Substrate Soils

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Substrate Soils

Post  Diamondlea on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:25 pm

Hi All

Since I have been reading a lot of books and have been learning as much as possible with the many books that I have ordered.

I have not come accross a lot about substrate soils as far as:

Is it better for trees to remain in soil they came when trying to develop the tree ? or it is ok to use either Akadama, Knauma or a mix of different types ?

If someone could maybe answer this question for me ..please Smile

Thanks !


Back to top Go down

substrate soils

Post  sunip on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:29 pm

When you want to feed a tree in a pot it is better to use a good draining substrate like akadama, kanuma or kyriu.
Remaining salts will be washed easier away, also there will be a better ventilation in the rootsystem.
But there may be local good other substrates to be found.
Any IBC members From Southern California?
regards, Sunip


Back to top Go down

Re: Substrate Soils

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:47 pm

The material used for bonsai soil is much less important than being certain that it is coarse (1/8- maximum 1/4 inch) and drains freely.

Common nursery pot soil is designed to hold water so that they nursery owner doesn't spend his or her life watering plants. Bonsai soil is designed to hold just "enough" water, and excess drains off quickly. There are people who insist that bonsai can only be grown in "Japanese" soils such as akadama and kanuma.

There are others of us that feel that while those soils are fine if you want to spend a lot of money for "dirt", bonsai can be grown just as well in other, less expensive, materials.

Many of us in the USA use a product called "Turface" There are many similar products -- Mule Mix (!), Terra Green, Shultz Aquatic Plant Food, etc. These all are high-fired crushed clay particles. Many in the UK is a specific kind of kitty litter, but that's dangerous in the USA where our "sensitive" noses insist that all sorts of chemicals and perfumes be added to our kitty litters. A similar material called Oil-Dri is meant to be used to soak up oil spills, but it is fine for bonsai, though quality conrol seems sometimes to be lacking and bags are occasionally found in which the pruduct turns to mush after a bit of watering.

We often add a little (20-40% depending on the trees grown) composted pine bark (or similar) to these products to increase water retention a bit and to help hang on to fertilizers a bit longer, but some bonsaiests use it straight, then fertilize (and water) often.

Jim Lewis - - 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


Back to top Go down

Re: Substrate Soils

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:02 pm

Here in Florida we tend to use a soil of 1/3 Turface, 1/3 lava or pea gravel and 1/3 composted pine bark (sold as Fafard Soil Conditioner in a purple bag)
The Turface should be the larger particle in a reddish bag, it is sold here by Lesco for use on golf courses and baseball fields.
The lava should be about the 1/8 to 1/4 inch mentioned by Jim. This can be the most difficult ingredient to get. Pea gravel can be bought at Wal Mart, etc, but it must be sifted to remove larger stones. The pea gravel is also an issue in larger trees as it makes them very heavy, but it is fine for smaller trees. Large aquarium gravel can also be used but don' use it coated or colored. The negative for the aquarium gravel is cost, since it is usually sold in smaller bags, in specialty stores, but again not an issue if you have a few small trees,

Billy M. Rhodes

Back to top Go down

Re: Substrate Soils

Post  Sponsored content

Sponsored content

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum