I often spend time organizing the garden toward the end of the year. I’ve found it’s far easier to keep trees healthy when growing similar varieties under similar conditions.
For trees in development, I organize by variety, age, and type of pot. For years I grew trees in colanders on the same benches as trees in terra cotta pots, but I found that the trees in colanders dried out much faster than those in clay pots. This made watering tricky. Separating trees by pot type simplified the task of ensuring each got adequate – but not too much – water.
Cutting-grown junipers in clay pots
Keeping deciduous trees together makes sense when shade cloth is required. I cover most of my deciduous bonsai from May through October.
I follow a similar approach based on stage of development. In addition to simplifying watering, grouping trees by stage of development makes it easy to tell when certain kinds of work are required like cutback or repotting.
Four year-old pines
Five and six year-old pines
The same goes for my more developed trees. Seeing all of my pines in refinement together makes it easier to monitor growth and to time techniques like decandling.
Pines in refinement
Although these ideas may not seem useful when you only have one or two trees of a given variety, they might help one think about what trees need to be healthy in light of the constraints of one’s garden.
Have any garden organization tips of your own? Feel free to share them below!
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