Steve Valentine with his donated tree at the Del Mar Fair
Photo of San Diego Bonsai Clubs Display
A good potting mix may include a small amount of bone meal and Ironite to encourage development of new fine rootage. There is a difference of opinion as to the value of including cottonseed meal at this time, however we believe that this fertilizer is better applied a month or so later since early feeding can be harmful to new growth.Cottonseed meal is a slow starter before it adds any nutrient benefit to the plant. Repotted plants may be fed as soon as signs of new growth are apparent. A suggested mix is 75% cottonseed meal / 25% bone meal. Newly potted trees should be shaded from direct sun until new growth begins. By moving trees into sunny areas, it will stimulate the growth of foliage. Newly potted trees should first be allowed to develop new fine rootage that can then support new foliage. When new growth is evident, it’s time to begin light fertilization. Full sun encourages smaller leaves and shorter internodes. Early bloomers such as Forsythia, Sasanqua Camellias and Quince develop during early spring months. After flowers have faded, trees are pruned to restore shape, allow new growth and bud setting. Azaleas are bare rooted and repotted in March. Be sure to comb out as much of the old soil or growing medium peat without destroying the fine root system. Incorporate as much new coarse azalea soil mix as you can when repotting to develop strong healthy new roots and improve acidity.
Finally, prepare selected trees for display at the many spring bonsai shows held throughout the state. Select your best tree(s)--be critical of their appearance. Show trees should be free of any infections and should not show signs of ill health. Pots should be clean. Plants surface must be cleared of trash and very heavy layers of moss. Spring is usually the time when most trees look their very best. Remember---- For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Doesnt this seem to apply to bonsai? The best way to escape your problem is to solve it.By Marty Mann