Mame bonsai soil question

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Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Tentakelaertje on Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:54 pm

Dear all, I read somewhere that, for mame soil, about 40% should be of some water retaining medium. Now the exact amount doesn't matter, but what could that water retaining medium, regarding volume of the soil be?


Thanks in advance,

Maarten

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:52 pm

Maarten,

depending on your climate [ humidity and exposure to sunlight ] simple peat moss or compost with an inorganic material, would be enough for your mame' attempts. Test at 1/3 organic to 2/3 inorganic by volume.

Mame' used to mean about 8 cm in height.

Test with an easy plant to grow, say 5 to 10 of the same plant, and see how you do.

All of my mame' [ 8 cm and under ] are watered once a day, 2 passes in the morning and one in the evening, with a watering can.
Placement is full sun, spot is also breezy.

Do you need to see examples ?

Best of growing to you.
Khaimraj

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  beer city snake on Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:30 pm

maarten - when i sift my aged composted pine bark, i save the "fines" for just such a purpose in my tiniest of plantings, along with the finer particles of diatamaceous earth... both of which are easily sourced for me.

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Do you need to see examples ?

maarten might not, but i do ! Wink

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Tentakelaertje on Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:27 pm

Thanks for the replies guys!

Khaimraj, thanks for the detailed reply. I've got a bunch of acer campestre seedlings, and truckloads of fraxinus excelsior seedlings, varying from a couple of months to about 5 years. Are those appropriate? And which species would you advise? What would be the appropriate running time? About five years? (sorry for the many questions)

I've got a acer campestre in about 4/5 superdensa (porous pond substrate for oxygen plants in ponds. Not super porous though, the clogtest proved it a little harder than those hydroponic clayballs.) and 1/5 heavy former sea bottom clay. The clay is fortunately desalted Smile. Its roots were growing super fast, unlike the foliage. The acer seedlings over always are slow growers, so perhaps that would be the cause..
I'm planning to run another test on small quartz particles and maybe those tinytiny woodflakes you put in a rabbit/guinea pig/gerbil's house.

Kevin, to use those siftingleftovers is also a very good idea. How big would those particles be? A couple of mm's?


Thanks, Maarten

P.s. I'd love to see your mame trees! Perhaps would it be fun to start a mame showing thread.. I'll start a mame showing thread!

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  beer city snake on Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:08 pm

maarten - the particles are similar in size to table salt or beach sand...

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Tentakelaertje on Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:20 pm

Wow, that's really small! How do you keep the draining holes from clogging? Like, double layer mesh?

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  beer city snake on Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:29 pm

drain holes ?
what drain holes ?

joking...

i use finer screen, like drywall mesh tape...
some does wash out, but not much and you can always top it off.

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Tentakelaertje on Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:10 pm

Thanks guys! That mesh tape sounds like a great idea, I'll try some of that too.
I'll let you know what I figure out with the tests.

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  JimLewis on Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:22 pm

I use almost no grit in my tiny tree soil.  It is 99.99% organic (composted pine bark "soil conditioner."

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Tentakelaertje on Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:37 pm

JimLewis wrote:I use almost no grit in my tiny tree soil.  It is 99.99% organic (composted pine bark "soil conditioner."

Wow Jim, that's actually quite a high %. How big are those particles, and do you use special mesh/ a special installation to prevent leaking too?

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Bruce Winter on Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:10 pm

I use the fines from sifted pumice. Not dust, just the next step up. 1-2 mm. And milled sphagnum in and on top.

Here's one. Mame satsuki no na me. It just wants to bloom. a bud on every tip. 3.5"

And this big bird sat on it and broke a major branch. Kalij pheasant. Bad bird.



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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:44 pm

hey Bruce, are Kalij pheasant tasty? One way to keep them from sitting on your tress, make 'em dinner, and use the feathers to tie flies for fishing. Wink

I have a set of sieves, for mame and smaller shohin I use particles from 1/16 to 1/8 inch. As Bruce suggested, a blend of shredded sphagnum, sifted pumice, fine particles from seedling sized orchid bark, you could also use fines from Akadama or Kanuma if you use either for your larger bonsai.

fine perlit is good when mixed with sphagnum. Too light to use alone.

