Newbie corner

My first lessons....

The most important skill is to keep the tree alive and for me the biggest first step was watering. I thought bonsai had to be in small pots so I did that and they looked great. As soon as I took my eye off the ball for a few days they dried out and wilted, a quick dunk in a bowl of water and they revived. Second time they took longer to revive and got weaker. Those that survived this torture died over the winter as they were not strong enough.

So my tip number one

is to keep them in slightly larger pots. In fact this has another benefit in that the trunk matures faster in a bigger-deeper pot.

My second key skill was feeding. I gave them a splash of baby bio [a liquid feed] and then forgot and left them for several weeks and then did it again. Each watering was leeching out the nutrients and they did not get enough nourishment. These weakened trees did not look very good and were very susceptible to disease and did not last.

So my tip number two

is to use slow release organic fertiliser and as soon as it dissolves away put more on. This ensures a constant slow release of nutrients throughout the growing season.

The route of my third skill was to read as much as I could on the subject.

© Martin Underhill 2017