davy
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: essex

group planting

hi all. first time on bonsai forum and also new to bonsai. i want to create a group planting of larches can anyone tell me the best way to mound the soil up and to stop it all running off the sides when watered

TomM
Greener Thumb
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: Cedarville (SE of Utica) NY, USA

Davy, Ahh larch groups and forests !!! Among my favorite things. I don't know how 'established' your larch material is. But basically - when planting the groups into the wide flat tray-style pots that are made for this you will want to set them high by putting extra soil mix 'mounded up' in the planting areas. Pat them in gently. With a fine bonsai soil rake and some light moss slope the soil and grade it downward toward the pot edges BUT leave a shallow edge that is lower than the rim of the pot. The key is not to wash the soil away with heavy watering. The roots will eventually firm everything into place. You can place small rocks into the group to both add interest and assist with the soil retention.

Watering the group can be problematic when mounded higher than the edges. I use a breaker nozzle on the hose - or with a turkey baster. But after the group settles in and moss takes hold it will all stay in place.

If you are planning to put your group on a slab the procedure will require a ring of 'muck' and built up as a mound but that's a different story. I'm hoping to get a lesson at an upcoming bonsai club workshop.

davy
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: essex

thanks very much for your reply tomM. this was very helpful to me will try this :D

davy
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: essex

group planting

TomM wrote:Davy, Ahh larch groups and forests !!! Among my favorite things. I don't know how 'established' your larch material is. But basically - when planting the groups into the wide flat tray-style pots that are made for this you will want to set them high by putting extra soil mix 'mounded up' in the planting areas. Pat them in gently. With a fine bonsai soil rake and some light moss slope the soil and grade it downward toward the pot edges BUT leave a shallow edge that is lower than the rim of the pot. The key is not to wash the soil away with heavy watering. The roots will eventually firm everything into place. You can place small rocks into the group to both add interest and assist with the soil retention.

Watering the group can be problematic when mounded higher than the edges. I use a breaker nozzle on the hose - or with a turkey baster. But after the group settles in and moss takes hold it will all stay in place.

If you are planning to put your group on a slab the procedure will require a ring of 'muck' and built up as a mound but that's a different story. I'm hoping to get a lesson at an upcoming bonsai club workshop.
many thanks tomM lots of help

TomM
Greener Thumb
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: Cedarville (SE of Utica) NY, USA

I hope davy, in the UK, is still visiting this forum. Would love to get an update on this project. Am very much into clumps, groves, groups and forests - especially with larch.

joedes3
Full Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:07 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Great job Tom!

I got my larch seedlings and have 7 planted in a grow box. Eventually, I will plant them into a shallow pot. How close should they be to each other? Do you have to leave room for the upcoming branches?
Joe DeSisto

TomM
Greener Thumb
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: Cedarville (SE of Utica) NY, USA

How closely to space them is your call. Depends mainly on the size of the trees, size of the container, and the style or 'design' you're looking for. But don't make them all equal distances apart. Group some together more and a few farther apart. You want them random enough to be convincing, usually with a number 1 (featured tree) as a focal point towards the front of the group. A well placed stone or two can make the scene realistic.

Find some good pictures for examples. Using those that feature tree types similar to yours determine what styles appeal to you, or not, and use these things as a guide.

Yes, trees in groves or forests will grow together and pruning will shorten branch lengths which will push more fullness through back budding. But that is for later on. First off just let them grow and get established roots.

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”