Inorganic Soils

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Inorganic Soils

Post  SEGR12 on Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:27 am

I have been investigating the use of Cat Litter and Floor Dry products to use as a soil for my future potted trees and I was wondering if anyone had some advice or cautions on this subject.
I think I have decided on a floor dry product after a few experiments but I still would like to pick your brains.
Thank
Stephen

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Re: Inorganic Soils

Post  ericrobinson on Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:13 am

Hi Stephen,

Did you try this site? http://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basicscatlitter.htm

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Re: Inorganic Soils

Post  bonsaistud on Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:28 am

BEWARE ALL YE WHO ENTER THE WORLD OF USING CAT LITER AS A SOIL MIX INGREDIENT in North America...

The referenced article refers to a UK product, and it is in no way the same as North American Cat Litter...NO WAY!!!

Pat...the Stranger on the White Horse Riding off Wildly in all Directions

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Re: Inorganic Soils

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:35 am

The cat litter we use in the UK, is either Sepiolite, or Moler clay. Sepiolite is a naturally occuring mineral, as is Moler but Moler clay is then fired to make it harder. Moler clay is also known as Biosorb and is also sold to soak up chemical or oil spills

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Re: Inorganic Soils

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:53 am

Americans are big into "clumping litter," which means, when its get wet. it forms large, hard clumps. This is NOT suitable for Bonsai.
Before using "cat litter" as a soil additive, put some in a glass of water and leave overnight.

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Re: Inorganic Soils

Post  JimLewis on Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:15 pm

We also are fond of scented cat litter, or litter hat has other chemicals added to cut down the smell. These, too, are not suited to bonsai.

I'm moving this to BQ where it belongs.

_________________
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:Organic Soils/Post Location

Post  SEGR12 on Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:44 pm

Jim
Thanks for relocating this post I wasn't sure where it was supposed to go,being my first post and all.
I will direct any questions I have here in the future.
Eric Thanks
The website you directed me to is where I got all my information.

Thank You to all that replied to my question.

The cat litter idea is OUT, I am going to continue investigating the floor dry stuff.
The floor dry stuff which comes from a blue and yellow coloured, vehicle supply chain store is 100% diatomaceous earth that I have been soaking for the past 48 Hrs.
I am now going to do a freeze/thaw thing to simulate seasons even though we don't get too many minus temperatures here in Coastal British Columbia.

Thanks Again All
Talk to you again soon
Stephen

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Re: Inorganic Soils

Post  JimLewis on Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:01 pm

Since soaking 48 hours or even a week won't be the same as months or years in a bonsai pot being subjected to wet/dry periods and freeze/thaw periods, I suggest you also boil it for a long time (if you have an old pot that you don't care about, you might even boil it dry). That would be a true stress test.

But don't take too many deep breaths around it while you do -- just in case.

_________________
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:Inorganic Soils

Post  SEGR12 on Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:43 pm

Great Idea Jim I will.
Stephen

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Re: Inorganic Soils

Post  jalbright on Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:30 am

I've just finished my first year using screened NAPA Oil Dry and it has shown very little tendency to clump, although I am getting a slight "skin" on the top layer of some growboxes and the Oil Dry may have a little more surface moss/algae than my Turface Allsport. I'll probably try it again next year and be more careful about the screening. The cost is low and you can get it in any US city anytime, so it has that going for it. By the way, I mix it with screened composted pine bark mulch or chopped spagnum but there are probably better organics out there.

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Inorganic soils.

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:59 am

Diatomaceous earth will not break down from freezing, boiling, or soaking. However, it is calcarious & I am not sure of its effect on soil pH. It is highly absorbent. I would add gravel or chicken grit for better drainage & aeration.
Chopped composted bark is usually used as the organic component in North America. I would not use sphagnum moss. It will break down much too fast & cause root rot.

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Re:Inorganic Soils

Post  SEGR12 on Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:09 am

Hi jalbright
I just bought myself two bags of the exact same stuff you just mentioned, and I am looking forward to giving it a try after a good rinsing.
It was cheap to 13 bucks for 22 litres.
Thank You for answering my unasked question about using it straight or mixing it with an organic mix and I like the sphagnum moss idea, it grows wildly abundant here, your right.

I really like being here.
I am going to search the site for information on the juniperus communis 'Gold Cone' that I just bought today from a nursery and if I can't find what I need I will have a bunch more questions.
Composted bark mulch hmmmmmm another good point. I am going to have to sleep on all this info.
I also need to get over my fear of killing a tree.

Stephen


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Re: Inorganic Soils

Post  ericrobinson on Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:37 am

Stephen,

Important to get calcined DE (NAPA stores)
I've used NAPA DE for about 4 years now with great results. It is mixed with pine bark "fines" screened to be similar size as the DE. Mixed 1:1 ratio.

Other discussions and specs on calcined DE:
http://www.axisplayball.com/PDF_Files/Definitions_HANDOUT.pdf
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/bonsai-questions-f7/cat-litteri-t760.htm

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Re: Inorganic Soils

Post  JimLewis on Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:15 pm

Another problem with sphagnum moss: It is very acidic. Not all trees will care for that.

_________________
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:Inorganic Soils

Post  SEGR12 on Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:35 pm

Wow Thanks Again
I am going to go with a well composted pine bark that I will screen to the same size as the inorganic particals at a ratio of 1:1
I am going to use pine bark because I will be potting a Juniper 'communis'.

Thank You To Everyone.
Stephen


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Re: Inorganic Soils

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