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Author Topic: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?  (Read 1263 times)

EddieF

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What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« on: October 23, 2020, 05:03:44 PM »
Howdy all.   Early this yr i put down 35yrds of topsoil to grade 30x50 or so area.
Thickness anywhere from 3" hto 12" and i water settled it 3x.  Can drive on it without sinking much.
I've read dig hole 2x root ball which i'll do. 
Should i get unknown FL sand where i got soil, or big box store of some type?
And what ratio should i mix it?
6 mangos from 3gal to 15gal if nice i'll be planting.
And if there's better option then sand, i'll do that.

Thanks,
Ed
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 05:05:32 PM by EddieF »

bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2020, 05:15:03 PM »
Your top soil probably is silty loam. You may not need the extra expense of adding more sand to it.Have it tested test it first. Imho
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bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2020, 05:24:02 PM »
What is underneath your topsoil?
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roblack

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2020, 05:25:08 PM »
Your top soil probably is silty loam. You may not need the extra expense of adding more sand to it.Have it tested test it first. Imho

...I think he's asking about what type of sand he should use, and at what ratio.

Following, as I am curious as well.

as for planting mangoes, I recommend not digging a hole, but rather building a mound. don't need to get fancy with the soil, but you can

bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2020, 05:30:55 PM »
There are many types of sand with different names.  most of the stuff from the box stores is going to come from a sand mine. Which they have Cyclones sand which is very powdery like dust. Then there's Ball Bearing Sand which they use in septic tank drainfields that would probably be my choice. Masonry sand I don't know? The sand where he got the top soil should be fine.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 05:35:20 PM by bovine421 »
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bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2020, 05:38:30 PM »
I was just curious if the topsoil was on top of muck or hard pan. Maybe something completely different
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Epicatt2

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2020, 06:10:24 PM »
I buy coarse builders sand from HD and have had no problems with it in a 1:1:1 mix of:

~ sand
~ milled sphagnum
~ compost (dug out of my flowerbeds)

The coarse builders sand seems to help a lot with the draining of the mix and there doesn't seem to be a significant amount of fines in it.

And if I want a mix with more or with less draining I either add a bit more sand or a bit more sphagnum, depending on what I am trying to accomplsh.

OK HTH

Paul M.
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EddieF

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2020, 07:22:20 PM »
Bovine, underneath is typical FL sand.  It was wooded lot i cleared some of.
Questionable part (after reading forum) is brazil pepper tree leftover debris between original lot sand & topsoil i used.
The topsoil is not loamy at all.  It's black dirt that compacted so hard, it's like digging concrete.
Testing i should do.  Where should i mail some?  Ph i did myself & showed very high like 8, so i spread 20lbs or more cr90 a month ago before the feet of rain we got.

Epicat, thanks for your input.  Course is what i think it needs to drain.

EddieF

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2020, 08:23:47 PM »
sphagnum is new word to me.

bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2020, 08:36:26 PM »
sphagnum is new word to me.
Looks like some kind of vegetable. I don't think I can even pronounce it. I think it's some form of peat moss. lol
Your top soil must have some kind of hard pan clay mix to it to be hard and crusty like that :)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 08:48:05 PM by bovine421 »
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Epicatt2

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2020, 03:15:25 AM »
Sphagnum is a genus of tropical or temperate climate mosses.  It grows in damp, wet, or boggy places.  It is bright green (usually) when alive.  When it dies it turns a straw color.  Eventually it may sink to be bottom of the bog and in an acid environment such as that it slowly compacts and becomes what is known as spagnum peat. (This is not at all the same thing as German peat.)

In its live or dead fibrous state sphagnum makes an ideal subatrate for orchids or other plants that don't like to dry out fully because the fibers hold water/moisture.

When ground up (or milled) sphagnum can be used in soil mixtures as a moisture retaining additive.  It also can help to aerate the soil mix to some degree which allows plant roots access to oxygen.

There, no longer a new word . . . !  Hope that's not TMI.

Cheers!

Paul M.
==

bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2020, 07:49:44 AM »
Sphagnum is a genus of tropical or temperate climate mosses.  It grows in damp, wet, or boggy places.  It is bright green (usually) when alive.  When it dies it turns a straw color.  Eventually it may sink to be bottom of the bog and in an acid environment such as that it slowly compacts and becomes what is known as spagnum peat. (This is not at all the same thing as German peat.)

In its live or dead fibrous state sphagnum makes an ideal subatrate for orchids or other plants that don't like to dry out fully because the fibers hold water/moisture.

When ground up (or milled) sphagnum can be used in soil mixtures as a moisture retaining additive.  It also can help to aerate the soil mix to some degree which allows plant roots access to oxygen.

There, no longer a new word . . . !  Hope that's not TMI.

Cheers!

