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May Activities

May Activities

Days are shortening, and nights are definitely cooling. As the busy growing times are ending, more time becomes available for updating records, photos, planning and preparing for spring – readying pots, organizing what potting mixes you will need, catching up on bonsai related reading (remember the Club Library).

Watering – Continue morning watering, but adjust for each tree – group similar species together to make appropriate watering easier. Deciduous species in particular will reduce their thirst as they lose their leaves. Note any trees which are not draining well for repotting just before the next growing season.

Feeding – Normally no fertilizing is required over the cooler months. If you are still feeding, low nitrogen fertilizer is appropriate, to strengthen woody growth.

Positioning – Full sun is the ideal now. If you are in a frost prone area, think about a more protected site for your frost-sensitive species for the colder months on their way.

Potting – Check the Green Guide for suitable species. Take care not to be too enthusiastic with root and foliar pruning. As a guide, repotting becomes questionable once the nightly temperatures fall below 10°C.

Styling – As the weather seems to be staying was, still ok, but take care with drastic pruning. Some wiring of your trees is still OK, as the risk of wire damage reduces with the slowing growth. Wire can be left on for long periods, (keep checking regularly, as trunks and branches can thicken moving into winter) and branches may set by the time growth starts again in Spring. Watch for increasing brittleness as trees go into dormancy.

Pest – All trees can be sprayed with a dilute solution of lime sulphur as a preventive. This can be done each May, June and July.