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Darkman

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Reply with quote  #1 
I seemed to have good luck getting my cuttings to root and everything seemed OK after potting till WILT moved in and not from dryness. So I guess they are drowning even though I have not really watered. We have had several rains. The mix is either 70/30 or 50/50 Fertilome Ultimate Potting  Mix/Coarse Perlite.

My theory is that my mix retains too much moisture which brings me to my idea that I potted them up in to big of pots. Most were 1/2 and some 1 gallon pots. With such a small root system I figure it could not uptake the moisture fast enough to dry out the mix especially in my humid area. It was not wet when I potted them but as I have always done after potting give the soil a good drench and let drain.

If I had of used cups (and some with holes in the sides) like many of you have I think the moisture available would have been much less and I probably wouldn't be having this problem.

Can any one agree with that or am I still all WET?

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Charles in Pensacola AKA Darkman
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Dieseler

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yup i think you may be drowning them little ones and wet feet for fig plants is not best for them as the roots easily rot.
I have some small plants in 1-3 gallon pots .
When it rains i let them get a drink for a short while after feeling the weight of the pot and then put them under eve of house instead of staying in rain .
Im retired so its easy for me to do.
Darkman

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks,

I surmised as much. When the leaf wilts it is because the roots are already dead or damaged and it can't take up any more water. That's my uneducated guess anyway.

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Charles in Pensacola AKA Darkman
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Chapman

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Reply with quote  #4 
From my experience the Fertilome UPM holds too much moisture even when mixed with perlite for starting cuttings.  This year I used Hyponex potting soil, pine bark fines and perlite mixed to start cuttings.

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Dieseler

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Reply with quote  #5 
True Darkman, also such young plants just rooted need very little water the roots are too tender to suck up much water in my opinion, yes iv'e drown my share of them.

Plants actually talk to us in there own language such as to what they display for us.
Usually its talk is from the past and sometimes too late but not always.
For example
Just yesterday a VdB i had given neighbor few years back and next to my fence was wilting its leaves pretty good as i was looking at my figs in yard and i said Dennis your plant is asking for water.

I mention to him grab rim of pot with 1 hand  and tilt it i bet its lite which he did then watered it good then he did the same with rim of pot after good watering.
After a few times he will get the hang of it before plant needs to tell him.
Darkman

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Reply with quote  #6 
My reasoning was that the bigger the pot the straighter the roots the less stress when I plant them out.

It sounded good and I think with the right mix it would work. Obviously the Fertilome isn't it. Thanks Chapman!

Maybe I should just go with Vermiculite and Perlite.

Has anyone used that combo?

On a citrus forum I frequent they have a separate sub forum for those that grow Citrus in pots. Noone grows in dirt. It is emphasized how important it is to have a media that basically lets excessive moisture run through only holding enough to keep the plant happy. Maybe I need to read a little more there.

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Charles in Pensacola AKA Darkman
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striveforfreedom

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Reply with quote  #7 
I experinced the same thing, too much water but that was from me not Mother Nature. I have all my newly potted figs on a picnic table under a tall oak tree. They get some morning sun till about 10 then indirect light the rest of the day and seem fine. The tree's limbs and leaves lessen rain exposure to just the right amount.

Oh, and my solution to overwatering was to get more fig trees and some herbs and veggies. I can't physically get to them all every 2 days so it bridles me and my garden hose of doom.

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Vince Russo
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Wish list - Any cuttings of the Col de Dames would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
MichaelTucson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by striveforfreedom
garden hose of doom
What a nice turn of phrase, Vince.  I love it.

Mike   central NY state, zone 5

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mgginva

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Reply with quote  #9 
I live in Virginia and Fertilome UT is not available. I did manage to get the company head to send me 6 bags to try and I love the stuff! I mixed it 50/50 with perlite and had 100% success. My other batches did far worse and I did everything exactly the same except of course the mix was different. My experience with fertilome was it held the right amount of water even after I just about submerged the cuttings. It's funny how we all get such different results.
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Michael in Virginia (zone 7a) Wish list: Tiberio, Campera, Calabacita, Cuello Dama Blanca
Tapla

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Reply with quote  #10 

Let's say you have a quart of pudding and it's 80% water and virtually no air. Now mix 30% perlite into the pudding - how much air do you have in the mix? Still none - right? Add 60% perlite to the mix. How much air do you have? STILL none. Will the water drain any faster from the pudding because of the perlite? NO. Is the height of the perched water table reduced by the inclusion of perlite? NO. All the perlite did was reduce the o/a water retention of the mix. It didn't increase aeration or improve drainage. Can we say the same things about peat. Almost. How about sand? Same thing. Essentially, what you guys are doing is adding perlite to pudding and expecting it to do what it can't - improve aeration, reduce the ht of the perched water table, and improve drainage. When you mix 30% perlite and 70% peaty soil, the small particles of peat simply surround the larger particles of perlite and almost nothing changes, except o/a water retention.

