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First published 6th March 2023

Hello everyone, how we are already in March…?!


Item 1: New Site
This one is first as it is the least important. But around the turn of the new year I was really getting fed up with the previous two sites (really sister sites on one installation). The sister site idea seemed good at the time, but created front-end problems caused by limitations imposed by the backend. So after some hand-wringing and a bunch of do I really want tos, built the new site The Wollongong Nursery for better or worse. Absolutely no regrets whatsoever, but wow did it suck up too much time! (The old domains will redirect and the old email addresses will continue to work btw.)

With that out of the way I do want to get on with the Ethnobotany/Phytochemistry Something-or-Another Blog mentioned in the previous newsletter. Aiming to map that one out and have a few posts up by late March/early April.

Item 2: New Bonsai Training Pots
For those of you into bonsai, and are already using the conventional Air-Pot containers for that, these new babies arrived late February! Unlike the regular containers, the walls do not have enclosed cones in the upper rows. This gives you plenty of tie-down anchoring points for the branches! Not only that, there are plenty of tie-down options for the roots as provided by the grid bases too!

The 4.1 L and 9.4 L sizes are essentially the small and large seed trays Air-Pot makes, but these are not to spec as seed trays because of the open cones. The 9.4 L is also taller and has a larger volume — but please read further on how to make it closer to the official tray.

The regular small seed tray is already here, but the blue-based 9.4 L large seed tray is otherwise not in Australia except as this bonsai version. Most people including me who are interested in this as a large seed tray (instead of/as well) won’t mind, but in the interests of fair labelling and full disclosure I have (hopefully) marked it clearly as non-spec on the website.

All four may well work for succulents and cacti too. I’m already having great results with the larger epiphytic cacti and other species in the regular 3 L and 9 L containers, and really looking forward to seeing what these shallow ones can do for less deep-rooted species.

Another 'off-label' use for them may be as planting baskets for aquatic species such as water lilies and marginal species such as Cyperus. I’ll be trialling that use for myself and hoping to report good news! Trouble is, I always seem to begin these projects during seasonal transitions and as plants begin to wind down their growth <sigh>. So it may be a few months yet…

Again not spec, but you can move the bases up further in the walls of all Air-Pot containers if it suits your purposes better. For example, the regular large seed tray is really 8 L, not the 9.4 L stated on the site, because the wall is not as tall. If you want an 8 L seed tray, simply place the base up one extra row.

Item 3: New Blog Posts
How Air-Pot Containers Air-Prune Roots
Not so much a post as new and informative pictures that came my way, so I thought them worth sharing!

On Carbon Dioxide
The history of CO2 going back to dot, plus some facts and its importance to plants.

On Carbon Dioxide, C3 Carbon Fixation, C4 Carbon Fixation, and CAM
This one is kind of a follow-up to the CO2 one, but a bit more technical. It may help you understand how and why some plants cope better in hot, dry conditions though!

On Biochar
Writing so much on CO2 for some reason made me think of biochar, which concludes this little carbon trilogy!


Thank you for reading! Please never hesitate to get in touch with any questions either as I am more than happy to help in any way I can.

Best regards,

Kristi Ellinopoullos