WINGADINGS

Wingadings, I know, it is a strange name, but what else are you gonna call them, in one word?  There are as many ways to secure screen to the drain holes in your pot as there are bonsai soil recipes.  Wait, you are using screens over your drainage holes, right?  The screen serves a couple of functions in the pot, mainly, it keeps your soil from falling out.  Second, it has been said that it keeps critters out of the soil by blocking access through the drainage holes.  Not real sure I buy into that as most of the critters that like to hang out in the soil are quite small and could easily fit through the screen.  In case you are new to bonsai or maybe looking for a better way, I thought I would share how I do it.

     First, you need to get some screen.  You aren't buying the "special" bonsai pot screen, are you?  If you are, you can save money by going to a craft store and getting a sheet there.  I get mine from Hobby Lobby, you will find it in the section where the crochet and knitting supplies are.  A decent size sheet costs 69 cents and you can use the 40% off coupon and get it for even less, 41 cents.  Another bonus is, you get to pick your color!  No more using that boring black bonsai stuff, not that it really matters, you can't see it anyway.  Cut your screen to size, I like a square that overlaps the hole about a quarter inch.

Next, you need your wire, wire cutters, and some pliers, I use needle nosed pliers for this operation.  As for wire size, I like to use the one that easily slides through the screen but not much smaller, you want to make sure that you have a wire large enough to hold the screen tightly.  This is a good place to use all of that scrap wire that you have laying around.  Grab the wire about 2 - 3 inches from the end, hold it tight, and wrap the end around one side of the pliers.

Now, lay the loop over the hole to see how long your wingading needs to be.

Grab the wire with the pliers at the edge of the hole and wrap the other end of the wire around one side of the pliers on the opposite side of the previous loop.  Make sure that the ends of the wire go over the same side of the loop.  Cut the end that you just bent so that it is the same length as the other side.  If it sounds kinda confusing, here are some pictures to help.

Pinch the wire where it crosses and bend the end down 90 degrees.

Now, do the other side and there you have it, you just made a wingading.  You will need to make one for each drainage hole in the pot.

Push the ends of the wire through the screen and then through the hole in the pot.  You will have to lift the pot to get it all the way through.

Flip the pot over and, while pulling firmly, but gently, on the wire, bend the ends over against the bottom of the pot.  The pressure kept on the wire while bending it over makes sure that the screen is held tightly against the bottom.  Do this for each of the drainage hole in your pot, if it only has one, you're done.

     I know this is old news for a lot of folks, but there may be some just starting out that might wonder how it is done.  Or, if you are like me, I am always looking for better ways to do things and I like to see how others complete the same task.  As the old saying goes, "There is more than one way to skin a cat!".

 

Hope it helps, next I hope to do an article on how to tie your tree into the pot.


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