Any experiments for 2016?

Eric Group

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#21
This year my experiment is SEEDS. I have Trident Maple, Chinese Elm and Japanese Maple.

I grew a few seeds two years ago, tried to grow the leftovers last season and none grew... I think the seeds were bad, so I have all fresh seeds this year. Already planted hundreds of Tridents in a big cement mixing tub about a month ago.... Intent being to let them sit over winter, cold stratify... But we never had any cold! Hope they don't rot...

Still have a bag full of 'em! I am going to let them stay cold out in the garage (if it ever gets cold) then soak for a day or so and plant them in the Spring... We will see which ones work better.
 

GrimLore

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#22
This is going to be the year that Smoke goes organic.
I have had time this year to think about and experiment with a few different homebrew mixes. Also decided I will continue/restart with a clean slate this year. Big difference though as I will only be working with Junipers, Flowering, and maybe a couple of Pines. Loosing all the deciduous Spring 2015 almost had toss in the towel but honest I have a lot of supplies, tools, and pots so back on the Bonsai train, just a different route.

Not going to build benches here this season as planned but grow/learn a bunch of new plants. I will however populate the plant room with a lot more shelves and lights for next Winter use.

Also have some seeds and cuttings going as I was getting a little antsy:oops:

Grimmy
 

Dav4

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#23
Root grafting. I guess it's not really an experiment as we all know it works, but I've tried it before on a trident with poor results. This spring, I'll be going for it on both a big trident trunk and an old field grown JBP with a crap base. I'm looking forward to breaking in my new chisels and 12" long drill bits...
 
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#24
It's all experimental to me at this point, I have any number of ideas for 2016 but it's probably not too risky to everybody else and simple beginner stuff.
Experiment and learn.

My first seedling sprouted today though, good start to the year.
 

bonhe

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#26
Hi Smoke,
I thought you would have tried this soil component in the past! :)
I have used soil mix with pumice, lava cinder and pine bark ( I use seedling orchid mini-bark ) for at least 5 years. Comparing with other mix which including akadama, this component is very good! May be that is why chojubai, ume is doing well in my garden.
p/s: I bought 6 akadama bags but I only used one for 3 years!
Bonhe
 

bonhe

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#27
After years of trying to grow maples, chojubai etc in Socal without much success (compared to when I lived on the East coast) I decided to test my water and ugh it ain't good.

So anyway I bought a couple of filters to reduce chlorine & chloramines, heavy metals and lower ph, will be doing additional ph adjustments for sensitive trees too. So we will see if this helps. Fingers crossed.
Hi Ianb,
Long time no see!
Could you share with us what the result of your water before and after the treatment is? Si's tap water should be same as yours, shouldn't it?
Thanks.
Bonhe
 

JoeR

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#28
I have too many to list; however, my main experiments would be:

Seeds
Cuttings
Soil/organic fert
Collecting


I have 200 Trident seeds, 100 JBP, 100 JRP, 100 Giant Sequoia, 100 Virginia Pine, X Picea Glehnii, and some bonus Coast Redwood seeds the company sent me. Over my head probably, but I will just sell or cut out the extra ones that sprout.


As far as cuttings, I will be attempting the following:
Kishu
Shimpaku
Kotohime
Orange
Plum


This should be a big year for me!
 
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#29
I'll be doing some soil testing like many of the rest of you. After some informal work over a few seasons I've turned into a bit of a pumice junkie. 180 direction change for me. Not a fan of white soil (the imported pumice is $$$$, but color is 10x better) it always looks dry and it tries to run away when watered until established; but it seems to be a near perfect component for trees in pots. For me personally my work is moving towards how much pumice in the mix is too much, because I'm up to 75 & 80% in some blends and the trees seem to still love it. I'm using a wide range of young trees/plants and they all seem to love it. The summers are SO humid here on the TN /MS border my trees may seem to love it because they don't want to take up as much water as they would in a dry heat. Anyways, they're more experiments for myself because I won't be trying to convince anyone to change they're soil mix, ever. Happy New Year, roots down stems up!
 
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#30
Short term get my grow lights in order. Start training a poinsettia. Place three trees in baskets no four trees in baskets, replace the rock used in my root over rock planting. Hard prune my Olive, that's gonna hurt my pride some.
Long term. Start a Serrissa, a Bougainvillea, and a few more tropicals
 

wireme

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#31
Nope, this stuff, collected from nurse logs in the woods behind my house, crumbled and sifted to size. I suppose that doesn't make it an attractive test subject as it's not commercially available, I'd like to see someone else try it sometime though since as far as I'm aware I am the only one using this material. image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
 

Eric Group

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#32
This is going to be the year that Smoke goes organic. I have decided that I will continue more experiments into using seedling orchid bark as an addition to my soil mix. I have figured the proportion to be about 40 % pumice and the same of lava and 20% bark. No akadama for this mix. Just the addition of the bark for not only its CEC capabilities but also its moisture retentive properties. The bark has little fines, already sifted and is about 1/4 inch particle, same as my other strata.

View attachment 90569

View attachment 90570
What prompts you to experiment with the bark? Have you had poor performance from your soil, just curious, looking for something more cost effective?
 
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#33
Nope, this stuff, collected from nurse logs in the woods behind my house, crumbled and sifted to size. I suppose that doesn't make it an attractive test subject as it's not commercially available, I'd like to see someone else try it sometime though since as far as I'm aware I am the only one using this material. View attachment 90608 View attachment 90609 View attachment 90610
Another option worth trying might be leaf mould. It will almost certainly add some fugal life to your soil.
 

ianb

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#34
Hi Ianb,
Long time no see!
Could you share with us what the result of your water before and after the treatment is? Si's tap water should be same as yours, shouldn't it?
Thanks.
Bonhe
Hi Bonhe,
I know we missed you at the last meet. I only have after data for ph so far (just fitted the filters yesterday) anyway with just the filtering it is down from 8.5 to ~7.8 I'd say. For the chojubai I use a phdown product to get to ~6.5
Your use of the pine bark in the soil is probably what helps with your soil ph being more acid but then I don't know what your water is like.
 

Smoke

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#35
Hi Smoke,
I thought you would have tried this soil component in the past! :)
I have used soil mix with pumice, lava cinder and pine bark ( I use seedling orchid mini-bark ) for at least 5 years. Comparing with other mix which including akadama, this component is very good! May be that is why chojubai, ume is doing well in my garden.
p/s: I bought 6 akadama bags but I only used one for 3 years!
Bonhe
What can I say if not broken why change. Also drank the kool aid.
 

bonhe

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#36
Hi Bonhe,
I know we missed you at the last meet. I only have after data for ph so far (just fitted the filters yesterday) anyway with just the filtering it is down from 8.5 to ~7.8 I'd say. For the chojubai I use a phdown product to get to ~6.5
Your use of the pine bark in the soil is probably what helps with your soil ph being more acid but then I don't know what your water is like.
The meeting time was most of the time conflicted with my schedule!!!
You can see my quote in this link regarding to my tap water. http://www.bonsainut.com/index.php?threads/my-own-winter-silhouettes-show-in-ie.10126/page-4
You are correct that the bark pine would bring the soil pH down. Beside, it would keep the soil moist quite a bit so that the root of the plant would not mind especially in the hot dry area like mine.
Bonhe
 

Smoke

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#38
What prompts you to experiment with the bark? Have you had poor performance from your soil, just curious, looking for something more cost effective?
Not actually the first time using bark as a component against akadama. Have tried it in the past and had great results. Just going to repot some more finished trees in the mix to see what that does. All other experiments have been with training of new stock.

These pictures made me think that the roots know something I don't know.

DSC_001300132.JPG DSC_001400142.JPG DSC_001500152.JPG DSC_001600162.JPG DSC_001700172.JPG
 
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#39
Not actually the first time using bark as a component against akadama. Have tried it in the past and had great results. Just going to repot some more finished trees in the mix to see what that does. All other experiments have been with training of new stock.

These pictures made me think that the roots know something I don't know.

View attachment 90611 View attachment 90612 View attachment 90613 View attachment 90614 View attachment 90615
Do you think it's better to use the bark raw or let let it compost for a while first?
 

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