Watering after repotting

Since the beginning of March I’ve been doing what seems like a fair amount of repotting. Taking nursery stock out of the nursery cans, and mostly putting them into pond baskets for some growing. A few have gone straight into bonsai pots. Some trees have done quite well, but a few have been taking their times to recover. I want to make sure I’m not compounding things with poor watering. I’ve been trying to water them as they need it, as indicated by the soil, but have been struggling with one particular detail. For example, take a pine in a pond basket. I left a portion of the root ball untouched and potted it into a pond basket with a pumice mix. When checking the moisture level of the soil, the pumice mix shows dry, but the root ball is still showing damp to wet. Do I water based on the dryness of the pumice mix? Or wait for the root ball to dry out as well? Thanks.

Water based the dryness of the pumice. That’s where you want to foster new roots so that’s what you base your decisions on.

Thanks. I was leaning in that direction, but wanted to hear it from someone else. :blush:

No. Water based on the dryness of the root ball. That is where the roots are now and you priority is to get them to re-establish. If you water based on the pumice, you will drown the roots. Pines also prefer to be a little on the dry side.