organic

Turn Apple Seeds Into A Tree

Hey guys it’s good to see you again I’m back today with the fun and simple little experiments that you can try at home the only materials are going to need for this project are an apple a knife a ziplock bag and some paper towel now for this project today I thought it’d be fun to see if we could actually sprout an apple seed now when you were a kid there’s a good chance your parents told you not to eat apple seeds or swallow watermelon seed because it would sprout a tree in your stomach but that’s not necessarily true because there’s quite a process to getting a seed to sprout and that is the purpose of this experiment today now to get started we need to extract the seeds from our Apple and so you could just eat it and pull the seeds out as you do or you could grab a knife and cut very carefully at a 45 degree angle to the center okay so once you’ve got your seeds separated from the apples go ahead and grab one sheet of paper towel and something like this little water mixture all we’re going to do is take our paper towel we’re going to fold it in half lengthwise and set it down the counter we’re going to use our little mixture to give it five to six sprays on one side then flip it over and give it five to six shots on the other side the goal is we want to get this things damp but we don’t want it to be wet all right with our paper towel moistened we can go ahead and take a few of our apple seeds and place them down into a line somewhere in the top half area the only thing left to do after that is to fold the paper towel in half over top of the seeds place it into the ziplock bag and seal it tight so there we have a guys just like that we now have five of our apple seeds tucked away inside with moist paper towel and locked into the block bag by the way it’s not a bad idea to mark the date under the bag so you know when the three weeks is up the only thing left to do now is to tuck this away deep into the back of our fridge and completely forget about it for the next three weeks now it’s just magic of editing we fast forward into the future three weeks with a simple clap of our hand boom here we are three weeks later let’s go check our result all right I’m actually really curious to see what we got here this bag has done nothing but sit in that fridge for three weeks in the dark completely in neglect didn’t the first thing I notice is the paper towel is actually still quite moist still quite down which would make sense because it was in a sealed ziplock bag all right let’s peel back the top layer until we’ve got oh my goodness look at that our seeds have actually sprouted some more than others these two over here seem to have taken off quite vigorously and viciously and these two over here you can see little sprouts and this one’s got a little blood coming out there as well all five of our seeds was sprouted which i think is pretty cool and now if we wanted to we could move these things to a seed starter to help them establish some roots and begin budding into a tree and if we wanted to we could actually grow them into apple trees which is kind of mind-blowing but I have to crush your expectation even if you put years and years of effort into growing your own apple tree the chances of your apples tasting like the one you grew this from are very very slim the reason is because in our industry today most of the apples are grafted onto existing root structures so even though you use the seeds from an apple you like the apples you grow from it will taste completely different so there you have it guys now you know how to take the seeds right out of the apples you’re eating stick them in the fridge for a few weeks and grow an apple tree right in your own backyard thanks for joining me for this experiment I’ll be looking for the next one talk to you then so though but now you know what the paper towels for hey guys thanks for watching and remember I’m giving away prizes now on every new video all you have to do to qualify is subscribed to my channel ring the bell and select to be notified when my next videos get released the secret link to my giveaways will be pinned in the comments for the first 12 hours if you like what I’m doing show your support right now by giving this video a big thumbs up and share with a friend I love you back I’ll see you next time

Bonsai Soil Tests: Part 1: Water Retention

Welcome to Appalachian Bonsai. This video is one of a series to discuss soil components and some of their properties as they pertain to bonsai. These components are what we’re available to me at this particular time. What’s available to you may vary by region or by country. When it comes to bonsai soil no two person’s soil mixtures are alike. Each soil mixture depends upon the species, the climate, and the person who’s using them. I hope that just seeing these components in testing will allow you to make choices for your own.

Thanks for watching. Today, we’re going to look at water retention and a little bit on drainage. All plants need water so let’s see how much water these components hold. Both organic and inorganic materials were considered. Just because something holds moisture doesn’t make it good. Conversely, just because it might not absorb moisture doesn’t make it bad. I began by measuring equal volumes of each component and measured their dry weight for reference. Next, I added distilled water to each type and let it soak for one hour. This should allow plenty of time for each type of soil to fully saturate.

