Gritty Mix late-comer

seattlegardenerJune 30, 2012

Hi, folks - I'm finally getting everything together to give the 5:1:1 mix a try and have a couple of questions. I found everything I need, but am confused about the last two ingredients of the recipe....Is it CRF OR Micro-nutrient poweder or CRF AND Micro-nutrient powder?

I got Osmocote 19-6-12 Outdoor/Indoor (pink cap) CRF and also bought Jobe's Organics All Purpose Fertilizer that would give it an additional 4.0% of NPK plus Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur. It also has a long list of words I can't even pronounce and I assume those are the Micro-nutrients.

I bought an Eastern Redbud that is already over 5 feet tall and I'm in hopes that by planting in a container I can keep it as a smaller tree due to space constraints. Any chance of success? I've read the discussion on re-potting rather than potting up, so am wondering how bit a container I will need.

I've been a lurker mostly on Gardenweb and I just want to thank all of knowledgeable people who are so willing to share.

Karen

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hi, Karen - The 5:1:1 mix and the gritty mix are different. Whether or not you need a micronutrient powder depends on your fertilizer choice. With what you chose, you'll need a source for the rest of the minors to ensure availability. I can make it easier for you by recommending a couple of options when I know what soil you're making for sure.

The chances for success for your tree are very good. The most important consideration is that you have a favorable soil and dappled or open shade for the plant. After that, it's pretty easy until you run up against the first repot. Don't worry though, someone will talk you through it when the time comes; and once we figure out what you're doing, we can get your plant comfortably settled in a home until spring when you can start to manage the roots, if you're up for it. ;-)

If the plant was bumped (up to a larger pot) not long before you bought it, it might be able to stay in the container it's in until spring. If roots are tight, plan on moving it up to a container that has a little more room. I can help with some instructions if it needs potting up temporarily.

Al

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 6:21PM
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seattlegardener

Al - Thanks for responding. My husband and I were outside planting the tree as you were responding. Hope I didn't screw things up. I used the following mix:
3 cf pine bark
5 gal peat
5 gal perlite
4 T lime
1/4 C Osmocote
Oops - I forgot to put in the Jobe's Organic Fert. Didn't know how much if any I was to add.

The tree came in a 5-gal nursery pot and I put it in a 20" container. It's sitting on the east side of the house, but we're in Seattle and our weather is still really iffy...not sure if we'll get summer or not. I can move it when and if we get warmer weather.

What's my next step, Al? Add the Jobe's or not? Pot too big? I did wash a lot of the existing soil off the rootball, but not all (about half).
Karen

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 8:24PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I think you'll be ok if the weather is still cool. I might not have washed half the soil off, but as long as you kept the roots moist, you should be ok. You're light on the lime (dolomitic/garden lime - right?) but if your fertilizer has Ca/Mg you should be ok - especially since there will be some residual lime in the old soil.

I'd hold off on adding any more fertilizer until the tree starts to push growth & you can see there's no leaf scorching. Then watch leaf color - when you see a hint of yellow, it's time to fertilize. I'd just opt for using Miracle-Gro 24-8-14 granular soluble or their 12-4-8 liquid. It has everything but Ca/Mg in it that you're likely to need to supplement with the soil you're using.

If the plant is on the ground, I'd push a wick up through the drain hole & allow it to rest on the soil. That will help if you develop a tendency to over-nurture (read over-water). That's about it, unless you have other questions?

It sounds like you've read the thread about maintaining trees in containers for the long term?

Al

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 10:02PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Try the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trees in containers ....

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 10:15PM
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