Napa Oil Dry part no. 8822

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#1
Yes, this is elsewhere.

However.

It deserves it's own thread.

Cat litter?

Also known as Napa Oil Dry part no.8822.

Works fine alone. Mixing is for DJ's.

You don't lose a lot to sifting, even if you lose half (you don't, more like 1/6), -$3, oh poo. Lose half your akadama and your out 5 times that in shipping alone!

Produces fine feeders almost exclusively, even in regular pots.

Has a visual time to water color cue.

Has a relationship with water that your trees love. Excellent soak and release.
It will wick up your perched water table to the roots needing it by mid day. And is just as ready to release it back to them.

Can be resifted and used in year 2.

Pine fines actually make it less retentive.
There is no need to make it more retentive.

Roots don't grow into it. So no breakage at repot time, just shake it out.

It doesn't crap up with liquid fish fert.

Doesn't slime, doesn't produce dirty muck at the bottom of the pot.

It lays flat, and not too porous, so moss application is simple.

Porous enough to hear the air get sucked in, so don't even go there!

You can use fines to kill slugs and other pests.

It doesn't lime stain or algaefy.

Simple. Real simple.

I don't know if you can source the right product anywhere, but the right product, can be used anywhere.

So, while you all fret, argue, and mix a bunch of different substances to try and find the perfect soil.

I kick back, mixing substances, watching my trees grow like mad, enjoying the artist side of the coin.

Sorce
 

M. Frary

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#3
I have a picture of hinoki roots that were grown in it somewhere. I'll find it and post it.
 

Eric Group

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#4
I was not as thrilled with it as you guys... It seemed to have a "residue" once it got wet, the particle size is very small and the bag I bought was not a very large bag either... I felt turface was as good of a deal/better deal from a cost stand point, much cleaner to use, similar particle size and worked about the same from all the water retention/ air exchange points you made... Just my personal preference, but turface is probably a little harder to get for many people.
The oil dry is basically Diatomacious Earth... Probably nothing wrong with using it, but I do not see it as the one size fits all end to the soil debate.

I will say this- I was a skeptic the first time I mixed a batch of "Boone's mix", I thought it was TOO large of a particle size, too "open", but the trees I planted in it seem to be doing great- especially the Juniper. I have had good results as well with turface based mixes, and I would never use any sort of inorganic bonsai mix for trees I am growing out in 5 gallon buckets or whatever, but there is a real comfort in knowing the medium your trees are planted in is not some "experiment" you made up to "see how well it works"... It isn't some random potting soil you bought at the dollar tree or something you bought that is intended to absorb oil off a gas station floor... It is specifically mined, sterilized and packaged TO BE BONSAI SOIL, and professionals all over the world swear by it. I was once on the side of "doing what is the cheapest", but I got a few nicer trees over the past few years and kind of decided I want to make sure I keep them pretty happy... The Akadama/ pumic/ lava mix is a proven, "one size fits all", professional bonsai mix. Doesn't mean you HAVE TO USE IT, but it does mean you can expect solid results when you do. Oil dry? Not a guaranteed success rate comparable to that, NOT sized, packaged and designed for Bonsai... It is NOT BONSAI SOIL. Doesn't meant will immediately kill your trees, but it might not keep them in as good of a health long term as other options.
 
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#5
I was not as thrilled with it as you guys... It seemed to have a "residue" once it got wet, the particle size is very small and the bag I bought was not a very large bag either... I felt turface was as good of a deal/better deal from a cost stand point, much cleaner to use, similar particle size and worked about the same from all the water retention/ air exchange points you made... Just my personal preference, but turface is probably a little harder to get for many people.
The oil dry is basically Diatomacious Earth... Probably nothing wrong with using it, but I do not see it as the one size fits all end to the soil debate.

I will say this- I was a skeptic the first time I mixed a batch of "Boone's mix", I thought it was TOO large of a particle size, too "open", but the trees I planted in it seem to be doing great- especially the Juniper. I have had good results as well with turface based mixes, and I would never use any sort of inorganic bonsai mix for trees I am growing out in 5 gallon buckets or whatever, but there is a real comfort in knowing the medium your trees are planted in is not some "experiment" you made up to "see how well it works"... It isn't some random potting soil you bought at the dollar tree or something you bought that is intended to absorb oil off a gas station floor... It is specifically mined, sterilized and packaged TO BE BONSAI SOIL, and professionals all over the world swear by it. I was once on the side of "doing what is the cheapest", but I got a few nicer trees over the past few years and kind of decided I want to make sure I keep them pretty happy... The Akadama/ pumic/ lava mix is a proven, "one size fits all", professional bonsai mix. Doesn't mean you HAVE TO USE IT, but it does mean you can expect solid results when you do. Oil dry? Not a guaranteed success rate comparable to that, NOT sized, packaged and designed for Bonsai... It is NOT BONSAI SOIL. Doesn't meant will immediately kill your trees, but it might not keep them in as good of a health long term as other options.
I suspect that the trees or sticks going into this oil dry are probably not even worth fooling with. So probably not such a great loss if so. Just use some bonsai soil mixture and don't be a cheap ass you can have it delivered to your door for christ sakes.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#6
@VAFisher

You do not have to worry about it washing out with hose watering.

