Recycling Bonsai Soil Questions

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Recycling Bonsai Soil Questions

Post  bilbo on Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:09 am

Having just started in Bonsai last February, I’ve acquired quite a few trees and consequently, many, perhaps most of them are going to need a repot this winter/spring. In anticipation of that, I need to start understanding recycling my bonsai soil and/or be prepared to spend a small fortune on all the components I'll anticipate needing.

Some of them, are already in Bonsai soil mix and they appear to be Lava, Pumice, Akadama.
Some of these are in training pots which are quite large and will produce quite a bit of old soil.
So, the questions come:

1. In general, do you take steps to clean the inorganic components?
In my case, the organic component appears to be Akadama and has broken down a lot.
Either is was low quality or has been in the pot too long, but regardless, it has mostly broken down.
So, it would seem to reuse the inorganics, and to keep the sizes uniform, I need to somehow filter/wash the broken down organics out.

2. Do you find, when recycling your inorganics, that they have maintained their original size?
I’m not sure what to expect in this area.
I’ve inquired and learned about sieves and size categories in another thread, but it seems I’ll need to consider where on the scale the recycled inorganics will land and if they get smaller over time.

3. When it comes to actual reuse of the recycled components, It seems necessary to again remix with fresh organics.
Do you worry about separation of the various inorganic components or leave them mixed together?
For example, if a person started with a 1:1:1 mix ratio using fresh (new) separated components, after recycling, it would seem you’d need to either separate the surviving inorganics, or when reusing the them, just change the ratio to 2:1 (mixed recycled inorganics/fresh organics).
It actually occurred to me that I could theoretically sieve the original inorganics with very slightly difference in size (but still within the general size category) and then after cleaning/drying, run them back through the sieve to again separate them. But that sounds like more work that may be necessary or beneficial.

Any other thoughts or experiences I’ve not covered with my questions will, as always, be appreciated.

bilbo
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Re: Recycling Bonsai Soil Questions

Post  M. Frary on Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:07 am

Or just don't put organic soil in.
Akadama isn't needed.
I don't use it at all.
I stay right away from it altogether for the reason it does break down.
I use Napa floor dry part no.8822. It's diatomaceous earth. Mixed with lava.

M. Frary
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