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A couple of years ago I wrote a post that became one of the most viewed posts I’ve written. It was Turface and ingredients similar ground as Oil-Dri and profile, and my skepticism about his qualities as an ingredient bonsai soil, after 30 years of experience with many different types of soil. The message was intended to question the belief that the best ingredient Turface soil. I do not think that, having witnessed his performance for years, but that does not mean you can not grow a tree in it, or it may be one of the few options in your area due to availability problems.

In broad strokes, there have been three main developments in our land use in North America. First it was the period sandy potting soil / sharp decades ago. Then came the Turface was, it was certainly an improvement over previous mixtures. Then came the preferred by the Japanese, pumice, lava, and volcanic soils Akadama mixtures, one of which, akadama, has to be imported.

While the debate revolves around what works best, is compounded by issues of availability and price. On the east coast akadama is very expensive, they have to travel further from its origin in Japan. Pumice is rarely available in the east, and is only spottily available in the intermediate states.

Certainly, if you do not like the idea of ​​importing soil components, as akadama-an understandable position, I do not like it-try if you can find pumice. It is from our mountains here in the western United States, and locally is very cheap, 17 cents a gallon in some places, and works well as an ingredient in the base floor to which you can add other things (like akadama and wash if you have a bonsai or composted bark / steer if you have young cattle.) Naturally, pumice trucks this will be expensive.

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If you prefer Turface definitely sift out the small stuff. may deciduous trees are happier in it than pines , because it tends to hold a lot of moisture and particles are not very large. In addition, may need to be watered frequently in order to prevent the hydrophobic qualities of fired clay product happens on its surface in dry and windy days. These comments are for 100% Turface; adding other things you can mitigate these problems.

I think we’re in search of based ingredient that can be used throughout North America (apologies to readers from other continents / islands, although there may be a similar discussion worth have in your area.) I think pumice is a much better base ingredient Turface far more reliable horticultural properties. If this is impossible to find in your area, I have no argument.

Some have succeeded in using Turface. You will be able to find people who have had good luck with it, its trees are strong and healthy with a good root system. And then there are a lot of people can not seem to replicate these successes.

At the end of the day, it’s really amazing how many different soil types can be used to grow plants. I’ve seen people use something close to concrete, a clay which was terrifying to contemplate, and have a margin of success with it. In some parts of China basically they used mud pond. We can learn to use almost anything. But I do not think that’s the question, or at least is not a question that interests me. I’m curious what is the best thing to recommend to the widest range of people who want to grow bonsai, the broader set of skills and goals, and to respond to that, several times back to the volcanic soils the Japanese have used for a long time, and continue to use.

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If the volcanic soils are not available, keep experimenting, keep exploring, but not settle Turface (and Oil-Dri.) It is impossible to grow a tree in it, that’s not the point it is not only ideal.

By the way, James Hooper has just had a birth on the east coast of some of our Western pumice, and offered to have his name and number put here for anyone looking to: 617-823-7154

(Finally, a warning: it does not matter much what the land is used if you are using questionable practices as barerooting horticultural old trees replanted every time Please not do this without .. leaving a solid mass of soil on the roots we will not manage to create dense, stable and reliable root systems that must be seen in our pots every time we do. This waiver may continue . for pages on various topics But the choice of the soil is a primary decision)

read more … or pre-reading, actually, since this was the first post in Turface.

Life Without Turface…

This article was originally published on http://crataegus.com/2016/01/11/further-thoughts-on-turface/

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