Sowing bonsai plants:
If we want a bonsai of a particular or rare plant that we do not find on the market we can decide to sow it; this is a fairly slow method, since it will take years before getting a prebonsai, but certainly sowing gives us the pleasure of growing a bonsai from its earliest stages of development. The seeds of shrubs and trees are not readily available on the market, but we can find them in centers specialized in products for bonsaists, or we can collect them in kind. Not all the seeds of shrubs and trees are immediately ready to be sown: - some are contained within various types of fruit or berries; before sowing we must extract the seeds from the pulp, clean them and then bury them. - others are covered with an almost woody layer, called tegument which prevents water and bad weather from penetrating inside. This happens because the plants at our latitudes generally produce fruit in spring or summer, these fruits will remain on the ground all winter and the seeds they contain will germinate in the spring; therefore the seeds are protected from the winter weather, so that they can reach healthy until spring. Before sowing these seeds, a typical example is the seeds of maple and beech, we will have to make sure to "imitate" the winter, placing the seeds in a bag containing sand that we will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks; then we will extract the seed from the bag, but before sowing it is advisable to break or thin the outer integument. We can pierce it with a pin in several points, being careful not to cut the fleshy seed inside it, or we can lightly rub the seeds with thin sandpaper. When the seeds are ready we can bury them in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts, to be kept moist until the small plants are fully germinated.