Kumquat update

jenn(SoCal 9/19)September 8, 2011

Earlier this year I wrote about our dwarf Nagami Kumquat in a pot, sunken into the potting soil in which I planted it 5 years before. We plan to plant it in the garden later in fall, but first I wanted to re-pot it into new soil. I chose a modified 5-1-1 mix, using Orchid bark (small pieces, from OSH), perlite, peat and lime. The roots were a mess but we did our best to rinse and trim them and get them well-seated in the new mix. We also re-potted our new Dwarf Meyer Lemon into the same mix. Then, we let them rest in the shade for a week or so before moving them into a spot that gets mostly sun. We've kept them well watered with a weekly feeding of Foliage Pro.

Well, here's a pic I took of it last weekend, and also a pair of Meyer Lemon pics. They seem very happy and I think we did good --- thanks to all the help in this forum. Starting next month, I plan to re-pot all of our container plants into the gritty or 5-1-1 mixes. I've already planted a few into a cactus mix (because that's what I had on hand), and those plants already seem MUCH happier.

The Kumquat... the plant is COVERED with blossoms!

The Meyer Lemon...

... and another one of the Meyer Lemon, with a little helper -- actually 2, can you spot the other one?

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Awesome, Jenn, I love a happy ending!

The 5-1-1 is my "work horse" around the yard, but the Gritty will buy you more time
betwixt re-pottings (assuming a large enough container, of course).

Josh

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:38AM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Thank you, Josh!

Except for seasonal veggies, how long would you say your 5-1-1 pots last before you need to re-pot?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 6:13PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well, it really depends.

Something I do that increases the longevity of my mix is using uncomposted fir bark.

I've never pushed my mixes beyond two years because I've always needed to move up
in pot-size before the mix actually started to compact. That said, I do have one container
with a Giant Chainfern in a 5-1-1 mix that's over two year's old, and the bark is just now
beginning to degrade. I would confidently use the 5-1-1 for two seasons, as long as the
container is of a sufficient size to support two seasons worth of root-growth.

Some caveats, however. High and low temperatures, frequent watering in hot areas,
use of organic fertilizers, et cetera, will all conspire to shorten the life of your 5-1-1.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 7:28PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Oh, you must know how I feel about the combination of Citrus trees and these wonderful mixes!

Great work and beautiful citrus you have there!

Mike

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 10:26PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Way to go, Jenn. You've done well. Good job!

Al

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 9:25PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Thanks, Josh. We will plant the Meyer and the Kumquat in the garden later in fall. We live in a former citrus grove and have a very happy old Tangerine (Dancy??) tree that thrives, so they should be happy in our soil. In the ground, we won't need to worry about re-potting every couple of years -- our backs aren't getting any younger. :)

Mike and Al: Thank you!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 4:14PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

For best success, make sure you correct root issues that carry the potential to cause problems before transplanting. Girdling, encircling, intertwined, and J-hooked roots, as well as those roots growing back toward the center of the root mass should go at transplant time.

Al

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 9:05PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Al: Thanks for the advice; we'll be sure to do that. In fact I've thought about that step whenever I think about where to transplant it. Would we also need to remove any of the foliage?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 11:54PM
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