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Meyer Mike, advise please!

Posted by olympia_gardener 5 (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 24, 12 at 10:47

Mike, It is a nightmare here. A strong thunderstorm just past my area this morning. I woke up and saw my meyer and kumqurts, along with some Jasmines were all laying on the ground with broken pot and branches fallen from 3-4 feet above ( they were high up on the scaffold to catch most of the sunlight). I hurried put some soil back to the roots before I came to work. They defintely need to be repoted tonight.

I am newbie to 511/gritty mixes. But from limited experiences I had , I think the mixes, if not better, at least equal to the soil. Which mix would you recommend, 511 mix or gritty mix?
I am thinking of pot then into much larger size glazed clay pot I have on hand to give them more "leg" room. My concern is that I lost more citrus trees in summer time than winter time due to the over heated pot ( the root zone is steaming hot) and over sized pot that keep the root wet all the time which promotes root rot. If I use 511 or gritty mix with larger pot, I add a wicker as standby solution just in case I overwater them. With all these in place, will I solve the root rot problem? Thanks for your input.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Meyer Mike, advise please!

Oh yes!

Using a wick with the 5.1.1 mix will definitely ease your worries!

Where do you live? I saw the radar last night and I saw MASSIVE storms just north and south of me. We have been very lucky for years. We use to get those kind of storms. but since they raped all the surrounding communities around me of all their trees, I don't even get rain but once a month if that. They seem to go around my area, which in a way is a saving grace by what to my potted plants by what you described. That is horrible.

I can only imagine what you faced when you awoke this a.m. The good news is that the roots were not cooked by the sun before it came out, but still wet!:-)

I would recommend the 5.1.1 mix or something close to it and wait off on the gritty one until you have gotten use to it with just one plant. There is always time to make it and to use it right. It does not break down as rapidly as the 5.1.1, but then the 5.1.1 does not break down as fast as any peat based bagged mix.

Do you already have the 5.1.1 at the ready?
Do you need a quick source or something comparable? Let em know.

Mike:-)


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RE: Meyer Mike, advise please!

Mike,Appreciate your quick reply.

Thanks for being so kind and asking. I do have all the material on hand. I have been trying use these mixes in limited number of plants but I don't have a lot of expereinces with growing citrus in these mixes. Thought best way is to ask the experts.

We were still in drought condition in Chicago just couple weeks ago. Only recently got thunderstormes and rain. The grass is back to green again. I hope the storm save the soy bean and corn crop in midwest this year.

About the 511 mix, If I replace 1 part of peat with 1 part of compose , will this still works too, Kinda semi-soilless? Somehow, thousands years old concept of things grow in soil stick in my head. Total soiless knida worries me.
I have the Domo. lime that the receipe calls. Should I mix some Ironite into the 511 mix? I heard it does not break down very fast, I thought I might just mix it in the root zone so when roots need it, they can have it right there. But I do not know if there is negtive effect on the plant to recover from the repotting and move from one growing medium into another or not .

How far up one end of the wicker(s) should be placed? Should I put 1 right at the drain hole ( I know it has to be in air 3") , or put one at where the lowerest root is( in the center), or put few somewhere around half way of the pot depth, in between the side of the pot and the side of the roots( off center) ?

Should I wash all the old growing medium away first before move into the 511? How much will the root wash hurt the plants? Both my citrus are blooming or have baby fruits on, will this make them drop the fruits?

Sorry for all the detail questions.


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RE: Meyer Mike, advise please!

How long have you been growing your trees in those pots and that mix?

What kind of mix are you using and how well has it worked for you in the past?

With the 5.1.1, all you have to do is add lime when making from scratch.
Do you have anyone in your area that sells 'Fafard' mix, 52 or Nursery in particular?
Something tells me you do not have the mix made yet and I would rather you get it right than rush into planting.

Living in Chicago, I would personally use a very porous mix, no matter what you feel comfortable with. If you use compost, which I wouldn't and yet some do, I would only make that a very small fraction of your mix.

What is your objective?

Is it to use an open porous mix, one that breaks down very slowly, one that drains well, one that you can water almost as often as you want without root rot and one in which you have to provide nutrients very often?

Or, a mix that is heavier, with compost and a few nutrients already, one that stays moist long and does break down? Also you will still have to feed your plants with a fertilizer.

If you are just in a rush to pot them up before something happens to them, then I would use what I am comfortable with and plan on a better repot once you are ready to do so. When you have time.

I never used Ironite, so I wish I could help you there:-(

As for the wick, I think Tapla which gave me the idea can help you even better with a link that will help you:-)

Don't worry about the questions. We are here to help you and make this as easy as possible. Do what you are comfortable with as a 911 if you are not familiar with the mixes I use, then we can plan a better repot when you are ready and have time to try something new and do what is best for your plants:-)

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Wicking instructions


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RE: Meyer Mike, advise please!

How long have you been growing your trees in those pots and that mix?

What kind of mix are you using and how well has it worked for you in the past?

With the 5.1.1, all you have to do is add lime when making from scratch.
Do you have anyone in your area that sells 'Fafard' mix, 52 or Nursery in particular?
Something tells me you do not have the mix made yet and I would rather you get it right than rush into planting.

Living in Chicago, I would personally use a very porous mix, no matter what you feel comfortable with. If you use compost, which I wouldn't and yet some do, I would only make that a very small fraction of your mix.

What is your objective?

Is it to use an open porous mix, one that breaks down very slowly, one that drains well, one that you can water almost as often as you want without root rot and one in which you have to provide nutrients very often?

Or, a mix that is heavier, with compost and a few nutrients already, one that stays moist long and does break down? Also you will still have to feed your plants with a fertilizer.

