Monday, 12 September 2016

REPOTTING MY LOVELY OL' CEDAR

I've had this lovely ol' cedar since I was 17....I found it on the rubbish dump at the Nursery I was an apprentice at.  A scrawny bent up looking thing, more dead than alive at the time, but it had something about it that made me "rescue" it from imminent death.

Now 30+++++ years later we are still together.According to the label down the side of the of the pot, it had last been repotted in  2012.
I'd thought it would be difficult to get it out of the large pot as the top was curved inwards.  After raking out the outside edge of dirt I got the old bread knife out and cut straight down, releasing any roots growing into the curved edge.                                                          
Surprisingly the soi was almost bone dry.  The cedar canopy had kept most of the rain off.  Even during the winter I suspect the rootball was suffering from dryness.  It made taking the old soil off quite a bit easier.
The roots were trimmed back quite a bit.  It was soaked in water for about 15 minutes as it was bone dry.
There was only 1 large drainage hole in the pot bottom.  Sometimes if the pot isn't sitting dead flat, water will pool in one side.  So I put a reasonable later of pumice down first to stop the roots sitting in water if this happens.  Then a layer of soil.  This cedar seems to prefer more of a peaty based soil, rather than the free draining bark/pumice/grit type mixes.  It has worked for the last 30 odd years, so I'm not going to change it now.....goes against all the potting mix rules, but it works for this one.
All done......for the first time.  Needless to say that it was now alot heavier than before.  I have learnt to always wait for help when shifting something this size......otherwise you will end up having to repot it twice!   I will remember this for next time in 4 or 5 years!!
 She was put in the shade, with just a bit of sun for a couple of hours in the morning.
This is the view from the top showing just how dense thick and wide the main foliage pads are.  They are just going to get wider and wider unless I keep pinching them back.   It's a darn shame our annual demonstrator workshop was cancelled, I could have done with a bit of expert advice.....oh well, guess its back to looking at You tube and the Internet for some hints.