Watering BS

sorce

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Soggy soggy
Wet wet
Leaving you to fret fret.

Inchy inchy
Dry
Poke a chopstick in your eye.

Moist Moist Moist.
Now that's not even a Soil!

So tired of this I am....

Fittin to wrap my head in foil!

----

Can we quit this Bullshit?


"Water when the first half inch of soil is dry."
-but what of my half inch deep pot?
-what of my fresh layer where the first half inch is crucial?

"Moist but not wet."
-sure! I will remove each individual soil particle and mist it to perfection and return it to the pot!
-I will water, then break out the blow dryer and blow the wet out!

Those are just a couple things that drive me nuts because they are contradictory, and/or impossible to control*, and worst, spat repeatedly by folks who already use and understand what a sustainable bonsai soil is.

Let's be absolutely clear that our entire objective is to get a tree into
Sustainable Bonsai Substrate.*

(See Boon Mix, Walter Pall Mix, any pro Mix.)*

At that point over watering is more or less impossible.*
We are then following the "refined potted" rules.

Yes we can grow trees out in any number of substrates, in many containers. But there is no substitute for a sustainable bonsai soil for a refined tree in a pot. Those who say there is, don't comprehend sustainable for the hundreds of years it stands for.

Collected trees are to be put into Sustainable Bonsai Substrate straight away, or over time, at which point we are aware of what soil type and amount we left in the core where, and have a plan to deal with it.
This is also a process learned elsewhere.

So we are left discussing the good old Classic....

What should I do with it?

Nursery Stock!

So long as you don't put a tree in a container with no drainage, and fertilize it with dog waste, a quick observation of general nursery practices provides you with enough knowledge to be confident you will never kill a tree by over watering.

So as we now mindlessly water everyday.....

We can observe some differences in types of soil you find in nursery pots.

Random Sorce Rant on thoughts you should be thinking for yourself......

My 12 home depots get stock that I use from about 10 or twelve different nurseries across the states. Some from Canada in fall.
Gardens Alive which operates in Carolina, Michigan, and a couple other states. One in Oklahoma. Haven't seen any more of those Procumbens from Florida....go figure!

They all have different soils, some topped with other soils, some clay, some sand, some standard nursery bark.

No particular tree comes in different soil, however, different trees can remain in different soils for longer periods of time.

A boxwood in Clay can be hosed bare root, but the hose can damage bark. Balance. How long to leave it?

A conifer in Clay should be HBR'D (half bare rooted)
Or eff rooted and hosed straight away IMO. It aint gonna last.

Gotta lift it out of the pot and investigate.

Once you know what you are dealing with its not a matter of how much or when to water.

It's a matter of.....

How long can I water this soil situation constantly, as in, once or twice a day, before I must get this tree into a Sustainable bonsai Substrate?

So these Boxwoods that Do have this lower better nebari spread like Larry said, (in fact, most trees do)....
When in Sandy Barky soil..you can use a trick like Grimmy is doing with the serissa and slowly dig down over time, till you get to the spread, then pot proper in good soil.

I been digging down to find the spread and good surface rootage on things lately, then shaking the nursery soil out of the first inch or so and replacing it with DE.

That Black Hills Spruce I been literally watering the shit out of in nursery soil for 2 years had only a half inch or so Matt of feeders at the top, and everything at the bottom was dead. It is doing fabulous!

However, I don't even think it was the actual root rot fungus that killed the roots. More likely just too much water and high pot Temps.

I'm starting to utilize AUTO DEATH OF THE ROOTS WE DON'T WANT ANYWAY !

The Daily drying and watering of the surface roots we intend to keep for our shallow pot are going to avoid getting root rot.

Why the concern to avoid this process Mother nature and physics is handing us as if to say....

"Have your Bonsai, and proper roots too!"

Auto root death assistance has successfully helped me twice on accident.
I reckon being aware of it and utilizing it on purpose can lead to nothing but better success.

.............

I'll try and play nice but I will dissolve all stated myths with facts 10 thousand people can observe for themselves.

That said...

1. Arm yourself with knowledge by removing the tree from the pot and seeing beyond the "excellent soil on top".

2. Use that knowledge to devise a feasible timeline to get particular tree in particular nursery soil into Sustainable Bonsai Substrate.
1-900 years!

3. Water Daily and stop Worrying about Bullshit!

Water usage is a legit worry.
My rain collection system was built for free and has been used exclusively this year.
Live in the desert? Build a bigger collection and storage system.
Dude has a 5k gl reservoir? @Shima
Yeah....figure it out!

