To my fellow bonsai enthusiasts,
This stream, the interview with Randy Knight, for me is amongst the most influential and enlightening video stream in the archive to date. The information presented during the broadcast… simply speaking is invaluable.
I am not a collector by any means, though I do my share. The majority of my material is developed from seedlings, nursery stock, gifts and “yardadori.”
Several aspects of recovering field grown material and their transition into bonsai is applicable to all states of growth, development and even refinement.
Timing of collection, watering (method, frequency, timing, queues), fertilization, potting materials (container size, shape, material, planting medium), micro environments, sun exposure, and more!!!
This stream is the gold mine, even for non-collectors. Covered is pertinent information on how to nurse your tree back to health after triaging (assessment of the problem) and proactive solutions.
For anyone growing or developing their bonsai, this is worth more than the specimens weight in gold!
Let me begin this discussion with the following ideas… Containers and potting media. Feel free to contribute or inquire add appropriate.
It appears colanders are not highly valued due to their design for straining foods and integrity of materials over time. I personally have used pond baskets for the last decade and they work great! I source them from Home Depot for around $2.50 each which given that usually use them for 5+ years is a good buy. I use 101010 square baskets and generally fill them with haydite and sifted pine bark or mulch.
So now I’m still on container and planting media, colanders do definitely have problems with instability and integrity over time. However, pond baskets, are designed for use in the great outdoors. I would love anderson flats but they are hard to come by. I also feel pond baskets are superior due to increased oxygenation to the roots and substrate. I can also easily adjust the height of container by trimming. Their limitations in my opinion is that I have never found anything larger than 10" and that could be problematic if the specimen is larger and the roots exceed the space available inside pond basket.
My typical pond basket mix is mulch/bark and haydite of varying degrees to prevent overdrying. This works great as the bark/mulch has water retentive properties and a relatively high CEC which if you all are studying is good to retain nutrients that the plants use for growth. The haydite is basically inert and has some minor water retentive capacity.
I have almost all my developmental material placed on the ground over mulch beds for the reasons started in the stream. They simply recover quicker, resist extremes in heat or cold better, when roots escape the growth is superior, and can be grouped together for plants with similar needs. During the heat of summer I also place some of my finished bonsai inn the ground as well.
There is so much more to be discussed, please feel fee to chime in! I’m sure we all love to hear each others insights and grow together. Not just our bonsai but as a community.