June sees the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and that means plenty of daylight time for June bonsai jobs.
As the garden starts its ramp up to peak performance, so does the art of bonsai. Trees reach their peak and bonsai events and exhibitions are on most weekends. Be sure to make some time to allow your trees to peak and for you to enjoy what the month has instore.
The summer brings the scent of flowers in the air, a warm breeze and hopefully plenty of sun. It also brings Wimbledon and strawberries, not related to bonsai but enjoyable nonetheless.
So, with scissors and camera in hand, here is our list of bonsai jobs for June.
Look out for…
There are so many fantastic plants and flowers at this time of year. Take time to admire the plants and trees around you, basking in the summer sun.
It’s not just the big flowering plants, hosta will also be at their best during June. Some of the smallest are just 2.5cm tall and the largest around 150cm tall, well worth looking at. I know you may ask ‘but what about the slugs and snails?’
Well you could try the garlic solution recipe to keep them at bay, although you may want to make it outside!
If you grow peonies in your garden, then this is the month for you. Little stops you in your tracks more than the splendid flowers of peonies. Let’s just hope we don’t get too much rain to spoil the display!
As the summer months progress, it will be essential for you to provide shade to some, if not all, of your bonsai trees. The smaller pots will dry out very quickly and that will lead to your tree struggling or dying back. Many trees have been lost due to lack of water during hot weather.
Place your trees in the shade of a garden tree or your house, under a pergola or under a purpose-built structure. It will be necessary to make sure that they’re in the shade when the sun is at its hottest, between 11am and 3pm to be safe.
Of course, simply moving them into the shade will not get you out of the task of watering. And at the height of summer, it may be necessary to water two or three times per day.
Now is the time to ensure that you will have the capability to water your trees throughout the summer. With less rainfall, you need to be sure that you are capturing sufficient rain and it is ready to use when you need it.
For small trees, you can sit them in water for 15 minutes to ensure that the soil is wet through the pot, rather than just the top inch or so. For this we use a grow bag tray filled with rain water, but you should only use this method if you are sure the trees are healthy. Sharing a water source in this manner could allow disease to be transferred from pot to pot.
And make sure you have a hose or a watering can at hand to jump into action on very hot days.
Get out and about
The height of the bonsai event calendar is upon us and for the next few months there are plenty of places to go. Take a look at our list of bonsai events to see if there are any you would like to attend.
The RHS garden season is also in full swing and shows are dotted throughout the summer. You will find bonsai exhibitors and societies at the shows, along with inspiration for accent plants and the garden alike. They also make a great day out, so long as the weather is on your side.
If you keep fuchsia bonsai, now is a great time to take cuttings for new plants.
Remove a new, non-flowering shoot just above a leaf node with a sharp pair of scissors. Trim the shoot to just below a leaf node and place in a free draining soil and water well. Placed in a clear bag or propagator, they should root within four weeks.
It would be advisable to leave the doors open on your greenhouse to regulate the temperature. If you need to keep wildlife out then consider placing netting across the openings.
Take as much time to enjoy your trees and the outdoors in general during this beautiful time of year.
Go to a local park or botanical garden and bask in the spectacle that the natural world puts on. Its not all for our benefit, but we might as well assume that it is.
And there’s nothing better than a fresh strawberry straight from a plant, but if you’re not growing your own, the supermarket ones will suffice.
So we urge to you continue to stay safe during the relaxing of lockdown and continue to get the most out of your garden and bonsai.