A bonsai is a form of art that bonsai enthusiasts cultivate to represent greeneries in miniature form. It is a small plant planted in a pot. But genetically, bonsai is not a dwarf plant. It takes a lot of time to grow bonsai. Bonsai gardeners often mention that it can take 10-12 or even more years to grow a bonsai.
People often think that growing a bonsai is not in their capability. A bonsai indeed requires more care and nourishment for a long time to grow into a fine tree. But it is not impossible. All you need is a bonsai toolset including the best root rake for bonsai, persistency, and love for the nature.
You might think-“what could be the use of a root rake for growing bonsai?” Bonsais are kept near the south-facing windows. In that way, the gardener can ensure proper sunlight for the plant. But for want of nutrients and sunlight, it loses its leaves. These leaves fall on the pot and block sunlight and air to circulate through the soil. You can not only remove those dry leave but also can eliminate bulky stones, rocks from the soil using the root rake.
A root rake is a must to have delicate hand gadget for a bonsai gardeners. It is used to loosen the soils, remove large stones, pebbles, dry leaves from the pot for ensuring optimum growth of the plant. One should be very delicate while choosing a root rake for the bonsai. If you are a rookie in this field you can go through our suggestion list to grab some ideas about the “must-have” features of the gadget.
What are the benefits of using a root rake for bonsai?
If you do not pay attention to your bonsai, soon you will notice that the leaves of the plant have started to manifest some yellow spots and their edges are curling up. By the time you identify the problem, a new problem arises. The fallen leaves on the pot might give rise to fungal or parasitic infection. A specialized tool is needed for proper care of the plant. Why should you invest your hard-earned bucks for the best bonsai root rake?
Losing the superficial soil layer
Every time you water the plant, the soil particles become compacted and thus prevent the entrance of essential sunlight and air deep to the core of the root. This hinders the growth of the bonsai. You can use the best root rake to loosen up the soil around the root for sufficient aeration. This also accelerates water absorption.
To stir up the soil
A root rake helps to beaks the soil lumps in the pot. Stirring up the soil regularly keeps the weed growth in control and preserves the moisture in the soil. This also helps to mix the manure properly in the soil. Erick Moskva, an expert bonsai gardener once said “stirring up the soil using a root rake protects the plant from the attack of the scale insects.”
Many models of bonsai root rake feature a hook on one side and a symmetrical spatula on the other. While you can use the fork-like hook to dig deep, a symmetrical spatula can help to loosen the soil and tamp it over the seed or plants and remove the moss gently.
Bonsai is usually re-poted early in the spring. As the bonsai is cultivated in a pot, the whole pot is bounded by roots when it ages. Want of soil limits the optimum growth of the plant. So repotting is essential. At this time, a root rake may come in handy. It disentangles the roots without damaging the surface roots. Surface roots enhance the beauty of the tree and provide mechanical balance.
Removes bulky debris
Though a bonsai rake is small in size, it can remove large and sharp material and other debris from the soil. It leaves the very small soil lumps and pebbles behind to add weight to the pot.
What to Look for When Buying the Right Root Rake for Bonsai?
There are many bonsai tools in the market. Starting from bonsai scissors, tweezers to root rake everything must be selected according to the types, length, and condition of your bonsai. Initially, it is tough to find the right bonsai rake, but when you know what is to find in a rake, selecting an ideal type is not a problem.
Buying a wrong one is not uncommon. If you do not consider a few important things, you may end up by choosing a wrong one. Here are some points that you should follow while purchasing a bonsai root rake.
Constructive Material: Normally, if you search for the bonsai rake on some websites, you will see that both stainless steel rake and carbon steel rake are available. Carbon steel rake is strong and can withstand any massive pressure. But it is prone to rust and corrosion. So, extra care should be taken to store the product for further use.
But if you have a stainless steel rake, you do not need to be concerned about rusting. This premium quality rake is durable, corrosion-resistant, and weatherproof.
Smart Features: A root rake generally has 1-3 prongs and an ergonomic handle. But some models of root rake come with a flat and symmetrical spatula. Alongside removing soil from near the roots, you can also tamp the soil and remove weeds, moss, and leaves.
3 pronged rakes take less time to cover more area for raking and are meant for heavy-duty work. They can easily pierce through the soil lumps and aerate the soil. This increases water absorption by the roots.
Ergonomic Handle: If you want to use the root rake for multi-purpose work like- for bonsai and also for garden work, it is ideal to choose a rake with a long handle. It becomes tough to pass through thorny trees with a short handle rake. Moreover, the handle must be comfortable enough to get a firm grip for exerting maximum pressure.
