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How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

Posted by bellapietra z6 PA (My Page) on
Wed, May 1, 13 at 11:10

I have been reading about repotting plants into Gritty Mix and how to get all the old soil off the roots but I am wondering how do you then repot with the mix. How best to do it without damaging the roots. It seems it would be hard to distribute the mix throughout the root ball?
Thank you in advance!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

What kind of plant are you considering repotting?


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

Set the roots on top of a slight mound of mix with the roots radiating outward like the spokes on a wheel. Add a bit of mix, work in with a chop-stick. Add more mix, work into the roots; add more mix, and so on. The first re-potting tends to be the most difficult. Keep a hose or spray bottle handy to moisten roots if the process takes more than a minute or two. Water well after potting. Set the plant in the shade, out of the wind.

Josh


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

It's a little cactus in a 4 1/2" pot. I'd pot it up one pot size larger.
I must say in clarification I have a sort of makeshift gritty mix which I made from a bag of Hoffman's Bonsai mix which I screened. It contains Haydite, sand pebble, aged pine bark and Turface in that order.

I am trying to locate the ingredients for the proper Gritty mix but felt this would be a good way to practice my repotting skills with this new type of medium.

I'm in the process of being converted from the "Miracle-Gro with some perlite thrown in" school of repotting, thanks to all the wonderful education on this site.


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

Sorry for the sideways photo!

Thank you Purpleinopp and Josh for your responses. I will proceed as advised. Now to find that pair of chopsticks.

Do you think this mix is viable this one time while I locate the ingredients for my Gritty mix? The photo is of the mix.


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

I would be way out of my league talking about a cactus, having never repotted one. It's a cute little thing, though, good luck!


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

No need to fret about chopsticks....a pencil will work just fine. :-) Or anything of a similar shape.


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

Yes, kabob skewer, popsicle stick, pencil...whatever you have on hand ;-)

I think that mix will work just fine. However, I advise that you moisten the mix ahead of time, then let it dry out a bit (so there's some residual moisture). Then, re-pot your cactus *DRY* - this will help prevent rot from developing in any roots that are damaged during the re-potting process. After 3 - 5 days (a week approximately), slowly and thoroughly water the mix.

My previous advice on keeping roots moist does not apply to desert cacti.


Josh


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

Thank you Rhizo_1 and Josh, for the guidance!
I want to start out small before tackling larger more scary repotting jobs like my huge jade plant.


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Thu, May 2, 13 at 20:16

Good advice from all. Don't be afraid to bare-root the plant. The soil you have looks pretty good for cacti & succulents. If you use it for succulents, remember it's a fallacy that succulents like to go dry between waterings. It's better to let them go dry, because they'll TOLERATE it, and if they had a voice they'd tell you they would rather go dry than be kept too wet. Still, letting them go dry is the lesser of two evils, which is still an evil. In the mix you pictured, you can treat them just as you would all other houseplants you would keep in a well-aerated, fast draining medium.

Al


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

Thank you Al for the advice. I am learning so much from your tutorials, and all the other helpful people on this site. What a luxury to have so much information in one place!


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RE: How to distribute the Gritty Mix throughout root ball?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, May 5, 13 at 12:42

..... really glad you found them helpful - thanks for the kind words. There are a lot of good gardeners here who are ready and able to help folks get more out of the gardening experience. It's always nice to be a part of people helping people.

Learn all you can from a reliable source, then use whatever practical experience your getting by growing to validate what you've learned. ..... fastest way to a green thumb.

 photo thumbart_zpsd73fe3ad.jpg

Al


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