Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

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Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  Shayn on Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:10 pm

Hey guys,

I have been reading up on a few things bonsai related recently, and came across Walter Pall's method for feeding. Does anyone here have first hand experience regarding this? I am super keen on trying this method as it makes complete sense to do so. My watering routine is basically exactly as he states he does, so no problems there. However, my substrate is not that great. Its good, but not great. I am using around 75-80% grit, and the remaining 20-25% is a mixture of organic premixed bonsai soil(Culterra) and cleaned river sand. Personally, the premix bonsai soil is a joke - but I am now stuck with 4 bags of the stuff.

I digress...

The thought behind the excessive feeding goes hand in hand with using mostly inorganic substrates such as akadema, pumice, leca and a variety of other lava based stone ; and aggressive watering(as I mentioned before, I do this anyway). However, will the fact that I am using grit instead of a lava based stone be detrimental to my trees? (If I were to begin this mass feeding, which I really want to do) All of my trees are in the same substrate mentioned above. The only exception is my Ficus Benjamina Variegata, which unfortunately had to go into a training pot with 80-90% organic premix, and 10-20% small stones.(budgeting will be the death of me). Currently I am using a bonsai feeder called "Bonsai Boost", created by a fellow South African bonsai artist, and it works damn well! However, I would like to begin WP's method of feeding since I have alot of other plant and flower feeders which I would hate to see go to waste.

If you have not read WP's feeding method, please mention so that I can post a link for all.
I have many other questions to ask, but for now, if anyone could respond to my questions so far, that would be great.

Shayn
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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:49 pm

if you have watched WPs talk on Youtube re fertilizing and substrate, then you know that the 2 go hand-in-hand...

the mix you use seems surprising to me, but you are in SA and i am in northern US...
very different climates (though i am fond of, and have/had SA trees such as spekboom, bull horn acacia, etc)

the suprising thing to me about your substrate is what seems to be such a small proportion of anything that will actually hold onto anything throughout the course of what i assume to be some very hot summer days...

substrate, should not only drain well, but should also hold onto some of that water (and nutrients) so it is accessible to the roots in between waterings.

BUT BUT BUT - hopefully folks from your climate will be see this and chime in

(cue: ANDRE ???)

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  AlainK on Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:16 pm

kevin stoeveken wrote: (...)

the suprising thing to me about your substrate is what seems to be such a small proportion of anything that will actually hold onto anything throughout the course of what i assume to be some very hot summer days...

substrate, should not only drain well, but should also hold onto some of that water (and nutrients) so it is accessible to the roots in between waterings.
(...)

+1
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walter pal feeding method

Post  geoffm5eay on Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:54 pm

I think you need to be very very careful about changing something so radical just because you see or hear it. What works for one may not work for you. I have fallen into this trap, and never will again. I am not saying it is wrong, but I would not change just for the sake of it, not with all my trees anyway, maybe one I did not mind losing.

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:29 pm

the Walter Pall method is not really "radical" or "extreme"...
to the contrary, it is inexpensive and easy, but again, and as Walter says:

All parts must be in play and a big part of those parts is the substrate.

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walter pal feeding method

Post  geoffm5eay on Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:27 pm

I am not saying no one should do it, but I am saying that you need to be careful about changing a regime. You are also saying that the substrate needs to be a particular kind. Again, I had a bad experience which also caused serious problems with my trees because I changed the soil on the advice of an "expert".
What works for me is what I will continue to do, and I am not going to change just because someone says that it is the bees knees!
It may be fantastic but I do not intend to find out if it is.

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:01 pm

well, that works out well geoff, as no-one was asking you to change anything Razz

and hell, apparently the original poster, shayne isnt too keen on changing anything, much less joining in the convo he started Rolling Eyes

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walter pal feeding method

Post  geoffm5eay on Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:18 pm

I had a look at the method, and even more now I would not do it. From what I have read huge amounts of fertiliser are added and washed through with loads of water. He makes no distinction between mature or younger trees, or ones that don't like so much water.
I am not a fan of his pruning method either!

