The Importance of Cleaning Your Bonsai Benches

Keeping Bonsai is no easy task.  There is so much work that has to be done between the beers and the trees directly, that the last thing on your mind is cleaning your bench.  In fact some of us have probably never even thought about it until now.

The benches that house our trees are constantly wet.  They also have many spots that get little to no air flow (under pots, near support legs, etc).  These conditions lead to fungus, mold, algae, pests and many other issues.  I’m sure none of us like things like flies and mosquitoes either!

Now don’t get all OCD and think you have to start cleaning your benches every day.  You don’t even have to clean them every week.  But when they get too nasty, don’t be a bag of dirt……clean the bench!

So what does this have to do with the trees?

Well, the fungus/pests can and will spread to your trees.  The same reason why a bonsai tree should be given time to dry between watering is why your benches should also have a chance to dry if they can.  Less problems this way.

Some would venture to say that if your benches never dry you are over watering….however that is a general statement and depending on climate, bench location, the pot used, and soil media you may be watering just enough.  Some areas of the bench will always stay wet.

Some issues that can arise from dirty benches:

  • Powdery Mildew
  • Mold
  • Algae
  • Pythium Fungus
  • Springtails
  • Gnats
  • Shore Flies

What should you use as a cleaning agent?  Well the same stuff you use on your trees! Neem oil and insecticidal soap.  Use the same strength as you would use on your trees.

The good news is that to clean your bench up, you don’t even have to get down on your knees and scrub!  Nope, just spray and your done.

Couple of things:

  • It’s recommended that you remove all of your trees from the bench your spraying.  This will prevent over spraying onto trees and possible burning leaves.
  • If you insist on spraying the benches with the trees on them, don’t do it on a sunny day.  You will get over spray onto the tree even if you are careful.
  • Wear gloves, the stuff isn’t deadly but can irritate your skin.

Not only will your trees be healthier but your bonsai area will look and feel so much better.

Now go have a beer, Cheers!!!!






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