FEBRUARY : Time to begin planning and preparing for Spring and sorting pots ready for which bonsai trees you will be repotting this year. Some trees will need large pots, some deep, some with different shapes etc, remember to think ahead as to when in full leaf.
This is an ideal time to collect loam, pine needle mould, sand or grit and peat in preparation for repotting. As a general guide mix together 30% loam, 30% sharp sand or grit and 40% pine needle mould or coarse Irish moss peat, mix together with a small amount of bone meal fertilizer. This gives a good open mix, so essential for the health of bonsai. If any tree is noted that there is any trace element deficiency this could easily be overcome with regular feeding if you cannot collect your loam use John Innes No. 2, but first sieve out the small dust.
February is also a good time to give a little feed of Seaweed and Tomato to your pines. If the weather is suitable and not below freezing for too long then repotting can take place for hardy trees.
Welcome to our monthly series of Bonsai tips. We are a little late with January, from February onward our monthly tips will go live on the 1st of each month. We do hope you enjoy them. If you have any tips to share please do leave a comment below or start a conversation on our Facebook page : Facebook.com/WessexBonsaiSociety
January Bonsai Tips :
January is normally a quiet time for most bonsai enthusiasts. Trees need less watering, if required it’s best to water during the early part of the day, but not if you’ve experienced freezing temperatures as this could cause the root ball to stay frozen. If the weather does not get above freezing day and night keep your trees cold but protect from the frost and ensure they thaw during the day. It is also worth using a systemic insecticide to help keep pests at bay throughout the year, during January and February.
Now that some of your Bonsai trees have no leaves, inspect from every corner. Seeing what the tree looks like with no leaves will help to plan what you would like your tree to look like when in full bloom. For those that do not shed their leaves again look at them regularly as during the next few months. They will start to grow and probably sprout from every corner, try and imagine them in the height of the summer, are there any cross over or straight branches, will the new growth block too much light, BUT do not prune, mark the branch that you think you might want to remove later, as it might be the wrong one and sadly you cannot stick them back on with superglue.
Now is the time to clean the shed, wash the pots, start the shopping list, book time off work for the shows that we get invited to, mark off all meetings in the diary for the coming year, as often February is full speed ahead.
For further information : 2017 Schedule