Gritty mix ok?

Higgsr1May 3, 2013

Could someone please check the pics of my gritty mix. I have 3 18in maples in my first gritty mix. I want to make sure I did it right before I put a 5 ft maple in it. I did make a couple small mistakes. Coin might be tough to make out, but its a quarter.

2 part -Screened pine bark mulch(lowes). Screened to 1/2
1 part- Manna pro granite grit.
1part- Safe I oil absorb. In place of turface. Environmentally safe and made up of montmortilite clay.

I did not screen grit or turface replacement.
I also did not disturb the root ball of maples when I added them to the gritty mix. Is this a problem?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm very new to gritty mix and japanese maples.

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Looks ok but for a few large pieces, and some sapwood. I screened my gritty mix bark to between 1/8 and 1/4. Half inch screen might have been a little large. What was your small screen size, or did you just use everything that went through the 1/2" screen?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Higgsr1

I used everything that went though the screen. Should I be on the look out for signs of wilting? I'm assuming the smaller particles will cause more water retention. Everything seems ok. But it's only been 2 days.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 2:59PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well, that's not the gritty mix, but it may work for maples.

Lots of sapwood, and your bark wasn't screened properly. Did you read the recipe? Bark should be screened 1/8 to 1/4 inch (3/8 inch is the maximum for Pine bark particularly, due to the flat shape sometimes seen).

Maples are best re-potted before they have leafed out. When maples are potted into Gritty Mix, they need to be bare-rooted so that you don't have two dissimilar mixes in the same container - which can lead to uneven watering, drainage, and drying.

That said, if you bare-root a tree that is in leaf, it is much more likely to lose leaves and suffer. The recovery tends to be slower, as well.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 7:18PM
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Higgsr1

Thank you for all the info.

So what should i do in the mean time? Should I put maples back in original nursery pots I got them in until a dormant period then bare root and put in correct gritty mix, leave them where they are until dormancy then make a precise screened gritty mix. Not sure what I should do for now any help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 6:40AM
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fabricec

Too much repotting is no good so I would leave it as it is and repot properly the next year.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 8:40AM
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Higgsr1

Thank you for the info...yea I think I will just monitor them closely for any signs of distress. And leave them as they are until next year. I did not bare root so ill have to check rootball for when to water...correct?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 8:53AM
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fabricec

I found a trick on this forum and this is one of the best, cheapest and most reliable way of checking humidity. Just insert a wooden skewer in your soil pointing towards the rootball. Remove it daily and check if it's still damp and cool when you put it to your cheek.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Higgsr1

Thank you for all the info. Hopefully everything goes well for this summer until I can repot. At least this will give me time to get my gritty mix in order and ready for next year.

Thanks

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:37AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yes, Fabricec is correct! Leave them for now, watch 'em closely, use the dowel to determine moisture, and assemble your mix for next Spring. If you re-pot the week before the buds begin to swell, the maples will never even notice.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 2:42PM
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