Suggestions for keeping soil moist

DaveV

Shohin
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I just moved this summer to a new location and just found a new job. I have been home all summer to keep my trees watered during the afternoon when temps were over 100. Next summer I will be working and will be too far from home to water over my lunch hour. Any thoughts/ideas on how to keep the soil from drying during the hot summer afternoons. I am thinking about making a 5 inch high screen fence aroud the pots and place mulch inside the fence to prevent from drying. I will be home every night to water but not in the afternoons. Any thoughts?????

Dave V.
 

Stan Kengai

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Not sure where you're located, but here in the south, we CANNOT put mulch on our plants in the summer. The mulch harbors too many fungi and other pests and diseases to put it directly onto potted plants that are watered so frequently. The only thing I would put directly onto my pots is sphagnum moss, and even then, I would change it out evey few weeks.
The most effective way of watering when you're not home is to set up a drip emitter system on a timer. They are pretty easy to build yourself and the cost depends on the size of your collection. I have seen kits with everything except a timer at the box stores for under $100. You could probably do a basic system, which would easily water 20-30 plants, for under $150. It's truly a small investment when you think about how much time and energy you have into your bonsai, not to mention what they might actually sell for. Just make sure you change the position of the emitters in your pots weekly.
 

Joedes3

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How about a simple water faucet timer you can get at Home depot?
 

Mike423

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while a drip system might be your best choice you could always place the trees pot's in slightly larger ones. This is a technique I use for some of my Mame trees since their small pots dry out quickly. you could simply in pot the tree into a second pot or use a pot that's more like a tray where it will just sit on top of the second one. this will allow the roots to also grow though the drainage holes into the second pot which will help the tree/s to have a better drought tolerance.
 

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