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Author Topic: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus  (Read 1168 times)

JakeFruit

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Hello all,

A year in on TFF, what a great resource and members. I have learned so much about the mistakes I was making with my mango seedlings, one of the biggest was mixing my homemade compost (mostly egg shells, coffee grinds, and vegetative waste) directly into my potted soil mix. All of my mangos I did this with exhibited leaf rot/deformation. Now, armed with a semi-clue as to what I'm doing, I'm ready to re-pot and replace the bad mix I had been using in preparation for the upcoming growing season. I will be using RootBuilder pots. Here's what I'm thinking for my potting mixture:

50% Pine Bark
20% Coco Coir
20% Vermiculite
10% Large-grained sand

Does that look like a good mix for SW Florida 10A?

For my fertilizer I purchased Osmocote Plus from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Osmocote-Outdoor-Smart-Release-8-Pound-Fertilizer/ but I'm not sure how much I should mix per gallon of container. Does anybody have a recommendation on the ratio I should use? Is there anything else I should add, nutrient-wise?

Thanks for any feedback!

brian

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2020, 08:43:22 PM »
Your soil mix sounds good for drainage.  You may have to water daily when it is sunny and hot.  For osmocote I use a “three finger handful” for smaller trees (<12in diameter rootmaker) and for larger trees a full handful.  Four or five times a year.

JakeFruit

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2020, 08:17:05 AM »
Your soil mix sounds good for drainage.  You may have to water daily when it is sunny and hot.  For osmocote I use a “three finger handful” for smaller trees (<12in diameter rootmaker) and for larger trees a full handful.  Four or five times a year.
Thanks Brian, do you mix any in with the soil mix initially?

brian

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2020, 10:22:17 AM »
Yes, I always throw a handful in when I mix up my container soil

JakeFruit

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 12:34:25 PM »
Thanks again Brian

JoeP450

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 06:57:28 PM »
Hey jake fruit,

I too have experienced this in previous years, many many seedlings have died which I attribute to root rot and improper drainage combined with over watering. When the root rot starts the seedlings exhibit a shriveling stem like lack of water, then when watered the rot is perpetuated. This year I had more survivors using top soil, sand, and perlite as 50-25-25 ratio. I’m curious where you will be buying these ingredients and what brands? Next year I’m thinking about incorporating oyster shell as it is basically calcium and will help with drainage, can buy in large bags at Tractor Supply Co.

-Joe

JakeFruit

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2020, 08:53:13 AM »
We have a Big Earth supply https://bigearthsupply.com/ and a Tractor Supply store here, between the two I can find what I need. Big Earth beats Home Depot prices on most everything I buy and carries some of the professional soil mixes I often see mentioned on here.

JakeFruit

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2020, 09:08:12 AM »
I also picked up a bag of worm castings, thinking to mix that in. Do you think the castings + initial handful of Osmocote mixed in will be too much nutrient for the trees?

JakeFruit

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2020, 08:28:23 PM »
Finally all mixed. The pine bark pieces are larger than I thought they were going to be and the mix looks really loose, I guess that's what I should want. With the vermiculite, perlite, and pool filter sand, it's a lot grayer/whiter than I was expecting. I have a bunch of sphagnum peat, I was thinking I should throw a few gallons in. I'm afraid it's going to be a race for the holes when I water the mix in the RootBuilder pots....

fliptop

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2020, 09:23:25 PM »
Not sure how/if this could work with a RootBuilder pot, but in regular nursery pots with the holes at the bottom, I cover the holes with coffee filters to keep from losing soil. Maybe there's a way to screen the holes?

JakeFruit

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020, 09:44:18 AM »
Coffee filters wont work with Rootbuilder pots, but thats a great idea for my regular pots!
I thought I posted a pic last night....here's what my mix looks like:



Frog Valley Farm

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2020, 10:06:24 AM »
Sounds like you are making a compost pile.  Microbiology will convert the unavailable nutrients in your mixture into plant available nutrients  If you are using all natural ingredients the worm casting will provide the microbiology that feeds on the natural ingredients in your mix.  That will provide the nutrients your plants need.  There is absolutely no need for chemical fertilizer as this will just kill and or starve the microbiology and eventually show up as nutrient deficiencies or plant disease, mostly they will just leach into the environment.  Other bio fertilizers for your mix of soil like some healthy soil gathered from the healthiest part in your yard made into a tea or a handful of a high end finished compost.  If you want explosive growth add some alfalfa pellets or make a weed tea out of some powdered moringa this will add the green element or nitrogen that is not in a plant available form for the biology to convert.  This is all food for the microbiology.  Just a handful of dirt/compost mixed with a couple gallons of good water and a little molasses then let set covered for 3 days, strain and pour onto your soil or foliar feed will add extra microbiology that will in turn feed on your natural potting soil and provide nutrients to your plant.  You can water everyday with the biologicals unlike with chemicals.  This is what I don’t understand about industrial grown mangos, they are grown in chopped up wood.  They only need some biology added which grows stronger plants that can then combat plant pathogens and will receive the correct amount of nutrients naturally.  It’s pretty basic, carbon, mineral, biology it’s all that’s needed. No chemical pollutants required.  More than 90% of a plants nutrients are supplied by the microbiology.  I personally grow everything in pots in 100% finished biodynamic compost (humus), you cannot over water, it doesn’t dry out and nothing ever needs to be added and it doesn’t break down and can be used over and over again. No damping off, no nutrient deficiencies, no disease.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 04:50:17 PM by Frog Valley Farm »

