Nematode Nirvana . . . Hot-climate deep sands

gonebananas_gwJuly 20, 2011

That is all I have for planting in the ground and I want a reasonable bush size for production rather than small containerized plants.

Figs do fine in the region, on silty or clayey soil or at least OK even on sands with silt or clay subsoil at a foot or two depth. For me it's more like six feet down.

Does heavy continued mulching really help significantly, that is appreciably, readily noticeably?

Will heavy mulching and regular fertilizing and occasional watering lead to decent growth and production even on the worst soil? I don't think I am starting out with any substantial nematode problem (the site is long in lawn grass) but there are bound to be some around to get started.

Does LSU Purple really have some noticable ability to resist nematode damage? Is grafting on it worth the trouble?

Back to mulching, do you think the tale of promoting predatory fungi plays a big role or is it more just good moisture and nutrient conditions? I realize that this last one involves mere opinion. For the others I'd prefer experience.

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wabikeguy(7 AB)

My belief is that your trees will benefit from being heavily mulched, partly from added nutrients but mostly from moisture retention and the tendancy of mulch to keep the root zone cooler when summer temps start heating things up.

Once established, fig trees seem to do well even in poor sandy soils.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:20PM
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Here in the deep sands of NW Florida amending the soil with pine bark or compost and composted cowmanure,mushroom compost,(limestone if needed), Heavy mulch is recomended. Anything to help hold moisture and cool the soil and I understand the mulch and organics are good for earthworms and bad for nematodes.
I have an LSU Purple I need to plant. I want to try grafting some weak growers onto LSU Purp root stock and see it helps.
I believe their claim that it is Nematode 'Resistant' and every little bit of advantage helps.
I'm losing a lot less trees now that I am basicly treating their planting hole allmost like I would a large pot. Our sand has nothing for the tree except drainage. Any moisture retention or food for the plant has to be provided by you.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Thanks both.

"Our sand has nothing for the tree except drainage."
Same here. And as they used to say for citrus on the central Florida ridge, "just holds the tree up."

I'll try the big hole and amended backfill approach. I have access to composted elephant and giraffe manure. We'll see if that helps! Plus some limestone. A big state office building near here dumps its grass clippings in an available pile so I hopefully have an endless supply of high-N mulch for the hauling.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:27AM
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Good Luck Gonebananas.
Just wanted to add, that when I plant a large tree in the new loose,organic medium I usually drive a piece of rerod or bamboo down to hold the tree till it can take hold.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 1:25PM
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