Thursday, March 20, 2008

At Last

Ready for repotting. The weather is finally at a point I'm comfortable with for this, my new soil sieves arrived in the mail today (almost a month after ordering them, much to my general annoyance), and though I am hoping to pick up some haydite from Tom of the Eastern Suffolk Bonsai Society sometime soon, it's not something I've previously used in my soil mixture, so I'm ok with not including it in every pot this year.

While repotting bonsai with a small child, I recommend several things:
1) at least one tree that he is allowed to repot, largely on his own
2) soil that you don't need/regular potting soil, a trowel and a bucket that he can go to town with once he gets bored with the trees themselves.
3) A week worth of days to work with, rather than the three days you should normally need.

If I can get an hour of repotting done in a day with the kiddo around, I feel like I've gotten in a good day of it. Ideally, I'd only need a couple days to do all of them, but it'll take up to two weeks likely to actually get them all done. I don't mind this hugely. It forces me to be more personal with each tree, take my time and enjoy just playing in the dirt. Hey, he does, why can't I?

Oh, I almost forgot something:
4) a shower waiting, because he will be *covered* in dirt by the end of it all.

So, what am I using? I'm still working on getting my "ideal" soil recipe down. Will that ever happen? In theory.... maybe. Different trees get different soils, but the general components that are used to make up all of them include:
-Turface (because akadama around here is more than I can afford for the number of trees I'm repotting)
-Lava rock
-chopped Sphagnum moss
-fir or pine bark
-pea gravel/granite chips

Haydite this year? We'll see where it finds a place. Tom and Eric will also be digging up something like 200 field grown trees this year, and I'll admit I'm waiting with baited breath to see what's available and bring something home with me when the time comes. The haydite is just gravy.

In other news, there are two new links on the sidebar to bonsai blogs. I recommend them, drop by and take a wander through. Both have good information, pictures, personal bonsai journies, all of which equals a good read to me.


Stone Monkey Ceramics said...

Hi Heather

Loved the comments about your son wanting to help with the repotting. My daughter is exactly the same when I repot my trees, she wants to help out so bad and she is 8 this year, she loves it but still gets in a mess, and that means trouble from my ex-wife, but hey its worth it. Hopefully I can encourage her down the ceramics or bonsai route when she is older. Its funny really as parents you always wish you kids could take what you do one step further.

Hope your well

All the best