Confused about soil for figs in pots

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)May 13, 2011

I've read over some older post about the proper soil mix for potted figs and I'm a bit confused. Some posts by Al (user name: tapla) say the soil should be equal parts:

1/8 - 1/4 pine or fir bark

Screened Turface (high-fired clay - almost a ceramic)

Crushed granite poultry grit in grower size or #2 cherry stone

This confuses me as it's 2/3s rock (essentially) and 1/3 bark and no actual soil. Do all the nutrients for the plant come from liquid fertilizer?

If that's the case, is there a soil mixture that relies on the "dirt" for nutrients? My specific problem is that my figs (which will be in pots for at least a year and some will be permanently) will be growing about 90 minutes from where I live during the week. I was going to put them on a timed drip irrigation system but now I'm concerned about fertilization.

What am I missing here?

Can make a close approximation of a good soil with composted manure, pearlite, and vermiculate?

Thanks!

Bart

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nkesh099(6)

Bart,

Have used the AL's mix before but it did not work for me, no offence to AL. It might work for you.

So I came up with my own mix which contains, Prime grow (Similar to Fertilome), Cow manure compost, Pine bark mulch, Pelletized limestone and Osmocote. Since potted up so many fig trees I do not measure how much to add from each components. But if I had to guess, I would say, 40% Prime grow, 30% Pine bark mulch and 30% Composte.

Use a piece of tarp to make the mixing easy. Also mix the Osmocote with other components. And elevate the root ball about 2 inches above the soil line since the soil will settle down over time, top it off with couple of inches of pine bark mulch.

During April-mid July every other week will water them with Mircole grew all purpose fertilizer mixed in water. And will stop the fertilization by 2nd week of July. More fertilization=less figs/fruits and more vegetative growth. I do fertilize my younger trees more often like twice a week.

All of my trees have responded so well to this mix that some will grow over 5-6 feet tall each season and some produce 250+ figs.
Have planted few fig trees in the ground and seems like they don't need any attention vs. growing them in the pots.

Navid.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 4:34PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi Navid,

Thanks for the information on what you use for potting figs.

:)

noss

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 7:03PM
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leon_edmond(z7NM)

Navid:
What brand of pine Bark Mulch do you use?
Do you ever put perlite in your pot mix?
How much pellet lime to mix with this?
Thanks

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 10:53PM
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nkesh099(6)

noss,

You are welcome.

leon,

1) The brand is called, Golden Trophy Pine Bark Mulch (#302), 2 cubic feet. I usually buy it from a nursery but I have seen it at Home depo before. It's $3.48/bag.

2) No, the Prime Grow which I mix in do contains lots of Perlite.

3) Hard question, I don't measure how much I add. I know the pH for the prime grow is around 6.5 (measured it before with a pH meter) and the pine bark mulch will decrease the pH and make it more acidic. So for example, when making a fresh mix for a 20 gallon pot, I'll add four handfuls of Pelletized lime (about 1 1/2 Lb) to my mix and mix them all well using tarp.

Prime Grow;
http://www.jrjohnson.com/images/P/73-PG73.jpg

Golden Trophy Pine Bark Mulch;
http://www.ohiomulchcolumbus.com/p-1653-pine-bark-2cf-302.aspx

Navid.

P.S. Those was websites was included to show the product. I would stay away from buying them on-line, since the cost of shipping will be probably twice as the cost of the product. Try to find it at the nursery or big box stores first if you could not find it there then look for something similar in size, it doesn't have to be the same name brand.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 11:56AM
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leon_edmond(z7NM)

Thanks Navid.
Do you find that it slowly drains when you water your pots?
Appreciate the leads.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 12:30AM
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nkesh099(6)

leon,

No. Water will drain from the pot within 10-15 second of watering. It doesn't drain fast like AL's mix. I have used this mix for potting up my Pom. and fig trees.

Navid.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 4:06PM
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