Friday, March 24, 2023
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Three repotting suggestions – Bonsai Tonight

This winter is popping out to be a giant repotting 12 months for me. All through the season, three themes are guiding the work.

1. Work in Batches

To get by as many bushes as shortly as I can, I’m repotting in batches.

When the bushes are younger, I’ll put together the pots, take away the bushes from their containers, do the foundation work, after which set all of them within the new containers.

Young pines

Freshly repotted two-year outdated pines

For older bushes, I’ll attempt to repot teams of comparable species and levels of improvement collectively as I’m more likely to want the identical instruments, containers, and soil mixes. Along with the sensible benefits, I discover it simpler to get right into a groove and choose up on particulars of how comparable bushes develop when working this fashion.

2. Get the timing proper

That is the primary time in years I’ve been capable of be strategic about after I repot. My normal strategy is to chip away at teams of conifers, ideally proper because the buds start to swell, after which I drop no matter I’m doing to repot deciduous bushes after I see the buds begin to open.

Maple buds

Buds beginning to open on Japanese maple

The principle good thing about repotting on the preferrred time is that I might be extra aggressive with the foundation work with out stressing the tree as a lot as I’d by doing the identical work one month sooner (or later).

This may be difficult for anybody with numerous the identical species within the backyard as they have an inclination to begin rising on the identical time. As a result of I’ve plenty of pines, I typically repot them earlier than I see buds swelling as I’d reasonably repot early than a number of weeks too late.

Pine buds opening

New buds on black pine – about two weeks after the perfect repotting time

3. Make huge strikes when crucial

Eradicating excessive percentages of soil might be worrying for any bonsai and should be achieved with care. That mentioned, not eradicating sufficient outdated soil can stop bushes from regaining well being and rising with vigor.

This 12 months, I’m not hesitating to make huge cuts when crucial or dig out pockets of outdated soil after I discover them.

Cutting large roots

Massive cuts on a field-grown black pine

Even good soil can break down and turn out to be compacted over time. For bushes within the center levels of improvement, I’m discovering numerous alternatives to filter such compacted soil so the tree can profit from good soil within the core of the foundation ball.

Young pine

Younger pine after eradicating compacted soil

I gained’t be stunned if I’ve been too aggressive on a number of bushes this 12 months, however I’m curious to be taught extra concerning the actual quantity of root work I can get away with and nonetheless get good progress from the tree in spring.

I’m additionally planning to provide a few of these bushes a break from further work till they’ve recovered. After I take away numerous outdated soil or scale back a big proportion of the foundation ball I make a psychological word to let the tree develop freely till it’s again on monitor and powerful sufficient for added work.

That’s the purpose, anyway, and I’m sticking to it as greatest I can this 12 months.

Are any themes serving to you get by this 12 months’s repotting season? And for many who haven’t began repotting but, do you’ve gotten objectives for what you wish to accomplish when it’s time to repot? Be at liberty to share within the feedback beneath.

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