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TOPIC: Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine...

Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine... 6 years 5 months ago #3045

Another poster asked about what kind of soil to use for Bonsai - you could ask 10 people and get 10 different responses, albeit the agreed upon properties of granular in structure and well draining. Where I live, bonsai supplies are hard to come by, so I started mixing my own soil, and I feel that I have gotten the formula right. Here it is:

Ingredients mixed in a 5 gallon bucket:
Base of medium size pine bark mulch. about 1/3 of bucket filled.
Few scoops of play sand
8-10 scoops clean, unscented clay kitty litter
8-10 scoops cedar chip hamster/gerbil bedding (great for keeping bugs away, drains very well)
Sometimes, fill the rest of bucket with a peat based light potting soil, and vermiculite

Don't know if this would constitute a "conventional" mix or not - but I have been very pleased with it. Anyone else mix their own?
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Re: Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine... 6 years 5 months ago #3047

The unscented clay cat litter will clump like clay does when wet.
I don't want to tell you what to use,but diatomaceous earth won't break down and it absorbs water to be released later. I use napa oil dry. :)
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patience........wait for it..... :)

Re: Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine... 6 years 5 months ago #3050

Good advice - yes I use it sparingly when compared to the volume of other ingredients. I haven't had any clumping problems, but I haven't used it very heavily in a pot yet either. I have been wanting to try Oil-Dri - heard good things about it.
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Re: Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine... 6 years 5 months ago #3055

Would you plese post some pictures of this....products :)
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Re: Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine... 6 years 5 months ago #3059

even better. Here's an article. it's a great read, as far as articles on cat litter go. haha

bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basicscatlitter.htm
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mikerimbo
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patience........wait for it..... :)

Re: Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine... 6 years 5 months ago #3062

good read - yes, I should say that I have experimented with several brands of kitty litter, and some of them are horrible. The best one I have found is actually from CVS drug stores. It is their store brand in a green, white, and blue bag. Very solid particles, no dust, very clean. I will most definitely get a bag of the Napa product however - sounds great.
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Re: Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine... 6 years 5 months ago #3063

This is so educational :))))
Thanks :)
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Re: Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine... 6 years 5 months ago #3064

One test you should do to a cat litter before putting it in to your mix is this....
Put it in a bowl of water for a few hours. If it turns into mud, don't use it. For us folks who experience harsh winters....put that same bowl of water and cat litter in the freezer until frozen, then take it out and let it thaw. If it hasn't broken down..it's good.
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Re: Do you mix your own soil? Here's mine... 6 years 5 months ago #3071

Hi All,

Here is an extensive discussion that was posted previously on various soil mixes used by members. www.bonsaiempire.com/forum/repotting-and-soil/1312-mixing-soil There is also a good outline on soil mixtures on our site here: www.bonsaiempire.com/care/bonsai-soil
There are so many different opinions out there it can be very confusing. The mixture one chooses seems to be a matter of personal preferance. Hope this helps clarify things a little for you. :cheer:
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Don't have negative thoughts about things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive, present moment.
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