Transplanting sour cherries to raised beds
My 2 Meteors and 2 Bali Evans from SLN, planted April 2014, haven't done much because the soil doesn't drain sufficiently. I thought it would, but no. They put out leaves but no branches. The trunks are still like pencils.
I'm planning to transplant them to raised beds 6' square and about 1' deep, right next to a retaining wall. (The trees themselves will be 3' away from the retaining wall.)
At the bottom of each bed will be native clay soil piled in a flat plane tilted slightly toward the retaining wall. The planes will be covered with plastic, with gravel on top of the plastic, the top of the gravel on a plane level with the ground. All that is so water will drain between the stones comprising the retaining wall.
I'll very gently dig up the trees, put them aside with the roots in their balls of dirt, then give the balls a quick rinse to get rid of the clay before planting them in fresh soil, above the gravel, in their new beds.
I'm planning on doing this after the trees go dormant but before the snow starts.
I want to give them perfect soil. What should it consist of? How deep should it be?
What do you think of my plan? Do you think I'm likely to have more success with the cherries in containers instead of raised beds?
(My pride and vanity compel me to add that my 3 Carmine Jewels and 2 Crimson Passions, planted elsewhere, are doing very well.)
Thanks very much for considering my questions.