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Author Topic: Container growing citrus in 100% wood chips  (Read 3088 times)

zands

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Container growing citrus in 100% wood chips
« on: April 17, 2014, 09:32:37 PM »
Hi all in this new forum.

My sandy soil is high ph (coquina coral rock plus sand) and has ruined citrus I have planted
So more recently I have been growing it in containers in 100% wood chips that have rotted 9-12 months. Some $10 Meyer Lemon and a lime have been doing well. I saw this 6 gallon Dancy tangerine with a thick trunk so I bought and repotted into wood chips that come from a tree trimming service.
I had some pottery clay around so added some to the pots

Here are the photos

rotted wood chips mulch in the philidendron patch. I dragged them out to use on the new Dancy repotting
You also see an in ground tangerine planted 4 years ago





Here is the repotting
The roots were not bound up to my surprise! So not too much cutting with the knife
Filling the pot with wood chips
Comparison of pot sizes ...before and after up-potting into wood chips






The end result




I am pissed some branches were broken at the store I bought it at...but thick trunk over ruled this. This store also had nice Satsuma/ PM me if interested.

This will never be planted in ground! In a few years it will go into a larger pot with rotted wood chips. If I acquire some verified neutral ph sand I will add some too. But not my own sand-sandy soil which I have plenty of


« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 09:41:13 PM by zands »

elsedgwick

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Re: Container growing citrus in 100% wood chips
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 10:43:03 PM »
Wood chips are fine in the short term, but in the long term, once the wood chips have broken down more fully the resulting soil will hold too much water and encourage root rot.  If you are planning to re-pot with some frequency and remove most of the old soil before adding new chips you might be able to avoid this, but removal of the soil would result in more stress to the plant.  Mixing in some inorganic materials (perlite, sand, ground granite) or organics that are highly resistant to decomposition (charcoal, coconut hulls) would result in a soil that retains its structure longer.   

Millet

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Re: Container growing citrus in 100% wood chips
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 11:49:33 PM »
Some time ago I purchased two Page Mandarins from Four Winds Growers.  I purchased them expressly for testing.  Both trees are planted in Root Maker's 5-gallon Air Root Pruning Containers. One is in Miracle Grow Soil (Not potting mix), and the other is planted in 100% cedar mulch. I chose cedar because it is a wood that decays very very slowly.  Both trees look excellent. I plan to run the experiment for at lease 2 years.  I have long had most of my 50+ citrus trees planted in a 50/50 blend of cedar mulch and peat moss- Millet

zands

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Re: Container growing citrus in 100% wood chips
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 10:41:20 AM »
@elsedgwick
I thought I was real clever but now I see the possible drawbacks. I am going to add some of what you mention when I re-pot upward...or before that if I get root rot
What are the signs of root rot?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 11:50:12 AM by zands »

zands

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Re: Container growing citrus in 100% wood chips
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 10:43:22 AM »
Some time ago I purchased two Page Mandarins from Four Winds Growers.  I purchased them expressly for testing.  Both trees are planted in Root Maker's 5-gallon Air Root Pruning Containers. One is in Miracle Grow Soil (Not potting mix), and the other is planted in 100% cedar mulch. I chose cedar because it is a wood that decays very very slowly.  Both trees look excellent. I plan to run the experiment for at lease 2 years.  I have long had most of my 50+ citrus trees planted in a 50/50 blend of cedar mulch and peat moss- Millet

Maybe the air-prune containers work against root rot due to more soil (potting mix) ventilation from the sides of this type container

daytripper

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Re: Container growing citrus in 100% wood chips
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 11:00:13 AM »
Dont overlook coco for a medium, I use half coco coir and half coco chips, drains great and coco break down very slowly.

Millet

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Re: Container growing citrus in 100% wood chips
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 04:53:13 PM »
I've also grown a lot of citrus tree in Coconut husk chips. Worked well - Millet

starling1

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Re: Container growing citrus in 100% wood chips
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 10:52:43 PM »
I've also grown a lot of citrus tree in Coconut husk chips. Worked well - Millet

One seller I buy fingerlimes from sends me trees that are potted up in a mixture of fine pine chips, large chunks of coconut husk, and smashed up seashells. No idea where he gets the last from, maybe he collects it himself.

 

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