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Working in a greenhouse in March is wonderful.
The angle of the sun has changed enough to create a warm, moist tropical environment, with temperatures often getting up into the 80’s. We have been fertilizing and pruning all of our tropical/indoor bonsai and beginning to transplant our hardy outdoor trees. The clocks have changed, and the first day of spring is just around the corner. However with that said the last freeze date for new England isn’t until May 15th.....
As bonsai growers it is more important for us to be in tune with the colder averages than to be mesmerized by these early sunny days. We already have people calling asking 'when do we put our trees outside?' The simple answer is “not yet”.
March is one of the best months to get projects done. Because our greenhouses provide extra warmth and sun we get chores done much earlier than you would at home. We have been extra busy this year because of the warmer weather. Still, the list of “to-do” projects for us seems endless. Here is just a partial list: Transplanting cold hardy bonsai, wiring specimen trees, re-potting specimen tropical bonsai, detail-pruning of deciduous trees, weeding, removing blemished leaves on tropical trees, potting young stock plants into larger pots, fertilizing, spraying for insects and fungus, - and this doesn't include the work needed to keep the store open, including helping customers and teaching classes, and the dreaded behind-the-scenes office work (dreaded by those of us who hate sitting at a desk indoors!)
This is the time of year that tropical indoor bonsai should be finally showing signs of new spring growth. It's time to start fertilizing and making sure they are placed in sunny warm windows. You may also notice a slight increase in the amount of water they drink. The best advice for watering is still dunking your bonsai completely to allow water to penetrate deep into the root ball. The number-one cause of die-back on bonsai is having dry pockets of soil in the roots.
Its also time for you to start planning re-potting projects. Spring is the best time for transplanting all species of trees however indoor trees would rather have warmer weather closer to May. If you are like me you will be eager to get your hands on your trees as soon as possible.
Our class schedule this year is filling very quickly and our new offerings have been very successful. Check out “The Workshop” as an opportunity to get some of your individual projects completed in a small focused environment.