5-1-1 variation for PNW?

gretadoreen(8 PNW)May 30, 2013

New to the forum, new to the 5-1-1 mix idea. I wonder if anyone would have time to suggest a recipe for my situation? HEre it is:
I live in the Pacific NW, so, rainy for a long winter and dry for 3 months in summer. On top of that, I have an uncovered deck with a wall of glass windows. This makes my micro climate windy and wet in winter while summers are really hot and exposed all day. My corkscrew willow makes it through with Ednas soil and 2x daily watering (Edna's is very moisture retentive, I'd say). By the end of summer everything on the deck is on it's last legs; fall comes just in time.

I have to repot now (a bit late) and am trying to figure out a way to incorporate some of the principles of the 5-1-1 mixes (good for roots, etc, & long lasting) without having to water more than once a day (except the willow). The 5-1-1 mix worries me in that I wonder if I'll have to water even more. I was wondering about adding Turface to it, thinking that it would add to the moisture retention AND maintain drainage and longevity. ???

I also need to repot an Italian Cypress which is really suffering -turning yellow and brown. Root bound and needs nutrition as well as new soil.

So, those are two plants that are on different ends of the spectrum in terms of moisture needs. If anyone would have time to suggest a recipe for those two, I may be able to figure out how exactly to tweak your recipe for other things.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hi, Rachel!

What size pots will you be using? If you can use larger pots, you won't have to water as often. I find that 5-gallon nursery containers need to be watered every 2 - 4 days during the Summer; 10-gallon pots can go longer, obviously.

I have a Weeping Willow and various conifers - Pine, Spruce, Redwood, Cypress, Calocedrus, and Cryptomeria - in mixes based upon the 5-1-1 (local ingredients used for substitutions in some cases). All of my trees do very well.

Try a 5-1-1 with half a part of peat and half a part of Turface (to equal the one whole part of peat). Mix thoroughly and moisten while you work - get that bark and peat wet. Then, fill a container and give it a watering. Place the container somewhere on the deck and observe how it dries. You can poke a skewer into the pot and use it to determine the moisture in the bottom of the pot. Of course, a plant will draw moisture out of the mix, too, but this will give you a general idea and help you become familiar with how the mix behaves.

When you water, you water the entire mix slowly until fully saturated. In many cases, folks having trouble with the mix drying out quickly aren't always wetting the mix properly in the first place.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 7:06PM
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gretadoreen(8 PNW)

Thanks so much, Josh!

So, do you plant all the trees you listed in this recipe?

I have to let it sit for a couple of weeks before planting, and after soaking, right?

What's your micro climate like, just to give me a reference?

Thanks, again!

This post was edited by gretadoreen on Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 0:36

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 11:20PM
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