homemade soil question

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homemade soil question

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:51 am

Hey everyone. this is my first post.
I have done bonsai since 2003 and since that time i have used brussels soil, worked FINE, but EXPENSIVE!! this spring i decided to make my own soil.
It consists of 3mm-7mm: 2parts--sieved pine bark
2 parts riversand, pebble like stuff cleaned 3mm-7mm
1 part peat moss.
Does this sound viable to you. Its has been hit and miss for me... most pots drain well and retain well, but others are absolute swamp like... they dont drain unless you count going over the sides as draining. I am studying them and have tried everything except total repot which will damage the tree in mid summer. CAN ANYONE SHED LIGHT ON THIS PROBLEM. modify my soil mix if that what you recommend. thanks

Mitch - Cedarbog
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:27 am

Sounds to me like there may be a bit too much organic (peat moss) in the mix. That is fine for some trees like Wisteria, Alder, Willow, Taxodium etc that like "wet feet" but can be too slow draining for pines and many others. If it becomes a problem, water only when needed and adjust the mix next spring when repotting.

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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Ricky Keaton on Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:40 pm

seems to me the best answer i have heard on soil is experience. start with what u know and work off that! u'l get it down to a science my friend...

Ricky Keaton
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:07 pm

I think you do have too much organic material in your soil. I dunno exactly where you live in the "eastern broadleaf biome" (it's a huge area!!) but climatically it is a very humid area. I'd suggest your next soil mix be something on the order of 1/3 Turface (high-temp baked clay), 1/3 river gravel and 1/3 composted pine bark mulch.

You can raise or lower the organic portion depending on the tree planted in the individual pot -- more for azaleas, less for conifers.

Here is an excellent article on bonsai soil: http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/soils.htm

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Ricky Keaton on Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:42 am

try here,
http://www.bonsaisite.com/survey5.html

Ricky Keaton
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:11 pm

JimLewis wrote:I think you do have too much organic material in your soil. I dunno exactly where you live in the "eastern broadleaf biome" (it's a huge area!!) but climatically it is a very humid area. I'd suggest your next soil mix be something on the order of 1/3 Turface (high-temp baked clay), 1/3 river gravel and 1/3 composted pine bark mulch.

You can raise or lower the organic portion depending on the tree planted in the individual pot -- more for azaleas, less for conifers.

Here is an excellent article on bonsai soil: http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/soils.htm
LOL! the eastern broadleaf biome is a big area. maybe i need to look at that one again.... just being safe on the location thing to avoid theft. my bad. lol

Mitch - Cedarbog
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:13 pm

to all the other responses.... I have considered getting turface... or calcined clay... i ran across some at a garden center as a water plant gravel. I cant find it anywhere these days. ANY one have an idea where i could get the calcined clay myself in the southern ohio region? THANKS!

Mitch - Cedarbog
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:26 pm

As far as geographic info goes, You can easily pinpoint yourself enough that folks can help and still avoid thievery. See my sig below and info to the right ------>

ANY one have an idea where i could get the calcined clay myself in the southern ohio region? THANKS!

Read this: http://www.bonsaisite.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=18443

As for Ohio, any of these near you?

Distributors


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      www.centuryequip.comPremier Distributor
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      www.centuryequip.comPremier Distributor
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      (330) 264-0282
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      (937) 848-2501
      www.greenvelvet.com
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  • PSP

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I think John Deere Landscape stores across the country all carry Turface.


_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:41 pm


•Bellbrook
(937) 848-2501
www.greenvelvet.com
this would be decently close enuff. What do they offer here? thanks

Mitch - Cedarbog
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:28 pm

Green Velvet says they have Turface, you want Turface MVP or Turface Pro League - The Turface Quick Dry is MUCH too fine a particle.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Ricky Keaton on Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:19 am

CedarBog wrote:
•Bellbrook
(937) 848-2501
www.greenvelvet.com
this would be decently close enuff. What do they offer here? thanks

CedarBog where do u live at?
i am in Xenia.

Ricky Keaton
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:20 pm

I live in hillsboro. nice to know someone is up that way! bonsai artists are far between down here.

Mitch - Cedarbog
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:23 pm

I visit Beavercreek about once a year usually around mid October but this year it might be the weekend after Thnaksgiving.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  Mitch - Cedarbog on Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:28 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Green Velvet says they have Turface, you want Turface MVP or Turface Pro League - The Turface Quick Dry is MUCH too fine a particle.
thanks billy. Now do i need to seive the tuface when i get it or what is recommended? thanks for your help.

Mitch - Cedarbog
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Re: homemade soil question

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:59 pm

Purists sieve it, and so do I -- at least with the first bag. I use the fines for my mame. And sine there will be a LOT of fines, I'm lucky I have a lot of small trees.

Later bags don't get sieved because I'll have all the fines I need for all of my twice-yearly repotting of my tiniest trees.

I mix 20 - 40 % composted pine bark with the Turface; percentage depends on what I'm repotting.

(Incidentally, Turface is a trade name and is trademarked and all that jazz. It should be capitalized. FWIW.)

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
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