (1⁄4″ – 1⁄2″).  Cinder rock seems to be the hands-down favorite for replacing an old patch of grass with decorative ground cover.

  • Soil Amendment
  • Use as a mulch for shrub and plant beds to conserve water and limit weed growth.
  • Cinder makes exciting garden pathways and decorative borders around flower beds.
  • Infield & Warning Track Component
  • Decorative Purposes for Landscaping


  • Use approx. Three inches for an application to control weeds and retain moisture in the soil.
  • Pathways and decorative borders can use approx. 2″- 3″ depending upon the location.
  • Amending soil, mix 10% of Cinder Sand with dirt. Percentages vary depending on the type of gardening project. Plants, flowers, cactus, trees, etc.
  • For adding as an Infield or Warning Track component, try mixing with our A-1 Infield Soil as the colors nicely blend.

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