Welcome to overwaterers anonymous. The first step to fixing the problem is admitting you have a problem.
Do you water too much or is your soil mix too water retentive?
Sink a chop stick in the pot and leave it there. When you pull it out and it’s dry, water.
Forever pulling out chop sticks
Very good question. It’s likely a combination of both with a dash of 110% humidity.
Haha, indeed. I should state that I’m just now building my bonsai collection and everything is basically nursery stock. I only have 5 plants in bonsai pots. I still over water even the nursery stock. I at least recognize it now and pay more attention to the soil before watering…as of a few days ago haha.
I’ve got the dried moss ready to go for top dressing creation next spring. Hopefully I can get it to grow. If not I’ll have to try that one thing that I don’t remember the name of.
Bad habits seem more difficult to break than good habit!! Use some indicator that is a visual feedback until you acquire the good habit you are trying to attain. I overwatered the trees, foliage and surrounding benches and cedar fencing.
Results? Fungus that killed off my ponderosa pines, blue spruce and common junipers.
Sad that I had to lose trees to change my behavior.
But change has happened. The pumice and akadama on the surface, and a cut piece of bamboo in the soil halfway to the edge of the pot have helped.
Not watering the foliage is the take away, as well as watering as needed, not on a schedule, seems to have helped. I also do a palliative fungicide, probably treating my worry rather than a disease, but a reminder to me that overwatering carries a significant risk to the health and growth of my trees.
Steal ideas from the best, learn lessons from the mistakes of others.
I’m gonna give the chop stick/bamboo thing a shot. I’ve got a ton of spare bamboo chop sticks from chinese take out.
buy a bamboo round from harbor freight and make your own.
Always wondered where I could buy those. Only time I see them around here is when they’re part of a fountain kit.
One observation, the nursery pots need to be supported up off the bench / ground for good drainage. Unless, of course they sit on gravel, OR if you intend the roots to escape…
2 or 3 large bamboo sticks laid flat do this well. Don’t rot.
I get every nursery / new tree into bonsai soil at the first opportunity.
Correction… last purchase was from Fleet Farm in their lumber area. Called structural bamboo.
Okay, explains why I couldn’t find it on HF’s website.
Chopstick experiment failed. They’re not made of bamboo. I’ll have to search for some.
That’s pretty cool! .
Okay, I found some chopsticks that are made of bamboo at a local restaurant. Forgive the horrible state of the topdressing. This is a bonsai that I acquired that requires a lot of TLC to get it back to where it belongs.
Anyway, I’m guessing that the damp appearance at the base is what I’m looking for. If I don’t see that then it’s time to water?
Pull it out and check for moisture along the whole soil column.
But, if you can see moisture at this level, you don’t even need to go that far.