Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

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Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:11 pm

I have no experience with putting my trees in the ground im prepping only a small corner of my yard (in the philippines btw). The soil is not too great, when me and my wife started a little garden, we tried using some of the soil fom the yard and plants always struggled...but there is a papaya tree (Carica papaya) there that grows quite vigorously so there is good soil somewhere down there.

Can anyone give me some pointers about how i should go about moving a couple of ficus into this area... They are in plastic tubs right now i could cut out large sections in the plastic containers but pointers about prepping the ground the tree, soil, fertilizers to use and maybe even a general watering regiment for ground trees would be very much appriciated. I have no prior knowledge on this topic so any information from the most basic to advanced would be very helpfull.

Thank you in advance.

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Prepping to Grow in the Ground

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:14 pm

Of course I know nothing about the soil in the Philippines, but the universal recommendation for improving soil in order to grow anything is to work in large amounts of organic matter. Use compost (the American definition), OLD manure (also the American definition), ground bark, OLD sawdust, or anything similar. Here we can buy baled peat moss, but I don't know what is available there. If your soil is clay, add powdered gypsum.
Once the soil is prepared, you can just pop your trees out of the tubs and into the ground. If you are planning to leave them for more than a year, once a year you dig them up, trim the roots, and turn them before you put them back. Use the same fertilizer you use for the garden, and more or less the same watering schedule. Remember Ficus like to dry out somewhat between waterings.
Of course you will put them in the sun.
You can't go by the papaya tree because its roots go down into the subsoil. Your pre-bonsai will be living in the topsoil, so you have to deal with that.
Iris

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:10 pm

Very good, most of that is readily available here, looks like ill be getting my hands dirty tomorow. Thanks for the detailed response iris, much appreciated.

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:31 pm

I just found a topic on gardenweb about rice hulls as soil ammendment and it seems to be a good option. Most the nurserys ive visited here use it on everything they have, and i can get a large sack for less then (when converted) $2.00. Ill most likely use that and maybe throw in some saw dust unless anyone here thinks thats a bad idea...

Also if my trees (in the tub) are in pure coarse river sand, is there a need to bare root them before putting into the ground or does it not make a difference?

thank you

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:27 am

I've never used rice hulls, so someone else can answer that. Sawdust is OK if it's old & decayed. Fresh sawdust won't hurt anything but it will grab extra nitrogen.
You don't have to bare root. Just shake off the excess sand & make sure the roots are contacting the new soil.
Iris

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:28 am

rice hulls are a tried and proven 'good' soil amendment, tested and proven in areas where rice is grown. Should work fine. Chopped coir if it is from a source that has taken care to wash out the salt would also work, up here it is sold as 'coco peat', for a premium. (but we can't grow coconuts here, its too cold) By you it may be nearly as cheap as rice hulls. But coir that has not been properly washed in fresh water before processing will carry too much sea salt. So check with your local garden supply places first before trying coir.

Rice hulls are a good option.

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:11 am

Iris and leo thank you for your help, your shared knowledge is much appreciated.

Jeff

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:48 pm

Jeff,

years ago, an English friend, working on contract on my side for 4 years did this.

He dug out to just about 1m deep, and 1 m wide for about 4m length, and then backfilled with large silica pebbles [ easily obtained from the place that crushes for sharp sand / builders sand ] and added in cured manure, behind his house.
He was on very flat land and had a high water table.

He then planted everything for - big - trunks, which he got in two years.

You can modify the idea to your climate conditions. Read - he dug out - for hired some guys, chuckle.

Composted rice hulls, I am seeing are a good source of potassium as would be composted coconut shells [ not cocopeat has to be composted, it's normal use is in hydroponics as a medium for lending support to the plants ]

The area he used had no shade save in the late evening from the house,and lots of hose / sprinkler water.
Good Luck.
Khaimraj

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:02 pm

Khaimraj
Thank you that sounds like a likely option, im laying in bed, SPENT!!! Haha today i took apart an out door kitchen (for more bonsai space) cleared out alot of piled up leftover wood from renovations and then i got to work digging... The soil (if you can call it that) seems aweful... Large rocks cement pieces and compacted soil almost as hard as the rocks, Mixed with fine white sand from spilled sacks from construction. I may go with that suggestion(modified) khaimraj since if im understanding correctly it involves totally replacing most of the "soil" currently in the ground. Tomorow "ill dig out" (i.e. hire some tricycle drivers from outside my gate) a much bigger area. My hands are trmbling as i type this each time i went down with the shovel it went in only about a 1/2 inch thats how compacted the rocks, cement, sand and broken tiles were.
Jeff

