Another question regarding watering with gritty mix and 511 mix.

andetuna(8)March 14, 2012

Hi all,

Last year, I made some 511 mix using the gritty mix components. I had the gritty mix ingredients readily available but I didn't think I could water every day, so, I used the 511 ratio with the fir bark, granite, and turface thinking that the 5 parts of bark would retain more water.

I may not have accomplished my goal, or I may not have the correct watering/fertilizing schedule. I may have may some other mistake, as well. I would appreciate any comments from those more experienced. Thanks in advance to all who have time from re-potting to answer.

I use my modified 511 mix for 2 very young citrus, one Meyer Lemon, and one Mexican Lime. These had nearly died off the first winter due to frost as well as having been in overly large containers (halved wine barrels) in potting soil with very little drainage. They responded well to being in the new mix, I also put them in smaller plastic containers about half the size of the wine barrels but these may have been too big as well as far as watering goes. The mop string was moist at the bottom of the container but the mixture may have been dry where the plant roots actually were. Over the summer, however, the leaves started turning yellow. I had been fertilizing with MG 12-4-8 and occasionally with Epsom salt. At the end of the summer, I added a liquid Bloom product for citrus and the leaves responded but no flowers.

This winter they have done better. I kept them from frost and have continued with the same water/fertilizer (once a week) and they are both now producing blooms and fruit. Very mild winter here this year. I'm concerned that with the advent of summer conditions, I may not be watering enough or have the proper fertilizer.

The plastic containers the citrus are in have a decorative lip which is breaking off from my moving the containers under cover at night, and I'm starting to lose the soil at the top. I'm wondering if it is too late to re-pot now or would it be better to wait until later in the spring? Also, If I could re-pot now, would it be a good idea to use a smaller size container so as to avoid having the top of the pot dry out and the bottom still be moist?

My other container plants are blueberry bushes which seem to be doing well in this mix except for one which went into the mix without removing the original soil. (I don't know what I was thinking!)

Again, I wonder if I can re pot this one bush and remove the old soil or is it too late for that? With the mild weather conditions, these have been in bloom almost all of Feb. The blueberries were in smaller containers so I think the amount of water they got over the summer was the correct amount. I also used vinegar with the fert.

After reading again the idea to use the wood skewers, I think that may be more helpful than the mop string at the bottom.

Thanks for any advice.

Ande

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