Back To Basics


Hi, I’m Mike writing on 23 September 2011. I started bonsai some years ago with modest success but sadly got derailed. Although I have added a number of trees to my sad collection over the past 4 years or so my trees for the most part have been neglected. I have repotted most of them at least once in these past years using my own mix but more recently following advice given on a bonsai website I have used Tesco Premium Cat Litter with added garden grit. It was a disaster. I didn’t like the look of it from the start but because it was highly recommended I persevered. It went slimy when wet just as you would expect conventional clay to go. The result was that the clay really compacted, held water and with the severe snow and frosts in the very severe winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 the trees suffered badly with obvious root damage. That combined with my half heartedness almost spelt disaster for many of them  in 2011.

The problem really came to a head for me when a lovely little Deshojo maple started to show serious leaf curl and drying in July. I sent out a distress call to Ian Young, N I Bonsai Society, aka bonsaieejit and he with others in the Society have been very helpful. He has introduced me to Sophisticat, an altogether different product than Tesco Premium.  The result is that from mid to late summer many of my pathetic little trees have been Potted Up in oversize containers using a mixture of Sophisticat  and Grit with a view to promoting fresh root growth.

On Ian’s advice I have lashed them with chicken pellets and HEY, they are already showing signs of improvement.

I have since joined Northern Ireland Bonsai Society and have found a new lease of life. I’m just jumpin mad to get at it.

I have even Potted Up a few trident maples I have from root cuttings I took 6 or 7 years ago and hope for growth next year.   If I had been more zealous they could have been so much more advanced but c’est la vie or at least c’est moi vie.

By the way, on the off chance that anyone might actually read this, time is not on my side as I’m no chicken but it’s a bit of craic.

Winter 2011/12 will be an anxious time. If I can nurse my trees through the winter then Spring offers the prospect of a hefty repotting regime.

All that remains for me to say here is that …. No I don’t suffer delusions of granduer. This blog is just for my own interest and to facilitate record keeping, something that I have never done before.

There must be dozens of people out there just like me with no real talent but lots of interest …… SO HERE I GO

Local Beauty

Why Scrabo Tower, you might ask. Just because I like it and its probably the best pic you will see on this blog.