Soil recommendations for beds in greenhouse

curlygirl(5-6 Massachusetts)April 19, 2013

Hello everyone! We are about to build our dream greenhouse in Massachusetts. In it, we will have several raised beds to grow tropical/sub tropical fruit trees. We'd like a recommendation of ideal soil for most tropicals along with soil adjustments for specific trees. Also, do you have any recommendations of which trees to plant together that share the same soil and light requirements?

Here is a list of trees we would like to grow in our greenhouse:

1. Carambola
2. Avocado
3. Mango (Ice Cream, Coggshall and Keitt)
4. Ice Cream Bean
5. Miracle Fruit
6. Orange (Cara Cara, Lane's Late, Marrs', and Valencia)
7. Australian Finger Lime
8. Barbados Cherry
9. Dragon Fruit

  1. Papaya
  2. Black (Chocolate) Sapote
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Jaboticaba
  5. Cacao
  6. Sugar Cane
  7. Banana (Lady Finger, Cuban Red, Blue Java and Cavendish -plan on putting in pots)
  8. Pomegranate (Angel Red, Wonderful, and White -plan on putting in pots)

Thank you for your help!

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ohiojay(z6 OH)

What size GH are you building? Most tropical fruit trees do better with a more acidic soil. The ones you mentioned will probably get away with their roots getting into native soil. Do a PH test of your soil. Even with raised beds, the roots will eventually find their way into your native soil.

Might consider putting some of the larger plants directly into the ground instead of a raised bed. Try and get in touch with Stressbaby. He uses raised beds in his GH.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:01AM
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curlygirl(5-6 Massachusetts)

Thanks for the response! The greenhouse is 20' x 28' and we may buy all new soil, depending on what we find out from the soil test. Our greenhouse might actually be fairly independent of the outside soil because we will have a concrete slab under the raised beds with drains going into a Subterranean Heating and Cooling System made of three feet of gravel. I don't think the roots will be that tempted to go into the heat sink (through the drains) and if they do, I imagine they will be air pruned.

One reason why we are doing raised beds is to create a cold sink away from the trees' roots. Being in New England, we worry about a power outage in the winter. A detail like this could make all the difference.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 6:15PM
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