My first Gritty Mix......need suggestions. (pic)

edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)April 7, 2012


I just made my first batch of gritty mix for a grapefruit seedling. It might not be holding enough water. Here's what I did:

Pine bark: Used 1/4" screen, then 1/8" screen, and kept pieces between 1/4" and 1/8".

NAPA floor dry: It seemed there was a lot of fine stuff, so I used the 1/8" screen, and kept what was left.

Manna Pro poultry grit: Again, it seemed that there was a lot of fine stuff so I also used 1/8" screen, and kept what didn't go through screen.

I soaked the bark and Floor Dry before I made the mix using a 1:1:1 ratio. Less than 2 days later the mix was almost totally dry. Is this normal? The seedling is still retaining water around the roots because there is still some seed mix around the roots. My feeling is that I need more water retention. I can still fix the mix...I'll just re-do it. Should I have used a 1/16" screen for the granite and/or Floor dry? Used a different ratio? Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

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First, that's a pretty little seedling, good luck! The seedling has tiny shallow roots and the top layer of gritty mix does dry quickly, how are you checking the moisture level? I have no experience with seelings, but I do screen turface and granite at 1/16" through 3/8" (can probably use 1/4").

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 8:45PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The bark is good, but I'd have screened the grit and DE over insect screen only, and retained everything that didn't pass, and used it in the soil. It sounds a little on the coarse side, but probably not the end of the world once the transplant is established.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 9:03PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

OK, thanks. Insect screen sounds good. I have a window screen that I use and it's 1/16" x 1/16". I check the moisture with a bamboo skewer. I checked the moisture today and the whole pot was almost dry. Pot is 5 1/2" x 5 1/2".

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:03PM
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Be mindful of watering, and know that with gritty mix, you can apply water, and the top will appear good and wet. However, below the surface, it may be dry, which is why I use a turkey baster to reapply the water a few times, to ensure a good soaking. Good luck!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:18PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good looking mix! A touch on the coarse side, but that can be remedied.
I have some Pomelo seedlings in a very coarse version of Gritty Mix and I had to keep
the container moist while the roots were establishing.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Looking good!

You got all the support here. I love the reassuring words:-)


    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 3:07PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Thanks everyone for the positive feedback. Tempted to add back a little of the fine stuff sifted out, but probably won't. Will just keep an eye on moisture. I like the idea of a turkey baster. Just happen to have an old one lying around.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Looks good to me!!!

: )

Pretty work!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:45PM
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