bonsai soil

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bonsai soil

Post  s.jones on Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:34 pm

I would like to know where is the best and cheapest place to purchase bonsai soil in bulk. steve

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:28 pm

Buying pre-mixed dirt is probably expensive however you cut it. It also depends on what you mean by "bulk."

For me a 40-pound bag or Turface (or equivalent) and a 50-pound bag of composted pine bark mulch (total cost about $40, depending) seems a far better deal. Premixed soil can cost $20 for 10-20 pounds (or probably more, I'd guess; I haven't inquired for years). Add $10 for a 30-pound bag of granite grit, if you use it.

It probably also depends to some extent on what you are growing and where. In Naples, I assume tropicals. You might inquire at Miami Tropical Bonsai.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Poink88 on Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:07 pm

JimLewis wrote:Buying pre-mixed dirt is probably expensive however you cut it. It also depends on what you mean by "bulk."

For me a 40-pound bag or Turface (or equivalent) and a 50-pound bag of composted pine bark mulch (total cost about $40, depending) seems a far better deal. Premixed soil can cost $20 for 10-20 pounds (or probably more, I'd guess; I haven't inquired for years). Add $10 for a 30-pound bag of granite grit, if you use it.

It probably also depends to some extent on what you are growing and where. In Naples, I assume tropicals. You might inquire at Miami Tropical Bonsai.
I agree with Jim, can't beat mixing your own.

Jim, Where do you buy your pine bark mulch and what brand? I have been looking but can't seem to find a good source here. Thanks.

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bonsai soil

Post  s.jones on Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:47 pm

can I buy most of these ingredients at a garden center?

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  leatherback on Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:59 pm

If you have a good garden centre, you should be able to get everything you need.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:02 pm


leatherback wrote:If you have a good garden centre, you should be able to get everything you need.


Ha! Good luck with that!

We've been buying Evergreen (brand) "soil conditioner", which is a fine ground pine bark, at Lowe's. It's wonderful. Our local John Deere Landscapes (used to be Lesco) sells all kinds of insecticides, fungicides and such sells Turface. Make sure you get the bag labled "All Sport". We can't seem to find the crushed red lava we bought forever as "flower rock" anymore. Rodney Clemmons suggested a pumic product called "Dry Stall" that's used in horse stalls, so we're trying to track that down through the feed stores and co-ops.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Poink88 on Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:10 pm

Russell Coker wrote:We've been buying Evergreen (brand) "soil conditioner", which is a fine ground pine bark, at Lowe's.
Thanks Russell!

I buy Turface (I prefer MVP myself) from eWing

Check here for a store near you http://www.ewing1.com/cgi/ewz_loc_branchlocator.php

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:12 pm

I've used dry stall (for horses and for bonsai) it is a GLARING white and has to have been in a mix for a god number of waterings, etc. before it looks like other than snow.

Like anything worthwhile, you have to look for the right ingredients. Garden Centers will not have all of it.

The mulch I use is Nature's Choice Premium Pine Bark Mulch. It is made in Glenville, Ga (wherever that is).

Turface comes in a number of brand names. Mule Mix is another brand. I used to get mine from Graco in S, Ga. when I live in Tallahassee. Turface and Mule Mix both have websites that let you find the closest distributor.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Ryan on Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:40 pm

Poink88 wrote:
I buy Turface (I prefer MVP myself)

MVP and All Sport are the same Wink

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:16 pm

JimLewis wrote:I've used dry stall (for horses and for bonsai) it is a GLARING white and has to have been in a mix for a god number of waterings, etc. before it looks like other than snow.

Crap. As bad as perlite? Hopefully it doesn't float away like perlite.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Poink88 on Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:19 pm

Ryan wrote:
Poink88 wrote:
I buy Turface (I prefer MVP myself)

MVP and All Sport are the same Wink
Based on the sample I saw at my eWing local store...they are not. All sport granules looked smaller/finer.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Ryan on Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:37 am

Poink88 wrote:
Based on the sample I saw at my eWing local store...they are not. All sport granules looked smaller/finer.

According to John Deere themselves it is:

http://www.bonsaisite.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=24233

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Poink88 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:48 am

Ryan wrote:
Poink88 wrote:
Based on the sample I saw at my eWing local store...they are not. All sport granules looked smaller/finer.

According to John Deere themselves it is:

http://www.bonsaisite.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=24233
I don't care what they say....it looked different to me. Anyway if they are why have 2 brands???

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Ryan on Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:51 am

Poink88 wrote:
Ryan wrote:
Poink88 wrote:
Based on the sample I saw at my eWing local store...they are not. All sport granules looked smaller/finer.

According to John Deere themselves it is:

http://www.bonsaisite.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=24233
I don't care what they say....it looked different to me. Anyway if they are why have 2 brands???


Nothing is ever easy Mad

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:18 am

Crap. As bad as perlite? Hopefully it doesn't float away like perlite.
Probably not, but it is light and airy. It is made to absorb a LOT of horse piss.

