And now the bonsai bit.....................
Spring is upon us in sunny Cornwall, UK. Some trees have been flowering, the buds are swelling on everything and leaves are bursting from sheaths and hardening off in the sun as the days are getting brighter and longer. Many trees have been repotted so the new soil is fairly barren and the trees are using stored reserves to continue their cycle of life but left in this situation we will be weakening the bonsai as their reserves deplete so it is essential to start adding fertiliser now on many trees.
Organic is king
This actually needs a little more clarification as these days people think of organic products as soil association certified, pesticide free, GM free etc etc but this is not what we mean by organic fertiliser - it means non chemical and formulated with ingredients that have lived or grown fairly recently, although a good fertiliser may be boosted or balanced with trace elements, iron, magnesium and many other items that may be of chemical background - hence why we are using a fertiliser that is not certified organic in the modern sense of the word.
Why use it as it smells ? ......because it feeds the entire pot - the soil fauna and bacteria break it down into raw compounds and these feed the tree - we can improve the bridge between the roots and the compounds even more to improve plant uptake even further with special products like humic and fulvic acids - used in dilution when watering, or included in the feed at manufacture, it just depends how far you want to go.
At the factory we made a fertiliser pellet a few years back and put nothing but the good bits in - results were great from the trees but it attracted too many animals to the pots - urban foxes and big slobbery dogs were the main culprits - it made no difference in our garden as there are no foxes and the dogs are small and cute ! but further afield it made MKI a commercial non starter
One by one I dropped levels and dropped individual ingredients until finding the one key thing the critters were enjoying - we were using a powdered fish emulsion and the lingering traces of this kept the animals going back to investigate. We dropped the dry powder fish emulsion from the mix and the only other ingredient they were loving was the blood powder used to bind the pellets as they came out of our low pressure extruder. We needed to get an outside manufacturer to extrude the pellet under very high pressure to compress it with more traditional fertiliser pellet binders and two days ago the first bulk stock arrived.
Great material deserves decent food without paying over the top
The pellets are NPK 5.1 : 7.2 : 10 and break down when the tree is watered - We use and totally recommend using baskets to keep the pellets neatly in place and it makes removing any spent husk very simple. After 6-8 weeks its time to re-feed as all the goodness will be used up - its worth noting that even when the pellets are broken down the particles are still feeding the tree so no need to add more until the 6-8 weeks is up.
We are doing the pellets in 200 gram pots for customers with small tree collections
£2.50 / pot
500 gram bags are £5.00
1000 gram bags are £9.00
Larger bags on request
Do we practice what we preach ? of course we do - every tree here, stock, customer and personal collection are all fed 100% with these pellets - from the 2 Kimura trees to the £10 chinese Elms they all get the same.
Pellets in baskets work best where there is contact with the soil so here is a little trick to get the most from your fertilising regime - simple isn't it, and neat, so neat I think it may catch on haha
This method gives soil microbes and the pot fauna far more access to the pellets - they break them down and spread the broken down compounds further through the pot - watch where the root tips go too !
Did we compromise the pellets by dropping the fish emulsion powder ? No, we now offer the original fish emulsion in liquid form so you can add 5ml to the watering can once a week and water it in that way - strangely the werewolves don't track it down this way.
500ml - £5.00- 5ml per watering can - BARGAIN bonsai food and one of the very best for controlled growth without feeding to excess - great for keeping pines in control but really green and healthy too.
trees with too many buds - Oh Dear what a lovely problem to have - it certainly makes designing and styling easy
We are busy here on a daily basis but know feeding the trees properly is essential, and it is the only way to progress the trees from year to year. My regime is a fertiliser basket full of pellets - 4 on a 16" pot, 6 on an 18-20" pot etc and change after about 7 weeks. Once a week 5ml of Fish emulsion is mixed in a watering can with 50 ml of humic acid and every tree gets well watered. The only variation to this is the Satsukis -they get all of this plus an overnight soak in a tub of full strength micacle-acid azalea feed......yes its a chemical fertiliser but I use it to retain the acidic pot conditions the trees require due to watering and rain being neutral ph. - The health of the trees here prove what works - we get good colouration, lack of disease, controlled growth and trees that actually progress and improve - its a bit more work than chucking on a few chicken poop pellets round the trees but they're worth it.
watering cans ............... there can be only one !
Happy feeding - any products you need details on or posting just email or visit the shop