After an hour, the components are removed from the water and allowed to drain. Each is weighed out over time to calculate retention. Let’s see the differences. We’ll begin with organic materials. Coconut coir is commonly used in flower baskets and hydroponics. It is sold in brick form and soaks up water like a sponge. It fills the entire cup. That’s a lot of water! But, all available space is filled, which isn’t necessarily good for bonsai. We’ll will look more on that type of drainage in another video. After draining for an hour and 45 minutes, we weighed each sample. We weighed the samples again 3.5 hours later.

By comparing the different weights, we are able to determine the amount of water retained, and a basic percentage of loss. At 129 grams of water retained, plus minimal loss, Coconut Coir ranks number one in organic material water retention. This is mushroom compost I bought in bags at my local nursery. It is damp at purchase time, so I oven-dried it before I used it. Small twigs and sand may be present, and the content will vary depending on where you purchase.

It drains well and has a slight alkalinity. I’ll do a video on pH at a later date. At 26 grams of water retained and 31.5% lost, Compost comes in at number three with water retention for organic material. Sphagnum moss is found in cooler damper regions of the world and is known to hold moisture very well. However, in the United States commercially available peat moss comes in a fine kiln dry powder.

Unlike fresh sphagnum. In this processed form it does not whet easily, much like baking flour. More information will be available in a future video. You can see it has absorbed very little water, and is actually floating on top. If powdered peat moss in a soil mix is allowed to dry out potential dead zones may occur. If it is saturated, powdered peat moss will hold plenty of moisture, but for this test, it did not perform well. After draining for five and a quarter hour, peat moss only held six grams of water with 40% loss. It ranks number four on the organic list. Pine bark and fir bark are fan favorites in the bonsai world. I have pine bark available in my region.

Here, pine bark chips can be sold as soil conditioner. I sift it to a proper size and put the rest in the garden. Sifted bark drains well and holds good moisture. Beneficial microorganisms like bacteria can thrive in these porous structures. As a quick note, pine bark is on the acidic side. At retaining 22 grams of water at a 14.8% loss, pine bark comes in at number two in organic water retention. Let’s look at the Inorganic materials and aggregates. Akadama is the classic gold standard of Japanese bonsai mixtures. Here in most of the U.S., it is expensive and not readily available. It is often purchased online or at dedicated bonsai nurseries. Its large particle size drains well and its porosity absorbs and retains moisture. Because of the expense and its scarcity outside of Japan, people around the world look for alternatives to akadama. With water retention of 22 grams at a 26.6% loss, Akadama ranks number two overall in inorganic material.

Diatomaceous Earth, or diatomite, is a lightweight fossilized clay that is used as an absorbent in kitty litter and oil dry. This product needs to be sifted well before use. It also compacts and breaks down over time. We will look at that in another video. Like Akadama, it absorbs and retains moisture very well, and in fact, retains more water than akadama. At 37 grams of water retained with 30% loss, Diatomaceous Earth comes in at number one overall ranking, Chicken grit or granite chips is a popular aggregate in soil mixtures. Its popularity stems from its excellent drainage, its inert structure, and it’s pretty cheap. It’s also one of the heaviest components used. The color depends on the quarry, and for the most part is non-porous and absorbs little water. Most of the water retained is merely from surface tension. With only one gram of water retained and a 94.4% loss, Granite chips ranked last in our list of inorganic materials. Expanded shale is becoming more available as a soil component because of its ability to prevent compaction. It has a semi porous structure and can absorb some moisture.

The large particle size I had available to me drains very well. It has a good color, too. Unlike some other expanded materials this one does not break down easily over time. With only two grams of water and 84.6% loss Expanded shale ranks number nine on the inorganic list. Lava-Rock, which is sometimes known as scoria, is a hard yet porous material with excellent drainage. Its large pores absorb some moisture and can house beneficial bacteria. It also has a pretty color which makes it a good choice for top dressing. Similar to expanded shale and granite, it can last a long time without breaking down.

