I have so many questions :)

dragonfly717(z10 Fort Myers)April 26, 2013

And just not enough time and memory to ask them all. I will probably be posting a few over this weekend. If there is anyone out there who is available to answer, I would be so grateful.

I live in zone 10, SW Florida, and it is HOT and HUMID. the rains haven't started yet but we will get rain daily starting soon. I have been so blown away by the readings and teachings of Al. I was a Biology major in college and wish I had you as a teacher!

Most of my container plants are succulents (my newest love so I'm not experienced) and desert roses, some small palms, orchids etc. I'm looking into the gritty mix. Should the ratio of the mix change for my hot weather? Less granite? I have tracked down a 50lb bag of Turface and I bought some better gro orchid bark (small $5 bag) and a large reptibark bag ($25 eek). If I can use the cheaper, please let me know...:) I need to ride out to tractor supply to find the grit...UNLESS I can use perlite (I have two bags but Miracle Gro Perlite) I'm afraid I'll lose these plants once these rains start, but we also will have dry fall and winter where this year remained ridiculously hot.

Also, the biggest uncertainty is how to pot these plants? Keep existing soil and place in new mix? Methods to remove old soil without destroying the plants if it needs to be removed?

And lastly, I have several hanging baskets (coconut liners) that will have petunias (I scored about 400 for $5... Anyone need some!?). I already had purchased miracle gro potting mix. Can I amend this soil to improve my baskets?

I'm sure I will think of more questions along the day...I have a 13 month old and a 4 yr old so mommy brain is still in full effect.

Thank you in advance !

Best,

Jamie

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dsb22(z7 VA)

Hi Jamie,

I'm a beginner in Gritty Mix too and only have a few Japanese maples in it so far, so hopefully someone will correct anything I say in error.

From what I've read, Reptibark is the right size for the Gritty mix. I don't think it is composted, but that seems to be okay. (Partially-composed is recommended for 5-1-1.) I unfortunately can't remember the size of orchid bark and I haven't had many of the types of plants you're growing. However if you need the Gritty to retain more moisture, you can screen bark through 1/2" and then 1/8" screen; then increase the amount of Turface and decrease the amount of granite. (Wil tr to link thread below.)

Wrt re-potting, get as much of the old soil off as possible but you don't need to go crazy. For maples, I use the stream of water from a hose and chopsticks. I also typically get the soil in a new pot thoroughly wet before putting a tree/plant into it, then backfill with more soil, then water again. However I don't know if this process would apply to succulents.

There's another post up right now about using MG potting mix in 5-1-1, that might help with your hanging baskets. However I would do a search on what others have used for hanging baskets as well.

hth,
Deanna

Here is a link that might be useful: More moisture retentive Gritty mix

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 1:00PM
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dragonfly717(z10 Fort Myers)

Deanna

Thanks so much for the response. The link you provided was very helpful. I have read so many posts, I don't know which is best. That really explained some of my questions.

I would love to have Japanese Maples here....my favorite tree. Good luck with them and thanks again!

Jamie

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:02PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Repti-Bark is too large to use out of the bag.

For proper Gritty Mix, the bark needs to be in the 1/8 to 1/4 inch range.

With daily rain, I would opt for an even faster-draining mix - rather than increase moisture retention.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 10:41AM
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