Preparing for repotting season

mwar15

Shohin
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I finally found some time to head to the gravel yard a couple hours away and get a have a yard of lava cinders and a half of yard of pumice. I combine this with diatomaceous earth (Napa oil dry) and some potting soil/ compost/bark mulch and it works good for 100"+ of rain a year.

I still have to sift it but I figure for the price I couldn't beat it. I probably will sell some of it once I get it sifted.
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those are 18 gallon tubs

 

michaelj

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It's already time to get started where I am. I've been mixing tubs of potting soil and getting my pines and established junipers ready for fresh soil, and in most cases, a new pot. Time to renew the blisters on my shearing hand.
 

Woodland Spirit

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I can gather/sort my own cinders by the bucket.
How well does it work in soil?

My big challenge is high summer heat, alkaline water and less than 30% humidity.
 

bleumeon

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Been sifting and preparing a lot of soil myself. I have about 8 gallons of lava, 6-8 gallons of pumice, and a bit of diatomaceous earth. I still need to buy some organic components--a local guy sells presifted bark for bonsai at 3 gallons for $8-9 or so. Plan to get 2 orders of those. I'm thinking for my deciduous trees that the bark will make up at least 25-30% of the soil. I had a lava, pumice, and diatomaceous earth mix that I used for a Japanese maple and the soil dried way to fast. When temps hit the 90s-100+ range I had to water twice a day.
 

Woodland Spirit

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Gold prospectors classifying pans work wonders for cinders and gravel.
In my part of the universe they are much better than anything you can find at nursery and far less money.
 

Adair M

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Variety is good....right? .....wrong?
Wrong.

You want an open mix with lots of air space. Having same size particles of a mostly round shape. Think of marbles in a glass. Lots of air between the marbles.

Small particles would fill that air space. Think of the glass full of marbles, now pour in some sand. The sand would settle into the air spaces between the marbles, right? Not good! Totally defeats the whole purpose of sifting the soil.
 

Giga

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Wrong.

You want an open mix with lots of air space. Having same size particles of a mostly round shape. Think of marbles in a glass. Lots of air between the marbles.

Small particles would fill that air space. Think of the glass full of marbles, now pour in some sand. The sand would settle into the air spaces between the marbles, right? Not good! Totally defeats the whole purpose of sifting the soil.
So the wrong is wrong?.........doesn't that make a right?


lol

Adair is right, I also sift the soil to 3 sizes for each component, large medium and small. Then use a mix according to where it's used in the pot,size of pot and tree going in thus pot.
 

Geo

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mwar15

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@mwar15 So how are you going to break up that red lava. Lots of 1 inch rocks. I have the same problem.
I will sift it out. I use some of the larger rocks in the bottom of my pots. Most of this soil will be for training pots. Depends how much I have I might crush it down.
 

Tieball

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Wrong.

You want an open mix with lots of air space. Having same size particles of a mostly round shape. Think of marbles in a glass. Lots of air between the marbles.

Small particles would fill that air space. Think of the glass full of marbles, now pour in some sand. The sand would settle into the air spaces between the marbles, right? Not good! Totally defeats the whole purpose of sifting the soil.
Ahhhhhhh......Thanks. I get it. The marbles and sand....I understand how it fills and problems it can cause when done incorrect. So, a mix of say, lava rocks and Turface, would not be ideal because they are of a different size...the Turface representing the "sand" in your description. I've thought that having spaces would leave to much air room and create an environment where the roots reaching that space would just dry out. Now I know more. Thanks for the visual description.
 
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