lemon tree container potting soil

wineman73April 27, 2011

I just recently purchased 2 lemon trees. I will be potting them in 12 in garden containers. I am very confused on what potting medium to use.

Can you please tell me if this would work. Fafard fof30. all organic contains 55% sphagnum peat moss, pine bark, perlite vermilculite, dolomitic limestone and gypsum. Any other ideas???

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Must be well-drained.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 1:20PM
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Yes well drained so perlite some sand/rocks. The peat is good because of it's low acidity. Sounds like you got it. The more perlite the faster the plant will grow if you keep up with ph, nutrients, and water.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 2:50AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Wineman,
As Jean said, it must be well drained. How well your soil drains will depend alot on how much bark and perlite is in it.

Sand will only cause your soil to compact over time and will affect the drainage in a very negative way.

I would like to share a post from the container forum that will give you a little better understanding on how soil in containers works. I hope you will take the time to read it before just adding this and that to your soil. It is loaded with great information!


Here is a link that might be useful: Containers Soils~ Water movement and retention

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 12:45AM
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Hi Wineman. My potted citrus are potted in MG Citrus/Palm/Cactus Soil, Peat, Coarse Sand, 'must be gritty, not beach sand,' and Perlite. In addition, bark and very tiny pebbles.

I've heard Fafard is a good brand, but never tried it. Good luck with your new citrus. Toni

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 8:34AM
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i Wineman: How are you? From what part of Mass are you from?

Fafard is a great brand next to making your own which is what I prefer to do in most cases.

Why don't you use Fafard 'nursery' mix which is composed of mostly bark and a small fraction of peat? There is also another that Rhizzo had suggested before and I can't think of it.

I am not sure of what brand you are using since I never heard of #30. From the description of it, it seems to have too many fine particles and ingredients that encourage the mix to stay wet far too long for my citrus trees liking, especially up here in New England, and one that will compact within a very short time.

All you have to do is add strained perlite and you are good to go if you find the nursery mix
I know a few that add sand to amend their mixes, but it has to be very course washed sand as Toni mentioned or it will clog up your mix as Jojo mentioned.
Sand can improve drainage in some cases, but it reduces aeration by filling valuable macro-pores in soils. Unless sand particle size is fairly uniform and/or larger than about BB size, I leave it out of soils.

Why use sand and rocks at all?

If you purchase a good potting medium that has pine bark as it's main component, at least 80% or more and adjust it a bit, then you are good to go.
If you care to invest your time into making a fine mix as Jojo has kindly pointed out to you, then let me know and I can direct you to the sources for the ingredients.

Hi Jean, Toni and Jojo!


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 12:03PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Mike!

Great information! I didn't realize wineman was in the same corner of the world as you either.
Couldn't ask for better help. ;-)

I believe the others Rhizo mentioned are in the thread in House plants, titled "Best brand of potting mixes".

If your interested in making your own mix, I'll share a link to show you how beautiful the tree's can be!

Best wishes,

Here is a link that might be useful: Some great looking tree's

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 12:46PM
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Jojo: :-))))))))))))!!!

I am excited about yours too!

Thanks for all you do here along with your comments. It is always a pleasure to see you around these parts.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 5:05PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If you have access to Fafard products, the 3 that deliver the best long term aeration (which is KEY, in offering the greatest potential for healthy plants, are their #3 mix, their 51L mix, or their Nursery mix.

If you can't find those, you can easily make soils that will perform even better if you're interested. The link JoJo provided above should help you get started. If you have any questions, Mike or JJ should be able to answer them, or you can ask at the thread JJ linked to.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:46PM
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