Akadama, significantly when blended with different media, is a good medium for rising bonsai (see “All about akadama” for particulars).
Over the course of the final 12 months, akadama has turn into tougher to return by for a number of causes:
- World demand has elevated.
- Mining slowed down on account of heavier than regular rainfall.
- Transport congestion has delayed shipments.
Because of this, it is likely to be the case that not everybody on the lookout for akadama will be capable of discover it. What are our choices when availability is proscribed?
- When attainable, postpone repotting. If I’m on the fence about repotting a tree and I don’t have the soil for it, I’d wait one other 12 months. Though this isn’t an choice when water fails to empty at an affordable charge, it’s an choice when the first cause for repotting is to vary the pot or planting angle.
- Keep away from utilizing akadama for younger bushes. I’ve but to search out that akadama performs higher for younger bushes so I now not use it even when it’s out there.
- Re-use bonsai soil. For those who don’t have issues with pests or pathogens within the soil, it can save you akadama-based soils, dry them over summer time, re-sift them to take away the mud, after which mix them with different components to create mixes that meet your growth objectives.
- Use different soil mixes. A wide range of mixes can function good replacements for akadama relying on the event objectives.
Younger bushes can develop properly in a wide range of mixes. I exploit 100% perlite or 100% scoria (lava rock) for many of my pre-bonsai. I’ve additionally used mixes which are 60-80% pumice with the rest an organic-rich mulch or bark.
Lately collected bushes or bushes dug from close by gardens can go into 100% pumice for a number of years whereas the preliminary container roots get established.
For mature bonsai, I’d strive just a few mixes and see which work finest for every species based mostly on my rising circumstances. I’d experiment with pumice, scoria, decomposed granite, and probably natural components like bark or mulch.
I’m curious how pines will do with 50% pumice blended with 50% scoria. Pine growers in Shikoku, Japan, use 100% “sand” that resembles decomposed granite so I’d strive utilizing mixes that incorporate that too.
Chojubai rising in 100% scoria
I sometimes carry akadama-based soils on the Bonsai Tonight On-line Retailer however have been out of inventory for a while. I’m anticipating extra soil to reach subsequent 12 months between February and April, however I received’t know when till nearer to the arrival date. I’ll make sure to publish updates once I know extra in regards to the timing.
Have your personal methods for getting by with out akadama? Be happy to share them within the feedback beneath.
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