November - The Beginning of Winter

November -- The Beginning of Winter

Now is the time to begin using a low nitrogen fertilizer such as 0-10-10 on your trees to prepare the roots for cold weather. Although we have not had a severe winter in several years, your trees always need to be ready to withstand temperatures down to 10º F. Adjust your watering schedule to accommodate the dryer, windier season. Too much water on roots which are trying to get ready for winter can induce root rot or drowning of trees. Although dessication is a real threat right now, overwatering can do just as much harm to your trees.This is the perfect time to put up your greenhouse or other shelter needed to overwinter tropicals. Tropical trees must be moved to a sheltered spot when the nighttime temperatures fall below 50º F. Be prepared to provide supplemental heat to the storage area if needed. The cooler weather is also a good time to prepare soil mixes for spring potting and repotting. All components for a good soil mix are available locally and are not too expensive or buy premixed soil from the club. Wash pots and clean your benches now to prevent disease outbreaks and insect infestation in the spring. Order new pots from one of the many online bonsai outlets. Stock up on fertilizer that will be needed in the spring when new growth begins to stress your trees. Check out books from the club library to read over the winter to give you fresh ideas on how to cultivate and maintain your trees. New books and CDs are being added o the library all the time so take advantage of them. Have a good winter and enjoy your trees without their leaves. --Lee Vanderpool

© Fort Walton Beach Bonsai Society (FWBBS) ELF 2017