Summer ‘Soji’

Soji is the term for cleaning up, and in this context, cleaning up the surface of the soil. Oxalis grows like crazy, as does Irish moss (Sagina subulata), and once it takes hold, it is a pain to eradicate during the growing season. These two weeds are my sworn enemy.

Irish moss circled above.

It is important to remove weeds to allow for good watering and air exchange. Irish moss, in particular, keeps the soil wet.

This azalea has gone several years since the last repotting, and the oxalis spreads like wildfire in the off years. During repotting, it is possible to distinguish the tree’s roots from the white rhizomes that support the oxalis rampant growth.

First step is to pull the moss, and get as much of the oxalis runners and rhizomes as possible. I use a root hook and tweezers.

Then, I use a hose blast to get rid is some of the mud…

…and use opportunity to remove some of the oxalis rhizomes.

Then fill in with some recycled soil until I can do a proper repot next spring.

Next up, JBP

See the velvety tufts of moss on the far left side? That’s the early growth stage of Irish moss. It’s really pretty at this stage, but it gets nasty when it grows.

Using tweezers and a root hook, the moss and top 1/2″ of soil is removed. I also remove the moss growing up the trunk.

One of my favorite details about this tree is the nebari starting to age on the left side. Over time, I’m hopeful the right side will develop as well.

Moss and crusty top layer removed:

And filled with some new soil…

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