New Guy.

Citrus-Steve(5)February 12, 2013

Hi everyone, nice to see I am not the only Citrus-Steve. I've been reading the answers to many of the questions I have from the community posts and learning a lot. It seems like MeyerMike is the Citrus-Kingpin and so I wanted to get his, and your, taste on a setup I've got going. I have grown citrus in Charleston, SC for years and been really successful. Moved out to SLC for a promotion and bought a Bearss, Imp. Meyer Lemon, Trovita Orange, Oroblanco and most recently the Australian Finger Lime.

My soil mix usually consists of Fafard but I couldn't find anyone out here who sold it and went with FoxFarm Ocean Forest and then added some redwood shavings. Drainage is great and on the table of rocks the flow simply goes through the plumbing an in to the bucket. I've recently noticed some scale not he Lime but believe I got it under control with one capful of Orange TKO / 16 ounce of water (although I admit that's a hefty ratio). Everything else is doing pretty well other than my Meyer Lemon. Probably from overwatering but with the T5 Lights going 3 hours in the morning and three ours at sundown it's got about 30 blooms on it at the moment.

Leaves are yellowing but the fruit is out of control, I guess that is because of the lights (3000) T5 ballast with 8 bulbs. As you can see I went with Geopots inside to see how I like it and I still have no definitive opinion. I'm dealing with some Gnats now that have come about (I am guessing) either from keeping the soil to wet, less tolerant of over fertilizing, possibly my 4 year old bringing outside plants in to put on the table from her preschool or I could be just plain wrong like my wife often says.

I believe I have definitely over fertilized but caught it in time. Hopefully my lemon is just overwatered and will recoup after I implement the dowel/skewer idea. Gnats are ticking me off, though. Looked up your infamous 5.1.1 mix but can't find the actual recipe to try in the spring. I have not yet gotten in to checking for PH and I am not sure I like the idea of sand bounding my roots as an ingredient to my mixture. Anything you see that I could change that would make my ideal setup thrive? Gnats: was going to use mosquito chunks.

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Steve, it seems to me you are doing a fantastic job!

I think your trees look wonderful and a very nice green. Yes, always remembering that the more open your mixes are the less chances you will have to deal with root rot or gnats.

I love your light idea and the fact you are very aware of pest issues and root issues makes me proud of you.
It can be very difficult for many to get their trees to look nice as yours, but learning what you know just proves that anyone with a willingness to take the time to learn and then apply it can be just as good as you.

By the way, I love those pots! I do have a plant in one of them, but I am finding out that I love my others similar even better.



    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:37PM
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You should look at this for the 5:1:1 recipe and information written by Al
(Tapla). You can and should ask questions or follow additional threads for more information, a lot of people use 5:1:1 and can help. No sand involved.
I hope this link works!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:38PM
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If above link doesn't work, search under "Container Soils-Water Movement and Retention" there are many versions because each time the thread exceeded the maximum # of comments or questions, Al had to start another new thread! There is ample reading about 5:1:1 there...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Thanks guys, I will look in to the mix. I guess my question to anyone who is willing and able to answer is PH related. Is it a big deal to balance this? All my citrus, presently, are reading 8+ on PH. I know it should be less but how? Does everyone in the know use the Foliage Pro? I've been using Dr. Earth citrus and I am less than impressed and I believe this could be part of my gnat issues.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:29PM
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Also, Mike. Is this the soil mix you use?

My Basic Soils ....
5 parts pine bark fines (partially composted fines are best)
1 part sphagnum peat (not reed or sedge peat please)
1-2 parts perlite
garden lime (or gypsum in some cases)
controlled release fertilizer (if preferred)
micro-nutrient powder, other source of micro-nutrients, or fertilizer with all nutrients - including minors

What do you think about Orange TKO for ridding scale and gnats? What do you use and how often do you fertilize for inside?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Hey Steve, good with the mix.

I never heard of Orange TKO....But then I have never had a problem with scale on my trees fortunately!

The pH of your watering solution is most important when growing in containers Steve.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:09AM
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