Pages: 1 [2] 3 ... 5
Author Topic: Substitutes for ...Akadama  (Read 4043 times)
John Kirby
Hero Forum Member
*****
Posts: 1953
USDA Hardiness: 6



« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2013, 12:37 PM »

Dave Murphy, depends on what you are growing, your exposure and what your watering program are.

Adair, there is a name for pots full of granite grit: heavy.

Back to snow removal, john
Logged

Dave Murphy
Full Forum Member
***
Posts: 181
USDA Hardiness: 7b

« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2013, 02:40 PM »

John, is this your first 30" plus snow storm?  Ahhh, they never get old Smiley.  Based on the last 15 years or so in southern New England, I would plan on one ever 6-8 years.  By the way, my folks on Cape Cod are still without power and might not get it back until Valentines Day.
Logged

Adair M
Sr. Forum Member
****
Posts: 349
USDA Hardiness: 7B

« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2013, 03:29 PM »

John,

LOL!!! You're right! Granite grit is heavy.  My current mix has only a little in it.  I'm going to find some Stall Dry.  (Pumice.)
Logged

bwaynef
*****
Posts: 1272
USDA Hardiness: 8a



« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2013, 04:05 PM »

I'm going to find some Stall Dry.  (Pumice.)

NO! NO! NO!

Get that out of your head.

NOW!

You want DRY-STALL.  Stall-Dry will get you the wood chips that you don't want.  Ask for DRY-STALL!

(You're welcome.)
Logged

John Kirby
Hero Forum Member
*****
Posts: 1953
USDA Hardiness: 6



« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2013, 04:25 PM »

Adair,
Doesn't somebody out there bring in haydite? If not there is a pumice source.

Dave, for  CT this one was pretty massive, we don't try to keep up with Northern NE. The winds from the noreaster exacerbated it, we had gusts that pegged the city meter at 70. Makes the January 2011 storm look pretty mild. I am sure that you are enjoying Georgia.
Logged

BoneSci
Legit New User
*
Posts: 10

« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2013, 08:10 PM »

Adair, I couldn't find pumice here either, but was able to have our local farm bureau order some DryStall. You should know the particle size is very small. Probably 90% is smaller than 3/16 which is what I use to split my 'large mix' from 'small mix'. I assume from having seen some off your trees in posts that you are using a larger size mix correct?

I used granite instead last year, but will try the Drystall in my small mix this year to see how it goes. I grow mainly deciduous and need more water retention anyway.

Chris
Logged

Adair M
Sr. Forum Member
****
Posts: 349
USDA Hardiness: 7B

« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2013, 07:17 AM »

I do use a larger size particle.  I'm not a shohin kind of guy.  Most of my tree are pines which enjoy good drainage.

To be honest, I've only been using "Boon's Mix" for the past year.  I'm still transitioning into it.  (From the old style mix I used 20 years ago.)  I'm doing several "half bare-root" repots to remove Brussel's mix from trees that were sourced from there.

Last year, I barerooted my azalea (sourced from Brussel')s into straight kanuma, and it's doing great.
Logged

Chrisl
Hero Forum Member
*****
Posts: 799
USDA Hardiness: USDA Hardiness 5b

« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2013, 10:17 AM »

Adair, I couldn't find pumice here either, but was able to have our local farm bureau order some DryStall. You should know the particle size is very small. Probably 90% is smaller than 3/16 which is what I use to split my 'large mix' from 'small mix'. I assume from having seen some off your trees in posts that you are using a larger size mix correct?

I used granite instead last year, but will try the Drystall in my small mix this year to see how it goes. I grow mainly deciduous and need more water retention anyway.

Chris

Chris, Jim Doyle uses pumice in his mixes.  Maybe he has some now?
Logged

BoneSci
Legit New User
*
Posts: 10

« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2013, 07:00 PM »

Quote
Chris, Jim Doyle uses pumice in his mixes.  Maybe he has some now

Thanks Chris! I will definitely look into that. I will be at MABS so could definitely swing by to get some.
Logged

bwaynef
*****
Posts: 1272
USDA Hardiness: 8a



« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2013, 08:03 PM »

I've not really been satisfied with the responses received ...and after re-reading my post I see its because I didn't ask the question correctly.

Alas, I've got a few bags of the stuff to play with.  Its significantly harder than akadama.  Its also (mostly) larger than the akadama I'm used to.  Other than that, I'm going to substitute it in place of part of the akadama for some of my in-development trees.

They hydroponics folks really wanted to order me some GrowStones.  (I think because they've never had any moreso than really wanting to drain me of any more money.)  Maybe later.
Logged

bwaynef
*****
Posts: 1272
USDA Hardiness: 8a



« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2013, 11:13 AM »

After thirty years of bonsai and hundreds of pounds of soil, and living where components are easily attainable, I can say there is no substitute for akadama.

But here is the rub.....

Why do you want it? What is it that you feel can be gained by finding a substitute for something there is no substitute for.
I'm having some difficulty sourcing akadama locally.  Price isn't the primary concern, though I wouldn't balk at finding a cheaper alternative.  So far, all the alternatives I've seen aren't superior based on price.
Quote
Expanded shales (haydite and many hydroponic soils are made from shale that is not naturaly porous, or at least not porous enough for our horticulture needs. Heat treating it causes it to expand and "open up" creating a more porous structure.
In hydroponics, they seem to make some distinction between expanded shale and clay-based products.  I'm particularly interested in the clay-based products, ...as mentioned previously.