Durability: Prongs are the weakest part of the whole rake. These 8.2-8.6 cm long and slender structures are often broken while piercing any dry soil lump. So, a sturdy and durable root rake should be purchased to avoid the hassle.
Considering the Price: Why the price of different models of root rake from different brands is different? This is because of the difference in quality. A rake with gold standard constructive material will cost you some more bucks. But it is okay if you are short on money. You can always search for the best product within your budget out of those many options in the market.
Reviews: Reviews are the real reflection of the application of the product. So, feel free to scroll through the reviews on different commercial websites.
You may find our other buying guides on rock rake, leaf rake, lawn leveling rake, pool leaf rake, and roof rake beneficial.
Best Root Rake for Bonsai – Review and Guide 2021
Stainless steel root rake
- Material: stainless steel.
- Features 3 prong.
- Size: 24*4 cm/ 9.45* 1.57 inch.
- Weight: 56 g.
This model of stainless steel root rake is a must to have gadget for pot plant cultivation. It has 3 prong heads in front and with a long ergonomic handle tailing behind it. The three-prong head digs more soil at a time than a root rake with one or two prongs. The prongs are moderately sharp to dig the soil. So, you can also save your hands from accidental pricks of the prongs.
For disentangling roots during re-potting, considering a firm rake is important. The size of this root rake is perfect to pass between the roots and release the curl without damaging the main root. It becomes easy to remove the old ineffective roots and re-pot the plant in a large container keeping the surface roots intact.
This stainless steel root rake comes with an ergonomic handle. The handle is quite comfortable to grip and can exert maximum power while digging the soil. The short length of the rake is the only drawback that can be improved.
• Loosens the soil for aeration.
• The ergonomic handle is easy to grip.
• Stainless steel body material prevents rusting.
• The handle length is not enough for easy work.
• Prone to bending under significant force.
ITTrusty 304 Stainless steel gardening root rake for Bonsai
- Material: 304 stainless steel
- 8.2-inch prong
- Weight: 59 g
- Features a symmetrical spatula.
ITTrusty gardening root rake is the best heavy-duty bonsai root rake that can be used for garden work also. There is a specialized symmetrical spatula at the back of the gadget. So, you can easily tamp soil and remove moss or rocks from the soil. This also saves you some money and time for buying a separate spatula.
The material of the product is highly responsive to create hype in the market. Instead of normal stainless steel, premium quality and industrial-grade 304 stainless steel is used to manufacture the product. It has made the rake highly resistant to heat. Thus you can work under the bright sun for a long time.
Nowadays people want gadgets which are easy to use and handle. This rake has a simple design. There are only 3 prongs and spatula in the root rake. So, people of any age can use it smoothly. You can now save time while working with your house bonsai.
• Compatible to use for both bonsai tree and garden work.
• Highly corrosion-resistant bonsai rake.
• Easily removes dry leaves and moss from the soil.
• A bit heavy to work in small pots.
• Comparatively expensive.
GLOGLOW bonsai rake for Root
- Stainless steel body.
- 3 pointed prong
- Features a curved spatula.
- Size: 24*4 cm/ 9.45* 1.57 inch
- Weight: 56 g
- Color: silver
Bonsai needs adequate sunlight and water to grow properly. This also creates the perfect soil condition for weed growth. But the three 8.6 inch long prongs dig the soil and loosens the root of the weed. So it becomes easier for the bonsai gardener to pull off the weeds.
From sowing seed to flowing, every stage of plant life, a good quality root rake is of great use. While sowing the seed, use the spatula of the rake for digging and to loose the soil. This also ensures proper airflow and absorption of water, nutrients through the roots.
If you compare this model of GLOGLOW with other models, you can experience the work power of the rake. High-quality stainless steel strengthens the rake to uproot stubborn roots from the soil. Moreover, a single rake can easily last for a long period without rusting.
• Smoothly removes roots, debris, and moss from the soil with less effort.
• Prevents weed growth.
• The prongs are not sturdy enough.
• Scratches appear easily on the rake.
GLOGLOW 9.5 inch Gardening Rake for Bonsai Root
- Material: stainless steel.
- Prong length: 9.5 inch
- Compact length: 24 inch
- 3 tines model
GLOGLOW 9.5 inch gardening rake is a heavy-duty root rake that is used for loosening tough and dry soil. Each of the 9.5 inch long prongs pierces the soil with great strength so that it can dig up to 5-6 inches depth in the soil each time. So, you can save some of your energy to do other recreational activities.
