sailfins
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Japanese Maple seedling

[img]https://img99.imageshack.us/img99/9632/digital013el0.jpg[/img]
Here is my Japanese Maple Sapling.I got around to repotting it in one of my redwood grow box's that I make.I needed to get it out of the 2-3/4" plastic pot it came in.I know that it is years away from training but I expect it will grow fast.I didn't bother to wire this in for that reason.I just spread the roots and planted it a little deep.I wanted to show my soil to everyone and get your feedback.


[img]https://img150.imageshack.us/img150/9540/digital012pa8.jpg[/img]

the soil
It is perlite, bark chips, and small amount of peat.
I also add Osmocote slow release plant food.

ynot
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Re: Japanese Maple seedling

sailfins wrote:[img]I wanted to show my soil to everyone and get your feedback:
the soil
It is perlite, bark chips, and small amount of peat.
I also add Osmocote slow release plant food.
Two questions:

This looks to be very organic in composition, Any idea of what the rough percentage of the soil each ingredient are?

Which type of peat did you use? [The {dusty looking} small particle kind or the long fibered Sphagnum moss.]

ynot

sailfins
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5 percent spagnum peat shredded.
5 percent potting soil.
40 percent perlite
50 percent bark chips.
It drains as fast as I can pour it in.
It may not be pretty but it works.I could increase the percentage of bark chips because I have lts of it .
I added some dry chips to the mix at the end so it looks different.But most of it is chips
Last edited by sailfins on Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gnome
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Sailfins,

This mix does not sound too bad, especially for a Maple in a grow box. In fact it is very similar to the mix Brent uses at [url=https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/soils.htm]Evergreen Garden Works[/url],
The formula is very simple: eight parts screened fir bark 1/4 to 3/8 inch size, eight parts screened perlite, one part peat moss, one half part vermiculite (optional). I also incorporate Osmocote time release fertilizer.
I suspect this is done out of concern for expense and weight but if it works for him then I'm sure you will be OK.

I would be more concerned with the sizes of your particles than their composition. Did you screen them? If not don't panic and re-pot now. Just make a note for next time. Also be aware that perlite comes in different sizes, not that I have ever seen them locally, perhaps Brent is using a coarser grade.

With a tree that size, in a relatively large growing box and this mix, you will not be watering with anywhere near the same frequency as you would if it were in a smaller pot with a higher percentage of inorganic components.

Norm

sailfins
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I screened the bark. but I used a fairly large screen 1/2" squares.I am working on abetter screen.I have been looking for a ceiling light diffuser.The plastic kind with 3/8" Plastic squares.Then I will make a new batch of soil.

ynot
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SF,

Thanks for that.

Glad to hear of the drainage and I agree w/ Gnome that for a grow box that is ok, Though as he also notes it [being pretty organic] will not be drying out anywhere near as fast as a smaller pot of inorganic materials.
Gnome wrote:I would be more concerned with the sizes of your particles than their composition.
Yep, This and the screening question were next on my list also..:)

ynot

sailfins
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so I still need to watch the watering?I was hoping this would prevent me from overwatering.It drains so well that I figured I could just run a lot of water through it everyday.But that would be a bad idea wouldn't it.I guess I better just keep checking it daily.

Petra26
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not to hijack your thread, but what are grow boxes? and why are they so special?

sailfins
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Its just a redwood box.Absolutley nothing special about it.It has alot of holes drilled in the bottom for drainage.I just don't have anyway to get to town to buy the appropriate pots cuz My legs got crushed in an accident so I have been making these grow boxes instead of buying pots.LOL

ynot
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sailfins wrote:so I still need to watch the watering?I was hoping this would prevent me from overwatering.It drains so well that I figured I could just run a lot of water through it everyday.But that would be a bad idea wouldn't it.I guess I better just keep checking it daily.
You still need to check it. This is a well draining mix no doubt but being a highly organic mix it will retain more of the moisture you run through it...And therefore will stay wet longer.

