Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 13th Meeting

Here are some photos we took at the last meeting, Wednesday, October 13th. Alec gave an excellent presentation on Moss and its affects on bonsai, its pluses and minuses, etc. This was a very informative and amusing presentation.

I've also included some of the trees which were on display at our first, informal show. Photos were taken with the painting background and we have to do a better job but here they are. All in all, not bad. But we can make them all better.


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  2. Thanks! I really enjoyed researching and presenting that one.

    While re-potting some of his crab apples recently, Ski Dombrovski offered up his tried and true recipe for top dressing to be used under moss:

    Top Dressing for Growing Moss
    Equal parts:

    a) fine sieved top soil (small granules)
    b) fine sieved akadama (small granules)
    c) fine sieved bio-comp (1/8 inch?)

    These small particulates are the stuff you sieve out of your soil components that you would otherwise toss out, but here they can be re-purposed for great results with moss.

    Place the top dressing components listed above into a small container and shake gently, just enough to mix it nicely.

    Sprinkle a very fine layer of the top dressing with your fingers over your bonsai soil. Mist until moist and this will work itself between the top layer of bonsai soil components, establishing a thin layer of "fines" on top of the regular bonsai soil.

    Mist the back of each piece of moss as you apply it and press in place. The pieces will "stick" readily to the moist surface you've created.

    Remember to leave at least 25% of the surface area unmossed for proper drainage and gas exchange.

    Once the surface is mossed, lightly sprinkle some more top dressing over the moss and mist again. The additional top dressing will work it's way down into the moss as you mist, providing additional moisture retention and structure to the moss layer.

    Gently water the newly re-potted / re-mossed tree and continue to water according to your normal practice. In time, the moss will "grow-in" and look more natural, giving you a wonderful layer of velvety moss under your favorite bonsai.

    If the moss should eventually start to turn brown in places this is normal, just provide a good misting every once in a while in addition to your regular watering regime and the moss will grow back.

    While none of this is earth-shattering stuff, I figured other club members like me, who are still learning and studying even these kinds of basics could get some value from it.