Introduction....and of course a question on my Meyer

RI-MikeOctober 13, 2012

Hello Gang, I've been reading this forum since spring and figured I should jump into the mix as now I am somewhat confused with my Meyer and cannot find an answer.I'm Mike by the way...from RI....hence the name.

An overview of the plant's life to date.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-da21s4Ezn_o/UHk5y3_OuNI/AAAAAAAAAH4/Wj1VHTXKIAI/s800/lemon-01.jpg

Purchased from Four Winds in May, arrived 5/24 and planted that day in 10 Gallon black plastic Nursery Pot in Miracle Grow Catus / Citrus Soil. Have been feeding it with Citrus Tone over the summer at random intervals and have let nature do its job watering it. I beleive I have watered it once as we always seemed to get some rain just as I thought it needed water. As you can see from the pictures, it has thrived, and I have knocked off all the buds and took off the three small lemons it had so it can focus on foliage rather than fruit.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_vThH8ZzXZcxKCY5FBam1hxC04nIk2sQBV4ihcMFMZA?feat=directlink

Within the last month we have gotten into some whet weather here in RI and the temps have now dropped to a more consistant 50 - 60 degree range and the plant is now showing some signs of stress. You can see the yellow leaves clearly visable on the bottom section. Even with the leaves yellowing, I still have new growth at the top and two buds have formed. How stressed can it be if it's still pushing out new growth? I have moved it into my newly constructed hoop house to try to avoid any additional moisture in the soil mix and see if the increase in moisture is the problem. The mix is damp, but not soaking wet. I just picked up some Foilage Pro after reading others comments here. I just sprayed the entire plant 3 days ago so too soon to tell what difference it will make.I do have some leaves that have been chewed by a rogue caterpillar, but other than that the plant look great.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/P-tPjhJsNz6XVpt3zBAgGhxC04nIk2sQBV4ihcMFMZA?feat=directlink

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1tOcvyipgK9qs3jJ019pEhxC04nIk2sQBV4ihcMFMZA?feat=directlink

I'll be bringing this guy into an unheated three season room and sticking it in a south facing window once the temps are consitantly around 40. Last night we had temps in the 30....Monday they are saying temps in the 70's. Have to love New England weather!

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RI-Mike

Looks like I screwed up the HTML for the photos....and cant figure out how to edit my origianl post

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 6:52AM
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RI-Mike

In the hoophouse on 10/07

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 6:53AM
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RI-Mike

Yellowing

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 6:54AM
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RI-Mike

Bottom Section

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 6:55AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Hi Mike, this is Mike...

Welcome aboard.

Between less light and an overly moist mix, it is bound to drop leaves at this time of the year and so such moving forward. Be sure to watch your branches. If you start to loose those, then for sure you are dealing with root rot.

Please, don't let your yellowing leaves confuse you at this time for the need for more fertilizer.

I would think twice about leaving that tree exposed to such cold temps if the mix is taking longer than 3-4 days to dry out.

Why do yo have the top of your mix so high around the trunk?

I have also never cared for those organic fertilizers that slowly break down in a pot since it clogs the mix even more over time and encourages further decomposition of a once aerated mix.

In order for your tree to thrive here in our regions, you need to use a mix that holds moisture perfectly, evenly, a very good well rounded out fertilizer with Ca and Mg, vinegar, and watch your watering practices.

Hope this helps a bit.

Mike:-)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 5:25PM
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RI-Mike

Thanks for the response. I put a handful of pinebark mulch right on top of the miracale grow potting mix just for looks. I made sure the trunk was level with the soil, and if I flicked away a few pieces of the mulch, you would see the crown right at the soil line. I just didnt like the look of the plain soil mix.

I'll keep an eye on the soil and see how things go. Worst case is I bring it inside earlier than planned to keep it a bit warmer and try to prevent the root rot. Repotting this thing now is just asking for trouble I would think.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 7:41PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Hey Mike,

Repotting at this time would make no difference, just as receiving another bare root tree from Four Winds tomorrow.
In fact, if it were a choice I had to make between a good aerated mix before a long winter so I could avoid root rot, or the other, I would do a repot.

Keeping an eye on your mix and how long it holds moisture sounds like a plan. Be very careful about watering and how cool the temps go with a damp mix. Once the root zone drops below 55 degrees, your tree roots are barely working, therefore very prone to root rot.

If you loose just one branch, I would do a 911 repot. But than, if I knew my mix was holding moisture way too long, I would avoid the problem all together. Every tree is different, and some will respond quickly to a repot for the good once root rot starts, and for others, they can respond badly since it can be too late. I have found that citrus trees can be very resilient to keep going while at the same time have much difficulty repairing/ regenerate new roots once damaged.

I hope this tree does well for you and please, pray for a mild winter.

Mike:-)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 9:57PM
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RI-Mike

Mike - Which mix am I aiming for? Al's 1-1-1 or 5-1-1?

I've got an Agway about 5 miles up the road where I donate most of my paycheck.....

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 5:56AM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

I would say the gritty mix (111) for trees, it doesn't wear out. If you have annuals go for the 5-1-1. 5-1-1 is good for a few years before it needs (should) to be changed out.
Drainage is better on the gritty. I think that what mix you use is relevant to where you live and what water the plant gets from Mother nature and your vigilance at watering. If you are more likely neglect the tree, get a mix with more water retention may be better (more perlite).

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 8:23AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Ha! Mike, sounds like you and I have a problem wish our cash at that place. Thank goodness the Lowe's up the street from me doesn't cary anything I need.lol

Just as Doglipd suggested, by the way, thanks Doglips. By the way, why the name Doglips? I think it's cute although the lips on my dog now gone use to be very ugly.;-)

By the way, I grow many citrus in the 5.1.1 too. I don't mind repotting in a couple of years from now and find it very easy to work with form me. Drainage is to me, almost the same on both.

Mike

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 9:07AM
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