My Baby Bonsai Forest

On January second, I planted a few black pine seeds as a symbol of starting my life from scratch. I would not have chosen black pines as they are notoriously hard to grow, but they came with a bonsai kit I got as a gift. Oddly, considering what a ungreen thumb I have, all the seeds have sprouted. Now what? Wait, I guess. See what happens. And that’s exactly what I’m doing with my life. Waiting to see what happens. Maybe I should go out and make things happen, but life, as with seeds, often flourishes in its own time, and all we can do is wait and see what happens.


8 Responses to “My Baby Bonsai Forest”

  1. Mary Friedel-Hunt Says:

    Growth IS happening…because of your patience.

  2. Deborah Owen Says:

    I used to own a garden center so I will relate my experience with seedlings. Some have a hard time in life and don’t make it. On rare occasions, I’ve seen whole beds of seedlings die, but more often than not, all suffer, but most live. Each time a seedling enters the valley of death and survives, it becomes “hardy.” A plant that has almost died three times will scarcely succumb to anything except a hard freeze. The hardy plant looks to heaven for its sustenance – sunshine and rain alike, but the silly little thing drinks the noonday sun until it becomes dehydrated. It learns that storms help it survive as it bows to the wind and rain’s driving force.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      So what do I do with my seedlings? Just keep them where they are and wait for some of them to die? How big do they have to get before they start crowding each other and need to be transplanted?

      • Deborah Owen Says:

        I suggest that you research Black Pines first, but the rule of thumb is to wait until seedlings are about three inches tall and very gently pick up a teaspoon or tablespoon of dirt with each one (being sure to keep the soil packed around the roots – so you might want to water them well and catch them at the proper stage as they begin to dry out) and place them in little peat pots that are about 1/4 full of top soil or good dirt. Using the spoon, set the seedling and clinging dirt down in the peat pot tenderly and drop bits of dirt around the sides. Pack it lightly with one finger. Tender is the word for this job. Easy. Gentle. Blow them a kiss now and then and talk to them. It’s true – plants love to be talked to. They will go into shock within a few hours and into the valley of death. Plant them rather deep – about half of the stalk will go under the soil. Put them in a south window where they can get good sunshine. Water them with Miracle Gro plant food, according to directions, about once a week for three weeks. You’ll have to transplant them at least three times and each time they will try to die. If you don’t transplant them, they will surely die. They’ll be spindly, thin, and weak without transplanting. Buy soluble peat pots so the next time you transplant it, you can gently tear the bottom out and drop the whole thing in the next size larger peat pot. I’m glad you have this little project right now.

  3. Linda Nance Says:

    I am so happy that you share so many things, because you do reach out beyond where you are in life with a helping hand to others as you search finding your way in your own way. I wish I had the courage and strength you have. No one can fully know what another feels. They can talk about things from books or classes or that they have heard, but each person is different and you are an inspiration.

  4. careann Says:

    Deborah has offered good suggestions. In one place we lived I use to start garden plants from seed, giving over the dining room table at a south-facing window for the six weeks or so. Occasionally “damping off” caught some of the new seedlings — that’s a generic term referring to root rot from various soil borne diseases and seed borne fungi. If your little pot is draining well and you’re not overwatering the seeds it’s not too likely to bother you. Your little guys look quite healthy. I hope they continue to do well for you… and your life flourishes, too, as you move along from day to day.

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