Screen Turface


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I finally got my Turface (you would think this stuff was illegal as hard as it is to get) and new set of screens, ready to go. I used the middle screen of 1/8 poured a scoop through the screen, and it did just that. All went right through the screen...I moved to the smallest of 1/16 and still much went through. I did one bag and ended up with less that have a bag after filtered. At this rate I will end up with about 1 and a half bags out of the 4 I purchased. Is there anything the small stuff can be used for? Of did I get the wrong Turface?



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I feel somewhat responsible here:(...let me offer what I do Michael. I use the smallest screen and don't shake it that hard, just enough to get the dust and fines out; I end up losing 35%-40%. That percentage that does fall through the screen goes my growing beds, or I use for stuff I'm putting in nursery cans.
Thanks Brian, so it is the correct Turface?
The fines that go through will not be too small to use in mix for something like starter trees?

Hope the class goes well this weekend!
Sometimes at the garden and hardware stores plastic woven mesh for shading or some other purpose can be found,the small weave material can be cut and stapled to a square wooden frame for sifting dust away.
You can always buy a bit of window screen, and nail it to a wooden framework. Or, buy a large kitchen flour seive (though that will require more screening of smaller batches).

How much you screen depends on the size of trees you grow. If you go for large bonsai (over 2 feet), you need to screen more -- so you waste more, and Turface probably isn't what you want to use. Try crushed lava, the larger chicken (turkey) grits, or some other kind of crushed rock.

If you grow medium (chuhin) and smaller (shohin) bonsai, Turface is fiine and you need to screen less, and holding that smallest screen a foot or two above the container you are screening into on a slightly breezy day, will take care of the dust (stay upwind!).

If you grow mame, save the smalls, and mix half and half with compost.
Thanks JKL,
Most of my trees are under 2 feet. I am using a set of screens from BonsaiMonk, I could not find anything local that would work. The 1/16 with the set is about the same as window screen. But it sounds like the mess for shade would be even smaller, which would save more to use? Don't get me wrong, I want to do this right, for best results for trees, even if it waste more.
Have some work to do this morning and then spend rest of day Playing with Trees and potting. I said "potting" not pot...:)

I use to screen Turface and other components, like chicken grit, but for the last few years I use straight from the bag and water the newly re-potted trees well to flush out the dust. Been working well for me.

I use to screen Turface and other components, like chicken grit, but for the last few years I use straight from the bag and water the newly re-potted trees well to flush out the dust. Been working well for me.


Same here. The fines water out pretty easily. I do sift the pumice I get from Dry Stall, as well as "wash" the grit I use because those fines don't flush out that readily.

I bought a couple giant colanders from an Asian grocery store, and they work well for sifting tons of Turface all at once, and they are also great as pots! The ones I use are like 2 feet in diameter and cost around $7.
I bought a couple giant colanders ... 2 feet in diameter ...

Forsooth! "Giant" is right! :eek:

Turface comes in different grades. I believe the "MVP" has the largest average particle size.

I run mine thru several screens. Anything under 1 mm goes in the flower beds; particles 1-2 mm I use for starting seeds or cuttings, or for cat litter; or I leave them in with the larger particles for trees like maples. For pines I only use particles larger than 3 mm as a mix component.

But, yes, I too would like it if Turface came in larger sizes than it does. <shrug>
Klytus, thanks for the shade mesh suggestion, I failed to mention this morning.

Thanks to all for your input, I had thought about just using straight out of bag but was told/have read that it would be too compact with such small fines? If it is working for you that sounds good.
A 2' could do some heavy screening!
Steve, sound like you have it to a fine art of what goes where, maybe in time I will. I am just glad to finally have a source to purchase the turface at a reasonable price.

I plan to use the small fines for some small trees, just to see what happens. What I am screening is for trees I have collected or purchased but still in nursery pots. For my trees in bonsai pots I still purchase soil from Brussels. As time goes maybe I can get a mix that I trust for all the trees.
I did screen 2 bags today and potted 11 tress. I used Soil Conditioner (small pine bark) to mix with and it seemed to give a good mixture. I realize it was pushing it for some of the trees to pot as they have leaves. But they were so root bound it had to be done.

Thanks to all
@ml_work: Just like you, I feel that I might have used the wrong screen ize or picked up the wrong grade of Turface.

Thanks to this post, I'll rethink how heavy handed I am when screening this fall, to pot up my collected material.

Thanks all!
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ml_work, not sure if you're still around cause this post is kind of old. Just wanted to tell you, in case you didn't already know, John Deere Landscape stores carry Turface, and I'm sure you can find one closer to you. Be sure to call them first to see if it's in stock because they seem to only carry it seasonally (late winter through spring).

Here is a link for the store locator:
Just went and picked up four bags of MVP today (I fill up a garbage can with it and work it down over the course of a year). Went to the Turface site and lo and behold! A sieve analysis!

6 MESH 15.0%
8 MESH 31.5%
12 MESH 18.9%
20 MESH 30.9%
30 MESH 3.1%
40 MESH 0.5%
Pan 0.1%

I always screen my MVP with my smallest bonsai screen, which turns out is a size 10 mesh (or 10 holes per inch). I was guessing that I lost about 40% of all MVP that I screen, and this analysis seems generally consistent with that. My medium mesh is a little smaller than a 6 mesh (close to a 6.5), and at first I thought that I wouldn't get ANYTHING, but I was surprised that I did capture a small amount. I doubt it was 15% of the total, however. So I would say the particle sizes are probably slightly smaller than this analysis, but directionally correct.
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