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Author Topic: Turface  (Read 4542 times)
noissee
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« on: February 17, 2010, 02:24 PM »

Just bought a 50lb bag for 9$. Never used it before - I have always used lava. Actually I have tried oil dri, and found it to be lousy.
What has been your experience with Turface? Do you usually need to sift it much? How long before it breaks down? etc.
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bwaynef
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 05:07 PM »

The turface I've been able to find is usually small but uniform.  I've never bothered sifting turface.  Its been my experience that it doesn't break down ...at least not in my potting cycle (up to 3 years).
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Dave Murphy
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 05:24 PM »

I've been using turface for 3 years.  I do sift it when trees like pines and junipers are going into their final pots and absolutely need good drainage.  I have never noted any kind of breakdown, either, and I used this stuff in Zone 6 MA for 3 winters.  When I moved to GA, I brought my stash of 10 bags (500 pounds Shocked) with me Grin.

Dave
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Jay
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 07:17 PM »

I've used Turface in a soil mix and as the only ingredient. I too had purchased it in 50 lb bags. I have it in some trees for over 3 years without any degrading. As for sifting.... it doesn't hurt. I've found that I can usually get rid of the fines (about 20% of the bag)and also grade it to two or three size particles. That said, the last two bags have been used after removing the fines as is with no harmful results.

Jay
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rockm
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 09:56 AM »

I wouldn't bother sifting it. Waste of time and effort for not much return.

For what it's worth, I've heard that Turface is fired regionally and hardness can vary. Some people have noted that their Turface has turned to mush in a few years. I haven't heard that  complaint in a while though, so the problem may have been corrected...
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T-Town Bonsai
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 10:38 AM »

It must be what I got but I hate the stuff.  When I get a tree in it I repot it as soon as I can.
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bwaynef
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USDA Hardiness: 8a



« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 10:57 AM »

 
It must be what I got but I hate the stuff.  When I get a tree in it I repot it as soon as I can.

Why's that?  Since you grow (or grew) on a bigger scale than a lot of us I think that's interesting.  I've heard that from more and more people.  Since branching out into different soil components, I'm not as big a fan of turface as I was.
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John Kirby
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2010, 02:07 PM »

I do the same, but it is a little better than bark. I always find it interesting that folks are looking for the cheapest mix that will let them "get by". I do most cuttings in perlite, I now do satsukis in kanuma, and then move them in to Boon's mix after they are rooted. Last batch, I moved @250 cuttings into 2-6" grow pots for about $40, or 16 cents each. I guess that is not too big of  an investment.
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mcpesq817
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 02:45 PM »

The one issue I've experienced with 100% turface is that if you use organic fertilizers, you'll end up with a lot of caking and dry spots that will never get wet no matter how much you water.  I've found that this is alleviated if you mix other components with the turface rather than use turface straight.
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noissee
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2010, 10:39 PM »

wow thanks for all the info. I have always been very pleased with my lava/bark mix, but the turface was cheap and I could pick it up across town. I'm definitely not going 100% turface, so the feeding issue shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'm glad to hear that it doesn't break down quickly.
thanks,
nick
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Jay
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 06:16 PM »

Well I'm still looking to see the 'brand' I purchased last time. I went to my supplier (at the time in northern NJ) and tried to purchase Turface. They told me they no longer carried it......But they did have a different product that they sold for baseball/softball infields. I purchased the new product and found it to be Turface by another name. Purchased several years ago and it has not broken down.

But it has been said that Turface (and probably other similar products) may not be the exact same in different areas. We must remember that the product is designed for sports fields and is being used off label so to speak for our trees.

my 2 cents
J
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noissee
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2010, 06:40 PM »

The stuff I got was MVP. For in-fields.
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Don Blackmond
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2010, 07:31 PM »

MVP is what you want.  It is Turface.  I use it as a component and it makes excellent filler, retains water well, has a good size to it, and is light.  You can use 100% MVP with good results depending on the type of tree.  I would not put nice jbp material in straight MVP (by choice) but would have no problem doing it for maples, elms and other deciduous trees.

Personally, I prefer akadama as the main component of soil mix but it does get expensive when you need large volumes and I have yet to find an economical way to get it.  Hadite is my second choice and is really economical but heavy.  I don't like lava but its cheap and light.  I rarely use any organics and then only in small percentages.

The Turface debate will never end (too bad all the BT discussions are lost forever).  Try it.  If it works for your purpose, then use it.  If it doesn't work for you, then use something else.  It is as simple as that.
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Steven
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2010, 08:17 PM »

I highly agree om akadama. I'm substituting akadama with haydite for my mix I'm going to make for my conifers. Turface works well for developing JM seedlings I know. Did them last yr in straight turface. Great root systems.
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K

noissee
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2010, 10:29 PM »

Great roots are what I need.
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