You still check it every day, But only water when it needs it...Same as always. :D
petra wrote:not to hijack your thread, but what are grow boxes? and why are they so special?
Essentially it is just a large training pot [For longer term projects]

A grow box is simply a large container used to grow trees out.

Often they are made of scrap wood though the designs vary as much as the owners individual aesthetics. Usual properties include: Excellent drainage and a fairly shallow and wide profile to promote lateral root growth. [Not always as some are necessarily huge...]

They are generally bigger than a training pot [As a larger root system gives you more growth] and you can leave the tree undisturbed for a number of years [Unless you chose to do rootwork] which equals more growth.

One advantage of a grow box vs in the ground is that you can use a soil that is more beneficial wrt the root system of a bonsai [promoting nebari] as it is a controlled environment.

ynot

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Sailfins
I screened the bark. but I used a fairly large screen 1/2" squares.I am working on abetter screen.I have been looking for a ceiling light diffuser.The plastic kind with 3/8" Plastic squares.Then I will make a new batch of soil.
I think you are missing the point here. Screening your soil is not simply removing larger particles such as you are doing with your large screens. Just as important as removing the over-sized particles is removing the fines or small particles.

I have a set of screens (well not a real set, just a bunch of junk but they work) that I use to size my soil. Get a piece of hardware cloth about 3/32 or 1/8 square. Whatever falls through this is too small for most things.

I sift these fines one step further, through a 1/16 screen. Whatever falls through this is very much like commercial potting soil and is not used for bonsai at all. Whatever stays on top ( larger than 1/16 but smaller than 1/8 ) is used for seedlings and cuttings.

Removing these fines is one of the most important things you can do no matter what your actual components are.

Ynot,
I agree w/ Gnome that for a grow box that is ok,
Don't forget that this is a Maple too. I would have different take on this if it were a Juniper or a Pine.

Norm

ynot
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Gnome wrote: Ynot,
I agree w/ Gnome that for a grow box that is ok,
Don't forget that this is a Maple too. I would have different take on this if it were a Juniper or a Pine.

Norm
I understand, [:Sailfins please ignore the rest of this comment: Gnome, You know I am kind of gritting my teeth over the % of organic in the soil already :P ;)..]

ynot

sailfins
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Me missing the point?!
Ha thats impossible.Wait a minute....ya your right I'm the one that's clueless.
How about If I dump the soil in a collinder and rinse the fines out?
The tree won't know the difference its only been a few hours.That would wash most of the fines out including most of the peat.
My crabapple is in the same soil. Is that a problem?

sailfins
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I repotted the trees.You were right about the organics.Way Too much potting soil.
Last edited by sailfins on Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sailfins
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Repotting.

I give up!I am going back to just reading
Last edited by sailfins on Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

ynot
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sailfins wrote:I repotted the trees.You were right about the organics.Way Too much potting soil.I am uploading a bunch of pictures.I will show you what I did.
Any potting soil is too much IMO. I am unsure if I interpret this correctly but you may not be clear on what we refer to as 'organics'.
IE: The bark in your pot is an organic component of your soil, The Pearlite is inorganic.

For bonsai 'soil' purposes consider anything that was once living as organic {IE: Bark}, While things that were never alive are inorganic {IE: Lava rock, Haydite, Akadama, Grit, etc..}

I just wanted to clarify that.

Can you possibly resize that picture that is MASSIVE and causing the need to horizontally scroll please.
Ok here we go.After thinking it over I decided to repot.I used alot more potting soil and peat than I should have and never screened and sifted it corectly.This is what I dumped out.
I am glad you dumped out what was in there, It does look like a soupy mess :evil: and you can see what happens wrt drainage and the drainage holes.

ynot

sailfins
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no,but I can remove them

ynot
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sailfins wrote:no,but I can remove them
Hey man,

:shock: No need for that

You can use https://get-irfanview.com/ to resize them, It's free and easy to use. :D

ynot



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