Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Root pruning


I love the smell of roots in the morning...

Give a girl a sharp saw and then stand back.

It was time. Again. To prune the fig tree. A year after its last operation its roots had packed the small pot. Until we move to a larger space this is where the fig must stay.


Special equipment required: a short, sharp saw. This one folds, and is  made by ARS, Japan. I love it. My other favourite is a Felco.


If you like dense chocolate cake you should enjoy root pruning. After sawing all the way around the root ball, to the depth of the pot, I wiggled the tree out carefully, having shaved off about three quarters of an inch. This is not science for me - I am no master bonsaier - rather, heart-in-mouth guess work. Cut no arteries, work on the veins and capillaries, trusting that new feeder roots will grow into the soil that I replace.


Below, the roots that had wrapped the tree. New potting soil, a little food, water, and a prayer. Please be well, fig. I love you.


Since I had the saw out and had already messed up the stone table, it seemed a good idea to tackle some strawberries, too. They reproduce like rabbits.


And the chives in their coal scuttle. Why not? Looking at root bound plants always makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable, and when they have all been repotted, I'll breathe more easily. It's like tucking them up into nice, fresh beds with clean sheets.


It's spring. Let the growing begin.
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