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  Shayn on Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:40 pm

Thanks for the responses guys, I appreciate it.

Geoff, in this method WP posted on his blog, he states that this is used on ALL of his trees. Young or mature, big or small - they all get the same treatment. This is what I try to achieve with my trees, before I even came across his methods. I have repotted all of my junipers " severely out of season " and today years later they are strong and healthy. I try to experiment where I am able to. This, I believe, helps me teach myself and have the trees themselves teach me. (cliche, I know) But its true. cheers

Kevin, I completely get what you're saying regarding my substrate - but hey, it seems to be working for my trees. I do add a thin layer of soil every 7-9 months or so, which when watered seeps into the pot at a steady rate. And yes, that is one of the reasons I'd like to give this a go - the ability to save a few bucks. And I apologize for failing to interact here since I started the post, minds been elsewhere. study

I think I'll try to source a bag of leca that will be usable. I just hope I don't have to make another 4 hour drive. I'll try the method with a tree potted in leca and see how it goes from there - if I manage to even find leca worth using. Otherwise I'll do a test on one of my trees as they are now.

Thanks again for the input (so-far)

cheers
Shayn



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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  AlainK on Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:05 pm

Well, frankly, I think that "Walter Pall's method" is "Walter Pall's" method.

He cultivates his trees, usually very big ones, in his region, where he has found the right soil for his trees.

Trying to do the same thing with other trees in a different environment is I think totally vain.

First, know the trees that grow where you live.

Then understand the cultivation it needs in your own environment.


My 2 (French) € cents...
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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  Dave Leppo on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:41 am

I use WP's feeding, water , substrate method with success.  I don't fertilize quite as much, only once a week or so. My climate is generally similar to his. My trees are smaller than his, generally.

If you try to feed heavily without mostly inorganic, free-draining substrate, you risk root rot.

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  M. Frary on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:28 pm

I use Walter's feeding and watering schedule with great success.
I use up to 5 times the amount prescribed on the box once per week. Used it twice a week on one elm. No I'll effects whatsoever. Miracle grow. Nothing else.
I've never burned a tree and never had root problems.

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  augustine on Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:40 pm

I certainly trust Mr. Pall's advice. However I would not increase fert 5X with 20 - 25% organic material in my soil mix.

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  Jesse V on Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:41 pm

Would anyone like to post a link to Mr. Pall's feeding method? I'm a newbie that is certainly interested in this topic.

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  Shayn on Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:39 pm

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:43 am

Here is what I have used for years [ now almost 40 ]

5 mm silica based sand
aged compost [ kept just moist in a barrel and the weeds germinate and die.]

option - 5 mm crushed red earthenware brick [ can absorb water and thus fertiliser ]

Fertiliser - Miracle Gro Lawn fertiliser at 1/3 strength into moist soil, once a week.
From February to May / June ----- our dry season, and when it rains nothings is really
needed. So July to December, maybe a shot here and there.
12 N is supposed to be a max for trees in refinement [ 6 or 7 N even better ]

Used to use an Osmocote type from Israel designed for 30 deg.C for the rainy season.

Please note for trunk size ---------- I use ground growing and large conatiners
for branchlet refinement.

The 1/3 keeps the leaves green in hot sun ------- April / May is our 90 deg.F weather.
Then we drop back to 80 deg.F.

Not sure why anyone would use massive doses of fertiliser if ground growing is when you
trunk thicken and if needed, root radial ????????? Confused
Have fun folks.
Laters.
Khaimraj
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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  yamasuri on Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:07 am

I just went through this all above and I would highly appreciate if in any mention type of fertilizer can be display the contain of NPK. Names of made can be different but if you get same component ration than anyone on the world can follow. Thats my 2 CDN cents Smile
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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  breck on Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:11 pm

The WP method has worked wonders for my trees but as stated above you have to carry out the whole package, food, water and substrate, His hedge cutting pruning regime also works a treat but not for Conifers!!

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Re: Walter Pall Feeding Method - Thoughts?

Post  Shayn on Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:45 pm

Thanks everybody. Your input is appreciated Smile
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