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Juniper Workshop - Saturday March 9th (18 Feb 2019)

Join our exclusive Juniper workshop feature Leong Kwong.

Saturday 9th March, 2019 10am at the Bonsai South Nursery (114-116 The Boulevarde, Caringbah NSW 2229)
Call to reserve your space – call (02) 9531 4589

Hurry as space is limited! To reserve your spot call (02) 9531 4589 .

www.bonsaisouth.com.au/bonsai-workshop-juniper/

How do I turbocharge this guy

9 months 1 week ago #61516 by Matt
I always thought these were healthy and growing well, until I started seeing some other timeline posts on here. I’d say I have had this fig close to 10 years and while it’s bigger than when I started I have seen examples on these forums of trees that grow more than this in 2-3 years.

I repot every second year, soil tends to be a bit of a mishmash of pine bark, scoria, and potting mix.

I use liquid fertiliser (just something generic like PowerFeed) in spring, summer and autumn but winter I leave them.

They only get about 50% of the day full sun, 30% they are in tree shade, 20% in shade from the house. That’s the most I can give them unless I build an area on the roof.

So, am I missing something? Any tricks to get this growing?







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9 months 1 week ago - 9 months 1 week ago #61523 by Bob R
Hi Mark
I find my figs bulk up best when the roots can escape into good soil. Orchid pots have lots of holes so I use them.
Repot/root trim every year in September then sit pot on garden beds with lots of cow poo added first.
Even one year growth makes for some serious digging getting them out. If space is an issue sit it in a foam box or similar with heavily fertilized potting mix. Its very hard to over feed figs. Even 50/50 pine bark and cow manure in my garden bed they just seem to love. When I cut roots heavily in Sept/ Oct I leave the tree unfertilized about 6 weeks then drop them on the prepared beds and keep the water up. Hope that helps.
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8 months 2 weeks ago #61561 by Matt
So here is my theory...and my plan.

I can’t use solid fertiliser because my dogs make it their life’s goal to dig it out of the pots and eat it. I think the liquid fertiliser only really works for a few days before it gets flushed out, meaning I’m basically starving them.

So starting last week I’m fertilising a minimum of once a week, perhaps every third watering in summer, maybe once a week in winter.

I’ll also be sure to make my soil mix scoria + pine bark + something very nutrient rich like cow/sheep manure. Hopefully mixed in like this will discourage the dogs from digging it out.

I’m open to any suggestions. What if I slurry a solution of cow / sheep manure and water?

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2 weeks 6 days ago #62018 by Matt
Same tree, same angle (thereabouts).

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2 weeks 5 days ago #62020 by JC
Hi Matt

If you are having trouble with the dog, I would get some liquid Power Feed and make sure you add it as per the direction on the label throughout the growing season.

JC
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2 weeks 5 days ago #62022 by Matt
Thanks JC. I’m applying liquid fertiliser far more frequently now, maybe twice a month or so, and I do think I’m seeing an improvement. Funny story, for years, the only fertiliser I used was Seasol, until my brother laughed his head off and told me it wasn’t really fertiliser. Live and learn. When I do my repotting in late winter I’m going to add slow release fertiliser in the soil mix too.

I also think I need to be more aggressive in pruning to get finer branch structures. No point growing one long shoot/branch that will just get pruned off, I need to prune it earlier to get 2 shoots, then 4 etc. I think this will look and feel like more growth for the same amount of time.

I feel like I have a plan, and this nice mild summer should be good for some solid growth.

Appreciate your advice.
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2 weeks 5 days ago - 2 weeks 4 days ago #62023 by Nate
Matt, it might not suit your plan for the tree, but I get good growth by:

a) growing in a much larger pot (or the ground, but I didn’t use to own ground)

b) letting the tree have its head i.e. letting a branch or branches grow unrestrained for 1-2 years. Yes, they basically get chopped right back, perhaps even to their base. But, I don’t consider it ‘wasted’ growth as letting them go like that thickens up the trunks and major surface roots below.

I’ve only really just started to focus on desired branch development, so have started to selectively prune other branches to start ramification on those for the final design, while I let the sacrifice branches go crazy.


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2 weeks 2 days ago - 2 weeks 1 day ago #62027 by Matt
Thanks Nate. I do have two other ficus in big 20l tubs. I could move this to a bigger pot, these guys can be re-potted during summer right? Might help to clean up the roots, hasn’t been repotted for 2 or 3 years now. Give me a chance to boost the soil too.

EDIT: Ok, moved this one into a pot about the same depth but way bigger (25cm —> 40cm). The roots, like the top, looked healthy but not as much as I expected. They only filled the top half of the pot. The soil was a bit of an issue - some very fine silty soil caught up deep in the roots so removed a good 80% of the old soil from the roots. Didn’t remove any roots, just ‘combed’ them out all the way around, and dropped into the new pot. New soil is very free draining and I scooped a decent dose of slow release chicken manure pellets through it. A month or two and we’ll see.
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