Bonsai in May

This month is still windy. Average high is 79.9 degrees; average low is 50.7 degrees. Record high is 98 degrees; record low is 28 degrees. Average humidity is 28%, lowering by 5 PM to 16%. Start a habit of rotating trees periodically to insure healthy growth all around.

Watering: Water well every morning, hosing entire area on windy days. Keep pines and junipers a little drier.

Fertilizing: No fertilizer at all for any trees just repotted. Wait four weeks before feeding them. Apply some bone meal to fruit and berry bonsai. Continue a regular program for the remainder of the trees, increasing nitrogen content. Change fertilizers periodically to pick up different trace elements.

Spraying: Keep checking for aphids, grasshoppers, spider mites, and white flies. Sometimes a small pinch of systemic insecticide should be added to pellet-type fertilizers.

Trimming & Pruning: Cut back long sprouts, leaving 2 or 3 buds. On older deciduous trees, shoots should be left on until they harden and stop growing. Remove these shoots the following dormant season. Start wiring again, not too tight. Don’t try to wire tiny new growth. The new candles on older pines should be pinched back, but leave the candles on young trees for another month. Do the jin now.

Repotting: Repot junipers and pines. When transplanting a pine, save a small amount of soil which has some white fungus. Mix it with new soil and place in bottom of pot. Pine and this fungus have a joint living relationship.