brian

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2020, 10:27:35 AM »
Jake be careful with peat moss... a little is fine but if the ratio is too high (20% or more?) you can get big dry areas that never wet properly.  Here's an example that happened to me, and this isn't an isolated case it was common before I changed my potting mix to use far less peat.  This problem could be mitigated by soaking the entire pot in a tub of water, but that is time consuming.



Also be careful covering the drainage holes on regular nursery pots... fine soil dust can clog the holes if you use something like a coffee filter.  Perhaps screen material would be better if you are worried about loose soil coming out of the bottom.  In my experience once the container has been watered and settled a bit you don't get much soil leakage.  Drainage is really, really important.  I drowned a few trees in my first few years of container growing.  I usually drill additional holes in plastic nursery pots, including along the "corners" of the bottom so that putting them on a perfectly smooth flat surface won't block all the holes
« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 10:36:50 AM by brian »

lebmung

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2020, 10:45:51 AM »
Quote
Jake be careful with peat moss... a little is fine but if the ratio is too high (20% or more?) you can get big dry areas that never wet properly.  Here's an example that happened to me, and this isn't an isolated case it was common before I changed my potting mix to use far less peat.  This problem could be mitigated by soaking the entire pot in a tub of water, but that is time consuming.

The use of a wetting agent mixed with peat at the beginning will not get you this kind of problem.

brian

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2020, 11:09:45 AM »
Thanks, I had always assumed that wetting agents were "water absorbing sponges" like peat itself, but it seems they are more like surfactants?

"Wetting agents are substances that reduce the surface tension of water to allow it to spread drops onto a surface, increasing the spreading abilities of a liquid. Lowering the surface tension lowers the energy required to spread drops onto a film, thus weakening the cohesive properties of the liquid and strengthening its adhesive properties"

FV Fruit Freak

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2020, 11:17:00 AM »
Coconut fiber seems to work good for the bottom of pots for me. However, I just started using it a couple months ago so time will tell, but, drainage seems good so far.
https://www.kinsmangarden.com/product/Small-Coco-Fiber-Roll?c=NL&s=PPC&gclid=CjwKCAiA35rxBRAWEiwADqB376p8NkJGA7R2UrsoLJ3ro54f4hz44eiCQg9z5EPezYCZDXZ3lYVAAxoCcIkQAvD_BwE
Nate Dogg

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2020, 12:05:12 PM »
How long does your wetting agent last?

Peat repel water so I add sand to the mix to deal with the issue.

JakeFruit

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2020, 12:37:44 PM »
Here's how the final mix ingredients shakes out:

50% - Pine Bark
20% - Coco Coir
10% - Perlite
10% - Vermiculite
10% - Pool Filter Sand

I threw a gallon of Worm Castings in the mix plus a small handful of Osmocote. I plan to go organic, I have been making my own compost from kitchen scaps using two Compost Wizard Jrs (https://goodideasinc.com/collections/composters/products/compost-wizard-jr) for the last few years, but it's not coming out of the bins like I would hope. I use it for teas, but the compost is too clumpy to mix into soils. Maggots and the like that can get into the bins don't do near the job that worms do.

brian

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2020, 01:03:11 PM »
That sounds fine.  After a 6-18mo the mulch will decompose so you will have to repo then and mix fresh mulch in.

FV Fruit Freak

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2020, 03:10:29 PM »
Here's how the final mix ingredients shakes out:

50% - Pine Bark
20% - Coco Coir
10% - Perlite
10% - Vermiculite
10% - Pool Filter Sand

I threw a gallon of Worm Castings in the mix plus a small handful of Osmocote. I plan to go organic, I have been making my own compost from kitchen scaps using two Compost Wizard Jrs (https://goodideasinc.com/collections/composters/products/compost-wizard-jr) for the last few years, but it's not coming out of the bins like I would hope. I use it for teas, but the compost is too clumpy to mix into soils. Maggots and the like that can get into the bins don't do near the job that worms do.

Tread carefully with the coco coir, that stuff keeps everything WET when you put too much in, I had to learn the hard way...good luck.
Nate Dogg

FV Fruit Freak

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Re: Feedback on my potted mango plan: soil mix & how much Osmocote Plus
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2020, 04:23:33 PM »
Coffee filters wont work with Rootbuilder pots, but thats a great idea for my regular pots!
I thought I posted a pic last night....here's what my mix looks like:



Newspaper works too
Nate Dogg

 

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