Potting mix for deciduous fruit tree

ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)March 26, 2013

I want to permanently plant a spice zee nectaplum in a large (25 gallon) container.

Any suggestion on a potting mix? Standard potting soil? Mix of potting soil and sand?

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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I went to a Raintree Nursery sponsored day of classes recently.In the container growing presentation,their botanist said they are leaning towards Fir bark mulch (or Pine is what I use most),Peat moss and Perlite,in a 50/20/30 ratio.
Nutrients and other things can be added anytime as the plant needs them. Brady

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:03AM
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alan haigh

The Raintree suggestion is a typical light mix. Provides excellent drainage and drainage is the key issue in growing plants in a pot. Here some specialty outlets (mostly nurseries with their own green house production business) sell large bales of something called Promix that is a similar formula and quite excellent.

However, secondary issues are trying to keep the soil moist and avoiding blow over in strong winds (which doesn't even take strong winds when mix dries out).

Pots could be weighted down or supported to avoid the blow over but that wouldn't stop the need for constant water that is the largest problem with light mixes.

I make a mix of equal parts by volume of sand, compost and peat moss in my nursery and it works well although mixing takes some effort- best to pre-moisten the peat.

You probably should check the pH of any mix you make yourself. I was taught in hort school that the ideal pH for any given plant is a point lower in an organic soil- which a potting mix is. This is a point I never see mentioned in discussions of potting mix so I begin to question my teacher. Guess you should do a search to find the current thinking on this issue.

There is considerable controversy about the use of peat moss and what that means to peat bogs in Canada, but I figure that is entirely up to Canadians to sort out. We have enough of our own issues in the U.S.. Anyway, in the northeast, there are no available economical alternatives.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 6:24AM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

How about coconut coir? I have used it with success. They sell it online, even eBay.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I've used Coir too, for Blueberries,in place of Peat moss and it worked okay. Brady

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 2:50PM
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alan haigh

Check the cost of shipping. I can get compressed 4 cu ft bales of peat for between 12 and $15. These are rock-hard and fluff up into a lot of stuff and along the way to and from work.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 6:41PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Well composted leaf mulch could also be another option to get some water retention and organics into the mix. Many municipalities collect leaves in the fall, compost them, then provide them to residents.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 11:57PM
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alan haigh

I love leaf compost.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 6:04AM
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