In Ryan’s latest Q&A he recommends a more organic soil mix for seedlings. What do you guys use for a soil mix for seedlings, in particular for deciduous? What do you add to make it more organic?
I use a good organic potting mix from my local garden center. It has a fair amount of perlite in it so it helps with O2 and drainage. Think good “dirt” with additives.
In this context organic just means not bonsai “soil” witch is basically a mixture of rocks (Akadama, Pumice, Lava) and inorganic because they do not really break down into usable nutrition for our small trees, thus we fertilize.
Pine Bark (or any shredded bark), Peat Moss, Compost, Cotton bulbs, Etc. would be organic components, because as they break down they provide nutrients that plants need.
I grow seedlings in potting soil so the roots can grow rapidly and without restriction, have more water and less stress overall.
Yeah, I’m no expert but I’ve been using just a regular all-purpose potting mix from the local nursery with some extra pumice mixed it for my seedlings.
@gary1218 - I have also had lots of success growing youngins’ in a peat and perlite mix. 1:1. I have also heard of other mixes like vermiculite and peat (pretty much the same thing, just vermiculite doesn’t float as much as perlite), straight sphagum or my local bonsai retailer grows in a perlite, pumice and bark mix, 1:1:1. Just avoid using sand. I’ve had it just compact into concrete when mixed with peat after about 6-8 months in a pot, which took away all oxygen exchange in the soil.
I recycle my used bonsai soil for seedlings, plus whatever leftover potting soil is around.
G & B organics bonsai mix works nice.
I tend to use my standard soil mix (lava, pumice, akadama) for seeds and seedlings. I primarily use the -3 mm / +1 mm. Once they get going a directly fertilize with organic granules which adds an organic component and will start to clog the soil after about 2-3 years - i.e. why I am starting to use tea bags on my trees this year.
HAY MARTY! What’s these ORGANIG GRANULES your using? I’m working on ponderosa and oaks–.
I use Dr. Earth Lawn Organic Lawn Fertilizer so the granules are in the 2 - 4 mm size range. I normally add some Ironite, bone meal, blood meal, and magnesium sulfate as well.