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A revived forest floor can sprout fortuitous friendships ... the has found more than a few for new non-clonal firs.

Aeration, condensation, drainage all important.

@indie Could you explain a bit more what I'm looking at here?

You revived a forest floor and found these firs, which aren't from clones but just natural growth cycles? Is that right?

@emsenn

Deleted the lawn. Had to re-build some soils, working on em 2+ years; this made the parent trees happy, apparently? Some of the flowers and mulched areas started sheltering baby trees. (Like, a lot of baby trees. I gave several away to my coworkers in the spring).

From what I understand (and it makes sense that), there's more generic variation in bonsai started from seed rather than clone + roots.

What you're looking at is what I found to be an interestingly beautiful condensation pattern on one of the young trees. (We've had some rain recently).

Over the last few days, I've transplanted several of the saplings / seedlings to mixed soils that have better drainage; as any knows, drainage is important.

@indie Tell me more about how you're rebuilding the soil, if you would?

@emsenn

The grass zapped a lot of health out of the great soils here, so mostly it has been a gradual process involving things like:

* working fresh organic materials into the existing soil, sometimes it's homemade compost from leaves and yard waste, but sometimes I'll grab a bag of local topsoil or mulch.

* focusing on an area or two at a time, especially where annuals go

* building up watering mounds and ditches for groups of plants to share watering pools.

My front yard also has a severe slope above the curb; it has been great fun for experimenting and designing some erosion control. I've found the "steppe" solution works pretty well.

I am kind of a short person, so tools are important. The two I love: a nifty Japanese hoe and this weird but amazingly effective thing called "Basic Garden Tool" which is kind of rad. Got it at Mother Earth News fair in Albany, OR 2 years ago. Instead of a standard handle side, they gave me a junior sized one. This thing can be sharpened and works great.

*Genetic variation.

Generic variation would be too vague; trees that live a long time would obviously have longer genetic memory.

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