If you have a proper wand.

I have 3 different juice bottles 1.5gl? With different Rosettes, hand made, and I use them pretty imterchangably.

Sometimes I blast em and can stir it up.
If it's too high, it can fall out.

But with a fine wand.

No problems at all!

Sorce
 
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#7
... It is specifically mined, sterilized and packaged TO BE BONSAI SOIL
Labeled "bonsai" anything isn't a good standard of quality. There are lots of things I've seen labeled as bonsai soil that would be worse for your tree than a bag of oil dry. I've commonly seen bags of organic soil that was basically succulent soil with a small amount of grit mixed in. I'd never put my trees in that.

This isn't some experiment with no data points. A large percentage of people in Europe use DE in the form of kitty litter and get great results - exact same thing as what's in the oil dry bag. This is well-tread territory.

I have a local shop that has good, pre-mixed soil that I really like, but for folks that don't have that option, there are plenty of alternatives that are perfectly fine - this is definitely one of them.
 

sorce

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#8
It seemed to have a "residue" once it got wet,
I don't know if you can source the right product anywhere, but the right product, can be used anywhere.
Doesn't slime, doesn't produce dirty muck at the bottom of the pot.
I'm gonna call this "Smoking You".
Yes? Lol.
The truth is, it was not the same product.
And again, I can not even guarantee the same product is put into bags labeled 8822 in all states.

But is akadama consistent? I have read no.

Then you have the Bonsai label price thing we always speak of.

I suspect that the trees or sticks going into this oil dry are probably not even worth fooling with. So probably not such a great loss if so. Just use some bonsai soil mixture and don't be a cheap ass you can have it delivered to your door for christ sakes.
Due to full forum context.

I take this in jest!

Your trees? Heard tell, but fairy tales are stories too!

Sorce
 
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#10
I've collected a lot of different trees to help me learn this hobby, and since putting all of them in Akadama-Pumice is expensive, I've used the 8822 as part of my mixes for its moisture retentive properties. I haven't seen any degradation yet in 2 years.

Interesting phenomena, if you pot something in straight 8822 and sink the pot up to its brim in water, to soak the soil, you get a little dust storm volcano as the water level rises to the top. It's pretty cool.
CW
 

Paradox

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#11
I am with Eric on this one. I tried the cheap alternative to good bonsai soil when I first started. It worked ok for two years or so then I started seeing problems.

I used a mixture of sand and gravel sometimes with pine bark mixed in. The percentages changed over the 2 to 3 years. Trees stayed wet for too long and when I began repotting trees in this mix, I notices not so great root growth. Some of the trees started having some health issues. In short, while it worked for my wallet, it wasn't working for the trees.

I don't use Boon's mix but I do use a similar, more inorganic, larger particle soil. I started switching over to this mix last year with a few trees and more this year. A month or so ago, I checked the roots of some trees I repotted this spring and saw lots of tiny white roots extending all over the place.

Yes, good bonsai soil is expensive compared to dirt from your yard. My solution at this point in my bonsai journey is fewer trees in better soil.
 

Vin

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#13
Funny story; I started using 8822 a couple years ago (as an additive). I went down to the local NAPA store and picked up a bag. When I got home I thought it would be a good idea to sift out the fines and rinse it clean. The sifting went well. However, the rinsing taught me a lesson in the absorption properties of DE. It took like a week in the Florida sun to dry it out again. I'll stick to sifting only in the future. :D
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#14
Funny story; I started using 8822 a couple years ago (as an additive). I went down to the local NAPA store and picked up a bag. When I got home I thought it would be a good idea to sift out the fines and rinse it clean. The sifting went well. However, the rinsing taught me a lesson in the absorption properties of DE. It took like a week in the Florida sun to dry it out again. I'll stick to sifting only in the future. :D

That brings up a downish side.
It's hard to work into the roots wet.

Real easy dry, but instantly starts soaking up the roots!

Spray bottle mist fix!

Sorce
 

M. Frary

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#15
2015-06-05 13.52.06.jpg
I suspect that the trees or sticks going into this oil dry are probably not even worth fooling with. So probably not such a great loss if so. Just use some bonsai soil mixture and don't be a cheap ass you can have it delivered to your door for christ sakes.
That's a giant stick in a colander! 1 year growth in pure,unsifted Napa 8822 floor dry.
I may be a cheap ass but you're a dumb ass.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
 
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#19
View attachment 85205

That's a giant stick in a colander! 1 year growth in pure,unsifted Napa 8822 floor dry.
I may be a cheap ass but you're a dumb ass.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Yea elms will survive in a pile of shit. Show me something other than a big chop project. Please I really want to see something , please!
 

aml1014

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#20
I use pumice and fir bark I'm a large particle size, I've been told by one of my good frinds who uses the boon mix I'm a moron, BUT when I tree sat for 15 days at my house all my trees showed much quicker growth rates then his, Coincidence, I don't think so. we always talk about environment when new people come to the site and people need to realise that soil acts different in different areas of the world and that's just how it is.