turface only?

HotAction

Chumono
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I've heard some of you saying you plant in 100% Turface. As of right now, I've got 150 lbs of the stuff but it is the only ingredient to my soil until I can get to the feed store when it is open. I've got some American Larch that I collected this past monday. My question is, what are your thoughts on planting them is a Turface only mix? Thanks.

-Dave
 

bonsai barry

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I've used 100% turface in the past, but for most trees I've changed to a mix of 40% turface, 30% pinebark, 30% grit or sand. The problem I had with the turface was that it required too much watering when used alone.
 

nsmar4211

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I use it 100%, but that's on portulacaria afra-they do fine in it. However, they can also dry and be ok.....not sure a larch can handle that. A few more days won't hurt the plants-better to wait until you can get the "right" ingredients.

The rest of my species have some sort of organic mixed into the soil, as straight turface dries too fast for them (I'm in florida....hot). Heck, my jaboticabas are in normal potting soil!
 

HotAction

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Thanks for the quick replies. It would be in an extremely oversized container, not anything close to a bonsai pot. would that make a difference in the watering, which seems to be the main issue. thanks again

-Dave
 

subnet_rx

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I've found that if the pot is bigger than the roots, the turface outside of the root system dries out even faster. I just repotted a tree today and I used 60% turface, 40% Miracle Grow orchid mix. I have tried many different things for my organic and the only one I really don't like is the pine bark. It tends to break down really fast when your watering as much as you do with Turface. I'd also suggest planting a little deeper in turface, especially if this is a grow pot. Your top roots will suffer from the Turface drying out. My experience with it though is that you end up with a really nice fibrous root system and my trees thrive in it as long as you keep the watering up.
 

tom tynan

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The turface products include alot of fines; very small particles of turface. It is used as a soil conditioner product for golf courses, baseball field etc. When you sift out a 50lb. bag - you will lose at least half the bag. I am using the smallest screen in a typical 3-screen bonsai soil sifter. The particles that are left [ie. the largest size particles] are good to use - but they are also on the small size. I prefer something a bit coarser - like lava or pumice or haydite. You can mix some of the turface in with these other products. If you plan on using 100% turface you will need to sift it well before using. Try and find a horse bedding product - called Dry Stall. It is 100% volcanic pumice. 50 lb. bags. It will also need to be sifted. Tom....
 

painter

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when you buy turface make sure its the "mvp" style. there really arent ANY fines. just a bit. saves a lot of time and money.
p
 

subnet_rx

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Yes, I use MVP and I don't sift. In fact, I've read articles that said to not sift. It's better to let the first watering take out the fines. Of course, I've also read bonsai artist books that said they never sift any soil. Takes too long and they never saw any difference.
 

ginger

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I've found that if the pot is bigger than the roots, the turface outside of the root system dries out even faster.


I wonder how this could be?

___ginger
 

Dav4

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For what it's worth, I dug two very large maple stumps in december and used 100% turface MVP unsifted as the soil medium. The pots are in the 10-15gal size range. With minimal foliage present right now and the rather cool spring temps we have at the present, these trees need to be watered only every three to four days. I'm sure this will change later this summer.

Dave
 

TimD

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Isn't there an issue with salt build up when going 100% turface?

I was out playing on a ball field with my nephew and looked down..SCORE!! Where is my sifter?
 

pauldogx

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The turface products include alot of fines; very small particles of turface. It is used as a soil conditioner product for golf courses, baseball field etc. When you sift out a 50lb. bag - you will lose at least half the bag. I am using the smallest screen in a typical 3-screen bonsai soil sifter. The particles that are left [ie. the largest size particles] are good to use - but they are also on the small size. I prefer something a bit coarser - like lava or pumice or haydite. You can mix some of the turface in with these other products. If you plan on using 100% turface you will need to sift it well before using. Try and find a horse bedding product - called Dry Stall. It is 100% volcanic pumice. 50 lb. bags. It will also need to be sifted. Tom....

I'm using the same mix turface, dry stall and pine bark for my training pots. You get about 50-60% yield after sifting the dry stall. Be sure to really rinse pot after repotting--the dry stall has a lot of dust even after sifting. I agree he particle size is a bit on the small side. I'm trying to source some haydite or lava as well.
 
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HotAction,,,, first see where the replies come from,
2nd,, use their input for what its worth,, (some is truly usable),,,
3rd,, Where in the USDA Zone5a Illinois are you located????
I live in Ottawa,,, I've used the same 50%50% mix of MVP Turface/ Course Pine bark mix. for all my
starter trees, then have adjusted the mix according to the tree. More porosity for conifers,,
and less for decid.
if you would like to talk on the side (message me to this address,,
zone_5_bonsai@yahoo.com
I'll try to get back with you asap..
I'm doing the 9 to 5 week long,, and doing a part-time on the weekends. i also go to college for Hort
@ IVCC. So if you'd like to talk,,, i.m. me on Yahoo Messenger.
Sincerely,
Kevin J
 

Bill S

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http://www.bonsaideals.com/home.php?xid=eceb747652fd2d782dd5b83f0941302d

Try this link, Colin Lewis has an article, and there is somewhere a recommendation that more than 15% can be an issue, but read Collins offerings.

As some said many have used it 100 % and had trees grow, but it all comes to be simpler, we want our trees as healthy as can be, to grow and trhive, not just grow. It is quite a differance, especially when you do all kinds of nasty styling techniques to a tree, that a healthy tree has a better chance to recover from.
 

cquinn

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http://www.bonsaideals.com/home.php?xid=eceb747652fd2d782dd5b83f0941302d

Try this link, Colin Lewis has an article, and there is somewhere a recommendation that more than 15% can be an issue, but read Collins offerings.

As some said many have used it 100 % and had trees grow, but it all comes to be simpler, we want our trees as healthy as can be, to grow and trhive, not just grow. It is quite a differance, especially when you do all kinds of nasty styling techniques to a tree, that a healthy tree has a better chance to recover from.


There is definitely a difference. I use to use lava,turface, and pine bark, but I've made the switch to Akadama and Builders sand for my conifers and Spagnum Peat Moss added to it for deciduous. Man what a difference! The vigor is off the charts. Much more so than when I used the ultra coarse mix (Basically planting in Rocks). I also find that most of the fines in the sand do wash out after the first few waterings. I got most of my info. from the UC studies and also the appendix in the back of Yoshimura's book (most people don't know it's there). I went old school I guess you could say. It never made much sense to me when people said "Oh, well we know more now about soils so this is better than what the Japanese have been doing for hundreds of years". Again the vigor is just amazing. There is a lot more to good soil than just having spaces for air. My mix drains just fine. I'm starting to think we've gone off the deep end with porous soil to the point of insanity. Everyone is worried about root rot to the nth degree, but nobody seems to be worried about nutrients to the same degree. Now, let the shooting begin.
 

pauldogx

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Are you using a chopped sphagnum--like the Mosser-Lee stuff??? Not the decomposed peat moss??? I have been trying to source some rough peat that Walter Pall talks about.
 

cquinn

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Chopped. Fafard is the best if you can find it.
 

HotAction

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I have a whole bag of sphagnum that I picked up to wrap the trees in while I transported it home. Are you saying I should chop it up and put it in the mix?

-Dave
 

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