Author Topic: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers  (Read 1027 times)

brian

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testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« on: May 02, 2022, 08:55:01 PM »
I start all my new citrus trees in rootmaker pots when I receive them.  When they have produced a few crops of fruit I then decide their fate.  The best ones are planted in the ground in my greenhouse.  The next best I put in a solid container and prune foliage and roots to a reasonable size, usually 3-4ft of canopy.  The rest, because it makes me sad to totally lose a variety, I graft to flying dragon and keep as forever dwarfs and then get rid of the original.  This ends up reminding me a lot of bonsai culture, so I read a bit on bonsai to see if there was anything applicable.  Bonsai seems to be mostly focused on appearance but the one thing that stuck with me is the very wide & shallow containers used.  I remember seeing photos of large hurricane-overturned in-ground citrus trees and being surprised how wide & shallow their roots are.  And I have found the most common cause of decline in my container trees is too wet or too dry soil, sometimes seeing both in one container... a rotting impermeable layer on top and dried out soil below.  Despite my best efforts to use free-draining mixes I forget to repot and trees that seem to look great are actually suffering from mulch breakdown, and I don't notice until it has become severe.  So, I happened to find some 15gal pan-like containers at the hardware store and I figured I would give them a try.  They are 15gal, about 2.5ft wide but only about 5in deep.  Now that winter has passed when I pulled all my container trees out of the greenhouse for repotting I spread and cut back the roots until they would fit in a much shorter space.  For the tiny flying-dragon-grafted trees I did something similar but with smaller nursery pots and cut the excess rim off.

this is a marumi kumquat



this is a guava, but same idea



I did this with a half dozen trees but I didn't take pictures of them all. 




Vlad

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2022, 09:16:13 PM »
Please provide more information on these containers, e.g., manufacturer, model no..

brian

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2022, 09:31:52 PM »
the brand is Maccourt, I think this is it:

https://maccourt.com/product-category/plantainers/

poncirsguy

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2022, 11:23:29 PM »
Your trees look good.  I have been using shorter container to.  Mine are not that short.  They are 55 gallon drums cut in half.  That makes for greater diameter  than depth but not shallow like yours.

brian

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2022, 11:37:56 PM »
I have been looking for 55gallon plastic drums for quite a while to do that but while previously they were sold for $10 each I now see them listed for $40 each which is more expensive than buying two nursery pots.

Millet

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2022, 12:52:26 PM »
.brian, the trees you show look very well balanced, healthy, and amazingly well taken care of.  What is the mix you are using in the shallow containers  (turface & MG) or 5-1-1

brian

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2022, 09:49:47 PM »
.brian, the trees you show look very well balanced, healthy, and amazingly well taken care of.  What is the mix you are using in the shallow containers  (turface & MG) or 5-1-1

Thank you.  I am not sure exactly what my mix is anymore as I keep recycling it into a big pile on my patio.  When I repot trees I dump their old soil onto the pile and add only fresh coconut husk mulch until the texture feels right.  There is a significant amount of turface, perlite, and spent osmocote prills that remain intact.   After the fresh mulch is added it is probably something close to a 5-1-1 mix.

tedburn

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2022, 12:28:09 AM »
interesting concept Brian, don' t you feat that the pots get dry too quickly in summer ? Best regards Frank

Francis_Eric

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2022, 09:37:07 AM »
the brand is Maccourt, I think this is it:

https://maccourt.com/product-category/plantainers/
What is the Price of each at store ?
Brian I clicked on the product but no price
(no wonder everyone shops at Amazon Nowadays  stupid web sites no longer  have any prices!)

brian

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2022, 12:59:58 PM »
interesting concept Brian, don' t you feat that the pots get dry too quickly in summer ? Best regards Frank

I am setting up a sprinkler to water all of the container trees on my patio, I am hopeful that once a day is enough even on the hottest days, but it wouldn't be too hard to run it twice if needed.  I have some hose timers in case I go on vacation.


Francis, I think these were $15/ea at Lowes.  Not cheap, but after spending all winter looking for a free/recycled option I decided I wasn't waiting any longer. 

