Japanese Maple - Too late to repot?

FromDirt(7 North MS)March 26, 2011

I've just started out in container gardening. I rent the house I'm living in, so I'm trying to get some landscaping without investing in something that I can't take with me.

I just purchased a small Bloodgood from Home Depot about a week ago. Not knowing any better, I brought it home and simply put the rootball in a bigger pot and filled around with some potting mix.

Then I started doing the research that I should have done in the first place...

I like the idea of the gritty mix I've been reading about, and should have all the ingredients in the next week or so. I've even found a wholesaler in Memphis, TN that carries Turface MVP and I should be able to get it through a local nursery that they supply.

Now, the real question. The maple is ~3ft tall, has leafed out very well, and looks great so far. Is it too late for me to completely wash the roots and put it in fresh gritty mix?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I'd just leave it in whatever you have it in, as long as it drains well. If its a heavier, peat-based soil, I would use a wick or one of the other techniques that will allow you to water properly.

Do gather the ingredients for the gritty mix & make a batch. I'm sure you'll be able to find opportunities to use it, and it will help you familiarize yourself with it before next spring. Repot your maple next spring just as buds are moving, but before you can recognize individual leaves.

Al

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 1:03AM
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FromDirt(7 North MS)

For someone eager to get moving with the gritty mix, this will be an exercise in patience, to say the least.

I do have another maple that I just got in. It only has tiny buds up and down, no leaves developing yet. I think I'll repot it once I have the mix together. It only cost a few dollars, so if I lose it, I won't lose much.

Everyone has to have a plant die sooner or later. Why not get the shock over quickly? :)

Any suggestions on other small trees or shrubs that would do well being potted in gritty mix this time of year?

Thanks for the help.

Adam

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:21AM
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jodik_gw

Patience is an important aspect of gardening, so this will give you a good opportunity to practice. :-)

I agree with Al... it's best to gather everything together so you have all necessary ingredients on hand, make a small batch of the Gritty Mix, and work with it through the coming season to gain familiarity with its properties. By next spring, you'll be an old hand at knowing how it works, why it works, and you'll have made any necessary adjustments in watering technique, etc... and your Maple trees will be the better for your experiences and patience.

Learning beforehand and having that knowledge to draw from is truly the key to being successful. :-)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:50AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Adam - We can keep the death of your plants at bay if you proceed methodically. ;o) I have all my woody material in the gritty mix, and they all outperform, by far, plants I used to grow in soils with less aeration. Just be sure you consider repot timing and what the tree can tolerate before you jump with both feet.

I can almost always help with guidance in those areas if you have questions or need some direction.

Good luck!

AL

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 3:20PM
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