Paul M.
==

 That's not TMI. Thank you Paul M

https://besgrow.com/whats-the-difference-between-spagmoss-and-peat-moss-the-environment/

Virtually all of the peat moss sold in the United States comes from the vast sphagnum moss bogs of Canada. Often mixed with a mineral named perlite, it is highly valued by horticulturists for its ability to retain moisture and oxygen without becoming waterlogged or heavy
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 07:52:39 AM by bovine421 »
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skhan

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2020, 12:00:21 PM »
I having a little trouble understanding the ops question.
Seems like you laid down topsoil and have typical fl sand underneath, and you want to plant mangos in ground.

If that is correct i wouldn't really mix in sand though unless you have a drainage problem in which case id go with robs suggestion.

Is the land bare? I'm curious as to why topsoil would compact like that. Usually vegetation would prevent that.
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EddieF

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2020, 01:21:31 PM »
skhan, i water settled it by blasting every inch with garden hose point blank, 3 times.  Worked great, went down almost 4".  I left level strings till done.
Reason for wanting solid ground is for my wheelchair.  I'm a paraplegic and sand was not fun.  My 86yr old father & i did all leveling & fill, a good tree guy cleared it for me.
Soil now is like nice hard NY black dirt with some but not much FL sand.  Much of the wood chips that was in fill floated up as i settled it & raked it off.
I'm affraid fruit tree roots will rot in no time, considering they like our sandy stuff.  No standing water even though it's flat including after those feet of rain.
It's grass & weed cover now, spread seed, will take photo if landscaper gets here.  Top has thin sand layer that washed up from fill.

bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2020, 01:38:11 PM »
If I'm understanding correctly and you have 12 in of hard topsoil. If you did the hole to plant your trees. The roots should get past that to the Florida sand and be just fine. I kind of have the opposite  problem my house is built next to a retention pond. When they dug the pond they built up the lot with a loam silty clay mixture. Then put 18 to 24 in of good topsoil on top. So when i dig i hit the hardpan clay material. I have to wiggling the shovel and do a scraping action.Sometimes I use an ax. The good news is it will perk, if I dig a hole and fill it half with water 8 hours later it will be gone. Do a perk test! Have someone take post hole diggers and dig Down 2 feet.Then fill it full of water and see how long it takes for it to disappear. :)

PS sorry for all the typos and rewrites but I'm working off a small screen smartphone and do not have my Magoo glasses with me

« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 01:58:51 PM by bovine421 »
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skhan

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2020, 02:23:33 PM »
skhan, i water settled it by blasting every inch with garden hose point blank, 3 times.  Worked great, went down almost 4".  I left level strings till done.
Reason for wanting solid ground is for my wheelchair.  I'm a paraplegic and sand was not fun.  My 86yr old father & i did all leveling & fill, a good tree guy cleared it for me.
Soil now is like nice hard NY black dirt with some but not much FL sand.  Much of the wood chips that was in fill floated up as i settled it & raked it off.
I'm affraid fruit tree roots will rot in no time, considering they like our sandy stuff.  No standing water even though it's flat including after those feet of rain.
It's grass & weed cover now, spread seed, will take photo if landscaper gets here.  Top has thin sand layer that washed up from fill.

Got it, makes sense now.
Sound like a lot of work.

Like Bovine suggested I'd just dig through it and plant it.
When you remove the compacted dirt from the hole, instead of sand I'd go with some high-quality potting soil to level it off, compost as a top dress, mulch on top.
I'm worried when the trees get a little bigger they'll start breaking through the compacted soil while looking air, but i don't really see a way around it
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bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2020, 04:42:03 PM »
skhan, i water settled it by blasting every inch with garden hose point blank, 3 times.  Worked great, went down almost 4".  I left level strings till done.
Reason for wanting solid ground is for my wheelchair.  I'm a paraplegic and sand was not fun.  My 86yr old father & i did all leveling & fill, a good tree guy cleared it for me.
Soil now is like nice hard NY black dirt with some but not much FL sand.  Much of the wood chips that was in fill floated up as i settled it & raked it off.
I'm affraid fruit tree roots will rot in no time, considering they like our sandy stuff.  No standing water even though it's flat including after those feet of rain.
It's grass & weed cover now, spread seed, will take photo if landscaper gets here.  Top has thin sand layer that washed up from fill.

Got it, makes sense now.
Sound like a lot of work.

Like Bovine suggested I'd just dig through it and plant it.
When you remove the compacted dirt from the hole, instead of sand I'd go with some high-quality potting soil to level it off, compost as a top dress, mulch on top.
I'm worried when the trees get a little bigger they'll start breaking through the compacted soil while looking air, but i don't really see a way around it

Yes you're going to dig deeper than 12in to plant a tree you will get into the existing natural sand which you will mix with the topsoil from the hole and dilute it. Then everything should be fine. When that hard topsoil gets drenched every day with that South Florida rain that's when the roots will penetrate through. :)
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EddieF

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2020, 07:14:04 PM »
Here it is.  I had to press finger quite hard & make multiple passes.  It's great for wheels & pushing things on it :)  i throw a steel rake down & it almost rings. 
I will definitely send sample to master extension office which i was told's in Gaineville because 2 small citrus trees a friend gave me looks terrible.  Was great before planting.  Gots to dig it up.

