I’m not exactly certain as to how old my Chinese Elm bonsai is. I know it’s the oldest bonsai I have in my collection, but I am not the first owner so I can’t be sure its exact age. Lets just say it’s old and leave it at that. Old enough for me to have been afraid to repot it for the last few years. Today is the day where I must get over that fear and dive in head first.
It’s growth has been stunted the last year and a half, so I just know that the pot it getting root bound and the soil is spent. It’s time to sh*t or get off the pot, if you will. So, with that said, let’s dive in!
Here it is in its shabby state.
Try to ignore the wild growth on the left side, I’m trying to create some new branching so it’s gonna look unsightly for a while. Notice instead the general lack of foliage and the shabbiness of the soil. Gross!
Day I: In which noodle was scratched and there were many distractions.
Well campers, it looks as though my little experiment in the veggie garden has moved on to phase two. My hope is that the soil has been rejuvenated by my planting back in November of buckwheat, ryegrass, clover, oats, rye grain and valley peas. Deep root plants as well as nitrogen fixers have been working hard over the past few months replenishing lost nutrients from the previous year as well as aerating the soil to make room for new roots. You can learn about how I began this process, as well as some more info on green manure, in the first part of this project found here.
Using green manure is a new practice for me. The San Diego summers get awfully hot in my neck of the woods. I’ve been trying to combat this hot dry weather with some grey water reclamation and micro irrigation systems. Now that the soil below the surface has been treated, it’s time to move on to above ground. The plan was to chop up everything and use it as a mulch to help lock in the moisture and eventually break down into a nutrient rich compost.
I’ve basically just let it grow over the last few months. And it definitely did just that. Check out this vigorous growth!
Well that was a fast batch of rich compost! I didn’t think it would break down so fast and at such a large amount. I first tried this method back in October 2014 when I wrote an in-depth article about how to make fast and easy compost. You can read that here. Well, as it turns out, I sometimes know what I’m talking about! Huzzah to being right. Sometimes… Continue reading “A Fresh Batch of Compost: The Three Month Cook”