But 4 grams of water at 76% loss, Lava Rock or Scoria ranks number eight overall in inorganic material. Perlite is a type of volcanic glass that is expanded with high heat. It is common in growing mediums here in the U.S. Its porous structure allows it to float. Much like lava rock and granite, most of the water retained is through surface tension. Also like these other components, It does not break down easily over time One of the problems for bonsai is its stark white color. This usually means it’s only used for training trees and not for formal presentations. At 14 grams of water and 36% loss this product ranks number six on our list. Pumice is a less dense, but more porous variety of Lava Rock.

It, like processed perlite, will float. Like nearly all materials that you use in bonsai, you need to make sure that you sift it and wash it well before you use it. It drains well, and it’s similar to Akadama and its ability to hold and retain good moisture. With 22 grams of water retained and only 29% loss, Pumice holds the number three rank for inorganic material. Sand is one of the most available components around the world. It’s also the heaviest of the components that we tested. Small grains of sand can easily block drainage, so it must be sifted well before use. Sand also drains very well, but the majority of the moisture held within it is from surface tension and not from absorption.

With 12 grams of moisture retained in 67.5% loss, Sand ranks number seven on our list. Turface is a type of Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate or L.E.C.A. It is one of the most common Bonsai soil mediums used outside of Japan. It readily absorbs moisture, but like all of these components, it does have some drawbacks that will be discussed later in another video. Turface drains well and has a very good color. Though it’s relatively stable, it can break down over time. Turface held 30 grams of water with 36% loss.

This ranks at number 4 on our Inorganic list. Vermiculite is sold in various forms, including this expanded type. It’s most common use in the gardening world is to break up clay soils. Its use in bonsai depends upon the person. Even though it floats along the surface it does absorb moisture without becoming soggy. There is potential for vermiculite’s small size to clog drainage. Because of its 28 grams of retention with 41.6% loss, Vermiculite comes in at number five. Bees. Again, this is not a full list of components used for bonsai soil mixtures, but what we’re available to me at this time.

I have more tests to show you so stick around. Leave a comment in the section below about what types of tests you’d like to see me perform in the future. If you haven’t already, Follow us on Facebook or Instagram Stay tuned… There’s always more to come! Thanks for watching!! .

Bonsai Art & Care |Austin Bonsai Society |Central Texas Gardener

The ancient art of bonsai live strong under Elaine’s heirloom trees. A member of the Austin Bonsai Society and founder of the Texas State Bonsai Exhibit, she shares her love and knowledge behind the cultivation of these miniature living sculptures. She discovered their spiritual connection to nature when her husband was stationed in Japan. – And so I took a class there, and since my husband is Air Force, we moved 18 times, and I didn’t get to do that much until we settled here.

He retired, and then I could do my hobby. – As I was a very very young child, my parents in the military lived in Hawaii and went to a sushi restaurant. On the top floor, there was a bonsai display, and I remember at the age of about 3 years old – tiny child walking up and looking up into these bonsai trees and wondering that they were huge but they were small.

– I’ve been involved in bonsai for about five years, but the interest began all the way in elementary school. – After college, he got back into bonsai, tending them on this patio. – People with art degrees love it. Young people are getting more involved in bonsai because it’s a focused art, and it’s a creation, and you tell a story. – The story behind this would be that perhaps there was a hurricane or something that pushed the tree over and then it started growing again once it was sideways. – Bonsai design often takes its cue from nature. – Bonsai represents tenacity and endurance, and you have things that have experienced trauma or have experienced stress in the environment. – When stress occurs on a bonsai, like bores in the trunk of Elaine’s live oak, her skillful hands added it to the story. – It’s still enjoyable to look at to me. – And those sort of things – they bring a kind of devastated beauty. – It used to be a forest, and I’d had another tree on the other side.

