Moldy Soil

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Moldy Soil

Post  Lynn E on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:37 am

I've been saving and reusing my bonsai soil--mostly inorganic. A mix of lava, pumice, akadama, and a bit of charcoal. Stored in plastic buckets on an unheated porch.
I opened a bin and noticed white mold?, fungus? on top of the soil. I rinsed the soil and left it on a tarp in the sun to dry.
Any reason not to reuse this batch?
Thanks, Lynn

Lynn E
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Re: Moldy Soil

Post  augustine on Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:08 pm

personally, I would reuse the soil as long as there was no disease (esp root rot) before it was put in the pile. I also recycle soil.
However I presume you only saved healthy soil.

Let's see what others say. I'm also curious to see if anyone tells us it's a bad idea.

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Re: Moldy Soil

Post  M. Frary on Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:10 pm

Root rot isn't a disease. So it can't be transmitted from one tree to another.
If my soil had some mold on it I would just open the container and set it out in the sun.
The mold comes from moisture,lack of light and lack of air circulation.
Remove the moisture part and you should be fine.
I

M. Frary
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Re: Moldy Soil

Post  bilbo on Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:21 pm

some molds, I forget which, I've been told are beneficial.
Some mixers I know actually add something to their soil mix, I just can't remember what the name was.

for inorganic, if you want it clean, why not just boil it?

I could be wrong, and I'm sure someone will point it out, but I think Akadama is technically organic.
It is clay.
Wouldn't charcoal also be organic?

But Lava rock and Pumice, I would think you could boil if you want it clean.

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Boiling

Post  Lynn E on Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:01 pm

Well Bilbo, I've done some pretty scary stuff in my kitchen. Once tried to dry a green decorative gourd in my microwave. The gourd blew up and ripped the door off the microwave. I had gourd guts all over. Not sure I'm up to boiling all that soil.
 You're right--the akadama and charcoal are organic.  And beneficial fungi are added to promote growth.
I think I'll try Mike's advice to air dry to remove some of the moisture.
 Thanks guys for all the help. Lynn

Lynn E
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Re: Moldy Soil

Post  bilbo on Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:28 pm

Well, I may be an advocate for boiling inorganic bonsai soil components, but I think even I would have likely advised against the microwave drying of a gourd.
Razz

Of course, now that I review what I wrote, it only now occurs to me that perhaps not everyone would have giant stock pots in which to boil substantial amounts said soil components.

Personally, I've just been in bonsai for 6 months or so and while I've been told by others to re-use my soil, I've not yet had to deal with that part of bonsai and in the telling, the others have not advised just how to go about reusing my soil components.
I was actually planning soon, to start a thread here to gather advice from the experienced, but I had formed advanced ideas on my own, up to and including boiling my components (if advised to) in my own giant stock pots.

I happen to already have said pots on hand owing to annually conjuring a year's worth of spaghetti sauce 5 gallons at a time and a years worth of turkey dumpling soup, again 5 gallons at a time, in my 7 gallon double boiler. But of course, again, it only now occurs to me the chance that others may not have similar practices or pots.
Embarassed
I can of course see where boiling substantial amounts of said soil components in regular sized kitchen pots would be tedious indeed.
Embarassed Embarassed

bilbo
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Funny

Post  Lynn E on Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:43 pm

OK B.--that's funny "a years worth of turkey dumpling soup"
Actually, you sound like bonsai will suit you well--a guy with patience and foresight! and humor.
Cheers, Lynn

Lynn E
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Re: Moldy Soil

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