 

However, if you start with a large fraction of a coarse material or combination of coarse materials, like pine bark or other large gritty particles, you can build on that to reduce or eliminate the excess water retention you're talking about, have the excellent aeration in the root zone that all plants grown under conventional container culture appreciate, significantly reduce the ht of the perched water table or eliminate it entirely, and eliminate the concern for the soggy conditions that are killing or significantly limiting your plants.

 

Water retention and the ht of the perched water table is directly related to the size of the particles in your soils. The smaller the particles, the more water the soil retains and the higher/taller the perched water table. You can't amend a heavy soil appreciably by adding a small fraction of larger particles because you need to have well over 50% larger particles to gain anything significant from them.

 

Here in MI, we've had an inch of rain today and 2 more days of rain predicted. I have at least 200 trees on the benches right now, and prolly 50 succulents scattered around the gardens & benches. I don't plan on doing anything to protect the plants from rain and I have no concern that 3 days of rain will jeopardize the health of the root systems of any of these plants, including the succulents/pines/junipers - plants that don't tolerate soggy soils well ..... and most of these plants are in shallow containers, which are far less forgiving when using inappropriately heavy soils. If you're growing in a well-aerated soil that holds little perched water, your job is soo much easier and your margin for error soo much greater ....

 

For more details and a more complete understanding, try this link:

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/msg0214580016564.html?96

 

Al

 

 

 

 


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z5b-6a mid-MI

The destroyer of weeds, thistles and thorns is a benefactor, whether he soweth grain or not. ~Robert Ingersoll
dhsandberg

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Reply with quote  #11 

Tapla, you do know what you are talking about.  I grow orchids and my potting mixes are always determined by how dense or loose the mix will be - we are in the root growing business and the plant will follow how well we grow those roots.

 

I am still experimenting with my fig mixtures since I am so new to this plant.  It is becoming more clear that making looser mixes for figs is important, especially in the initial stages.

 

Please keep up the good, informative posts.

 

Dennis


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Tapla

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Reply with quote  #12 
Great way to put it - "..... in the root growing business". The roots are the heart of the plant. A healthy plant is impossible w/o healthy roots. Poor soils and root problems are the direct or underlying cause of a huge % of the problems folks bring to the forums hoping to resolved. Coming to understand how soils work, how important they are to plant health, and how to manipulate them to your plant's advantage is the single largest step forward a grower can make at any one time ..... and it's not that difficult. Over and over again, my experience has shown that once you understand how your soils work, the uphill leg in your journey toward proficiency in your container gardening endeavors is over.

Thank you for the kind words.

Al  

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z5b-6a mid-MI

The destroyer of weeds, thistles and thorns is a benefactor, whether he soweth grain or not. ~Robert Ingersoll
lukeott

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Reply with quote  #13 
That's all I know is you really ruined the pudding by putting all that stuff in there. I'm sure it taste like crap.



luke
Darkman

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Reply with quote  #14 
Tapla,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkman
On a citrus forum I frequent they have a separate sub forum for those that grow Citrus in pots. Noone grows in dirt. It is emphasized how important it is to have a media that basically lets excessive moisture run through only holding enough to keep the plant happy. Maybe I need to read a little more there.


I believe you!!!!!

BUT

Where do I buy the bark mix that I need?

What I've seen here is bark chunks the size of golf balls and larger.


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Charles in Pensacola AKA Darkman
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gorgi

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Reply with quote  #15 
If there is an Agway store near you,
they some good Pine Bark Mulch.
http://www.agway.com/catalog/home_and_garden/mulches/pine.html

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George; Zone 7a, New Jersey USA.
Darkman

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Reply with quote  #16 

What they sell here as Pine Bark Mulch is huge. Two to four inch chunks. I used to be able to get mini pine bark nuggets but even these were one to three inch size. I looked at your link and it looked to be 1/4 to 3/4 inch size. Is that right?


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Charles in Pensacola AKA Darkman
Zone 8b/9a
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Winter of 11/12 low 29
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Winter of 13/14 low 19
gorgi

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Reply with quote  #17 
Yes, the Agway Pine Bark Mulch (not the Nuggets!) has a nominal size of approx. 1/2".

Some more info in this thread:
http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post/Pine-bark-fines-5805969?highlight=agway 

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George; Zone 7a, New Jersey USA.
DesertDance

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Reply with quote  #18 
You can also introduce a lot of air, and encourage root pruning, resulting in a large mass of non-circling roots by drilling dozens of side holes in your pots.  I use Al's gritty mix formulated to retain water in the hot desert, and I know how hard it is to find those pine bark fines!  I do use crushed granite and Turface along with vermiculite and the smallest pine bark I could find.  It works very well.
Suzi


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Zone 9b, Southern California. "First year they sleep, Second year they creep, Third year they leap!"  Wish List:  I wish all of you happy fig collecting!  My wishes have been fulfilled!
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