A deer came along and jerked that tree out, and this is its replacement. – Balance and emphasis comprise two elements of bonsai design. – Bonsai has a front, it has a viewing angle. If you imagine that it’s actually turned sideways, you don’t get as much of that. – Like any plant, success begins at root level. – Sometimes you can get them in department stores where there’s gravel glued on top just for appearance. First thing you do is you take off all that glued gravel because you need water to penetrate through the root system. – Avoid potting soil or compost. Bonsai need sifted large granules for aeration in shallow containers. – The various components of bonsai soil include shale or calcine clay, akadama, which is a Japanese form of clay, sifted pine bark. and frequently red lava. So our finished bonsai soil is very porous, allows for a lot of oxygen to reach the roots, and prevents root rot.

– Elaine reserves a greenhouse for tropicals. – They would normally live outside in warmer climates such as Florida, South Carolina. – Bonsai trees like Oaks Ashton and prison Elms need winter’s cold. Trees that change color in fall before dropping their leaves need that natural cycle. – They stay outside all the time, so when people put them in their house they wonder why they die. – Still, outdoor plants must be protected in winter since roots are restricted. – I put them on the ground in between the benches, and then if it’s going to have a hard freeze I can cover all of them at the same time to keep them protected from the wind. – Periodically we will take them inside, and we’ll show them when we have guests, when we have special events.

– Bonsai don’t use gallons of water, but they do need thorough soaking. – There’re holes in the bottom of every pot, and I think that’s what so many people – mistake in raising bonsai – they don’t water them enough, so the water drains out the holes in the bottom of the pot. – Training takes time. Every few years when roots have filled the pot, they trim back when dormant. Growing in flat pots, rather than deep ones, encourages horizontal roots. – After about three years of being in the bonsai training container that we see here, it’s actually a lot like a cat litter size box, we’re able to begin putting it into an entry level show-grade pot. We can take a tree from a training pot that’s a lot deeper than is really necessary for a finished showpiece and work with it for a few years until we feel like it’s ready to be moved from its training pot into a finished show pot, which is going to be quite a bit shallower. And what this will do is give proportion to the trunk.

– Part of the art form of bonsai is that it’s in a pot, and the pots can be just as artistic as the trees themselves. This one is a handmade pot. – Pruning for design can take years. – When you go to start working on a bonsai it’s like everything else disappears: all the worry, all the fret that you go through in life. – This looks more like a bush instead of a tree. This branch is very long. You will cut it back. And the way you trim it is at the angle of you want it to grow. I want this branch to grow this way and not be longer than all the others. – There’s a Japanese word called “bunzhen”, and it’s basically this long thin line that resembles calligraphy. It’s beautiful. There’s cascade, so it looks like a tree is growing up on a mountain, and it’s cascading down the side. – Anodized aluminum or annealed copper wires help shape. – And that is just there to give the branch direction, to change the angle, maybe give it a little bit of movement, and much like braces on your teeth, you take them off once it is set.

– Many plants qualify for bonsai. The Austen Bonsai Society rescues plants from the wild or starts from nursery pots. – This is a lower pendulum, and it’s a fringe lower pendulum. – This is a Japanese boxwood that a lot of people have in their front yards, and when people re-landscape their plants or re-landscape their yards, sometimes you know these things become throwaways, but to us – years have been spent growing out the trunks, growing out the branches, and we then give it shape and form to – often to mimic trees in nature is the point, but sometimes we’ll do things with an artistic touch that doesn’t even mimic trees in nature. – This is a trident maple that was field grown for about five to seven years, and it’s been topped from about 14 feet down to its current one foot stump, and then a progression in about three years, we might see this evolving into a beginning of a tree that has some structure of branching and some curvature that has been applied by wire.

– To help new growers get started, the Austin Bonsai Society holds meetings and workshops along with its annual show and sale at Zilker Botanical Garden. Elaine founded the Texas Bonsai Exhibit to preserve heritage plants in private gardens until a permanent exhibit is built. – We have these beautiful old trees that people have had and they’ve spent decades working on and then maybe they’re not able to care for them anymore, so we are able to care for them and then put them back out to view – for the public to view later on. – There’s one in the National Arboretum in Washington that is 400 years old. It came through the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, and last year – they never knew exactly whom it belonged to or where it came from, you know, specifically – two boys showed up at the National Arboretum looking for their grandfather’s tree.

That was it. So they found a little bit more of the history of that tree. .