Author Topic: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas  (Read 1942 times)

dmwong93

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Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« on: April 22, 2018, 04:42:29 AM »
Hi,

I was wondering what are your experience growing jabaoticabas in southern CA fairly alkaline soils. Do you try acidifying your soils since they prefer a pH range of 5.5-6.5 and not knowing exactly my soil pH since I haven't got it tested, my plants look yellow and has slow growth even when I fertilize and is kept moist.

If you do try acidifying your soil, how do you go about it? Sulfur?


Thanks

achetadomestica

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2018, 09:52:41 PM »
I am not in California and am surprised some fellow California members
are not sharing their experiences? In Florida I have had better luck so far growing jabos in pots.
My PH is not high like I originally thought but I put a red jabo in the ground and it was not happy.
I ended up pulling it and putting it back in a pot. I notice for me the jabos seem happier in partial shade.
I had two grimals in pots that were getting sun all day and I put them in a spot that only gets morning sun
and they are much happier and greener.

dmwong93

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2018, 10:57:02 PM »
Thanks for the reply. Atm it is in full sun, hopefully my Barbados will give it shade soon once it gets bigger.

CA Hockey

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2018, 11:35:38 PM »
I just started this season so I can't say too much one way or another. Sorry

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barath

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 12:59:19 AM »
So I don't have any in-ground jaboticabas, but have planted a number of acid-loving trees (including several Eugenias and other jabo relatives) and I try to use many acidifying methods rather than just one.  While I usually go with the usual approach of crazy amounts of coffee grounds, for things that really need acidic soil I do a little bit of all of these: coffee grounds, sulfur, cottonseed meal, peat, pine needles, and leftover citrus peels and bits.

simon_grow

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 08:23:26 AM »
It depends which varieties of jab you are growing. Sabara and the red hybrid seem to grow well here on their own roots but other varieties may grow better if grafted onto Sabara rootstock.

For non grafted trees, I use Sulfur for longer term acidification. Here in SoCal, if your Jab has yellow leaves, your tree may need extra Iron, Zinc and Magnesium. You should try to bring down the pH of your soil first so your plants can uptake these nutrients easier.

Simon

KarenRei

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 09:27:58 AM »
Sulfur is generally the cheapest and gentlest way to do significant acidification without affecting anything else, although be aware it takes a year or so to have full effect.  A little bit of sulfur goes a long way.  Sulfuric acid is faster, although you have to be careful, both for your safety and your plants**; the more you dilute the acid, the safer you'll be, although the longer it'll take to acidify the soil.  Ammonium-based fertilizers are also acidifying, but you have to be careful not to have too much ammonia in the soil at any point in time or you risk ammonium toxicity (I've lost plants to that  :(  ). Urea and anhydrous ammonia are acidifying, but not as much as ammonium compounds (per unit N). To the extent that your plants need phosphorus fertilization, you can use phosphoric acid; it's one of the safest of the strong acids, but you're limited by how much phosphorus your soil needs. Nitric acid is of course quite acidifying, but it's rather dangerous - not merely corrosive like sulfuric acid, but also with a tendancy to create toxic gases or explosive compounds when used improperly.  Also, iron sulfate is acidic, although a rather expensive way to acidify soil.  If of course does add iron, but unlike chelates, you won't get the iron benefits with iron sulfate until you get the pH down.

** - If you want to earn some respect for concentrated sulfuric acid's ability to eat away organics, pour some on some sugar  ;)  Concentrated sulfuric acid is like a flameless fire in liquid form.  Always remember: pour acid into water, not water into acid!

If you don't want to pay for a detailed soil analysis (you probably only need to know pH), you can pick up a cheap soil test kit online.  You can get either self-contained, multi-test ones that use a colour indicator that you match up with a colour chart; or single test ones that you mail in using a provided envelope, and they do a precise professional analysis (included in the cost of the kit)
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 09:59:31 AM by KarenRei »
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PltdWorld

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 12:43:26 PM »
I have 4 jabos in the ground - from 3 different sources.  All were started in pots, 2 transferred to in-ground as 5gal and the other two as 1gal.

