I've learned a lot here Owen. Adds to a few other suggestions. So far, here is my take:
1. Use org. cakes starting after the leaves have hardened off, starting 10-14 dys earlier to begin bio-breakdown.
2. Good idea to supplement with liquid organics, I have the no smell fish emulsion version. I use this every other week.
3. Use inorg. for rough stock with lg. cuts to heal.
4. Might be useful to use say, 1x/mos on dev. bonsai just to mix things up a bit??
5. Leave cakes on during summer 6-8 wks. dep. on how much heat/sun.
6. Start applying the cakes using only a few cakes, and add more overtime.
I'm sure there's more but that's what I can think of now.
And Owen, I too, even though I'm 50 (said embarrassingly
), have 14 Shimpaku rooted cuttings, 2 Tridents in 4" pots, 5 Larch, 3 J. Quince, 4 JBP, and 15 JMs(for future forest planting) seedlings that I'm going to plant in the ground this spring. I too am not sure if I have enough ground for all this (I stupidly bought a Canadian Hemlock that I put in the ground last yr. The tree will not make a good bonsai ever. Plus I have a Cryptomeria that's in the ground that I just don't like. Both are getting ripped out this yr. for a better use of my space. The Hemlock will make a nice tree in the backyard lol) But I'm glad to hear if I run out of space, I can use my huge bl. nursery pots for any extras. Or I have 2 Huge colanders (36" wide lol) My cheap available material is Turface and or grit (which I'm pretty sure is the same as crushed granite).
I don't know exactly what I'm doing concerning initial and long term styling for in ground plants. But figured it'd be fun just to try. But I do plan on wiring them for trunk movement (and twist and compress the Shimpakus), plant over tiles, and let them be for as long as I'm living in Chicago. If this economy ever picks up, hopefully we can make it back to N. Cali with an actual job. There I'm sure the in ground plants would grow even faster...I'm just hoping on this one LOL
I too typed way too much Owen.