Switching to 5-1-1

Phildeez(9b)April 10, 2011

I recently decided I want to switch my container peppers to the 5-1-1 mix. I will be using redwood mulch, coarse turface and potting soil. Ill fertilize with MG tomato food throughout, because the time release stuff i have is a weird high:low:high ratio and I don't want to use that.

My question pertains to transplanting them. The plants are young, 8 to 10 inches. I bought them as large seedlings a couple weeks ago. If I want to switch to the 5-1-1 mix I feel like there will be a large root ball consisting of the current soil which is very dense with some clay and manure and lacks drainage. Should I like, spray that rootball with a hose gently to get rid of the old mix? Or some other method to get the roots into the 5-1-1 mix?

Or will the soil wash away through watering, maybe?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

No need to wash off the old soil if you: Snip the lower leaves off, tear the bottom half of the roots off, work your fingers up into the rootball to loosen the remaining roots and then plant the peppers VERY deep - all the way to the first set of leaves.

Please keep in mind that the only good reason to use the soils like the 5:1:1 and gritty mixes is for their aeration and reduced water retention, so please don't shoot yourself in the foot by going to the trouble of making a soil that doesn't show significant improvement in these areas compared to bagged soils. ;-)

Al

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 6:35PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Phil, I'm so glad you've come over to the Container Forum!

Al's the Man! ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 6:43PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

.... but there's little he (Al) can tell you that Josh can't tell you too. ;-)

Al

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 6:47PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Tapla, some of these plants are around the 6 inch mark, others over 10, but none of them have been in the ground more than 2 to 3 weeks. I don't know how much of a root ball there will be, it seems like I might not want to tear them at this young stage

Hi Al, nice to meet you. :) I have a mix made. But it seemed like the potting soil I used had a huge amount of wood mulch in it, and the first ingredient was "composted forest products," and peat moss second.

It is called Kellogg's Patio Plus. I only added 4 parts Redwood mulch until someone can shed some light to this.

Also, do I need to worry about shocking the plants by changing the PH of the soil rapidly?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 7:46PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Tapla is Al. I'm a dumby.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 4:00AM
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Phildeez(9b)

bump?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 2:32PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Phil!

So you're digging up plants to put into containers?

I'd say, the sooner the better. Juvenile plants, if healthy, generally handle the
stress of root-disturbance more favorably than older, established plants.

Phil, what's the ratio of ingredients in your mix?
How much Kellog's, how much bark, any perlite?

The pH shouldn't be as much of an issue in the containers.

Josh

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 3:42PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Tapla is Al. I'm a dumby.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 5:46PM
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Phildeez(9b)

...my phone is funky on here! Sorry for repost.

Josh, no they are in containers and I plan to repot them tonight. The mix is 4-1-1.5 turface because I goofed. The 1 potting soil has maybe a third local soil for calcium instead of lime. I am waiting to up the 4 to 5 because the kelloggs is so bark heavy.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 6:45PM
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