My soil is clay/loam (assumption is that it is slightly alkaline, but hasn't been tested), and my water is very hard (7.55-8.4) coming from the Miramar treatment facility.  I have not amended my soil, and I do not adjust my water for watering.

My two largest jabos were sourced from Florida as 5gal plants a couple of years ago - both were immediately planted in ground, in full sun.  Of those two, one looks somewhat "sickly" (yellow/brown leaves, very little new growth, etc); but the other has added more than 2 feet since planted (now approx 6' tall), is very bushy, continues to flush out growth and flowered earlier this year.  They are planted about 8' apart from each other and receive the same amount of sun and water.

The other two were transferred to in-ground about a year ago.  One was a gifted seedling, and the other I grew from seed.  The one that was gifted to me is planted on the same slope as the two Florida jabos - it receives the same sun (full sun), but less water - it is constantly flushing new growth and is very healthy.

My seedling was planted on the opposite side of the house; it gets shade 1/3-1/2 of the day, and is planted approximately 4' from the trunk of a king palm.  That one has put out very little new growth and most of the existing growth has turned yellow/brown.  It receives daily water on a drip line.

Not sure what conclusions can be drawn from any of this as it is not very scientific - but some jabos are doing very well in my yard without any adjustment to my soil composition or water profile.





shaneatwell

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 12:51:08 PM »
I only have one sabara that's been in the ground a long time (4yrs). Its a damn slow grower but looks healthy otherwise. Heavy clay pH 7.2 (same as my tap water). Over the last year I started to hit it periodically with acid loving miracle grow. Hasn't seemed to make much of a difference.
Shane

Jct

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2018, 01:30:52 PM »
It is hard to keep the soil acidic if everything around it is alkaline. All the elements introduced to increase the acidity will eventually leach or wash away, requiring constant renewal. I gave up after killing a nice blueberry and miracle berry bush.  The replacements are in pots where it is much easier to keep the pH where you need it. This probably isn't good advice for a tree, but its worked for me on smaller plants.
Best of luck!
LaVerne Manila Mango; Pixie Crunch, Honeycrisp & Gala Apple Trees; Violette De Bordeaux & Black Mission Fig; Santa Rosa Plum & Snow Queen Nectarine; Nagami Kumquat, Pixie Tangerine, Lemon, Australian Finger Lime & Washington Navel Citrus; White & Red Dragon Fruit; Miracle Berry Plant

CA Hockey

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2018, 10:37:40 AM »
For acidification, correct me if Im wrong but I thought there was an organic amendment you could lay on top of the soil that would break down and acidity the soil. I saw it at another members house and that was the explanation. If I remember the name Ill update the post

K

simon_grow

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2018, 11:17:22 AM »
Cotton seed meal is supposed to do that but I dont know how much buffering capacity it has.

Simon

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2018, 01:18:18 PM »
Cotton seed meal is supposed to do that but I dont know how much buffering capacity it has.

Simon

That's the one. Is there any harm in laying some down everywhere? I realize that not all plants will want acidic soil, but it seems like the vast majority of my plants would prefer at least a slightly acidic soil, mainly for better access to micronutrients.

And for my blueberries, I add some acidifying fertilizer in the spring once per season (per instructions) and that seems to be sufficient for them to grow. Maybe you would just need to acidify the soil once per year?

simon_grow

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Re: Southern CA Alkaline Soil & Jaboticabas
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2018, 07:04:46 PM »
You would have to see how much drift you get in the pH of your soil or just keep an eye on the health of your trees and acidify the soil when you notice micronutrient deficiencies.

I personally use Pelleted Sulfur for my plants because they acidify longer. I use cottonseed meal when Im not feeling lazy but you have to dig it into the soil. If you just top dress with it, it can form a hard layer over your soil which often attracts fungus.

Simon

 

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