I buy my bark from orchid supply shops. It is usually fir bark not pine. It is available in different sizes but I am not sure about "fines".Looking for Pine Bark 'fines'. I've tried all the local pet shops and can't find shredded or
fine bark anywhere. Anyone know of a source for this excellent medium for Bonsai?
This Nature's Pride Soil Conditioner. Is it totally Pine Bark mulch?
I found another product which is a soil conditioner called Bumper Crop Soil conditioner. It's not all
pine bark, but is used to build up bedding and also lighten clay based soil.
Any thoughts on this stuff?
The reason I'm asking is that the Nature's Pride is just not available at this time and some of the others I've found are.
Thanks but I think I'll go with Tapla's advice on this. He's got all kinds of testimonials on Garden Web that have
used his recipes and swear by them. You can't argue with success.
Good day!Some musings about soil from Al...I have an opinion just like other body parts.
My feelings about bark...
Good filler material. Cheap and bulky.
Not much good for anything else. While Brent is well respected in most forums he comes with a small bias. He is a commercial grower and said so because he buys bark by the pallet. You took his word at face value yet did not ask why he buys bark by the pallet. Why is he not potting up his plants for sale in akadama? Many feel it is better so why not use that for potting up in a commercial nursery. Why, cause bark is cheap and it fills one and five gallon nursery containers faster than good soil alone. Mix the humas or mulch or field soil or whatever with an equal volume of bark and voila, pot is full.
A better question for Brent would be , Brent I know you use bark in your field plants for sale but could you show a close up photo of the soil in a tree you would consider for an exhibit.
Agricultural pumice or a bag of dry stall will do the same thing as the bark and do a better job of it. Problem is it is stark white and unsightly in the pot. Probably around the same price though. Lava if you can get it would do a very good job but will cost more than the lava but will come in darker colors being either red or black.
I use a rather inorganic mix of akadama, huygga (yellow Japanese pumice) cali dama, (a domestic crushing of sub terranian hard pan) and lava with a layer of charcol. I do not add organic substrates to my soil.
When I fertilize I use a fertilizer with humic acid in it to buffer the soil mix and make it more fertilizer friendly. I fertilize a lot. A lot meaning as much as I can pile onto the plant. All organic though. Chemical fertilizers are used but only in the first four months of the growing season.
Did I say I don't use bark? Just wanted to make sure.
Bonsai soil is not cheap. It can be made cheaply...but it works cheaply also.