As far as Turface grades go, It has seemed to me over the last few years that ALL the grain sizes are getting smaller. It is made for baseball diamonds, after all, and it can't be too granular or the balls won't bounce right, and the base runners will NOT enjoy sliding through it to get safely to base.

Since I generally do smaller trees, that hasn't bothered me much.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  John Quinn on Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:42 am

I use Nature's Helper pine bark mulch available at Home Depot. Not too bad after screening.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:04 pm

John Quinn wrote:I use Nature's Helper pine bark mulch available at Home Depot. Not too bad after screening.

I'll have to check it out. The soil conditioner I mentioned needs no screening. It's good to go, I just scoop it out of the bag.

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bonsai soil

Post  s.jones on Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:28 pm

I live in Naples,FL and would like to know where to buy the ingredients for bonsai soil. Turface, crushed pine bark, and crushed lava rock. Does any one out there know where these products are sold? Do they exist at some of the retail chains?

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:42 pm




There isn't a bonsai club in Naples? You're never far from a club in Florida.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:26 pm

Russell Coker wrote:There isn't a bonsai club in Naples? You're never far from a club in Florida.

There is a Club and a great nursery, Wigerts.

Soil, I use 1/3 Turface, 1/3 Fafard Soil Conditioner (which is composted pine bark) 1/3 small lava ( in smaller pots you can use pea gravel) lava is lighter by far.

The Turface is available from John Deere or any company that supplies golf courses, Fafard can be had from must good nurseries, the Lava is the problem, but Eric should have it. The pea gravel I get at Wal Mart

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  rps on Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:08 pm

John Quinn wrote:I use Nature's Helper pine bark mulch available at Home Depot. Not too bad after screening.

John. What's your approximate post-screening usable ratio?
I bought so-called "mini" fir bark nuggets, but was frustrated to realize that only about 20% of the purchased volume would be suitable for growing compound.
Certainly, I'll find a use for the coarse lumps (as mulch) and the fines (in house plant soil) --- but, wonder if the product you cite yields happier dividends.

The up cost of a shredder is a little rich for my blood, but I have entertained the idea of taking a few passes at the lumps with the law mower. I seem to be born to give the neighbors new reasons to shake their heads.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  coh on Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:33 pm

I keep reading all these references to fine bark soil conditioners of various types, but have never been able to find them around here (upstate NY). I note that all the people talking about them are from the southern U.S., so it may be a regional thing that isn't available in the northern states or Canada. Any kind of packaged bark "nuggets" I've seen are mostly too large, even the "mini's".

I've used some of the fine bark mulches as soil components, but those make me nervous because the bags are often left sitting outside in the weather. The stuff is often wet and sun-heated, which makes me concerned about growth of pathogens.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:22 pm

I've used some of the fine bark mulches as soil components, but those make me nervous because the bags are often left sitting outside in the weather. The stuff is often wet and sun-heated, which makes me concerned about growth of pathogens.

Consider it partial composting. They probably get too hot for pathogens.

You don't need to use pine bark mulches, any conifer bark (fir is common in some areas) will do just fine.

As far as bonsai in SW Florida goes, look at these:

Bonsai Society of Southwest Florida
Web site: http://www.thebonsaisswfl.com/
Meeting place: SPALC Building
6281 Metro Plantation Road
Fort Myers, FL 33966-1260
[view map]
Meeting time: 3rd Saturday of the month at 9:00 a.m.
Trustee: Michael Knowlton (trustee7@bonsai-bsf.com)
District 7
Other information: [newsletter]


Charlotte Ichiban Bonsai Kai
Meeting place: Port Charlotte Cultural Center, Room 31
2280 Aaron St.
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
[view map]
Meeting time: 4th Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m.
Trustee: Michael Knowlton (trustee7@bonsai-bsf.com)
District 7


Naples Bonsai & Shohin Society
Meeting place: The Bonsairoom – Learning Center
3901 Bonita Beach Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
[view map]
Meeting time: 1st Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m.
Trustee: Michael Knowlton (trustee7@bonsai-bsf.com)
District 7

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  coh on Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:46 pm

I did say "fine", not "pine"...as for the partial composting...not sure if I'd trust that to kill off any pathogens. Someone had posted that those mulches were found to contain one of the fungi that cause root rot - phytopthora, or something like that? I've never seen evidence of a significant problem in my plants, at least not yet.

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Re: bonsai soil

Post  FrankP999 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:15 pm

coh wrote:I keep reading all these references to fine bark soil conditioners of various types, but have never been able to find them around here (upstate NY). I note that all the people talking about them are from the southern U.S., so it may be a regional thing that isn't available in the northern states or Canada. Any kind of packaged bark "nuggets" I've seen are mostly too large, even the "mini's".

Try orchid suppliers who sell various bark products in different sizes.

Frank

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Re: bonsai soil

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