Author Topic: Boon Mix?  (Read 24937 times)

akeppler

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/
Boon Mix?
« on: April 14, 2012, 12:19 AM »
These juicy debate threads seem to take on a life of their own.  Since I am not a SOB, probably will never be an SOB, that allows me to poke fun.

While it is true that Fresno California may not be known as a "the hotbed of bonsai" nationaly, the central valley does have many credible bonsai artists.  I started bonsai in 1984. In that first year I was introduced to inorganic soil mix. Akadama, pumice and lava.

Just exactly what year did this concoction become known as Boon Mix?

I been usuing it since 1984, Ray Thieme showed it to me and he's been usin it since 1964. Why are we not callin it Ray mix?

Did bonsai not exist before Boon?

I may have his Japan papers around here somewhere, I think I signed them, that would be a hoot to see. I'll look for them.
 
The following users thanked this post: M. Frary, freida12

nathanbs

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2012, 11:36 AM »
To no real defense of Boon or any SOB, I think he/they are just the ones really driving this mix home and not accepting alternatives.
 
The following users thanked this post: M. Frary

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2012, 06:53 PM »
All was this before or after they nailed you to the cross?

The Japanese have been using it for decades, so it probably predates Fresno, the center of the Bonsai Universe. I believe that people started calling it Boon's mix when he started using it on others trees. I am pretty sure it was not Boon, maybe Morten.

Nathan, I am sure that there are other mixes that will work fine- straight pumice, strait lava, Calidama, whatever. The point is consistency. Oh, by the way I do use other mixes. Kanuma and pumice for Satsukis and perlite for starting cuttings. My non use of the other stuff available to me is not because I blindly jumped in to using Boon's mix- I used to get tiurface by the Ton (pallet loads), haydite and Bark by the dump truck load. I switched to Boon's mix about 7 years ago because it works unbelievably better. Not necessarily the only thing that works. Get the Turface folks to get us 3/16-1/2 inch screened material and I will be happy to try it again- maybe.
 

yamins

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2012, 07:50 PM »
John -- When you say it "works unbelievably better", can you say more about what that means?  In what ways does it work better?  What the key factors you use in judging whether a soil mix is good?   Thanks! 

-- I should add, presumably "better" is relative to various things, but can you speak in particular to the good qualities of this mix relative to the one other you mentioned, Turface, which is what I've been using (screen tediously to 1/8") since I have easy access to it.   



  
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 07:52 PM by yamins »
 

kcpoole

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Sopwith Camel - 1916
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2012, 08:49 PM »
John - I note that you mentioned using Kanuma and Pumice for a Azaleas, I am using 100% Kanuma here with great results

1/ what benefit do you see adding Pumice to it?

2/ What ratios of each do you use ?

TIA Ken
 

akeppler

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2012, 09:51 PM »
All was this before or after they nailed you to the cross?

The Japanese have been using it for decades, so it probably predates Fresno, the center of the Bonsai Universe. I believe that people started calling it Boon's mix when he started using it on others trees. I am pretty sure it was not Boon, maybe Morten.

 

uhhh...no cross yet. I do not frequent this board...so being known in bonsai circles as the social sledgehammer, I felt it was time for a little spice, you know get the juices flowing and things like that. What better way to do that then poke fun at Boon on a Boon adoration board.

Boon mix, masakuni sprayers....next someone will tell me I can improve my bonsai with an Ichiban!

Don't count Fresno out just yet...we have some pretty good artists here dedicated to formal bonsai display.
 
The following users thanked this post: M. Frary, Lynn E

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2012, 09:52 PM »
Yamins,
Predicatable growth, fewer thrown branches on Junipers (those tht die for no apparent reason. Really good roots and strong trees, and i can't remember the last tree with bad roots. This works for me particularly well as I use Auto watering once it warms, thus the trees get watered everyday. The extra drainage is excellent, and excpt for the very, very hottest windy days in Arkansas (on the OKie Border) only one watering a day. I have tried Haydite Mixes (Brussels), Turface Mixes and all of the calcined clay substitutes (the Kitty litters, etc). I have rescued JBP from the Warren Hill Peat and Sand Mix, from ust about anything. If people ask I tell them to use Akadama-Pumice and Volcanic scoria, with a little Charcoal and decomposed grantite. I also have been know to tell people to please don't waste the Akadama if you aren't sure or are a sceptic I personally don't care what people use, as long as thye don't ask for help that includes fixing the roots. Anyway, it's only soil. I figure if I am going to stick a tree with the comma in the price in to a potting mix, I am not going to try and save $1 on a pots worth of soil

Scott, I water every day, the pumice give us less water retention than the straight Kanuma. I have been using a 50:50 mix, others might vary it.

