Based on the website it looks like the same thing. I would be interested in that blue gumbo clay product.....
So I tried the Oil-Dri and whether it was old stock or what, it crumbled in less than a season. So I figure "why fight it, I'll buy the Turface." I know it can't be bad. I know the MVP is the right particle size. But the place that said they could get it is "closed" for now. My farm and home store checked and just told me they can get Pro's Choice and "it's the same thing." Knowing how dangerous of a statement that is, does anyone have experience with this brand. I am sure it will be more durable than the DE I tried but I'm concerned about particle size. I will read up their site but was hoping someone could make a suggestion so I can call them back and get it ordered. I'd really hate to get the wrong size and waste time/money and still not have a suitable product.
I've used it, and it is the same thing. Bonsai monk sells it, and I've found that there is actually less fines in it than MVP. Meaning you get more bang for your buck. I use akadama, sand, and spagnum peat now, but i still have trees planted in Pro Choice from two years ago and it does not break down.
It is fine the size of sand. Ithink it is to fine for Soil mix. It is used on sports fields.
The Monastery (Bonsaimonk) uses it in their proprietary mix. I've used it and prefer Pro Choice's brick red color to the lighter turface or oil dry. It blends a little better with lava and pine bark. The fines aren't that bad and can be used as an amendment to soil used for growing stock out. Not much will go to waste.
OK. I read through the Pro's Choice site. Went through the presentation. Not much in there except the specs say it's better than Turface. Checked the Bonsaimonk site but they don't list it by itself. So looking at the choices: Pro's Choice Red, Pro's Choice Select, and Pro's Choice Pro Red. I'm assuming those who are saying they used it are talking about the standard Pro's Choice Red. The plain soil conditioner. This appears to be a happy mistake. The stuff should perform just as well and the color will work to my advantage also. The lighter color materials show their dryness well but I think the red color will be more pleasing. I'll get it ordered tomorrow and be in good shape. Thanks guys.
I posted this on another site, but it may be useful here too.
There is a lot of variability in Oil Dri, or so I'm told by those who have used it. Some bags hold up well. Others quickly turn to mush. Considering that the stuff is made to soak up oily messes, and not for bonsai, you're probably lucky when you get a good bag.
Better to stick for Turface which was originally made as an agricultural soil amendment -- though it is now much more often used as a sport field topsoil. Turface and its clones are sold in the USA under many different names.
You can find the nearest Turface dealer here: http://turface.com/distributors
You can find the nearest Mule Mix dealer here:http://www.mulemix.com/distributors.html
Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowes and many other garden supply stores sell Schultz products. Look for (or order) the Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil.
Terra-Green Pro's Choice is made by the same folks that make Oil-Dri, but it is a Turface clone and used for baseball infields. You can find dealers (via e-mail) and even get a sample, maybe, here: http://www.proschoice1.com/contact.html
Click on the soil conditioner link at the top of the page to get more info on it.
There are other brand names. All are high-temperature baked clay. There also are other soil amendments that include other minerals, such as silicates, but IMO they're not as good for bonsai because they have less water retention.
Many people use simple kitty litter. That's OK, but I feel it is too fine-grained for bonsai soil. Don't use the clump type or those with any perfume or deodorizers in them.
Note: Many of these products are sold only in North America as far as I know.
milehigh_7 (May 4th, 2013)
I really try and resist getting involved in soil wars.....but
Kitty litter is not OK...have seen many people try and use it that ended up with tree in seriously bad health. High fired calcined clay...(i.e. ... Turface, Mulemix, Pro's Choice, etc.) that are meant for horticultural purposes are the only way to go. Then only in recommended amounts as an amendment. For example...Turface strongly recommends that no more than 20 percent by volume as an amendment.
To get healthy bonsai that grow optimally you can't skimp on the foundation of the tree...if you have to cut costs look at pots, or the beer your drinking as you re-pot your tree
For those that loath Pseudonyms: Tom Brown
North Star Bonsai
The Behr Bonsai Scholarship
Don't flay yourself mentally when you make a mistake or when something bad happens. Just pick yourself up from the god-awful mess you’ve made, say to yourself "I must make a note not to do that again." and go on to the next step, of the hundred or so that remain.