Ground Planting in Colanders

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Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Ray M » March 27th, 2013, 1:02 pm

Hi all,
I made mention of this method I use for ground planting in a recent post. I thought I would post a few photos to demonstrate what I do. I have been using colanders for over 20 years for growing on my trees before putting them in bonsai pots. In the last few years I have been trying ground planting using colanders, and it seems to work quite well.

I plant the tree and colander in the ground up to the lip of the colander.

IMG_3230 -2.jpg


The tree and colander can be lifted out of the ground as a single unit. Because the root ball is in the colander it doesn't get disturbed when doing this.

IMG_3239 -2.jpg


Roots with soil still attached.

IMG_3240 -2.jpg


I wash the soil off the roots so I can check what is happening. At this point I would remove all the external roots and put the tree and colander back into the ground. The good thing with this is that you can do this several time through the season. With the main root ball not being disturbed the tree will shoot out new roots. Because of this extra activity within the tree it pushes the tree on much more rapidly than if the tree is just in a pot/container.

Another point to look at is where the roots are coming out of the colander. Take note how the roots are coming out horizontally. This is ideal for getting a flatter root structure. If the tree was in an ordinary pot the roots would head downward looking for a way to escape out of the bottom of the pot. Also, because the roots can grow out through the colander it helps prevent the roots from growing around the inside of the pot.

IMG_3247 -2.jpg


Give it a go. :aussie: :tu:

Regards Ray
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Boics » March 27th, 2013, 1:17 pm

Nice one Ray.

Great post..
One of the fabulous things about growing bonsai is as you get old and decrepit your trees get old and beautiful
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby lackhand » March 27th, 2013, 1:18 pm

Thanks for posting Ray, I'm getting ready to plant some stuff in the ground and this method makes a lot of sense. Off to the dollar store to see if I can find some cheap colanders. :tu2:
Cheers, Karl
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Ray M » March 27th, 2013, 1:24 pm

Hi Karl,
Yes, that's where I track mine down. If you can find a good dollar shop you should be able to get a variety of sizes. I get them from 100mm to over 400mm. You may also find other types of containers that are useful. There are different rectangular and square containers that have the holes in the sides and bottom. I use the rectangular ones for planting seeds.

DSCN0026-3.jpg


DSCN0094-3.jpg


Regards Ray
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Jason » March 27th, 2013, 1:59 pm

Great post Ray! Definately going to have to give this a try :)
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Mojo Moyogi » March 27th, 2013, 2:05 pm

Nice post Ray! If more people in bonsai circles understood the improved quality of roots that you can get using colanders, ordinary nursery pots would be a thing of the past :imo: Extinction is already happening at my place :D

Cheers,
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Ray M » March 27th, 2013, 2:38 pm

Mojo Moyogi wrote:Nice post Ray! If more people in bonsai circles understood the improved quality of roots that you can get using colanders, ordinary nursery pots would be a thing of the past :imo: Extinction is already happening at my place :D

Cheers,
Mojo


Hi Mojo,
Your not wrong. I have found them to be a fabulous way to develop trees. I will take some more photos and post them shortly of other benefits that can be obtained with colanders. Way back when I started using them I noticed that a number of Japanese growers where also using them.

Regards Ray
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby lackhand » March 27th, 2013, 2:43 pm

Ray M wrote:Hi Karl,
Yes, that's where I track mine down. If you can find a good dollar shop you should be able to get a variety of sizes. I get them from 100mm to over 400mm. You may also find other types of containers that are useful. There are different rectangular and square containers that have the holes in the sides and bottom. I use the rectangular ones for planting seeds.

Regards Ray


A great addition of info there. Some of my seeds are coming up now and I've just been debating if I should put them straight in the ground or keep them in a pot. This way is like the best of both worlds. Good bonsai soil to encourage the root growth, but no limit to growing space, and easy to clean up when it's time to start work. Good timing for me! Thanks for sharing, Ray!
Cheers, Karl
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby irish » March 27th, 2013, 3:44 pm

Hi.
Thanks ray, going to place my bonsai pot mix into the colander. And hove a stronger root system, my gums will be the first ones to get this done come early August.

Regards.
Irish. :aussie:
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Ray M » March 27th, 2013, 4:52 pm

Hi all,
Some additional information.

The colanders work quite well in conjunction with water trays. This is a Swamp Cyprus. You can see how the roots have come out through the colander. The external roots could be removed and let grow again.

IMG_4939 -2.jpg


A couple more trees in water trays.

IMG_4943 -2.jpg


This photo is a good example of how the roots will search for a way out. Because this is a pot the roots have gone down searching for a way out.

IMG_4944 -2.jpg


Regards Ray
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Ces » March 27th, 2013, 6:35 pm

Thanks Ray,

Great information on growing in colanders. fantastic post.

I too will be starting my first ground growing operation this spring and as I plan on having larger trees and most of the seedlings i'll be planting are natives I was wondering how I might get over the notorious problems of collecting natives that are well established and this may be the solution.

I have a question... If you planned on growing the trees in the ground for 5-10 years would you use the same procedure? Maybe lift and repot every few years?

Cheers,

Ces.
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Watto » March 27th, 2013, 7:15 pm

Thanks Ray, fantastic information that we can all use.
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Ray M » March 27th, 2013, 7:47 pm

Ces wrote:Thanks Ray,

Great information on growing in colanders. fantastic post.

I too will be starting my first ground growing operation this spring and as I plan on having larger trees and most of the seedlings i'll be planting are natives I was wondering how I might get over the notorious problems of collecting natives that are well established and this may be the solution.

I have a question... If you planned on growing the trees in the ground for 5-10 years would you use the same procedure? Maybe lift and repot every few years?

Cheers,

Ces.


Hi Ces,
This is a very good question. I must say I have never had trees planted for that period of time using this method. That said the following are a few suggestions.

1/ I would still lift the tree and container at least once a year. The main reason for this would be to make sure the external roots are not getting to thick and difficult to deal with.
2/ Maybe each second year you could life the tree and container and replace the container. If I did this I would cut the container off the tree trying not to disturb the root ball to much. Place the tree in a new container. Make sure, that if there is any loss of soil, that you replace it. Place it back in the ground again.

This is a new adventure as far as I am concerned. The ideas are, at this point, ideas. :imo: This certainly would be a very interesting experiment to pursue. Ces, you may develop a new procedure that we can benefit from. :yes: :tu2: :reading:

Regards Ray
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Ces » April 1st, 2013, 10:04 am

Thanks for the advice ray. Really helpful.

The amount of trees i'm thinking of putting in is going up and up, so i might try a few different methods.

If its worth documenting, i'll post some pictures in summer when they've settled in.

Thanks again.

Cheers,

Ces.
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Re: Ground Planting in Colanders

Postby Ellen » April 1st, 2013, 1:40 pm

You get a free colander when you buy 1kg of Brancourt's fresh ricotta cheese from a deli. It costs about $6. I have been using them as training pots but never thought of planting in the ground.
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