Soil mixtures

robin99

Seedling
Messages
18
Reaction score
5
Location
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
USDA Zone
5b
Hi there I’m new to bonsai and had some questions regarding soil mixtures. I am looking to make a soil mixture that won’t break the bank and Akadama and such is quite expensive where I am. I have read Napa 8822 works well as pumice. My question is could I sift this and mix in some sifted organic mix with it or would this be a bad mixture. I’m looking for soil for a juniper, spruce and boxwood. And then I also have some one year old Japanese maples that I’m not sure what type of soil would be good for these little saplings. Any help would be much appreciated.
 

Dblvisn

Seedling
Messages
7
Reaction score
5
Hi there I’m new to bonsai and had some questions regarding soil mixtures. I am looking to make a soil mixture that won’t break the bank and Akadama and such is quite expensive where I am. I have read Napa 8822 works well as pumice. My question is could I sift this and mix in some sifted organic mix with it or would this be a bad mixture. I’m looking for soil for a juniper, spruce and boxwood. And then I also have some one year old Japanese maples that I’m not sure what type of soil would be good for these little saplings. Any help would be much appreciated.
You can get premixed soil fairly inexpensively from American Bonsai or even on ebay . Boons mix is great too. If your just starting dont skimp on the soil it is key to success. I lost a lot of trees early in this hobby by trying to save a few bucks .
 

hinmo24t

Masterpiece
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
3,002
Location
Dartmouth Massachusetts
USDA Zone
7A
Hi there I’m new to bonsai and had some questions regarding soil mixtures. I am looking to make a soil mixture that won’t break the bank and Akadama and such is quite expensive where I am. I have read Napa 8822 works well as pumice. My question is could I sift this and mix in some sifted organic mix with it or would this be a bad mixture. I’m looking for soil for a juniper, spruce and boxwood. And then I also have some one year old Japanese maples that I’m not sure what type of soil would be good for these little saplings. Any help would be much appreciated.
that soil mix doesnt sound bad. id say youre on the right track. add perlite to your mix as well
 

robin99

Seedling
Messages
18
Reaction score
5
Location
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
USDA Zone
5b
that soil mix doesnt sound bad. id say youre on the right track. add perlite to your mix as well
Thanks you I’ll add some of that too. As far as young saplings would they be fine in a soil mix similar to this or would they do better in a denser organic mix as they are young?
 

hinmo24t

Masterpiece
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
3,002
Location
Dartmouth Massachusetts
USDA Zone
7A
Thanks you I’ll add some of that too. As far as young saplings would they be fine in a soil mix similar to this or would they do better in a denser organic mix as they are young?
lighter mix im pretty sure, with more perlite, for roots to work around
 

DonovanC

Chumono
Messages
524
Reaction score
603
Location
Ohio, U.S.
USDA Zone
6a
I’ve always used a 50/50 mix of Safe T Sorb (a product similar to Napa 8822) and perlite and I’ve experimented with adding organics. But I’ve stopped adding organics and I think I’m personally better off.
It comes down to your watering practices. The best soil mix is the one that works for you.
I’ve recently come across BonsaiJack in a post, I don’t remember what post it was. But BonsaiJack has soil components like lava rock for a decent price. I’ve been thinking about replacing perlite in my mix because it tends to float - lava rock is heavier so I’m considering a 50/50 mix of Safe T Sorb and Lava Rock.
Also you can get a big bag of lava rock for less than $10US but it would need to be crushed and I’m not up for that lol.
 

robin99

Seedling
Messages
18
Reaction score
5
Location
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
USDA Zone
5b
I’ve always used a 50/50 mix of Safe T Sorb (a product similar to Napa 8822) and perlite and I’ve experimented with adding organics. But I’ve stopped adding organics and I think I’m personally better off.
It comes down to your watering practices. The best soil mix is the one that works for you.
I’ve recently come across BonsaiJack in a post, I don’t remember what post it was. But BonsaiJack has soil components like lava rock for a decent price. I’ve been thinking about replacing perlite in my mix because it tends to float - lava rock is heavier so I’m considering a 50/50 mix of Safe T Sorb and Lava Rock.
Also you can get a big bag of lava rock for less than $10US but it would need to be crushed and I’m not up for that lol.
That sounds like a good mix you have. I’ll try using perlite because I have a bunch around but I also don’t like how it floats. I’ll do a few test mixes and see what I like best for me. As far as sifting is there a certain baize screen that I should sift too. Like am I just getting the dust out or should I get 1/16” bits out too?
 

