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?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
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.


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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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?


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
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).


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 4:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Can a peat based mix be used for 2 seasons?
Hello - Considering compaction, etc can a peat based...
gritty mix modification question
Sorry, I had a response to this question before but...
Arabian Jasmine help
Hello I have had an Arabian Jasmine in a pot on my...
flyinbtsomypants (WestCent.FL Z9b-10a)
Indoor vegetables and 5-1-1
I'm growing vegetables indoors in containers. Is the...
Affordable but Good Looking Containers?
I have a few areas of my garden that are just container...
Sponsored Products
Mamagreen | Oko Lounge Combination 1 with Bolsters, Steel
Hand-tufted Anabelle Red Kashan Wool Rug (5' x 7'9)
Nourison Area Rug: Modesto Vines Black 3' 11" x 5' 3"
$56.97 | Home Depot
Alumilux AL Beacon LED Pathway Light by ET2 Lighting
$367.99 | Lumens
Mondrain Mirror, 22x80
Design Within Reach
American Woodcrafters Essentials Nightstand
Beyond Stores
Antler Pedestal Bowl - SILVER
$175.00 | Horchow
Bluebell Conch Shell Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™