Melenduwir

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2022, 05:06:04 PM »
For smaller bonsai-like plants, I've actually had good results with the plastic containers used to package tofu.  The biggest problem with bonsai dwarfing is that the plants can require daily watering, but if you're willing to invest the effort...

Francis_Eric

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2022, 04:57:57 AM »
Thanks I remember now I find these for free A breakfast diner throws these out
(maybe try )

rectangle plastic commercial food pans.

I also saw one in a dumpster when I had a very strange dream of a house
 I went over by that house that is how I remember where I find these..
(one was  in there, & also maybe save $50 of other large rubber bins I've needed)


I was Initially going to say what about dollar store cat liter box
not sure how toxic these plastics are of cat liter box (*but should have plastic code labeled )

(edit the ones I find are thick black  plastic like dog food bowls , but rectangular  maybe I should sell them)
 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 09:27:07 AM by Francis_Eric »

brian

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2022, 09:49:56 AM »

rectangle plastic commercial food pans.


this is a good idea, but so far the metal ones seem to cost at least ten bucks each new, and the plastic ones won't have UV blockers so they won't last.

I wonder if I can find some cheap cake pans.

poncirsguy

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2022, 01:08:03 PM »
When testing a switch for deep to shallow pots.  What kind of switch do you use.  I have a knob and tube 4 way switch  Is that overkill or is it better.  The switch I have was discontinued about 75 years ago when things were built great.




brian

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2022, 01:42:43 PM »
hah, I know you are joking but I have a box of ancient switches just like that from the "junk bin" of misc hardware passed down from my family.  It reminds me how much I hate working with flat-head screws :)

hornad

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2022, 05:37:03 PM »
When performing an experiment nothing less than one of these switches will do


Citradia

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2022, 09:36:48 PM »
Bonsai. When cultivating bonsai using fruit bearing trees such as citrus or crabapples, one usually uses a little deeper pot to provide a little more nutritional support from a larger root mass. Need good drainage, regular watering, and adequate fertilizer to keep up with the frequent watering.

W.

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2022, 02:06:18 AM »
hah, I know you are joking but I have a box of ancient switches just like that from the "junk bin" of misc hardware passed down from my family.  It reminds me how much I hate working with flat-head screws :)

And I hate Phillips-head screws. Despite their reputation, I have less problems with cam out using flat-heads than Phillips-heads. I have also never managed to strip out a flat-head screw, yet.

sea4

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2022, 01:57:13 PM »
I have some restaurant bus bins that were used for an event and then given to me. I use these for garden stuff but not planted in them. After 2-3 years outside, they show no signs of deterioration. I keep another one in my trunk and find it infinitely useful, especially when you buy a dirty, wet bag of soil, etc.

Also a concrete mixing pan that I use as an inground water feature, going strong after 20+ years. Currently obtainable pans may be totally different plastic, of course. These items sometimes show up at thrift stores. The rectangular shape may not be the best, although they do line up nicely on a growing/potting bench.

 

Francis_Eric

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Re: testing a switch to wide & shallow containers
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2022, 01:20:09 PM »
I have some restaurant bus bins that were used for an event and then given to me. I use these for garden stuff but not planted in them. After 2-3 years outside, they show no signs of deterioration. I keep another one in my trunk and find it infinitely useful, especially when you buy a dirty, wet bag of soil, etc.

Also a concrete mixing pan that I use as an inground water feature, going strong after 20+ years. Currently obtainable pans may be totally different plastic, of course. These items sometimes show up at thrift stores. The rectangular shape may not be the best, although they do line up nicely on a growing/potting bench.

Thank you that is what I was talking about Bus bins

Off topic , but with these bins

You can also get free Plastic wrap used for packaging in dumpsters
cover these bins, and start seeds inside the covered bins (as a humidity chamber )

(soil should have perlite for air also be observant of temps )

you could always lay mesh screen (chicken wire or aka hardware cloth )

on bottom when seed grows flood the bins with water , and pull up the wire mesh, and seeds trapped ..


Not certain if that is any good for citrus (is for pawpaw)
maybe wait till seeds harden off not too stress to much ..

(note I initially deleted my original post not to get off topic ,
but all in all I am attempting using these again (bad soil)
 I usually use aquariums , and have done so with great results for many years
More perlite more root hairs as well )
 


 

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