TOPIC: Mixing soil

Re: Mixing soil 7 years 2 months ago #1358

Hi Lance,

Considering all you are going thru, your post was very clear to me. ;)

Yes, I am aware of the necessary inorganic/organic elements in bonsai soil and, from what I have read, the inorganic generally makes up no less that 50% of the mixture because of the need for excellent drainage. My understanding of *fertilizing* is any tree that is grown in a confined space (ie: training pot or dish) it is going to use up a significant amount of the soil's nutrients quite quickly thus the need to fertilize in order to keep the tree healthy.

With regard to the crushed, red clay pot gravel...I'm sorry, I didn't read this on a site. When I went to my first Bonsai Club meeting 3 weeks ago, there was a visiting guest from the Toronto Bonsai Society who shared this info with me. The only recommendation I can offer you is the T.B.S was the first established Bonsai Society in Canada in the early 1900's. They are the oldest and largest Bonsai Society in Canada and, from what I hear, they are serious *purists* when it comes to the art of bonsai. They host world=renowned Bonsai Masters who come to speak at their meetings and they compete in International shows.

As far as my soil mix, I agree with you. At present, I have no *compost* in my soil mixture so my plan is to adjust the amounts of the existing *organic* matter (loam and bark) so I can add the compost while keepig the total organic material at 50% or slightly less. Does that sound right to you? I don't think you're being nit-picky at all...it's important to thrash these things out.

I would very much enjoy chatting via email however, I'm somewhat cautious about sharing my email on public forums...it's a female thing! :dry: lol! Would you mind sharing yours?
  • Leslie
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Re: Mixing soil 7 years 2 months ago #1368

Pinkham wrote: If something is needed for drainage the soil is to compacted.


All my soils are free draining , but I always add the drainage layer just to be on the safe side. And I always have between 40 and 50% potting soil in some of my mixes. Cause with the summers in South Africa being soooooooo hot I like to have water retention for those mid February days.
  • hein
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Re: Mixing soil 7 years 2 months ago #1371

My e-mail is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Or look me up on facebook. (lance pinkham)
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Re: Mixing soil 7 years 2 months ago #1374

Hi Hein,

I wondered about the various climates world wide. As you say, in Africa you have extreme heat and I imagine it is a very dry heat? It makes sense that you would have to compensate for that in your soil mix. Does this apply to growing native trees that are used to the hot, dry growing conditions?
I like the added drainage layer too! ;)
  • Leslie
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Re: Mixing soil 7 years 2 months ago #1377

Hey guys :)
I guess there about as many ways to pot a bonsai as there are bonsai enthusiasts :)
Here is the link for a page on repotting a tree.
www.bonsaiforbeginners.com/Repotting-bonsai.html
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Re: Mixing soil 7 years 2 months ago #1379

Leslie wrote: in Africa you have extreme heat and I imagine it is a very dry heat? It makes sense that you would have to compensate for that in your soil mix. Does this apply to growing native trees that are used to the hot, dry growing conditions?
I like the added drainage layer too! ;)



Yeah it gets quite hot in the summer. Mid February it gets into the high 40's and every now and then it can reach low 50's. But its that dry heat which I hate. I apply the same soil mixing for all my trees. And in winter its a blessing. One good rain will sort me out with about one a half weeks of no watering.
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Re: Mixing soil 7 years 2 months ago #1381

Thanks, everyone! I was having some scale buildup in the soil of a couple of my bonsai, and since it is now fall where I am I was really looking into soil mixes for repotting. I have gone with a, very roughly, 45% my mom's garden soil supplement and 65% diatomaceous earth. I only repotted the trees that will spend the winter inside, though; I don't want any of my deciduous trees dying on me!
Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone for posting and answering this question so I didn't have to!
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Re: Mixing soil 7 years 1 month ago #1438

My tropicals mix is 70% Turface MVP, 20% cactus soil & 10% composted pine bark. This mix seems to do very well although with 70% inorganic I AM responsible for the bulk of the fertilization.
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Re: Mixing soil 7 years 1 month ago #1440

Hello Treeman,

Welcome to the forum. It's great to have you onboard. :) Thank you for sharing your soil mixture with us.

When you have a few spare minutes, please pop over to the Bonsai Cafe section of the forum to introduce yourself, share a bit about yourself and tell us where you are from. I look forward to reading your posts and viewing your photos.

Happy Bonsai!
Leslie
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Re: Mixing soil 7 years 1 month ago #1445

howdy yall,

sorry for the break, my life gets quite busy at times B) .well it seems that you all proved a point...bonsai soil is different for everyone ,but pinkam said it best. my input would be straight "bonsai soil" with no organics seems to be more for "finished" bonsai that just need to be maintained and not developed. i also add a thin layer of compost/soil mix as a top layer to my trees for a more natural food source.after a few months it washes away (out of the pot and in the soil)and i replace it.my trees seem to like it.

by the way threads like this the reason we are all here. all these opinions have have turned to knowlege that can inform others. this place has come a long way from the "ghost town" and its cuz yall---AWESOME--- :P
  • manofthetrees
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