If you are just in a rush to pot them up before something happens to them, then I would use what I am comfortable with and plan on a better repot once you are ready to do so. When you have time.

I never used Ironite, so I wish I could help you there:-(

As for the wick, I think Tapla which gave me the idea can help you even better with a link that will help you:-)

Don't worry about the questions. We are here to help you and make this as easy as possible. Do what you are comfortable with as a 911 if you are not familiar with the mixes I use, then we can plan a better repot when you are ready and have time to try something new and do what is best for your plants:-)

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Wicking instructions


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RE: Meyer Mike, advise please!

Mike, Thanks for the link. I did saw this thread while back and also read some other thread said the wick should be pushed into root zone, and some people use multi wickers. Conflict information is the reason of my question. Just want to clarify before I start repotting.

To answer your question. The plants mix is original peat based nursary mix ( two years )which is due to be replaced. Plants have been growing reasonalbe well, not as green as yours, or bear as many fruits as yours, but they grow new leave, bloom, and fruits. However, I did see that it takes long for soil to be dry. I was planning to change soil into either 511/gritty/ mix or regular soil this coming winter but this storm forced me to do it now.

I have some amount of 511, and gritty mix mixed. Just don't have enough for all the plants that fell to the ground. I, in a very limited base, moved some plants into either gritty or 511 mix just to see what works and what doesn't. I moved a Bougainvilla into gritty mix 4 weeks ago, it is thriving so far. I moved a brugmainsia into 511 mix ,but did not see much better result than in regular soil. On the contrary, the leaves seem getting smaller. This may be the ph or fertilizer issue, not the soil air exchange issue. In a word, I am experimenting, not a lot, both mixes in very small scale and in a very slow pace.

You ask my objective. It is simple, less work, more flowers and leaves. I like the 511 or gritty mixes' porous, breathable feature, but I do not like it has to supply water/fertilizer often. I am on the lazy side, my ideal potting soil includes all the goodness of gritty mix plus mother nature's way... Have all the minerals in the soil and plants take it whenever plants need it. Not when we fertilize it. let plants decide when they want what.
Regular soil has all the minerals but is not as porous/breathable as 511/gritty mix.

The major reason I ask if I can use compose is trying to avoid using peat and add some mineral into the soil. My current 511 mix is on the porous side because the pine barks I bought are mostly on the large side, close to 3/8. The perlit is corse perlit I bought from orchid nursary. When I mix more 511, I will watch out not to add too much compose.

Thank you very much, Mike, for your help here.


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RE: Meyer Mike, advise please!

Hey Olympia:-)

It sounds like you know what you are doing:-)
We must remember that growing in containers and in the ground are two entirely different worlds. Organics and compost are the life blood of the earth and my gardens. Trying to replicate that in our pots can be very tricky, if not impossible for most.

It sounds like you would love to stick your plants in the ground as I would, but unfortunately we can't:-( Now that would be the perfect mix.

But, if you use compost in your mix, all the living things/organism in the ground that make the compost so good, will be lost in a pot after a very short period of time, maybe after a first hot day or cold night? Not only will it clog your porous mix quicker than sand through an our glass, but it will become unreliable in providing nutrients in the way we want unless we add nutrients any way and all the proper biota.

There are some that use heavier mixes than I would use, or even succeed with it in our climate, and they could probably help you if need be. I personally have never had success with any kind if mix heavier than the ones I use now, especially with citrus trees.

If you would like a person I know to help you with that, I can reach her. Or, if you would like to continue to use a porous mix that encourages you to fertilize more often, then I can help you since that is all I know now.

Oh, I hope your plants do well and I hope you can get all this done soon. I know you are a good person and one who truly cares for his/her plants!:-)

Mike


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RE: Meyer Mike, advise please!

Hi, Mike, you are sooo right about the plants grow in containers and grow in land are entirely different worlds. Adding/ommitting something else into the formular will unbalance the recipe which may not be a good think. I looked through 3-4 years old threads about the effect/importance of adding lime into 511 as a example.

You have being knid. I wish I know what I am doing , Mike. I thought I knew untill next crisis occurs.

I potted all other plants into 511 that fell off except citrus. I am going to wait till winter to repot citrus into 511/gritty mix. One reason that I am worried with full bloom and fruits on the branches right now, repotting may causes leaves drop, fruits drop, etc. consequences. Another reason is that I need time to know both mixes' performance and characteristics a little better before I move my citrus into it. One good thing about plastic... it is durable. Luckily, only these citrus are in plastic pots.
Among all the "don't knows" of the 511/gritty mix. I do know that it works well with citrus. From you and other citrus growers, as well as my first hand experience. Back 2-3 weeks ago, I was on a rescure mission trying to save one of my favorite Kumqurt tree from root rot. I moved that plant into gritty mix in attemping to save it. However, the kumqurt twigs died one after another till the whole branches all turned brown from grafted joint up. Now the top are all died but the root stock which is a Chinese sour orange shows new growth. This tells me the new roots are growing back. The gritty mix promotes the roots grow for sure.


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RE: Meyer Mike, advise please!

Olympia,

I use iron-tone to help keep my plants green (I used to have an orange tree, but my friend accidentally killed it, so I will be ordering an oroblanco later today to replace it, and will be keeping my friend away from it LOL). I supplement it with tree-tone, which seemed to give it all the nutrients it needed while it was alive (my friend killed it by over watering it while she watched it for several days, it wasn't the fertilizer so don't worry lol)

I personally would not reccommend ironite. I've heard it has more dangerous chemicals than iron tone.

I add my iron-tone with my fertilizer at the same time and water it in gently, then mix it up without turning up roots. It'll take about a week to notice a difference, but it lasts a while :).

Hope this helps!

MSUgrl


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