Post-Stream Discussion : Slab Planting

Looks like a Dramm 1000 PL Water Breaker nozzle. I have the same model. It gives a very fine spray.


Cheers High-N-dry. Much appreciated.

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With something like this mounted behind it:

I have a few Dramm watering rain wands. I do recommend them highly.

What I recommend to everyone is the Dramm brass valve. You can swap out any attachment for any other (Miracle-Gro feeder, bonsai wands, slip-n-slides) without shutting off the water, and you can control the water flow. The movement is very smooth and light… If you have a wand with no trigger, then this gives it to you:

When I searched for the valve just now, Amazon reminded me that the last time I ordered one was 2-1/2 years ago. I’ve had several much longer than that.


Cheers Bills for all the info.

During the slab planting, Ryan talks about the slab being washed and soaked… can anyone expand on this please.

I am assuming it is to make sure there are no residual chemicals that could affect the tree’s growth. Is this the normal for all man made slabs and how long do you need to soak for?


I don’t recall if Ryan recommended any time specific however it is generally accepted in the concrete planter geeks that 3 days of water soaking in a large amount of water (or with water changes) for a small planter 5 days for bigger one to leach out excess lime, alternatively they can be left to weather for a couple of months outside in rain. In reality, the planters release a small amount of lime for a long time and don’t fully cure for a month after construction.


I was not expecting that to work and holy moly, it looks great, I am not decided about the 3rd tree though. I really enjoyed this stream and those trees are really something.

Also, as a fellow Czech/American I wanted to let you guys know how Jan’s name is pronounced, it would in English be spelled as Yan Chulek. J here is similar to the Germanic or Finno-Ugric style. Think of the Finnish names like Jussi’s and Juri’s, there is no J sound here and the letters that have a little accent or “v” above them sound different than their regular counterparts.


Last spring (2017) I attended a local Bonsai artist workshop where we had to create a Larch forest planting on a slab. As I had only started learning Bonsai in 2016, this was far more advanced than I planned for. Since all of us in the workshop were new to Bonsai, we were running late, so in the end, we were just wiring trees to the slab without any advice on styling or placement.

My slab had 7 trees. One died that summer, and another died over last winter in my garage. A couple of weeks I decided to redo the planting from scratch. So I removed all the trees, soils, etc. down to the base slab. I then rebuilt the slab forest using Ryan’s techniques from the stream video… all Akadama soil, akadama & spaghnum wall instead of a muck wall that was used on the original slab I had done.

The old primary tree (a trio) and two of the surviving trees became trees 1, 2 and 3 in the planting. I then added a few more trees for a 9 tree forest. I think it came out quite good.

Here are pics of the original and the replanted slabs. The pic with the two dead trees is obviously the original slab.

I have build a wooden platform for the slab to sit on so I can guy wire some of the trees into better positions, but I don’t have a picture of it yet.


I came across this post I had made back in 2018. Here is my slab forest as of June 2020. It’s developed nicely.


I have been using Spagmoss premium I purchased on Amazon two years ago. It is not available on Amazon now but if you search orchid outlets they use it as one part of their soil. Sphagnum Moss 40 Liters New Zealand Grade AA Great for Reptiles, Bedding and Terrarium 500 Gram Bale
Good luck. I have used it to build walls and for slab plantings.

I also use Spagmoss Premium. I just checked last week to see if I can get some more, but the supplier I use is out of stock on all their Spagmoss. From Covid restrictions in New Zealand I presume.

I keep hearing that New Zealand is going to start severely limiting the amount of sphagnum moss that can be extracted and it may be difficult to find in the near future.

Yes, I have heard the same thing from Peter Chan at Heron’s Bonsai in England.