Pro's Choice equivilant to Turface MVP

Discussion in 'Soil and fertilizer (incl water and repotting)' started by sfhellwig, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. sfhellwig

    sfhellwig Mame

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Pittsburg, KS
    So I tried the Oil-Dri and whether it was old stock or what, it crumbled in less than a season. So I figure "why fight it, I'll buy the Turface." I know it can't be bad. I know the MVP is the right particle size. But the place that said they could get it is "closed" for now. My farm and home store checked and just told me they can get Pro's Choice and "it's the same thing." Knowing how dangerous of a statement that is, does anyone have experience with this brand. I am sure it will be more durable than the DE I tried but I'm concerned about particle size. I will read up their site but was hoping someone could make a suggestion so I can call them back and get it ordered. I'd really hate to get the wrong size and waste time/money and still not have a suitable product.
     
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  3. Smoke

    Smoke Imperial Masterpiece

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    Based on the website it looks like the same thing. I would be interested in that blue gumbo clay product.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  4. bwaynef

    bwaynef Shohin

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    297
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    That particular product is designed to pack down, so I'm not sure how well it would work. ...Let us know.
     
  5. cquinn

    cquinn Shohin

    Messages:
    336
    I've used it, and it is the same thing. Bonsai monk sells it, and I've found that there is actually less fines in it than MVP. Meaning you get more bang for your buck. I use akadama, sand, and spagnum peat now, but i still have trees planted in Pro Choice from two years ago and it does not break down.
     
  6. treekutter

    treekutter Mame

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    Location:
    Fowler
    It is fine the size of sand. Ithink it is to fine for Soil mix. It is used on sports fields.
     
  7. Smoke

    Smoke Imperial Masterpiece

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    Yes ....but if I throw a bag of akadama down on the back yard and walk on it, it will do the same thing. In fact I use akadama dust and sphagnum moss to make keto clay for rock plantings so packing and stickiness is also present in fine akadama soil.
     
  8. Kirk

    Kirk Mame

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Atlanta
    The Monastery (Bonsaimonk) uses it in their proprietary mix. I've used it and prefer Pro Choice's brick red color to the lighter turface or oil dry. It blends a little better with lava and pine bark. The fines aren't that bad and can be used as an amendment to soil used for growing stock out. Not much will go to waste.

    Kirk
     
  9. sfhellwig

    sfhellwig Mame

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Pittsburg, KS
    OK. I read through the Pro's Choice site. Went through the presentation. Not much in there except the specs say it's better than Turface. Checked the Bonsaimonk site but they don't list it by itself. So looking at the choices: Pro's Choice Red, Pro's Choice Select, and Pro's Choice Pro Red. I'm assuming those who are saying they used it are talking about the standard Pro's Choice Red. The plain soil conditioner. This appears to be a happy mistake. The stuff should perform just as well and the color will work to my advantage also. The lighter color materials show their dryness well but I think the red color will be more pleasing. I'll get it ordered tomorrow and be in good shape. Thanks guys.
     
  10. jkl

    jkl Masterpiece

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    Location:
    Western NC
    I posted this on another site, but it may be useful here too.

    There is a lot of variability in Oil Dri, or so I'm told by those who have used it. Some bags hold up well. Others quickly turn to mush. Considering that the stuff is made to soak up oily messes, and not for bonsai, you're probably lucky when you get a good bag.

    Better to stick for Turface which was originally made as an agricultural soil amendment -- though it is now much more often used as a sport field topsoil. Turface and its clones are sold in the USA under many different names.

    You can find the nearest Turface dealer here: http://turface.com/distributors

    You can find the nearest Mule Mix dealer here:http://www.mulemix.com/distributors.html

    Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowes and many other garden supply stores sell Schultz products. Look for (or order) the Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil.

    Terra-Green Pro's Choice is made by the same folks that make Oil-Dri, but it is a Turface clone and used for baseball infields. You can find dealers (via e-mail) and even get a sample, maybe, here: http://www.proschoice1.com/contact.html

    Click on the soil conditioner link at the top of the page to get more info on it.

    There are other brand names. All are high-temperature baked clay. There also are other soil amendments that include other minerals, such as silicates, but IMO they're not as good for bonsai because they have less water retention.

    Many people use simple kitty litter. That's OK, but I feel it is too fine-grained for bonsai soil. Don't use the clump type or those with any perfume or deodorizers in them.

    Note: Many of these products are sold only in North America as far as I know.
     
  11. Tachigi

    Tachigi Omono

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    I really try and resist getting involved in soil wars.....but

    Kitty litter is not OK...have seen many people try and use it that ended up with tree in seriously bad health. High fired calcined clay...(i.e. ... Turface, Mulemix, Pro's Choice, etc.) that are meant for horticultural purposes are the only way to go. Then only in recommended amounts as an amendment. For example...Turface strongly recommends that no more than 20 percent by volume as an amendment.