My permanent system will include a watering water catch system that will be utilized till the absolute last drop of evaporation.

Don't say I can't water daily.

Ask how it can be possible for free nearly anywhere with appropriate forethought.
With cheap or free materials, that will have themselves paid for by season 2.

I gotta go kill some roots!

Sorce


















 

M. Frary

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I don't know what you're really trying to convey.
Moist but not wet means the soil is moist but there is no standing water.
Conifers in clay don't need soil changed right away. They've already been growing in it for years.
Auto root death means the tree has abandoned the extra roots. It doesn't really need them. That's why it's OK to saw half off of the bottom of a rootbound nursery tree.
I water all of my trees every day. No matter what they're planted in. Bonsai soil,nursery soil and field soil of collected conifers. I also fertilize every tree the same too.
I don't pull them to check the soil. I just hose them until it runs out of every hole.
 

A. Gorilla

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I observe my trees in visible and invisible light (beyond both infrared and ultraviolet). I have a number of little radio telescopes positioned in them.

Don't be an ass. I need to know the state of each particle. It's not that hard with Excel. I start data entry at 8pm and I get through most of it by 1130.

What's your excuse?
 

Quince

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Source, totally digging this new no BS approach to bonsai orthodoxy; or at least the regurgitated nonsense that we pass around to beginners like some kind of koan.

At risk of bogging this down I would like to add my 2 cents.
I believe that watering more often than necessary, when you suspect part of the rootball is saturated, when the top is still wet from yesterday is a risky practice. Sure root pathogens may be unlikely to spread to the whole root mass, but they can and do. Why not take "control" of the process and chop off the unneeded roots straight away.
In a garden center some of the plants are mindlessly wattered once per day, other things require monitoring. When I stick my finger in a pot and the soil is evenly moist, I don't want to mess with that. Those roots have access to all the oxygen that they need.

I also try to be sensitive to the needs of roots in heave clayish chunks, by letting it dry over several days, and then watering several times in one day so that the rootball has time to absorb the water and does not end up with wet and dry spots.

When I have an up potted tree with large areas of mix that have yet to be colonized by roots, I will occasionally give it a light watering, just the top few inches, so that the entire root zone is in a happy place.

My watering skills are far from perfect, but paying attention to the specific needs of the plants in my care has worked for me.

And in general....

Ask not, How much should I water this tree? But rather, How often does this tree need to be watered?;)
 

Anthony

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Once in the even, before 5
This will help re-establish, and keep it LIVE!

Twice in the morn and sometimes see the water pour.
Through drain holes , oh galore.

Uncle Sorce uses a watering can;
He has mus-culls like superduperman.
BUT NO blue tights ----------- perhaps in the buff,
then again the neighbourhood he lives in may be woosey, and not tuff.

Please send all cheques to Poets Alive-o.
Anthony
 

sorce

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We have Walter Pall and Eric Group to thank.

Deeper!

Yet simpler!


watering can

I've moved on from 2qt V8 splash bottles to these higher capacity, more quiet, easy to squeeze versions!
20170924_092534.jpg

And quite the deal at Walmart for $4 a 2pack!

I got three, that white one was good but it is too loud.

I respect my neighbors while mandatory watering at 4AM!

20170924_092541.jpg

@Quince I share many of those thoughts.

Specifically this...
When I have an up potted tree with large areas of mix that have yet to be colonized by roots, I will occasionally give it a light watering, just the top few inches, so that the entire root zone is in a happy place.

My watering skills are far from perfect, but paying attention to the specific needs of the plants in my care has worked for me.

And in general....

Ask not, How much should I water this tree? But rather, How often does this tree need to be watered?;)

Because a "light watering" fully goes against the Ask Not!

But they are both absolutely true and display how exing bullshit and tending to specific trees with observation is The Perfect Path to Perfect.

Bogging Down? Not at all!

As long as folks pay attention without paying attention!

Sorce
 

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Paradox

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My trees get mindlessly watered by my spinkler system every day. I just check to make sure it's working correctly in coverage and duration so the trees get enough water.
 

coh

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I don't know what you're really trying to convey.
Does anybody ever really know what he is trying to convey? :)

Every so often I force myself to trudge through one of these posts (the first one in this thread) but each time I come to the same conclusion. We must just operate on different wavelengths.

