beginner soil question

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beginner soil question

Post  Cornfed Ninja on Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:37 am

hello y'all just few questions, for now, haha. i found a basic recipe for soil that calls for loam, sphanum moss peat, and granite grit. they give different measurements for different trees but its the same three materials. first off, can what can i substitute for or were can i find granite grit? secondly, do i need to add "potting soil" or will this replace it? finally, do i mix these ingredents or layer them, and if so in what order? thanks for taking the time to read this over and i thank y'all in advance for your wisdom and guidence

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Re: beginner soil question

Post  lordy on Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:24 pm

soil contents generates so many opinions that you will end up using what works for you.
Granite is basically "chicken grit". Around me, agricultural supply stores or places that sell feed for farm animals sell it. Comes in various size particles. Here it is sold in 50 lb bags for about $10 or $12. Another possible component you could look for is Turface. This product is made from clay and baked to help prevent turning into mud when wet. Primarily used in sports field grooming and drainage. Also sold in 50 lb bags and about the same price. These two products exhibit different drainage qualities. Grit is sharp and should allow good drainage with no absorption. Turface is porous to a degree and will allow some absorption.
The various components are generally mixed rather than layered. Rarely if ever would you need garden or potting soil. The idea is to allow air and moisture to circulate around the roots. This means you will need to water most trees daily if not more.
Back to the various recipes out there, one school of thought says a blend of organics and inorganics is best. Another says that inorganics only are all that is needed. Obviously with only grit or clay particles surrounding the roots, you will need to feed more than with organic components which may add some of the nutrients your trees will need to flourish.
I would recommend you read different books to see the various ideas about soil mixes. I have found that there is no right way, but there are many wrong ways to do it.

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Re: beginner soil question

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:47 pm

It also depends on the trees you are growing. It's mostly experience that teaches you that, but generally speaking, conifers need/ant fewer organics and deciduous need a bit of organic material, and many tropicals thrive on 50% organics.

Of the ingredients you list, I -- and this may just be me -- would eliminate the sphagnum moss peat -- except for azaleas and blueberries.

My basic mix is 30-30-30 Turface, chicken grit, and composted pine bark. I change the proportions depebnding on the tree and size of pot. Smaller the pot the more the organics. When I say small, I means SMALL. Many of my pots are under 5 inches diameter.

See www.evergreengardenworks.com for more on soils.

_________________
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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Planting Medium

Post  Mitch Thomas on Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:19 pm

CornFed Ninja
Hi and welcome to IBC. The best thing for you to do is find either a local club or bonsai people near you and see what they are using. Planting mediums vary greatly depending on specie and climate.

Mitch

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thanks for your time and advice

Post  Cornfed Ninja on Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:36 pm

thanks y'all the funny thing is i live on a small farm and keep about 25 chickens so i think i got that part covered haha. and the choices i've narrowed it down to from my local garden center are blue star juniper, dwarf burning bush, golden false cypress, assorted boxwood or assorted privets

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Blue star juniper

Post  jalbright on Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:58 am

I had a blue star juniper in a pot in the back yard for two years before I got up the nerve to work on it (very prickly). But I found that two pairs of latex gloves (sold in multipacks at home centers) totally eliminated the pain. Other wise, it seems like a pretty rugged tree. Good luck with it!

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Re: beginner soil question

Post  AK_Panama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:53 pm

jalbright wrote:I had a blue star juniper in a pot in the back yard for two years before I got up the nerve to work on it (very prickly). But I found that two pairs of latex gloves (sold in multipacks at home centers) totally eliminated the pain. Other wise, it seems like a pretty rugged tree. Good luck with it!

I have 9 blue stars waiting to become a forest; waiting, for the same reason!

I´ll try the double latex glove idea and see how it goes.

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Re: beginner soil question

Post  lordy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:02 am

jalbright wrote:I had a blue star juniper in a pot in the back yard for two years before I got up the nerve to work on it (very prickly). But I found that two pairs of latex gloves (sold in multipacks at home centers) totally eliminated the pain. Other wise, it seems like a pretty rugged tree. Good luck with it!
Jim Doyle sold me a pair of gloves that he said would nearly stop a rose thorn. I tried them and junipers are no longer a problem. As the Saturday Night Live skit of Hanz and Franz said, "Hear me now and believe me later": find these online or go to Nature's Way website--if they dont sell them they can tell you who else does. And they are CHEAP (about $7 USD). They are similar to a spandex with the palm rubberized. Here is what it says on the glove: ATLAS NITRILE TOUGH, 370 BBK XL.
I finger pruned a procumbens root over rock raft that is about 18" x 12" which started out looking like a hedge, now you can easily see through it, and not once did the needles poke through. The dexterity is preserved because they are fairly thin. I would say a good bit thinner than the cotton gloves that have been dipped in rubber. Give these things a try. WELL worth the price IMHO. cheers

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Re: beginner soil question

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