    To get healthy bonsai that grow optimally you can't skimp on the foundation of the tree...if you have to cut costs look at pots, or the beer your drinking as you re-pot your tree :)
     
  12. sfhellwig

    sfhellwig Mame

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Pittsburg, KS
    No wars here. Just good old fashioned sharing of knowledge:D. But along those lines I tend to avoid discussing mixtures. Based on the "too many variables" issue I know better. Just making sure that I get a satisfactory clay particles as this is the make it or break it part of my potting medium.

    jkl, I had found that info in my final search for info about the Pro's Choice. I appreciate the input. I did ask rather hastily as I wanted to get the stuff ordered quickly. A little searching shows me the info was out there but it's still nice to have a consensus that this is a good product. I have a bag coming, piggy backed on with a school that's will be working their ball field. Once I get it in and look it over I will add my opinion, just to add my two cents back to the thread.
     
  13. cquinn

    cquinn Shohin

    Messages:
    336
    I've used Pro-Choice and Turface. I liked them. My trees preferred Akadama..................and if you use it yours will tell you the same thing I promise. The difference in growth is amazing.
     
  14. jkl

    jkl Masterpiece

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    I don't use it, either, but think there must be kitty litter and then there's Kitty Litter. It's quite common in Europe and the UK to use some specific brands -- some of the more noted bonsiests do, since I don't know that the Turface clones are available over there. I know of no kitty litter available over here that wouldbe suitable.
     
  15. sfhellwig

    sfhellwig Mame

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Pittsburg, KS
    Got my bag the other day. #50 for about $15. I got home and tossed it in the garage. It was in a paper bag, similar to grain. Looked at the receipt and it said rapid dry, so in a panic I ran outside to confirm. Luckily it was the correct stuff. Pro's Choice Red conditioner. First look and it reminds me of the Oil-Dri but burn orange-ish looking. High variance in the particle size. Definitely not useable straight out of the bag. Compared side by side with Oil-Dri, the latter is actually darker, gray colored. Just running your hands through them you can tell the difference. The Oil-Dri sounds dull and feels chalky. The Pro's Choice sounds harder, feels cleaner. Running it through my window screen (1/16") it looks like I loose about 30%. Did 2/3 of the bag and decided I will finish it tomorrow. Not really good weather to test with it wet but I'm not worried about it. I finally got my hands on some proper stuff. I have acquired my clay component and am ready for re-potting. And they have a second bag I can go back for too!
     
  16. Tachigi

    Tachigi Omono

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    Location:
    PA.
    A good description between the two products....and its obvious that you see the difference and how oil dry definitely is not the thing to use in a soil mix.


    1/16th seems small unless you have a bunch of shohin. If you have larger trees that 30% will increase to 60% loss of unusable product...providing your using a homogeneous mix
     
  17. jkl

    jkl Masterpiece

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    That's if you sift. I don't sift. I winnow. I pour scoops back and forth into pails and let the dust blow away. But as Tom says, most of my trees are smallish.
     
  18. Ross

    Ross Shohin

    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I picked up a bag each of Oil-Dri and Special Kitty unscented cat litter (red bag) at Wal-Mart for $3.50 apiece (25 lbs.) and plan to experiment a bit with them this year. To me, this stuff all seems pretty much the same as the Turface MVP I have used before. In fact, the Turface has the smallest particle size, the most fines, and is the most expensive. The cost difference is insignificant for stuff so cheap, but it was a bit more difficult for me to find Turface, and I had to sweet talk the lady at the landscape distributor to sell it to me because I don't own a landscaping business. Also, sifting this stuff is time consuming, so if it turns out that it is all the same basic high-fired calcined clay (I think it is), I might move away from Turface in the future because of the particle size, color, and difficulty in obtaining it. I did try and crush it, and I didn't notice that the Oil-Dri or Special Kitty was any softer than Turface either, but again, I just got it and haven't used it before. Neither product lists any ingredients other than high-fired clay, so as long as it holds up I think they could be good, cheap, and easily obtainable components with decent particle size.
     
  19. Tachigi

    Tachigi Omono

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    1,201
    Location:
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    Do yourself a favor...put your kitty litter in a glass about 1/3 the way up...then fill it with water....wait a few days and see if you come to the same conclusion about Turface vs. Kitty Litter. It should also explain why recreational parks and professional ball fields don't spread kitty litter to dress their fields :D
     
  20. Ross

    Ross Shohin

    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    You're on. I'll be back in a few days with results. For the record, I'm not speaking about anything except Special Kitty Unscented branded kitty litter. It was the most basic and inexpensive choice at Wal-Mart, and the only one that appeared to be pure clay. I will also put some Oil-Dri to the same test and post my experiences. Photos will have to wait until Dell ships my new (refurbished) computer.
     
  21. Klytus

    Klytus Omono

    Hmmm,it is important to get the right material.

    You can even use the right stuff as you would any regular feline sanitation product,versatile!
     

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