Al's Gritty Mix?

heislerabMarch 11, 2012

Newbie Here! Okay I am bummed! I just transplanted my lemon tree. Desperately needed it, it was not looking so healthy. Sadly not in Al's gritty mix. What is it? Where do you buy it or is it a home concoction? And just read somewhere about someone using a vinegar regiman? What is that for (adding acidity obviously) but how do you do it.

I did take my tree right to the root ball and rinsed them wasnt too overgrown so didnt do any trimming. It has lemons on it but just looks so sad an droopy...

If someone has Al's Gritty Mix recipe I would love to have it as I am quite sure I will not be able to purchase it in Canada! I do still have an orange tree I just bought that will need transplanting this spring.

This is the best hobby in the world!


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Newbie here also, but this link from the Container Forum should help. I've been searching my local area for the ingredients also. Good luck!


Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Al's Gritty Mix on the Container Forum

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Seriously! Floor Dry! How ironic, my husband is a mechanic! As for the Granite, Al if you are out there or if any one else knows, Will crushed shale work? I just so happen to live within 4 miles of a shale crushing company whom I happen to know very well. One downside to shale, if it is a downside in this case, is it brakes down quickly. As for the bark, jerbils, so already have that!
Now is it safe to retransplant my lemon tree in this when i do my orange tree in a month or so when it warms up enough here?
Still would like input on vineagar treatment too. My P.H. is low

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 1:10PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Floor Dry, Napa autoparts #8822.

Bark must be *conifer bark* - not wood-shavings, wood-chips, or sap-wood.
Pine and Fir bark are the best. Cedar should be avoided.

Re-potting in a month or so should be fine. Citrus can be re-potted in Spring, between growth flushes.

Vinegar is added to water to lower the pH of the watering/fertigating solution.
Test water, add enough white vinegar to lower the pH to 5.5 - 5.8, record the amount
required to adjust the pH, and then add that amount each time you water or fertilize.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Thankyou so much Alexa and Josh! I did buy the pine bark, have lots of floor dry! I am definately going shopping for the rest! Will maybe skip the shale and look for the granite would hate to ruin a tried and true recipe! Will my limelight dracena like this mix too? It needs to be transplanted at the same time. Right now I am using summer fallow dirt, which the cows keep fertilized for me, perlite and peat. I did add the wood chips this last transplant. I will have to find something to up my P.H.
Nobody has ever heard of a foilage spray up here to add micro nutrients, just wondering if my lemon is lacking that too. I use a slow release citrus and avacodo food and supplement with 24-8-16 miracle grow. It is the only stuff I can find up here.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Josh - I'm coming from a home cooks experience, vinegar is usually used to raise the pH of foods (like when pickling or canning) and the OP asked about raising her pH. Wouldn't using the sae trial/error for testing water using white vinegar work also?


    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 6:14PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Vinegar lowers pH - increases acidity.

Test the water first to determine if the pH needs to be lowered. If so, then begin adding
vinegar and stirring vigorously until you hit the target pH. If pH is already low, then there's
no need to add vinegar.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:21AM
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You are correct.... but if the OP wants to raise the pH of her soil, should she then add Baking Soda in small amounts?


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 11:14AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The Gritty Mix has a starting pH around 6 or so, which doesn't need to go any higher.

When working with bark-based soils, pH can be raised by adding Dolomitic Garden Lime,
1 Tablespoon per gallon of soil mixed. This should bring the pH of the media up by a point.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Thanks for clearing all that up. I will be putting them into the gritty mix once our weather allows.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 6:06PM
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so what's the purpose of NAPA floor dry? Does it serve the same purpose as perlite?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 3:53PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

No, the Floor Dry is a substitute for the Turface MVP.

The traditional Gritty Mix recipe does not use any Perlite.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 1:35PM
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