New Guy...Old Questions

eascarlosMay 7, 2012

So you can imagine my surprise and horror when I found this forum on how to transplant from one pot to another, not ever realizing that I've been sabotaging my own success for healthy/happy vegetable plants for so long. I apologize for the following questions that have been asked in one way or another ad nauseum. I appreciate your forbearance and any responses that would simplify my search for all my answers.

I recently purchased a 3 gallon meyer's lemon tree and would like to increase the pot size.

So, from tapla's posts and many other searches, it appears for the longer term, outside application, the gritty mix is the way to go. Understand the gritty mix recipe, like many, locating the granite has been my toughest challenge. Also, if i am using Azomite (rock dust) as a fertilizer, do i still need the lime?

Second, i was thinking of upgrading the lemon tree to a half cut whiskey barrel? Too big of a graduation? Any concerns there with the gritty mix? For a citrus, do i need to bare root completely?

Third, i live in zone 10 (Florida East Coast or Space Coast, as we call it) and was wondering if there are any concerns with the brutal heat and watering maintenance. Will i need to increase watering frequency?

And last, I ashamedly admit I recently planted some tomatoes and peppers plants in clay pots using the ignoramus method of lining bottom with screen and then a layer of pea gravel (like i said earlier, mortified), now i'm wondering if a) I'm too late to remove and re-do pots correctly? b) Or is there any recourse to make it through this season?

I'll keep doing searches to find more answers and understand this "new" method for container growing.I am excited to see the results.

Thank you!

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1) Make it more clear where you live and someone may be able to help you. When I first started using the gritty mix, I used "decomposed granite", from which I screened out usable parts. It was a bit of work, but worth it.

2) If you're using gritty mix? My understanding was that one of the big advantages of using well draining mixes is that you can essentially increase the size of the pot as much as you want, or even start a tiny seedling in a *huge* pot. I even regularly start seeds directly in the 20 gallon 5:1:1 mix that is their home for the rest of the season (you can't do that with gritty mix). Perhaps someone else can clarify

3)Living in Houston, I feel your pain. Fortunately, your humidity will help some. By using the largest pots I can manage, I've been able to avoid any huge problems with drying out. Even with gritty mix, I don't have any plants that need to be watered more than once a day, and most I can be lazy about for several days until the end of the season when they're gigantic, thirsty monsters.

4) I'd replant the peppers... the tomatoes I'm not so sure. Disturb them by transplanting and you may interrupt fruiting and ripening... assuming you have the same ultrashort spring tomato season as we do here, that's disastrous. Cherry tomatoes often fruit all season, so you could transplant those I guess. By putting tomatoes in part shade as summer begins, I've gotten even determinate varieties to fruit into June and July... but I started them in large pots in March.

Also, stay away from black pots! Or like I do, spraypaint your pots white!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Thank you, greentiger87!
Just to follow up on your comments, do you still use the decomposed granite or is that something i should work with until i can locate some of the gran-i-grit?

So based on your response,transplanting meyers lemon to whiskey barrel will be fine, but do you have any experience/knowledge about using the azomite in lieu of the lime?

As for the peppers/tomatoes, i'll see how far i get past the lemon tree before messing with them. I have a gardenia that i think could desperately use some gritty mix before they get a taste. Fortunately, i have a few extra plants in raised beds, so i still get somewhat of a harvest.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:00AM
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