Working in a rainy day is tough. Moistures in the air make your hand sweaty. But the stringing in the middle of the handle prevents accidental slip of the rake. So, a gardener gets more power to grip the rake and stir up the soil.
Though this root rake is not shipped with a carry bag, you can easily store it with your other accessories in the garage. The stainless steel rake does not rust even if you are not concerned with its care. The 23-inch long rake occupies a small space in the room. So you can drop the hassles related to its storage.
• Firm and anti-slip grip reduces fatigue.
• Easy to store.
• Weatherproof gadget.
• Not so compatible with moist and wet soil.
• The packaging was not sealed properly.
BambooMN Bonsai Root Rake Tool
- Material: carbon steel.
- Length: 8.75 inches. Approximately
- Features 3 pronged rake
- Flat edge spectacular spatula.
All the products that we have reviewed so far are made of stainless steel. But this model of BambooMN root rake is made of carbon steel. A carbon steel rake is hard and can withstand extreme stress. But it is prone to rusting. So you should store it in a moisture free area.
This is also a three-pronged rake. Each of the 8.75 prongs remove large and sharp materials from the soil surface and thus ensures more sunlight exposure in the soil. These prongs are capable to break down any solid lumps after irrigation.
Generally, steel root rakes are stronger than carbon root rake. But BambooMN has launched this model after fortifying the material to increase the product durability and strength by 3 folds. You can break those hard soil lumps in no time with this affordable bonsai rake.
• Fat edge packs the soil after re-potting.
• Can be used for weeding and bud pinching.
• More prone to rusting and corrosion.
• Not easy to mold and lacks flexibility during application.
How to loosen topsoil to promote aeration and water absorption during watering?
Pot gardening has allowed restoring a piece of nature in the house. It does not require the strenuous exercise of the gardener and occupies only a small space. Bonsai is an ideal example of pot gardening. But growing a bonsai needs some sensitive concern of a bonsai gardener. If you do not look after the plant properly, lack of sunlight, water, nutrients may wilt off the plant. Leaves start to scale off, edges become curled and yellow and eventually falls off.
Unlike gardening in the yard, potted plants must be watered regularly. Because there is no natural source of water in the pot. Bonsai wilts for want of water. You should also keep in mind that watering the plant regularly compacts the soil particles. So, there develops a composite layer of soil in the pot. It blocks the sunlight to enter the soil and thus there is a huge change of fungal growth in the roots. In most cases, this composite soil is loosened up by using organic dumps. But this can also be done using one of the best bonsai root rakes easily.
A bonsai root rake comes with a fork-like head at one end and a flat symmetrical spatula. Loosening the hard soil is easy with this sturdy gadget. At first, use the pronged head to pierce the composite soil. If the soil layer is too hard, exert force vertically to the soil. This will lead the pronged head into the soil. Slowly, dig the neighboring soil around the roots. Keep in mind that you should dig the pot soil leaving 5-8 cm width around the root. This will prevent accidental cuts in the root while using the rake.
If the soil particle is too hard to pierce, you can spray some water initially. This will soften the soil and rakes can easily be directed through the soil. The use of excess water might result in the formation of mud. At that time digging and tamping becomes difficult. So, you should carefully add water to the dry soil. Once the topsoil is loosened, stir up the soil gently. A rough action might tear off the newly grown roots. Stirring up the soil will help to eliminate weeds and mixes the manure properly. Tamp the soil using the spatula. As the composite soil is loosened, more and more air and sunlight enter deep into the soil. This prevents fungal growth and other parasitic infections.
To sum up
Growing a bonsai for 10-12 years can be overwhelming. Bonsai is not a plant that will randomly be growing at a corner in your yard. It requires adequate water, proper nutrients, and sufficient care. Regular gardening tools cannot be used in this type of pot gardening. There are separate tools that are only meant for bonsai gardening. Among all these bonsai tools, the best root rake for bonsai is a must to have hand gadget.
Comparing all features, durability, and work efficiency, the stainless root rake is the best rake according to the editor’s preference. As it is a premium quality rake, it might be expensive for some folks. But there is nothing to be perturbed. GLOGLOW rake is the best rake for a tight pocket. ITTrusty is more durable and resistant to rust. Whereas, BambooMN has a different construction material. So, let these rakes to do a magical change in your pot gardening!