Anyway, my conclusion after about 6 years in this bonsai game is that watering is not nearly as complicated nor as simple as different people make it out to be. Ultimately it is something you have to figure out on your own, based on how your trees respond in your soil mix(es), your environment, and the species you grow. Can you get by watering everything the same way, such as every day with a timed system? Probably, at least until you can't. Most pros say that watering "correctly" is important and not easy to learn, and that you shouldn't mindlessly apply the same amount to every tree every day. Maybe the trees will survive that way but not be as good (healthy) as they could be. Maybe it's more important for more developed/finished trees than for rougher stock. I'm not sure...I have the luxury of working at home and being able to water pretty much whenever necessary, and more and more I'm finding that not all trees need to be (and maybe shouldn't be) treated the same. But then I see people like Brian VF and Dave4 and Sergio who I think all have automated systems and their trees look great, so what do I know!
 

Anthony

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Perhaps the most sensible response ------------- @coh ,

"something you have to figure out on your own "

Probably the why of -------------- 3 to 5 years to master ------------ if watering everyday.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Anthony

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The idea of watering by hand, is simply this ----------

as your sensitivity grows with regards to refinement and feeding, too much water works
against the technique of Bonsai.

Too much growth, too large leaves and too long internodes.

If you observe the work of a Master, his internodes are controlled, the correct thickness,
leaves are all mostly the same size and not pruned to look so.
Working with nature is easier that having to turn round to do extra work.

So if you never master watering by can, well...............................

Over watering also invites insects and, sick soils are the start of the end.
Good Day
Anthony
 

sorce

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Over watering also invites insects a

On this side...;)

I get a lot of wasps, still, they look for the water at the same time of day, on the weekend they are there before I water!

The fish, which since growth began again, I've been using almost every other day....

It attracts flies, which attracts spiders, and they are working diligently.

My bug vs. Bug and health vs. Fungus approach is working!

I been foolishly smashing predator mites for years, now that I have them properly identified, mites haven't been a big problem either!

Every tiny Web I have been able to follow to a tiny spider!

Sorce
 

sorce

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You feed your trees alplejuice? Sweet
CW

Cider Water.
Constantly Wet.
Cool Wind.
Creative WTF'S.
Colonial Wasabi.

Yeah ok that's enough!

Sorce
 

Anthony

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Sorce,

for us the compost does it all. The 1/3 strength Lawn Fertiliser [ Miracle Gro ] into moist soil, gives good plant
resistance to hot, dry sunny weather.

The growth is apparently bitter to insects.

Next year, seeing that many trees are in the finishing stages of refinement, so we are testing 1/4 strength
which would bring us to around 9 N [ still a bit more that Oil seed cakes 6N ] to see if that works better.
[ so we could still drop to say 1/6 strength Lawn fertiliser ]

What did not work was that Compost Tea, ended up this year with elms losing branches as the year came around
to May/June.
Never had that happen before --------------- no more compost tea experiments.

The inorganics cannot be harmed by root pressure so the cores of the trees should remain stable.
The compost as it further ages glues itself naturally into shapes similar to the inorganics at 5mm.

Will let you know if the trees really need to go to 3 mm inorganic soil as they further age. For even more
refinement.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Dav4

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Does anybody ever really know what he is trying to convey? :)

Every so often I force myself to trudge through one of these posts (the first one in this thread) but each time I come to the same conclusion. We must just operate on different wavelengths.

Anyway, my conclusion after about 6 years in this bonsai game is that watering is not nearly as complicated nor as simple as different people make it out to be. Ultimately it is something you have to figure out on your own, based on how your trees respond in your soil mix(es), your environment, and the species you grow. Can you get by watering everything the same way, such as every day with a timed system? Probably, at least until you can't. Most pros say that watering "correctly" is important and not easy to learn, and that you shouldn't mindlessly apply the same amount to every tree every day. Maybe the trees will survive that way but not be as good (healthy) as they could be. Maybe it's more important for more developed/finished trees than for rougher stock. I'm not sure...I have the luxury of working at home and being able to water pretty much whenever necessary, and more and more I'm finding that not all trees need to be (and maybe shouldn't be) treated the same. But then I see people like Brian VF and Dave4 and Sergio who I think all have automated systems and their trees look great, so what do I know!
I only use the automated system when I'm away, maybe 3 weeks out of the year at most. I like to hand water, though it makes my typical morning a bit frantic at times. Also, I tend to water everything- stuff in turface/pumice, turface/bark, akadama/lava/pumice, soil conditioner, etc.,- once a day, unless I the soil is staying wet AND I think it's causing a problem. Easy peasy...
 

Victorim

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I've only watered twice in the last seven days ( bar the few bits in the green house). No wonder pines are rare around here. Soaking. Inorganics are massive leap to me.
 

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