Bonsai Sieve and Planter Construction

Plastic Canvas, Crate and Twine Components

If you can't find preconstructed bonsai sieves, you can also craft them out of plastic stacking crates (the open construction frame type, not the solid box), various grid sizes of plastic canvas, jute twine (you can use sizal twine, but jute lasts longer; you can also substitute wire if you are not using nitrogen-fixing bacteria with your bonsai stock). The stacking crates can be as large as milk crates or as small as the stuff you find at office supply stores for various desktop uses. You cut and stitch panels of plastic canvas with twine or wire to fit the bottom and sides of the stacking crate or stacking file. If you need to block the sides, use slats of cardboard, plastic, whatever, to line the sides before you put and secure the stitched panels to the crates or files. You can also use window screening or whatever else grid you can find. I have to stick to plastics only because I want to avoid aluminum as I am using Rhizobium bacteria with my tropical legumes. Otherwise, you don't need to be as I picky as I am. Be sure to use dark opaque plastics as light and transparent plastics tend to crack over time especially if exposed to sunlight. If you don't have one of those doll or plastic canvas needles to thread the twine, you can easily make one with whatever leftover bonsai wires you have laying around. Make as many sieves in various grid sizes and you think necessary for your bonsai soil needs. And because the crates or files are stackable, you can stack an empty one (or one lined with a trash bag to catch the fine debris if you won't be sweeping it away) at the bottom, and then smaller to larger grids upward. It is also helpful to place the crates onto a sturdy lazy susan, TV turntable of whatever type of turntable you have to help swivel-shake the stackables.

Ernie and I also use plastic canvas lined milk crates to grow all kinds stuff in them so we can see root development and also allow for roots to grow into the ground. Ernie is starting some of his monster pumpkins in the crates this year.

If there is a tall or easy to knock over specimen, I put a cement block inside the crate before placing the plastic canvas box in it. The taller specimens are then planted in the crates and secured to the crates with twine. Foam wedges are used to buffer the weight of the specimen against the twine to protect the specimens from the twine burning into contact areas with the specimens.


Bonsai Table Scraps

Copyright 1997 Havener
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