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Techniques - Potting media
Many people have different views on what media to use and it is up to the individual to decide which is the best for them. In our group the preferred media is Japanese Akadama, with 20 to 30% of Kiryu added.
Set of sieves for the media
Whatever media you use then it is necessary to seive the mixture into various sizes as can be seen below. This type of sieve from Japan is very popular in the UK. It comes with three removable sieves
Akadama after it has been seived

The sieved media is shown above and on the right we have the larger media which will not pass through the largest of the sieves, and this will be used in the bottom of larger pots. The next size down is used for the lower part of the roots and the second one from the left will be used around the finer roots.
Kiryu looks very similar, but is a bit lighter in colour, and is sieved and treated the same way.

When exhibiting trees then it is important to have a good surface for the media and for this we use the finest media. To remove the very fine dust then a piece of plastic netting obtainable from any good garden centre is used on top of the finest sieve. This can be seen on the extreme left of the photo at the top of the page, and is laid on top of the smallest sieve. The very fine dust is thrown away and we use the particles that would not pass through the plastic mesh.
Our members also add a small proportion of Fuji grit to this and as it is black when wet gives a good appearance to the media. It is sieved the same way as the top dressing mentioned above.

   

 

TIP. Repotting time is a very busy period in February especially if you have a lot of large trees, so it is a good idea to purchase the media well in advance, and then have it sieved and graded ready for when you intend to start repotting.

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