I recently went to a workshop on field-growing pre-bonsai (in order to fatten up the trunks quicker). And by quicker I mean that you get the desired effect in 3-4 years instead of 8-10 years. All good things come to those who wait, eh.
I haven’t been using all my veggie beds, so I decided to throw some young trees in to see what would happen. I’d paid only $6 for them at a bonsai show, so nothing to lose really. And one was a cutting off my ornamental pear that I’d put into some potting mix one year. Actually, I’d put six cuttings in and one survived. I don’t even know if they bonsai well, but it will be fun to try.
Anyway, with the weather being a bit drier here in Melbourne I haven’t seen many snails or slugs around (I remember last year being on late-night slug patrol for about a month!).
So I put the trees in and about a week later noticed that something had been eating them (see photo).
I’ve been told that holes mean snails and caterpillars eat edges. It looks like I was perhaps getting hit with both – but only on a small scale. I don’t even know if snails eat tree leaves. These leaves are pretty small and soft, though. If I was a snail I’d easily confuse them for a vegetable.
I had some coffee grounds going mouldy in a bag in the garage, so I put big handfuls around the edge of the bed to see what would happen.
It’s only been a week or so, but the trees have been looking ok.
Even if it wasn’t the coffee, at least it will be good fertiliser.