New to citrus - Growing Satsuma in container
After doing a little bit of research, I have decided to attempt growing an Owari Satsuma in a container on my south facing patio. I live in Tuscaloosa, AL, which is Zone 7b. I am a *complete* beginner when it comes to citrus, as I spent most of my life in Minnesota. I've gleaned a bit of information from here and other sites, but now I have some more specific questions that confused me during my research.
1) I bought my Owari Satsuma at Lowes. It's about 2 feet tall, looks nice and healthy, and came in a black plastic 5-gallon container. I realize that the black plastic probably isn't going to be very good for the roots, since it will heat up easily, but how should I go about transplanting it? Does it even need to be transplanted this year? I need some very *specific* instructions on what type of soil or planting mix I should use, and how to find it, how the mix should be placed into the pot, as well as the size of the pot. Should I step up to a 10 gallon pot next (perhaps something in a light colored plastic or terracotta)?
2) What do I need to be doing regarding fertilizer? What *specific* fertilizers do I need to use, in what amounts, and how often? Where can I find these fertilizers? Will this change in the winter?
3) We're just a little bit too far north here in Tuscaloosa to grow citrus outside year round. We only have average lows in the 30s during December and January, although we will get freezes every second or third day or so in February and March. Occasional freezes are possible in November and April. That said, the average high remains a very reasonable 56 F even in January, with stretches where it might be in the 40s for highs for a number of days. When I bring it in, it will be to an enclosed breezeway that was turned into a sort-of sunroom. It has a heat duct from the house in it, and it won't go below freezing inside, but it may get into the 30s and 40s inside if it gets into the teens outside since it's not that well insulated. It has a couple of big south facing windows in it. So... my question is, do I need to winter my Satsuma indoors in the sunroom, or should I just bring it into the sunroom during the night and during exceptionally rare cold snaps? (For example, we had about 15 days in a row this year where it never made it above 40, and lows were around 12, but that is *very* unusual).
4) When it rains in Alabama, it tends to utterly POUR (sometimes 3-4 inches in an hour). If it seems like we're setting up for a stretch of rain (which can happen in the spring), do I need to take any precautions to make sure the tree doesn't get overwatered, or can it handle the occasional deluge?