Al's Gritty Mix

PatJanuary 16, 2009

I'm sorry, but I can't find the recipe for this. Can you direct me to the recipe link?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Since you have provided a big, black, bold header for the thread, I'll just post the recipe here. ;o)

The basic mix is 1:1:1, pine bark fines:Turface:crushed granite. This is what I grow all my woody plants in that go 2-3 years between repots and I usually keep it that simple (1:1:1). I'll list it a little differently so you can see what I use for houseplants, but you can note that the 3 parts of all the primary ingredients still works out to a 1:1:1 ratio. If you're puzzled after you look at it, just ask & I'll explain in more detail.

3 parts pine or fir bark fines
3 parts Turface MVP (or equal)
3 parts crushed granite (turkey or chicken grit - not crushed shellfish)
1 part vermiculite
1 part coarse silica sand
1 tbsp gypsum/gallon of soil (1/2 cup per cu ft)
if you use gypsum instead of lime, add 1/8 tsp Epsom salts/gallon of water each time you fertilize

If you want to increase water retention, use 4 parts Turface and 2 parts granite, To reduce water retention, use 4 parts granite & 2 parts Turface. If you vary the recipe to suit yourself, try to keep the organic component at 1/3 or less. No peat/coir is necessary or even desirable in this mix.

Though there are a few exceptions, most plants will perform extremely well if you use a 3:1:2 ratio fertilizer (24-8-16, 12-4-8, 9-3-6, are all examples). Fertilizing frequently at lower doses works better.

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: Click me & I'll take you to another conversation - pictures, too.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 4:36PM
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Pat

Al, since I first posted this item, and before you responded to me above, I found your Gritty recipe before I went home Friday afternoon. And i remember that someone on this or a Bonsai post said that commercial bonsai soils were probably more like regular heavy container soils. So, I looked at the bonsai soil I had at home and if this isn't as nearly like your Gritty Mix, I'll eat it. It is Hoffman Bonsai Soil and the ingredients are, from memory, shale, pine bark fines, Turface. All three look to be the same size.

Overjoyed and excited like a kid, I washed all the nursery soil off a small pothos (didn't have enough to re-pot a larger plant), placed a new-type Melita coffee filter with perforated holes in around the same-size pot, and placed the Hoffman down and around the pothos.

Now I need you to tell me how wonderful I am to have discovered this easy (and expensive) replacement for your Gritty recipe. Hello?

Pat

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 1:16PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Men prefer brief praise, pitched high; women are satisfied with praise in a lower key, just so it goes on and on. ~Mignon McLaughlin ;o)

Good Job, Pat! Strong work. ;o) I've looked at the Hoffman Bonsai Soil - folks in the clubs I belong to have used it from time to time. It should work fine for most houseplants, though it's a little heavier and holds more water than the basic gritty mix. You're right - it's dear (expensive).

Al

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 4:59PM
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jodik_gw

I, too, found a really nice gritty Bonsai mix... it's sold in small bags only at the local garden center, and it comes with a rather expensive price tag! But it's very close to your mix, Al, with regards to the main ingredients... pine bark fines, turface, etc...

I sure wish it came in large bags for a cheaper price! I'd be loading up so I didn't have to search so far and wide for the ingredients to mix my own!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 12:04AM
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