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Bruce Winter on Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:00 am

Leo Schordje wrote:hey Bruce, are Kalij pheasant tasty? One way to keep them from sitting on your tress, make 'em dinner, and use the feathers to tie flies for fishing. Wink

I have a set of sieves, for mame and smaller shohin I use particles from 1/16 to 1/8 inch. As Bruce suggested, a blend of shredded sphagnum, sifted pumice, fine particles from seedling sized orchid bark, you could also use fines from Akadama or Kanuma if you use either for your larger bonsai.

fine perlit is good when mixed with sphagnum. Too light to use alone.
Leo. Odd, but although they were brought in as game birds I've never heard of anyone eating them. The word is they're stringy.

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  JimLewis on Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:42 pm

Tentakelaertje wrote:
JimLewis wrote:I use almost no grit in my tiny tree soil.  It is 99.99% organic (composted pine bark "soil conditioner."

Wow Jim, that's actually quite a high %. How big are those particles, and do you use special mesh/ a special installation to prevent leaking too?

I isn't sifted.  There are large flakes and powdery "stuff."  I use dry wall tape.

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:12 pm

Politely, I will always suggest a blend of organic and inorganic particles.
Inorganic at 2 to 3 mm, silica based gravel is very easy to get.
Laters.
Khaimraj

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Tentakelaertje on Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:18 am

Sorrcy guys, I don't know how, but apparently I missed this.. Thanks for the good info y'all, I've designed some tests, and when spring comes it's showtime. Phrasing, I knooow!
Will go hunt for drywall mesh tape!

Thanks again!

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  leatherback on Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:30 pm

Hey Maarten, should have known you were on the lookout.
GAMMA will have the tape. The stuff I showed you is from there. You would need to double it up to get a finer mesh.

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Dirk Hoorelbeke on Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:39 pm

acer campestre and fraxinus are not the most common species for mame. I use akadama, smallest particles, no dust. In development pot bigger and use normal size akadama. Monitor well in summer.

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  dick benbow on Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:55 pm

and just as politely, I'd like to also suggest a bigger particle so watering can freely draw water and OXYGEN thru the pot's soil. Too fine a grain I find chokes off the soii's ability to breath and causes problems of it's own.

Oddly enough some of my knowledge came from 40 years in the Koi Hobby where efforts to oxygenate filter media made for healthy bacteria and no corners to go anaroebic ( lack of oxygen). As I got into bonsai and soil mixtures, I discovered a similar requirerment. H2O

soil wise I used to save the tiniest of granulares from shifting to use as "top dressings" for my soil. It looked nice but what I found was it choked off the ability of the soil underneath to breath, I'd think it was time to repot certain trees only to discover once I got past the top dressing the soil beneath still looked fine.

On certain trees that need more moisture retention, I will increase my mix of pummice and akadama. Normally I run about a third of each along with volcanc rock.
Last year with weather change and a move of home location, I needed to adjust things here in usually wet cold cloudy seattle. I was getting more sun and heat....

Working with yamadori dug trees educated me to the advantages of quick drainage, yet water retention from pummice where I use a mixture of 10% spagnum moss and 90% pummice.

Keep in mind, no one shares information here to deceive. Yet I feel duty bound to share what I've learned even if it does fly in the face on what other's are sharing. Like my bonsai teacher used to say " absorb every bit of information like a sponge, consider it all, and go with what your common sense tells you"...

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Tentakelaertje on Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:17 pm

Thanks for the replies! Jelle, I figured I would need to check the gamma and praxis out. Now there's no need to check the praxis out anymore, ty! Smile

Dirk, fraxinus leaves are waaay too big, and the growth is coarse, but time will see what this experiments bring us. Also want to do an experiment with defoliation on fraxinus, to see where the compound leaves can be cut. Acer campestre is not common no, but do you think it can make nice mame?

Dick, thank you for these observations, it's all sponged now Smile. I figured no one here wants to deceive, we all do what works for us, so the paths we walk differ a lot. Common sense rules!

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Dirk Hoorelbeke on Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:11 pm

With acer campestre even shuhin is difficult. For mame try species with small leaves. Ulmus, zelkova, juniperus,cotoneaster...

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Re: Mame bonsai soil question

Post  Tentakelaertje on Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:57 pm

Okay, I'll see if I can get my hands on some of those species. Already got two tiny cotoneasters in the ground, and Jelle was kind enough to gift me a shimpaku. It's just that fraxinus and acer c. seedlings are readily and free available.
Thanks for the reply

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