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Prepping to Grow in the Ground

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:19 pm

That's not soil; that's backfill. You need to dig that out completely and replace with a foot of topsoil. Can you buy a load of topsoil from a garden center?
"tricycle drivers?" scratch Oh, he means pedicab drivers. sunny Am I right? confused 

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:29 pm

Haha they are a step down from pedicabs which are connected to motor cycles these are connected to bicycles, we call them Sikad. But they will do any odd jobs for 20-50 pesos wich is about50cents to a dollar. Who do you think helps me move my collection of pemphis acidula which are all heavier than me not to mention cement pots.

As i was digging and getting nowhere i quickly realized that just mixing in rice hull would not do. Ill check my options on top soil when i get back from a trip(to hopefully collect a bougie ive had my eye on). Thanks iris.

Jeff

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:38 pm

And when there was an accident infront of my house where a motorcyclist ran into a car and then was pushed towards the middle of the highway and then to the row of ficus(philipinensis) crashing into it and uprooting it, who do u think i payed 100pesos for to grab the tree for me that night. SIKAD.. I rarely ride in them but i would venture to say that they as a group are like my little bonsai helpers...

And yes when the accident happened and everyone was thinking oh my god that poor guy, im the guy on the side thinking omg that poor ficus, roots look ok!! Haha they ran up with bandages and i ran up with super thrive hahaha just joking around we helped the guy he was fine and i have a thriving very large twin trunk ficus philipinensis growing wild in a tub. All is well...

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  Nigel Parke on Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:12 pm

Jeff,

Hahahahaha...that was a good one, I know exactly what you mean. After Hurricane Sandy passed through late last year October, a lot of folks were going around examining if here was any damage to their homes.....saying omg my roof is damaged or my trees are blown down. I was going saying ...darn all those hedges that I've been lusting after have not been blown down. Very Happy 

I did get a few bougies though...will put up a post in a few days.

Back to your thread...in addition to what Khaimraj and others suggested, improving the soil that you plant them in will enhance their pace and quality of growth. If you have issues going deep with the growing bed you could consider in addition to the depth you already have to also make the bed raised that way increasing the amount of free (loose) soil in which your pre-bonsai will grow. Which will hopefully translate into less work whenever you lift them to root prune or put into pots.

Take care

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  Nigel Parke on Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:16 pm

Jeff,

Had another thought that chicken manure would also help in enriching the soil, chicken manure is high in nitrogen and that will help to boost the growth of your trees. You could also start a compost heap and add from the heap to the growing bed from time to time as the material in the compost heap decomposes.

Nigel

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  sayotefries on Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:22 pm

J.Enecio wrote:im the guy on the side thinking omg that poor ficus, roots look ok!! Haha they ran up with bandages and i ran up with super thrive hahaha just joking around we helped the guy he was fine and i have a thriving very large twin trunk ficus philipinensis growing wild in a tub. All is well...
Amusing story kababayan. I would have thought the same way. Laughing Good luck with the soil preparation with your helpmates.

sayotefries

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:02 pm

Hey Nigel,

you will live long, as my mind ran on you today ---- as we say.
Good to see you around.

Basically, all Jeff is doing is making coarse grade bonsai soil to a given depth.

Jeff, by the way my vegetable garden to the east was my mother's bathroom [ 10 x 11' tall x 20 ' long - say 3 x 3+ x 6+m long ------ don't ask about the size, my mum had a fear of small spaces and like nature, abhorred a vaccuum - Laughing ]
We couldn't remove the support structure, so I back filled it with graded concrete rubble, and covered it with compost. The compost filtered down and it supports tomatoes very well.
My nephew is presently growing cabbages and corn, and at the second house on the eastern seacoast side, he has a near in-exhaustable compost heap, made from cut trees, and various grasses etc.
Next he plans carrots-chuckle.

I wouldn't try pulling anything like a tree out of my rubble mix, wrong situation.

The front yard western exposure has growing troughs, was basic loam, now mixed in with coarse inorganic material and compost. They are about 18" [ 46 cm ] deep and everything grows well. Drains well.

A little hint, take into account the size of the tree/shrub eventually, and leave a radius of that height or width for the tree to expand, otherwise, you will have to compost to 6" [ 15 cm ] yearly and probably add fertiliser.
Most folk, expect too much out soil that has not been brought up to bonsai standards, and get lousy growing results.
As usual freely draining, but able to hold moisture, just like a bonsai soil mix.

