Citrus in the City (Boston, to be exact)

incunable1453July 8, 2012

Dear All,

I was wondering if I could ask for your collective wisdom. My mother ordered me a dwarf Meyer lemon tree from Four Winds Growers for my birthday this week, and it should arrive late this week. I'm terribly excited and eager to learn, but after about ten hours of reading this forum, I'm starting to wonder if this was a wise choice.

Unfortunately I'm a grad student living in Boston with no car and a small (but very sunny!) studio. Everything I buy has to be accessed and brought home via the bus and then stored in the corner of my microscopic kitchen. There will be a time later in my life when I can throw myself into being a great gardener, and I'm looking forward to learning through a combination of this fora and trial and error, but for right now I just want to keep my plant alive and fairly healthy.

Finding the ingridents for Al's Gritty mix seems neigh impossible, and I've been making calls about finding the proper mulch for the 511 and am getting comments like "I don't think that exists." I've thought about asking my family in Illinois to collect the ingredients for the Gritty mix and then send it to me, but even if they're willing it won't be here before my tree arrives either Thursday or Friday. Any thoughts on how to go about this from people who know the area? Would it be better to return it or give it to someone who can care for it better, or are there "good enough" options that can help me limp through for a few years?

Thanks so much for your help. I've learned a lot from you already as a lurker, and now have extensive notes for taking care of my new tree once I get the potting medium all sorted out.

Cheers,

Incunable

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denninmi(8a)

It will come potted, you won't need to repot it immediately. I haven't used this "gritty mix" and it sure seems to have its fans, but I will tell you that citrus will do just fine in a good conventional potting media like ProMix mixed with sand about 3 to 1, and any garden center of big box should sell those ingredients.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 12:30PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Incunable.

i would be willing to drop enough off to you somewhere locally if you would like. i have plenty already made and would share. E-mail me and we can find out where you will be and if it is close to my area.

Or, are you familiar with the area at all? Are you familiar with the town of Tewksbury, of off 495? Route 38?

You could buy a bag of MG and perlite, since that seems to be the most popular one at the big box stores, and use use a 5 to 2 ratio. In our area, I have had good results with 5 parts perlite and 2 parts MG.

Sad to say, the trees you get from 4winds are always bare rooted and you need to have a mix at the ready when you get it in.
Don't forget once you get your tree to soak the roots for about 30 minutes before planting and make sure to fill in around ALL the roots of your new tree.

No FULL sun for about 2 weeks until the trees gets use to the re-pot.

Hope this helps.

Mike

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 2:35PM
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incunable1453

Thank you so much, denninmi. It's nice to know that people have had good luck with a variety of options. Mike is correct that the 3-year-old trees from Four Winds come with bare roots, so I do need to have everything up and running when it arrives. I think it's the 1-year-old trees that come in small temporary pots.

Mike, that would be incredible. There's been a lot of advice posted here, much of it based on the idea you'll be using the gritty mix or the 511. Surely some people can adjust the advice to apply to different kinds of media, but I don't know enough yet to do that. This first stage is going to be by the book. Email coming shortly, and thanks!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:43PM
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denninmi(8a)

Sorry, I wasn't aware that these people bare root their trees. I have only recently heard of them, and just glanced at their web page one time briefly a few weeks ago.

That does sort of change the equation.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 4:30PM
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incunable1453

Not at all, denninmi. It seems that Four Winds is kind of the exception there. I really appreciate your suggestion on potting mix. If Mike weren't so close by and so kind about sharing his 5-1-1, I'd be doing exactly what you suggest.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 1:02PM
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incunable1453

Not at all, denninmi. It seems that Four Winds is kind of the exception there. I really appreciate your suggestion on potting mix. If Mike weren't so close by and so kind about sharing his 5-1-1, I'd be doing exactly what you suggest.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 1:51PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

Incunable, I am glad it all worked out. Otherwise, I can fedex you some already made mix from IL.
Good luck and enjoy the tree.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 2:36PM
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incunable1453

Oh, I'm so sorry Olympia; I didn't see your reply. Thank you for the very kind offer! I am all set on the mix for right now, though I'm sure I'll be in need of your advice at some point since you're another zone 5 person. Mike got me started with everything I needed, and then I got a tour of his amazing garden (if my new tree ever looks half that nice I'll be a very happy gardener indeed). Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 5:11PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

Incunable, I am glad it all settled. Mike has offered me many helpful advise before. he is such a nice guy. You are lucky that he is nearby. Good luck with your tree.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:07AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

It was so nice meeting you too Rebecca! It was very nice:-)
I can't wait to see your tree in its new home.

Hello Olympia. Thanks for your kind words. You too are very nice here. The more the merrier!

Mike

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:40PM
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