Schools out for the summer, and that means moving bonsai trees out the ways of errant footballs in our July bonsai jobs.
July sees the height of summer fun, fetes, festivals and carnivals galore. If your local events have a horticultural element, then why not ask the organiser about their bonsai exhibitions or competitions. Displaying your trees can help you to develop new skills and ways of thinking.
Now while most of this month is about fun and enjoyment, we still have plenty of jobs to keep you busy. So here are our July bonsai jobs
Keep up the watering
Thinking back to the long hot summer of 2018, we were watering some trees up to three times a day. It’s important to remember that the smaller the pot and the sunnier the position, the more you will need to water.
So if you haven’t already moved your trees into a shadier position, now is the time to do so. This will help to reduce both the time you spend watering, and the amount of water you need.
And while you’re thinking about watering, why not see if there’s somewhere you can squeeze in an extra water butt. The more rainwater you can capture, the better.
We have included watering in our monthly jobs throughout the summermonths. After all, it’s better to be prepared than risk losing trees.
Keep up your fertilising regime throughout this month. Replace fertiliser pellets where necessary or maintain your application of liquid feed.
Check your stock levels and order more if required, to make sure you have enough to last you through the summer.
Summer fun in the garden is great, but it can lead to damaged bonsai trees if we aren’t careful.
The best option is to make sure that any trees are well protected by being well away from any main games areas in your garden.
Alternatively you could place a movable screen in front of your trees to help reduce the risk of damage.
Make the most of holiday time
July is peak holiday season, so you may be heading off overseas on your summer break.
From a bonsai perspective, it’s great to see trees in natural settings in other countries. Bonsai aims to represent a tree as it can be seen in nature. So why not use the time to observe as well as relax.
You could also check if there’s a bonsai garden or botanical garden near your holiday destination. We visited the botanical garden in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, at the start of the year. It’s good to take inspiration from trees in unfamiliar settings.
Prune fruit trees
It’s best to prune fruiting trees after their main flush of growth, as this is the optimal time to impact their shape and development.
The cuts made at this time of year will heal quicker and be smaller than the same cut performed in winter. And pruning now will also allow more light and air into the tree, to help maintain its health.
If you are pruning to maintain shape, then remove new stems to the point of this year’s growth. For developing trees, prune to two leaves and make your cut just above a leaf.
If your wisteria has grown well, now is the time to reduce the long shoots. Cut them back to around 10cm in length with a view to giving them a second pruning in winter. This will help to promote flowering in the following year.
It is also worth applying a high potash liquid fertiliser to the base of the wisteria now, to help promote flowering even more.
Find your spot
If you don’t already have a favourite spot in the garden, then now is surely time to find one. A place where you can take time to sit and observe the garden and nature around you.
We talk a lot about taking time to enjoy the results of your work. And whether you have a balcony with a few pots or a larger plot, ultimately the point of tending your space must be in enjoying it.
So, find your spot, put a bench, chair, stool or even a milk crate there. Sit back, relax and admire.
July is time to take a break and treat someone special or a great friend to a picnic.
Lay down a rug on the grass, whether it’s in the grounds of a stately home, the park or your back garden. You don’t have to make everything from scratch – a few snacks and cold drinks from the supermarket will suffice.
It’s definitely the thought that counts, and a picnic on a summer day says it all.
What bonsai jobs or events have you got planned for July?