Bonsai Blog

Sprinklers attached to top of each table

Bees, Bees and More Bees

Well I’m back from my hiatus from the hot weather here in Texas that makes me want to do absolutely nothing except what has to be done, and for bonsai that just consists of watering three times a day and nothing else as far as I’m concerned. The trees fared rather well during the hot dry heat which is more than I can say for myself. The three times a day watering is a must with the type of soil I use, and especially since half of my collection is JBP which of course means they are in full sun constantly and have a really good free draining soil.

My wife is a big help when it comes to watering that often because while I’m at work, one or sometimes both of the three times a day watering is left to her to do. This really hasn’t been a problem for her up until the bees started showing up. If you recall in one of my last blogs I mentioned the problem I had with my neighbors bee keeping hives right behind my house. Bees need water too and they found a paradise only a couple hundred feet from their nesting place in my bonsai moss and soil.

My wife made it plain to me that she’ll water the trees when I can’t up until the time she gets stung, after that I’m on my own. For the most part these bees are pretty docile and will only buzz around your head during watering, but of course there always has to be one that will make life miserable for me and he did when he laid a stinger on my wife’s thigh. My wife is one who says what she means, and means what she says, after that I was on my own when it came to watering. 🙁

I made a deal with her that if she could at least turn on the water which is no where near the trees, I would set something up so she could stay as far away as possible from the bees.

The picture below is what I came up with, and of course little Bailey has to sniff it out and give me his approval, but it’s a three piece sprinkling system that I thought would work if I condensed all my trees together on the days I’m not home for the watering that I must now do myself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The first thing to do was to tie the hoses which also came with the sprinklers, to the tops of bonsai tables.

Bonsai Benches

There was plenty of hose supplied so the extra length was wound neatly up and attached to the back of the tables at the top.

sprinkler hose

Finally each of the three sprinkler units was attached to the top of three of the tables.

Sprinklers attached to top of each table

After connecting the hoses to each end we were good to go. The system worked like a charm. Since I have six tables for all my bonsai I decided to try three more with a total of six sprinklers, one for each table, but as luck would have it, it wouldn’t work. By the time the water got to the fourth sprinkler the pressure started going down and by the time it got to the last sprinkler there was only a squirt of water coming out. So it was back to the three where it worked just the way I needed it. As long as I condensed all my trees together on the three tables, there was no problem.

Now that the heat of the summer is gone and for that matter summer itself is now gone, I can sit back again outside with a nice cool breeze at times and enjoy looking at my trees again. Of course Rosita enjoys spending outdoor time with me too, and she even gives me a thumbs up on her approval of the trees.

Arosa Perched

One bonsai I especially like looking at is this procumbens juniper that I’ve been working on since 2002. I really like the design of it.

While checking my trees one morning, I was surprised to see my little Pyracantha full of flowers.

Flowering Pyracantha
Flowers are something you don’t expect to see in early fall, but then I remembered it did the same thing last year around this time.

Speaking of fall, it won’t be long before I have to start thinking about needle plucking time on my JBPs. Once the new growth hardens off, that’ll be the time to get at it.

I don’t know if you can tell on these two pics, but the new growth is nice and light green now. By the end of November they should be ready for the task that awaits them.

JBP 1

JBP 2

Another big task I have waiting for me is this shimpaku.

Shimpaku

A few years back the summer heat really got to it and it weakened the tree considerably. Branches became very weak and foliage was turning brown and dieing off, especially on the inside. I moved the tree to a more shaded area and didn’t touch it since then except for watering. The few years rest allowed it to come back and now I think it’s time for a haircut. That won’t happen though until early spring. The pic below shows what the tree should look like.

Shimpaku - Old Photo

So make sure you check the blog often to see the update on this shimpaku.

Well that’s it for now. See you next time. 🙂

Thomas J.

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