Beginning of Fall…

With the cooler nights we have seen in late August, we can begin to taper off our ‘hamisu,’ the misting of the leaves in the summer evenings. Now the dew is doing that.

We might also begin thinking about fall fertilizing. I think fall fertilizing is more important for bonsai, particularly developed ones, than spring fertilizing. In Japan more fertilizer is sold for bonsai in the fall than in the spring. If you live in the Pacific Northwest or other areas with a long, mild fall, re-fertilizing the trees is very wise as it is as long and nearly as productive a growing season as spring.

Don’t discount at least some nitrogen in the fall…there is a lot of talk out there about cutting out nitrogen in the fall, but if you’ve been fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers throughout the year the trees will shut down naturally due to shorter day length and cooler temperatures by themselves, regardless of nitrogen. Nitrogen is used in all cell processes; don’t cut it out of your fall fertilizer.

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  1. Michael,
    That’s an interesting side note about fertilizer sales in Japan. Living where I do, the falls are usually long, and I believe in the late fertilizing as well with Nitrogen in my home made mix. Thanks for sharing.


  1. […] growing season in mild climates Here’s what Michael Hagedorn of Crataegus Bonsai has to say about nitrogen and the fall growing season: “We might also begin thinking about […]

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