Thin sand layer washed up from topsoil fill.  Also had a few sea shells.




bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2020, 08:39:46 PM »




This ground is really hard. I dug a hole to the size of a 30 gallon pot.Then i brought in some good silty loam and mix it with the original soil. The only time it is a problem is if you have true hardpan and it won't percolate. It can then fill up with water. I have also been lazy cuz it was hot and just dug the hole the way you're supposed to and put the mango tree in the hole. They seem to do okay. Here's a photo of a PPK that i did just that.




« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 09:55:15 PM by bovine421 »
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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2020, 09:49:11 PM »
You have to use sand carefully if you are putting in it a hole with higher clay content around as you don't want to make a well. If your soil is already well drained and open you probably don't need it unless you are filling in or elevating spots with surface application. . Sphagnum is a bog moss that accumulates in swampy places and it fond of old volcanic vent. It is mined near my area on the Atherton Tableland. Dried sphagnum hold water well and is used in some mixes for orchids and specific plants.

gnappi

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2020, 12:14:28 AM »
Bovine, underneath is typical FL sand.  It was wooded lot i cleared some of.
Questionable part (after reading forum) is brazil pepper tree leftover debris between original lot sand & topsoil i used.
The topsoil is not loamy at all.  It's black dirt that compacted so hard, it's like digging concrete.
Testing i should do.  Where should i mail some?  Ph i did myself & showed very high like 8, so i spread 20lbs or more cr90 a month ago before the feet of rain we got.

Epicat, thanks for your input.  Course is what i think it needs to drain.

I too live in SE. Fla (N. Broward) and have grey sandy / loamy stuff under my topsoil and just dig a hole and put the trees (all species) into the hole with a bit of top soil as an amendment. I probably do not have to but all my trees are happy.

Most say put it in the hole, mulch and you're done.

Regards,

   Gary

EddieF

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2020, 10:23:54 AM »
I'm thinking 50/50 sand/topsoil is best because the 2 citrus a friend gave me look terrible & the soil stays wet for days.  Compacts very tight.  These both have good reviews for what i'm looking to do.  Company even replied saying yes it's ok to others that asked.





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« Last Edit: November 06, 2020, 07:06:34 PM by EddieF »

Jagmanjoe

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2020, 06:23:16 PM »
Just my 2 cents worth opinion.  Last year I planted 9 mango trees, two peach trees and a Cara Cara orange tree at a home we had just purchased.  I planted them into the ground and then this year the rains came.  I live in South Lakeland, FL.  My trees were flooded for weeks at a time because the water would simply not drain to hardpan underneath.  I have managed to raise one of the peaches slightly in hopes I can save it.  The others had already established too much of a root system. 

I just planted a Star Fruit tree and here is what I did for this and future tree plantings.  I purchased some Grass Barrier Border material which is 10 inches wide allowing me to bury half of it underground to limit grass and weeds getting into the area.  Then I created a mound a little higher than the barrier material and removed the plant from the pot.  I then added dirt to slope away from the height of the plant dirt.  Watered the dirt before and after adding tree.  I also use galvanized chain link fence top post material as a stake material to help tie the tree trunk during the early years as well as a support for a fabbed pvc conduit removable top to drape fabric over for the occasional frost or freeze.  Finally around the perimeter I put mulch up to level with the Barrier material.  This should keep the tree from sitting in water from any rain for weeks on end for me.  Also between the mulch and some timely fertilizer I believe I will finally have some healthy trees.

EddieF

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2020, 09:28:05 PM »
Joe, cool.  Interesting to see it  & 3yrs from now.

I had 4" rain last night according to my ears & water in pail.
Black mud's what i got under grass.  Serious tracks if drove on.
It didn't puddle though & will dry hard.  I need sand in mango hole to be safe, yes?
Roots rot if kept damp for weeks?  This soil as-is will stay damp for weeks.

bovine421

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Re: What sand should i mix with topsoil for FL mangos?
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2020, 07:48:28 PM »
Howdy all.   Early this yr i put down 35yrds of topsoil to grade 30x50 or so area.
Thickness anywhere from 3" hto 12" and i water settled it 3x.  Can drive on it without sinking much.
I've read dig hole 2x root ball which i'll do. 
Should i get unknown FL sand where i got soil, or big box store of some type?
And what ratio should i mix it?
6 mangos from 3gal to 15gal if nice i'll be planting.
And if there's better option then sand, i'll do that.

Thanks,
Ed
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