There seems to be a line of thought that if you buy expensive , then you will get the best tree . This isnt necessarily so , beauty is in the eye of the beholder . You may like the tracery of maples branches in winter or the brilliant Autumnal colours . Someone else may prefer the strong gnarly trunk of a pine . Either way they have to start somewhere . In the beginning most people are strapped for cash . Then this is for you 👍
There are so many items you can use to begin your tree , in the photo above I used a KFC gravy container as a pot and the mayo container as the drip tray .
You can also use egg cartons , but a word of warning they do tend to fall apart when they are watered . No one told me this and I was left with a pile of sludge 🤣 so I switched to yogurt cartons . Dont forget drainage holes !
Now that we have decided on the container , What shall we put in it ? A seed ? , or maybe you have seen a seedling you want to collect ? Perfect , we will deal with seed first . Look for a tree that catches your eye , maybe it has nice coloured leaves or its bark is unusual … now here is where patience comes in . May I make a suggestion . Dont collect the seed until you see it beginning to sprout on the ground , this way you can see if the seed it true to the parent tree .
Alternatively you can buy seed through many seed dealers on Ebay
The next logical way to start is with a seedling . Try to identify the tree you are collecting so you can research how to care for it . Also be sure to check for any disease or mould , as you can see in the photos above one of the trees has blackspot. So leave any dodgy trees where you found them , you want a healthy tree to start with .
Carefully remove it from where you found it making sure to collect as much of the original soil or leaf litter . And place it in your container. So far its cost you nothing , only time .
Let your tree grow for the first year , you may need l larger container after a while , try to use a flat container like the ones blueberries come in and splay the roots out like a spider web 🕸 Cut the tap root back to make the smaller roots multiply. These are the roots which feed the tree .
Because bonsai grow in a limited amount of soil they will need fertilizer. I usually make half strength so the growth isnt too thick and out of scale to the rest of the tree . Dont feed it after August as it will be entering its dormancy phase .
Well that’s all we can do this side of winter , as spring approaches we will return to this subject .
If you have any comments or questions please post them up and I’ll get back to you
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