Friday, September 2, 2011

Change to my bonsai soil material

I mentioned briefly at the end of last year that I have a new soil mix. Originally I had been using cat litter and pine bark for my bonsai mix and this worked well. The cat litter retained the water that it could hold and any excess simply drained out the bottom of the pot. But whilst scouring the various blogs of other bonsai enthusiasts I came across an article by Walter Pall about ‘baked loam’. Walter is one of most highly respected professionals in the bonsai world and regularly travels to give training and demonstrations. Walter has been using inorganic materials for some time and with this he is producing top class bonsai that regularly win awards. So I thought what must work for Walter must surely work for me.

Walter is using a product made by Maxit and even though the product code is different here in Finland the product is still the same with particle sizes of 2-4mm coming in 25kg bags. Unfortunately I was unable to purchase this from any store locally so I had to order a pallet of 18 bags directly from Maxit and have it delivered. At least now I have enough to keep me going for a few years.

I am not using this Maxit product neat; I am still making a mix using 7 parts Maxit, 2 parts cat litter, to add some different colour and because I still have some bags available, and 1 part pine bark, to add some organic matter to the mix. As with the cat litter earlier it is important to water and feed the bonsai on a regular basis. I am watering everyday regardless if they need it or not and feeding every couple of weeks. This type of bonsai ‘soil’ requires that you are daily tending to your bonsai but the end result is healthy trees and a higher survival rate.

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