Sunday, February 15, 2009

Jack Pine Bonsai Project

In my first attempt to create a bonsai tree from a palm-sized boxed kit, I have so far been successful. I got the "Mini Bonsai Kit" from a coworker with whom I share my phone and whom is obviously aware of my gardening hobby/obsession. There are four Jack Pine seedlings poking their heads out of the dirt so far! I followed the instructions in the stamp-sized book: First, I soaked the seeds in water for about 24 hours, then placed them in the refrigerator in a damp paper towel, sealed inside a bag, for a week.

The kit also came with some tiny scissors, a very tiny pot, and a preformed peat pellet to be used as soil in the pot. I will be growing my seedlings in regular little 3" pots for now though. When they are a little bigger, I'll move them to some little ceramic bonsai pots I already own. After browsing through Google images, I see that I may have a fantastic bonsai specimen in about 100-300 years. I hope my future grandchildren appreciate bonsai.

Apparently you can buy this kit on Amazon.com. I was intrigued by this customer review:
"My son bought this from a Scool book club. It was perfectly sealed,but was missing the Peat Pellet needed for fermintation. A couple of kids in his class bought it. The 6.00 I paid for kit will now become 10.00 when I buy the missing part."

I hope this child is actually attending the "scool" book club, as I hear that reading is beneficial to spelling. Nitpicking aside, I've never heard of bonsai as the ancient art of fermentation. I can't imagine the fermented product of peat and jack pine seeds would even produce a decent beverage, because northern Canadians would have been aware of it by now. And $4.00 US for a tiny wad of peat? Wow. Surely you could collect some dryer lint and housedust, or just go OUTSIDE and find some soil!

10 comments:

Jon said...

Best of Luck with the Bonsai! Have you started any plants yet for this upcoming season (Tomatoes peppers etc?) I like your setup. QUick question - do you find the capilary mat works well the way you have it setup?

Gardenista said...

Jon - yes, the capillary mats (I think from Lee Valley) work well. Now I only pour water at the front of the tray and it wicks to the very back. It's handy, since I don't have to reach through plants and under lights to water each individual container. I would hate to have to go back to the "old way". I don't run any reservoirs with water anymore though. Mostly because I run out of room and occasionally they dry up and I don't notice!

Gardenista said...

Oh yes, and I haven't started any veggies yet. I will probably start them in March and April. I have a hard time finding a place to put vegetables that get too tall while waiting to go outside.

Sandra (Dogger) Klassen said...

Sandra from Candle Lake returning...Greetings!

I also have been creating Bonsai some Tamarack are repotted into rubber pots and wintering in the ground. I found them in a ditch, cut back by a mower. They were growing in a multi clump so they are becoming Bonsai . Indoors I have a Norfolk pine with pebbles in the saucer for humidity. I am trying Jade by pinching back new growth the trunks are strong the leaves getting tiny

http://www.neatorama.com/2007/03/21/10-most-magnificent-trees-in-the-world/

Imagine the visual impack if this was car parts instead of a bike. This is Arborsculpture. My interest in this will be presented to Communities in bloom as I'll meet with them concerning a Children's A.B.C. Garden within the Village site. This fenced area will include annuals from a to zee.. Yes! I even found an X though it bears resemblance to a strawflower. Botannical names are included in the Children's Garden. My plan is to sell my photography through a greenhouse use the proceeds to purchase seeds which the greenhouse will grow. They'll sell what we don't grow.We all win this way!

I hope we get to meet soon as we don't live too far apart, both work or have worked in "Helping Services" We both share an intense interest in Growing without browsers (deer) Please erase my ph number before posting my comments. Sandra 929~4741

Sandra (Dogger) Klassen said...

http://wohba.com/pages/tree0307.html

Arborsculpture page (bike in a tree)

Cheers Sandra

Gardenista said...

Sandra - It sounds like you're making bonsai really work for you in the north. That's impressive. I will seriously have to try make these pine trees work. Also, I wish you success in Candle Lake. A Children's garden there would be a neat idea.

Barbarapc said...

I think that parent wants the juniper kit for that old bathtub favourite, gin. I love doing woody plants from seed. Looking forward to following the progress.

Titania said...

Hi Gardenista just thought to knock on your garden gate to have a look if spring has already made an appearance. I see, while you are waiting for the snow to thaw you have fun with your Bonsai. I have one which is about 20 years old, which my daughter planted. It is some kind of a native fig tree and it already looks ancient. This is probably one of the trees which never look youthful.Good luck with yours.

Anonymous said...

I have that one too! im soaking right now!

Everett B said...

Hey there, glad to see some one else trying out these starter kits! I started mine a few weeks ago and everything was going great until just a couple days ago. At first they were growing very quickly and within a week they went from sprouts that were just emerging from the soil to little one inch tall sprouts. At that point they began to split at the top and growth began to slow down. Shortly after this i noticed that the peat was starting to get some white mineral residue on the sides and among the soil. This concerned me but i didn't really know what to do about it so i let it be. This morning i checked on them and both had gone limp and fallen over, needless to say they aren't doing so hot. I imagine it is probably the water (i live in saskatchewan) and the well water can have a lot of crap in it. However i only used filtered water to water them. Any thoughts?