This may be a silly question but....

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This may be a silly question but....

Post  jason.p on Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:05 pm

What is the easiest way to remove weeds from the soil?  If you pull them out at first sight the leaves tear off, but leave them too long and they take half your growing medium with them.

cheers
Jason

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

Post  Justin_ on Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:40 pm

Large tweezers, so you can reach the base of the stem easily. Do it when the soil surface is dry so less sticks to the roots as you pull.

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:47 pm

On the other hand, damp soil often allows the whole weed root to be extracted with greater ease. It is also a bit weed species dependant. You will get used to which ones come out easily and entirely at the seed leaf stage (most annual weeds) and which will almost require a repot to eliminate them (deep rooted perennial weeds). Just don't ever try weedkiller, as I've heard recommended more than once!

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:26 pm

A sharp small scissors and cut snip where the root meets the stem.

You can never truly get rid of all the weeds, but the pots will look tidy for 3 or 4 weeks.

I never pull as that disturbs the soil and the tree's roots.

Of course I am talking about short weeds at say 1" [ 2.5 cm ] and not stuff as tall as the bonsai. So it easy to snip them out.
It is relaxing to sit crosslegged on the terrazzo floor with bonsai pot on a thin plywood, supported on a pouf, and you just turn the plywood to get all of the sides. Whilst tending to the tree, weeding etc.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:35 pm

Another strategy is to make sure the weeds are gone before they make seed:D I pull my weeds whenever I see them. I believe pulling weeds "trumps" leaving or cutting them to "preserve" the integrity of the bonsai's roots. I don't believe larger trees are disturbed by this. Mame or Shohin might suffer some, but the weeds take nutrients and moisture; they must go!

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

Post  marcus watts on Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:31 pm

i've used roundup before now on persistent and deep rooted weeds - ie dandelions - just do it carefully and out of the wind - if you are not confident of spraying use a paint brush. (now i mostly use tweezers though) 

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

Post  0soyoung on Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:43 pm

marcus watts wrote:i've used roundup before now on persistent and deep rooted weeds - ie dandelions - just do it carefully and out of the wind - if you are not confident of spraying use a paint brush. (now i mostly use tweezers though) 

cheers

Or, put on you rubber gloves and paint RoundUp on the weed leaves individually - tedious, I know, but it is your bonsai.

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

Post  jason.p on Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:16 pm

Hi All,

Thanks for the ideas I'll try try them all, except maybe the weedkiller (Roundup - really?!)

Cheers
Jason.

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:54 pm

Pulling when the soil is moist (and as soon as the weed is spotted) works best for me, and as far as disturbing the soil goes, that's probably a good thing because after a while the topmost layer of soil in a bonsai pot tends to get a bit crusty and you need to stir it up a bit. 

As far as Roundup goes, I wouldn't use it, but I can see how it could be done safely.  Roundup works on green foliage.  It has no (or very little) effect on roots, wood and bark, which is why you don't use it in winter.  If you could be careful, it could be applied to the weeds themselves and not affect the tree.

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

Post  marcus watts on Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:45 pm

yes roundup can only work on soft green tissue  -woody bark, trunks etc will not absorb it. i spent many long hours spraying the paths and soil between all the specimen stock plants to kill weeds,plenty of times - on potted trees 2 minutes does the tree for a year  and i've used it on virtually all my main bonsai  - one version we get here now sprays a foam so it sticks where you want and doesn't drift in the wind, fool proof Very Happy.

in recent years i'm looking at growing differently - if a tree has a few aphids so what? if it has a few weeds the same, i'm not that fussed until a tree is show ready and then i pull most and top dress pure akadama or moss so it looks pretty

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Re: This may be a silly question but....

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