Put ISLANDS In Your Backyard Food Forest

Raised or lowered islands depending on your environment. Remember to manage for overflow and select plants accordingly so that roots don’t rot. Don’t forget to plant out those edges and where applicable channel water into or around your islands.

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Soil Substrate Comparison: Water Retention

Bonsai Soil Tests: Part 1: Water Retention

Note:
Retention Values (g @ %) given after 5.25-hour
Rank given for 24-hour Retention based on values.

Organic Rankings:
1. Coconut Coir: 129g @ 14.57% loss
2. Pine Bark: 22g @ 14.86% loss
3. Compost: 26g @ 31.58% loss
4. Commercial Peat Moss: 6g @ 40% loss

Inorganic Rankings:
1. Diatomaceous Earth: 37g @ 30.19% loss
2. Akadama: 22g @ 26.67% loss
3. Pumice: 22g @ 29.03% loss
4. LECA (Turface): 30g @ 36.17% loss
5. Vermiculite: 28g @ 41.67% loss
6. Perlite: 14g @ 36.36% loss
7. Sand: 12g @ 67.56% loss
8. Lava Rock (Scoria): 4g @ 76.47% loss
9. Expanded Shale: 2g @ 84.62% loss
10. Granite Chips: 1g @ 94.44% loss

Quick Correction: Diatomaceous earth is not calcined clay, like Oil-Dri. It is silica based, formed from fossilized algae.