1 May 2019

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - May


MAY 

Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
May
76,7
80
6,3
20
9,5

POSITION
Some showers and cooler weather are on the way. Some bonsai may have to be moved into sunnier spots or shade cloth may have to be removed.
WATERING
As usual watering needs to be watched, especially if the weather is cool and overcast but no rain has actually fallen.
FERTILISING
This is the last opportunity for feeding as with lower temperatures and shorter days plants do not take up much in the way of nutrients.
DISEASE CONTROL
Many pests are going into hibernation but snails and slugs are active.
PRUNING
Do not prune deciduous plants as stimulating growth is undesirable in winter, plants need a rest period.
POTTING
Too late for autumn potting and too early for deciduous trees.
REMARKS
A balmy month as a rule and the last chance to mix soil in reasonably dry conditions. Mosses are starting to appear remember to leave small pieces when collecting so that regeneration takes place. 

18 April 2019

Easter trading hours

We are open everyday over the long weekend from 9am to 4pm. Happy Easter and Chag Sameach!

1 April 2019

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - April


APRIL 
Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
April
55,5
76
7,8
22,8
11,8

POSITION
Early autumn and a delightful time of year; some showers may be expected. The sun is no longer so fierce and days are getting shorter.
WATERING
Bonsai tend to dry out and watering is still a priority.
FERTILISING
Fertilising has to be done diligently if bonsai are to do well and to promote autumn colours.
DISEASE CONTROL
Pests are active and control is necessary.
PRUNING
Maintenance pruning may be done this month.
POTTING
Nearly all evergreens and figs can be safely potted at this time of the year. Post potting recovery is usually good.
REMARKS
As the days get shorter and the weather is milder it is an agreeable time to be in the garden.

1 March 2019

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - March


MARCH 

Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
March
22,1
73
9,5
25,3
14,2

POSITION
Days are clearly getting shorter but it is still hot and mostly dry although we may have a shower now and again if we are fortunate.
WATERING
The bonsai grower’s most important task is correct watering.
FERTILISING
Late summer is a vital time to feed so that bonsai remain healthy and strong and so that they build energy to enable them to flower and store carbohydrates for winter.
DISEASE CONTROL
Pests are very active and there are more and more types appearing as countries borders become easier to cross see remarks made in February.
PRUNING
Watch the apex of trees, they tend to become too heavy and are the easiest part of a bonsai to neglect as far as pruning and shaping is concerned. Design and maintenance should be a priority.  
POTTING
A number of plants may be potted in late summer or early autumn and recovery, aided by Superthrive is usually efficient. This is also a good time for propagation. Dip cuttings in Dip-n-grow before rooting in a mixture of vermiculite and perlite. 
REMARKS
A good time for bonsai and those responsible for their maintenance. Prepare soils mixes as once the wet weather sets in it is difficult and unpleasant to work with soggy soil and compost.

1 February 2019

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - February

FEBRUARY 
Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
Feb
18,0
71
10,6
26,3
15,5

POSITION
This is the hottest month in our area and rain is very unlikely. Winds are infrequent but when they come they are very drying and blow what little humidity there may be away. Days are long. Long cool drinks and chats are the best way to spend evenings.
WATERING
Watering is the most vital job right now and forgetting, even for one day may be fatal!
FERTILISING
It is now very important to fertilise with nitrogenous fertiliser in order for trees to build up a good store of carbohydrates (energy producing sugars). This stored energy enables plants to put on good vigorous growth in spring and prevents die-back of small branchlets.
DISEASE CONTROL
Pests are particularly active so be observant. If a tree looks unhappy and if you do not know what is wrong seek help. Mites are active, they love still air.
PRUNING
Maintenance pruning should be kept up to date as in the next few months it may not be advisable to prune vigorously for fear of stimulating growth in winter. It is now still mid-summer.
POTTING
Figs and a few other evergreens may be potted if the day is not too hot. If it is absolutely necessary to pot a deciduous tree de-foliate it first. 
REMARKS
This month and the next are the best time to take holidays in the Western Cape the weather is mostly rather settled and warm, good weather for outdoors. Look for stones and collect soil and compost for your mixes ready for autumn potting which comes round from March to May.  Go on a suiseki hunt, rivers are often running low and stones may be exposed.

1 January 2019

Bonsai Things to do in Cape Town - January

     JANUARY 

Month
Mean Rainfall mm
Rel.  Humidity %
Daily Sun­shine Hrs
Temp. Max Celcius
Temp. Min Celcius
Jan
11,6
70
11,1
26
15,7

POSITION
Long, hot, windy days, trees need protection & must not be allowed to dry out.
WATERING
Humidity is low, mist and place containers of water between trees to increase humidity. Trees that dry out may suffer leaf burn and die if left dry for too long. Watch watering carefully.
FERTILISING
Some trees, such as maples suffer from a combination of drying wind and build up of sodium in the soil which makes it difficult for them to take up moisture. Try sprinkling a small amount of gypsum on the soil and water well. All the watering causes’ nutrients to leach out of the soil so fertilise regularly. Fertilise flowering plants with 3:1:5. 
DISEASE CONTROL
If trees are stressed use Superthrive in small doses to help them cope. Pests and diseases may be slightly less prevalent during these low humidity days but watch for them anyway and spray as necessary.
PRUNING
Maintenance pruning and nipping needs to be kept up and wiring may be done but watch lest branches thicken and cause wire scars. Strong growing and healthy deciduous bonsai may be de-foliated early this month to encourage a second growth season and to reduce leaf size.
POTTING
Figs may be potted now but it is too hot for most species to be potted.
REMARKS
A nice time of the year to get out and about, collect stones and rocks and even compost and gravel for mixing soils. Mosses mostly look unhappy during this time of year due to low humidity. Try to mist spray bonsai often. 

28 December 2018

Telephone problems

Unfortunately we are still being let down by cellular connectivity in our area.  We are available via Facebook messenger on the Bonsai at Bishopsford South Africa page or email bishopsfordbonsai(at)gmail.com  We are open 7 days a week from 9am to 4.30pm except New Year's Day 1 January 2019.