Al, if you actually knew him you would understand why people really like him. But, I say the same thing about you, usually under my breath and looking over my shoulder....
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 09:56 PM by John Kirby »
 

FrankP999

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2012, 08:42 AM »
Al, What is the word on availability of akadama in your neck of the woods? I live near the Monastery Bonsai folks here in Georgia. They have this on their web site :

A note about akadama:
     The Double Line Brand company went out of business in early 2011. We have a new supplier who shipped 18 liter bags of akadama of the same hardness as the Double Line Brand.
     The USDA has stopped a shipment of akadama from entering the country. Until this situation is resolved, akadama supplies will be tight and prices will be steady.


I wonder about how the tsunami and nuclear reactor affected the akadama supply.

I started with "Boon's Mix" last year and so far so good.

Frank
 

bwaynef

  • Administrator
  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1785
  • Thanked: 33 times
  • USDA Zone: 8a
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 09:24 AM »
Just exactly what year did this concoction become known as Boon Mix?
...
Did bonsai not exist before Boon?

Not an SoB here either, and I likely won't be for the foreseeable future.  I seem to recall @ BonsaiTalk that it was initially referred to by his students as Boon's Mix and was shortened after that to Boon Mix.  I also recall a couple of instances of Boon pointing out that the mix wasn't some grand revelation he'd had, but what he was familiar with in Japan and others (particularly in Ca) had been using it.

The etymology of the term really follows a pattern of simplifying and becoming more concise as familiarity increased, ...at least on bonsai forums.  Its also a lot simpler to say Boon Mix, than spell out Lava, akadama, and pumice.

Welcome (back) to the board, sledge.
 

cbobgo

  • Full Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 182
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 07:58 PM »
So, on a side issue, if I can hijak this thread a little: why include lava AND pumice in the mix?  What is significantly different, horticulturally, between lava and pumice that you would need both?  I did some research when this topic came up awhile ago ( http://bonsaistudygroup.com/ponderosa-pine-discussion/large-particle-pumice-for-new-ponderosa/ )  and could find only minor differences geologically, and could find no good info on horticultural differences.

So those of you like Al who have been using this mix for a long time - why include both?  How would Boon mix compare to a mix with just lava and akadama, or just pumice and akadama?

- bob
 

John Kirby

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2216
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • I really need an opposable thumb...
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2012, 11:54 PM »
Bob, I have had this same conversation with Mike Hagedorn a few years back. His point was as you point out- keep it simple. Maybe.
 

davestree

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 09:39 AM »
I have a hard time getting lava where I am at, so my version is screened turface, pumice, and akadama.  Works great, but I wonder if lava is better.
 

PaulH

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Thanked: 1 times
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2012, 09:59 AM »
In our last study group with Ryan Neil last month we spent quite a while discussing soil ingredients. Ryan states that the function of pumice is to be the primary water holding ingredient as it is very microscopically porous and stable. The function of the lava is to provide oxygen access into the soil. I think it also helps maintain the structure of the soil, keeping the akadama from breaking down to mush. The akadama is most important for its cation exchange capacity, binding nutrient ions in the soil.  Being a clay, akadama is highly charged in soil. Organic ingredients can also increase cation exchange capacity but have other negative properties.
 
The following users thanked this post: idowatsu

nathanbs

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2012, 10:05 AM »
To add to what Paul said. Just because a soil particle is porous does not mean the pores are big enough to allow the roots to freely detach the water molecules, nor too large(lava) to even truly absorb water, rather water just sits on the lava particles surface. Pumice offers very little air to the roots, whereas lava offers very little water in comparison.
 
The following users thanked this post: chicago1980

cbobgo

  • Full Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 182
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: Boon Mix?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2012, 02:18 PM »
Nathan or Paul, is any of that based on actual science?  Because all my trees are growing in just lava and bark, and they don't seem to have any trouble with oxygen or water.  I've got a black pine that I am growing out, and it has candles that are about 8 inches long already.  Growing like gangbusters without a piece of akadama or pumice in site.

- bob
 
The following users thanked this post: M. Frary, Lynn E