Quote
I have said it a million times and still people look at me crazy when I say it, and I will say it again. Akadama works because it is "organic". It is volcanic soil, much like all the premium soils around the globe that are perfect for growing things. there is nothing better for growing than growing in soil created froma volcano. Ever wonder why?

On what basis do you claim akadama to be volcanic?  Japan has many different kinds of soil in different regions.  Where's akadama (primarily) mined/produced?  Or are you saying that Japanese soil exists because it was once spewed from middle-earth? Also, what's your basis for claiming akadama to be organic?  All my research into Lava seems to indicate its inorganicity (if that's a word, ...and this browser's spell-check takes an issue with it.)  At the temperatures at which lava erupts (and is able to destroy flora/fauna) I would think the flora/fauna would be turned to smoke and released into the air before it would cling to the lava that's burning it.  Maybe I'm overthinking.  Where can I read more about this?


Quote
This group, the Boon followers,
*groan*

Quote
...what would be the one component of Boon mix that can't be done without? You could leave out the pumice and add double lava, leave out the lava and add double pumice. Could you do without the akadama? NO, the akadama is what makes his soil work so well. Leave it out and you might as well be potting in kitty litter. They add nothing to the soil mix except volume. Now you could pot in kitty litter and use fertilizer cakes rich in humates or use a humus tea weekly and get pretty much the same effect without the expense of the akadama.


I notice below that you have Akadama in your soil box.  I also notice that there isn't any kitty litter.  I've also read that you're a big proponent of humic acid ...and "broke" the news to the (online) bonsai world.  I don't think its overstating to say that many folks consider you a pioneer w/ humic acid as it relates to bonsai soil, though you've deferred to the history and experience of the hydroponics/farmers before you as the real pioneers.

Regardless, if you believe what I'm quoting you (in bold) as saying above, why do you deal with the expense of Akadama rather than recreating its properties w/ kitty litter and humic acid?
Logged

Dirk
Full Forum Member
***
Posts: 104
USDA Hardiness: 8

« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2013, 03:33 PM »

I did use all kinds of soil mixtures. Now I'm using akadama, lava and pumice. I also ad to this mix
about 10 - 15% of pine bark. This is for adding organic material to increase CEC without increasing
waterretention.
I also used clay based catlitter in stead of akadama in about the same mix. The result is a somewhat dryer mix.
catlitter doesn't breakup, so the soil doesn't compact. its stays loose and that's what i don't like abort it.
But what is more important, plants do seem to love it. especially my field maples colonize the soil in no time
with roots.
I think plants don't care about catlitter or akadama. for CEC akadama isn't important either.
Adding some organics like pinebark improves a lot I think. I tried chopped sphagnum moss as organic additive,
but won't make that mistake again. Sphagnum is to waterretentive.
I think any well draining soil, that is able to hold some nutrition and supports
microorganism es is good for growing bonsai.
Dirk
Logged

Anthony
Full Forum Member
***
Posts: 150
USDA Hardiness: zone 13 ? - no chance of frost



« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2013, 07:17 AM »

Wayne,

two points ----- Is Akadama volcanic soil ?

secondly - I have noted that if you use a glazed, but porous clay pot, you can use a richer in organic mix as the pot wicks away extra moisture at the bottom [ the Chinese sell pots that are glazed on the outside, but not underneath.]

Additionally, if I use the above philosophy, the pot becomes an expendable item, throwing away every some many years, but easily replaced.
It is also possible to glaze with a glaze designed to look like stone, see Mayco, Duncan and anyone else.
Or you might be able to apply a coat of paraffin wax to the outside of the pot, which would penetrate the exterior to say 3 mm and not grow strange stuff.

The older books kept suggesting porous pot as the growing pot for bonsai. Stoneware, I wonder when that became the normal pottery body to use?

I will ask at the cement factory, what the material they use as an ingredient is called. It is absorbent, fast draining, plants do well in it and it is resistant to decomposition by roots. Additionally this is the material the world's finest quality cocoa grows in, there is one other place in the East Indies, on the opposite side of the world.
I suspect the US or simply North America has similar deposits.
Good Morning.
Anthony 
Logged

Dave Murphy
Full Forum Member
***
Posts: 181
USDA Hardiness: 7b

« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2013, 07:24 AM »

I've heard that, from a geological perspective, akadama is considered a type of pumice, and pumice is volcanic in it's origon.
Logged

Anthony
Full Forum Member
***
Posts: 150
USDA Hardiness: zone 13 ? - no chance of frost



« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2013, 08:53 AM »

Thank you Dave.

I did some reading on perlite and peatmoss recently. Found it interesting that the perlite holds the man-made fertilizer [ say miracle grow ] in the water it can absorb as does peatmoss. [ does that mean that a porous pot would also hold fertilizer to later release to the plant's feeder roots ?]

According to the Canadian peat moss association, they are only using some 40,000 acres [ less than 2 % of Canada's bog lands ] and they close the bogs when the sensible regrowth limits have been met. So no real harm is being done to the environment. At the same time there is cocopeat.

I wonder if what we should be looking for is apart from the obvious symbols of health, is a comparison of say Japanese quince grown to Kokofu standards, and what we grow in our backyards [ if quince grew in the tropics, but I am writing to  North American readers.]
Once our trunk, root proportions match up, how do our branchlets and leaves do [ and were are growing the same type of quince.]

So perhaps our various soils work, we just have to find a way to check our progress against the standards out there???
Good Day.
Anthony
Logged

Pages: 1 [2] 3 ... 5
Print
 
Jump to: