Is this soil mix okay?

deanpwr

Seedling
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Hi all,

I live in the UK, with relatively restricted access to exotic soil components, particularly pumice. We have plenty of wet weather and cold winters, but also lots of moderately hot days scattered throughout the year.

What do you guys think of this for the temperate UK climate? I only have deciduous trees:
  • 50% attapulgite (cat litter)
  • 25% perlite
  • 25% coarse-ish hort. grit
Optional soil components available:
  • akadama (can only get 1L bags and quite expensive)
  • all types of compost / bark etc.
  • kanuma (acidic I know)
  • sphagnum moss
 
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I didn’t see what tree(s) you were trying to grow in this media.

I’ll never say no to experimenting, but perhaps it’s better as a rookie to stick to an established mix as @Lutonian is hinting.

That will cut down one major variable to be concerned about when doing bonsai. That way you can focus on learning about the rest of the variables, esp. watering, fertilizing, and also pruning, wiring styling.

if you have questions about which media to use for a particular tree contacting Harry or one of the shops in the UK might be wise for starters. Or see if one of the veterans on site in your area can assist.

cheers
DSD sends
btw: please double click you icon and enter you approximate location so folks trying to help you can give informed informatio. It also allows folks in your area to know you are there too! 😉
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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One of the best things about Akadama Pumice and Lava is their similar bouyancy when wet.

The wet akadama will repel the additional water which keeps the pumice and lava full of water, which is why you can water this without worry and they remain at the same bouyancy.

Perlite doesn't fit into this scheme or a like one, it will always be more bouyant than other materials, so short things that should be repotted every year, it isn't a good component, except in a mix that will "hold it down", but this characteristic of a component also leaves it the ability to freeze hard and break pots, which also means root damage.

DE freezes to a "gentle fluff".

If DE (cat litter) alone doesn't work, cutting it with something that won't float but isn't solid (not rocks) should work.

Sorce
 
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On YouTube, Back Garden Bonsaï, who lives in the UK, uses perlite, molar clay (kitty litter) and compost at equal parts
Seems to be doing fine for him, he doesn’t have refinement trees, for which you would want a different soil
 

Starfox

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In the UK you need to get either the Tesco Low Dust Kitty litter or Sanicat Pink(think it has been recently rebranded). That is the Danish molar clay which is a type of diatomaceous earth. The attapulgite is not the best but probably ok for a seasons use before it breaks down.
I use the Sanicat Pink and it is great but you do really need to add some pumice and lava, I also add some orchid bark.

That said I do agree that the easiest option is likely to buy a premade mix, I believe Kaizen bonsai have some good ones with the above components. Takes the guess work out of it.
 

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