DonovanC

Chumono
Messages
524
Reaction score
603
Location
Ohio, U.S.
USDA Zone
6a
That sounds like a good mix you have. I’ll try using perlite because I have a bunch around but I also don’t like how it floats. I’ll do a few test mixes and see what I like best for me. As far as sifting is there a certain baize screen that I should sift too. Like am I just getting the dust out or should I get 1/16” bits out too?
Sounds like a great plan 👍
I just use screen intended for screen doors - I got a roll of it for $8.00US. I made a wooden frame and lined it with the screen. I use it for drainage screen too.EF68C099-694D-492D-B052-EB5E81D8FF42.jpeg
 

just.wing.it

Deadwood Head
Messages
12,141
Reaction score
17,433
Location
Just South of the Mason Dixon
USDA Zone
6B
I use Bonsai Jack as well.
I like the Pumice, Lava, and Fir Bark in equal parts.
I started with just lava and pumice....which is certainly ok for some trees. But after a few years of adding the Fir Bark, I'm seeing a couple of my trees that may prefer straight inorganic material.
But if you have some trees that need more moisture, the Fir Bark is a good bet.

I also tried pumice, lava and akadama this year for the first time....seems good so far.....I'll know more when I repot those trees.
 

just.wing.it

Deadwood Head
Messages
12,141
Reaction score
17,433
Location
Just South of the Mason Dixon
USDA Zone
6B

They also have a product called “bonsai block” that’s pretty inexpensive. Curious if anyone has tried it.
That Bonsai Block stuff is intriguing....
I also find it slightly amusing that some of the pictures for displaying the particle size have a dime and some have a quarter for comparison.
 

hinmo24t

Masterpiece
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
3,002
Location
Dartmouth Massachusetts
USDA Zone
7A
That Bonsai Block stuff is intriguing....
I also find it slightly amusing that some of the pictures for displaying the particle size have a dime and some have a quarter for comparison.
that is a good pickup. its still a valid reference but inconsistent and could be misleading

misleading in a sense of scrolling thru images focusing on particle size


im not lawyer though - have to appreciate the business person behind that organization because ive seen the name referenced a lot
 

QuantumSparky

Shohin
Messages
295
Reaction score
272
Location
Eastern Pennsylvania, USA
USDA Zone
6b
+1 for Bonsai Jack premixes, I buy the Organic 221 Mix for all my trees (looking to buy some Kanuma for the azaleas) and they're all super happy. I buy the 7 gallon bags for about $65 bucks and store them, as well as my other components, in big tubs so I can just pull out the soil or component I want and scoop right out of the tub. I have the Bonsai Jack mix, perlite, peat moss, Sphagnum Moss, sand, peat potting mix, and vermiculite.

The great thing about buying a general premix and then many components, is that you can mix your own soil or add stuff to the premix to adjust ratios. The only thing ill change down the road is switching to buying 7gal of the Inorganic 11011 mix for finished trees and then adding a bag of bark fines to my component list so I can just add organics if I need to
 

QuantumSparky

Shohin
Messages
295
Reaction score
272
Location
Eastern Pennsylvania, USA
USDA Zone
6b
that is a good pickup. its still a valid reference but inconsistent and could be misleading

misleading in a sense of scrolling thru images focusing on particle size


im not lawyer though - have to appreciate the business person behind that organization because ive seen the name referenced a lot
Yea the inconsistency is odd but that company is very good at what they do and takes their quality seriously. I'm never buying soil from anyone else
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom