Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

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Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

Post  Richard S on Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:46 pm

Anybody use Kaizen Bonsai ready mixed soil?

I'd be especially interested if you do and you grow broad leaf deciduous trees.

Kaizen/Graham Potter have an enviable reputation so I'm sure that it's a quality product but it looks like it includes a lot more organic material than I would usually use. Also Graham Potter recommends using only organic fertilizer with this soil (which I don't currently use) so I'd be interested in your watering/feeding regime.

Any opinion welcome.

Regards

Richard

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Re: Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:49 pm

I'm not going to say yay or nay on the soil itself; considering the source, it's likely fine and dandy. All that out of the way, all an "organic" mix means to you (probably) is watering a little less frequently, especially for deciduous trees which, after all, ALWAYS grow in a pretty organic soil in nature. It won't affect your trees' growth or health in a season (or probably forever), and the use or not of organic fertilizer is just as irrelevant. Use what you want, experimenting with dosage over a growing season. It will undoubtedly be fine if you follow the label instructions. Next year, if you are happy with the soil, you may raise or lower the fertilizer level as you wish.

People tend to get VERY dogmatic over soil and fertilization, and many of them have rather peculiar ideas and "rules." Those are likely fine for their trees, but you aren't growing "their" trees.

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Re: Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

Post  BobbyLane on Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:58 pm

I use the number 1 mix for all my Deciduous, i like that it has orgnanics in as i like a moisture retaining mix for mine, mine are kept on a south facing balcony, i get blazing sun from 8am-4pm. i tried keeping them in inorganics and they were drying out far too quickly, even after watering twice a day in summer. ive actually added more John innes to Kaizens mix and bottom layered some pots with it. Elms, Hawthorn, Oak are forest trees they love it. as do the Crab apples, I only really keep native trees apart from some Chinese elms. Had good results with green dream Wink

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Re: Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

Post  Richard S on Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:41 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Jim, wise words as always.

I remember reading an article on the Art of Bonsai web site (by Will Heath I think?) in which he argued that one of the reasons there's so much dispute in bonsai circles over what constitutes a good soil is that it's actually possible to get great results in a very wide variety of very diverse materials. Just so long as you get the watering regime right!

Of course getting it right can be tricky. Like a lot of people I would guess, work ensures that I have only a very limited window of opportunity to check and water my trees each day. During the summer they either get watered in the early evening or they don't get watered again for 24hrs. On the other hand, they also sit out on the benches all winter getting rained on almost constantly!

I'm looking for a mix that can hold it's moisture reliably for 24hrs in the summer without drowning the trees in the winter.

Bobby, it sounds like you favour a very water retentive mix there. Your growing conditions can't be that radically different to mine. How often do you water and do you leave your trees exposed to the rain in the winter?

I note that Kaizen recommend some rain protection in the winter when using their No1 mix.

Regards

Richard

PS I realise that the only way to get a definitive answer here is to buy some and experiment and as Jim rightly says, I'm not growing "other peoples trees" but it's still interesting to me so thanks guys.




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Re: Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

Post  BobbyLane on Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:15 pm

I water twice a day in summer, early morning and again in the evening if need be. I use a watering can...my balcony is roofed with trellis either side, i get a little winter protection and rotate which trees sit out in over hanging balcony troughs in the flow of rain over the winter months.

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Re: Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

Post  fiona on Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:43 am

I'm looking out of the window and wondering if I'll ever have to water again.


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Re: Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

Post  dick benbow on Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:01 am

different window but I'm worried we won't have any snow in the mountains to melt, feed the rivers and our water supply to be able to water this summer.

Hang in there fiona.....Smile

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Re: Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

Post  Richard S on Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:46 pm

Thanks Bobby.

Your trees obviously like a drink!

Think I'll order some No 2 mix and give a test drive.

Regards

Richard

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Re: Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

Post  leatherback on Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:33 am

fiona wrote:I'm looking out of the window and wondering if I'll ever have to water again.

According to recent fairy tales double digit temperatures, together with blue skies are to be expected in this part of the world within days! Now where did I put that watering can back in september 2014..

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Re: Kaizen Bonsai soil mix?

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