Dare I say colanders ? [ Ducks down in foxhole.]
Later.
Khaimraj

*When I say I, read me with concrete buckets and one friend/nephew.

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:05 pm

Jeff,

what's with that ghoulish avatar - brrh - frightening, probably why I didn't respond at first.
Later.
Khaimraj

* My version - I longlingly observe the canals / drains for workers cutting bush / brush for potential stumps. Save me, says the stump:lol: 

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:11 am

Nigel - since my bonsai obsession began (btw isnt being obsessed a wonderful thing, in translation it means being overwelmingly interested,mwe should all be so lucky) ive had a soar neck, riding in a car or bus you can literaly just watch my head turn at ever hedge or tree, these things hedges that i never cared in anyway for or even thought about are now the focul point of an obsession. I think about when i was a kid playing in the woods in maryland and saying to myself danm why werent you into bonsai then hahah...

Sayotefries - thank you, my bonsai helpers are always ready haha i cant walk out my gate without someone asking me if i need to move any trees around.

Kaimraj - sorry to scare you buddy, if i get this ground growing right it will quickly change to a glowing smiling picture of me haha. This painting is done by my brother when he was in college i always loved it its still hangs in my room in the states... He is an amazing artest and now has been featured in many mainstream international magazines. Heybonsai is art right, we r all into art, check out my bros website[url=Jenecio.com]Jenecio.com[/url] dont be confused by the name he is jeremy im jeff we are always fighting over web names and email names haha.

From all the info ive gathered so far from this thread im thinking ill dig as deep and wide/long as i can or if need be add a raised bed put in topsoil if i can find it or maybe what i use for my bonsais which is sifted riversand and then over a period of time just put in lots of compost, whatever i can get my hands on, rice hull, cow/chicken manor, ill test one of my surviving cuttings first as not to risk my nicer ficus that i wanted to fatten up...
To all the info you have provided is perfect, thank you so much
Jeff

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:14 am

Doesnt seem like that link worked out sorry still figuring alot out in the forum... His website is Jenecio.com

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:36 am

Jeff,

http://jenecio.blogspot.com/


when you have the time show some work of yours. Off to look at your brother's work.
Thanks.
Khaimraj

*By the way my avatar is my painting, and also done as my floor, in my house near the sea.

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:30 pm

In my family... one grandfather -artist the other architect, two architect uncles, 3cousins culinary artist which is also what i graduated as and worked as for a few years while in states, 1 cousin professional artist, brother professional artist, as children me and my bro would draw all kinds of things, unfortunately i never took art seriously (in highschool i didnt take anything seriously haha). I never could fathom it as a profession... Unfortunately all my works are goof off sketches done when bored... I am happy to say i have many "works"(bonsai) in development and each work starts with a sketch. So if all goes well and with constant advice from ibc ill be showing plenty of works in due time hehe.

So many things can be defined as art, and what defines an artist? A guy splashing paint at a canvas? A guy cooking a meal or drawing plans for a building, ive even heard of a maid referred to as an artist at how she makes the house shine haha... Or maybe a guy in his garden? At what point is it Art? Maybe its a level of dedication mixed in with natural talent? I think everyone should reach a level of artistry in something, anything in their lives, it would be a sad life to never find that thing in your life that you want to perfect.... Away with mediocraty and reach for the ever un-attainable perfection.

So off topic but i do feel thats something to think about. Got kinda deep there haha where were we? Making the ground outside good enough for a tree to live in? Haha sorry for getting off topic

Oh btw khaimraj i very much like your painting, id love to see it as it is in the house u mentioned. Some people are blessed to reach a level of artistry in many indevors, you my friend seem to be one of the blessed


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Prepping to Grow in the Ground

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:12 pm

Beware of chicken manure. It is more concentrated than cow or horse manure. It needs to be composted/stored for a longer time before it can be used.
Iris

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prepping to Grow in the Ground

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:43 pm

This international forum is full of language & cultural enigmas. Laughing Here is the Merriam-Webster American definition for pedicab.

pedi·cab noun \ˈpe-di-ˌkab\
Definition of PEDICAB
: a tricycle with a 2-seat passenger compartment covered by a usually folding top and a separate seat for a driver who pedals

In American English, the motorized version is simply called a motorized pedicab. In some Asian countries, they have what is called an auto-rickshaw, which is a little bigger.
On another thread, someone was using a one euro coin for scale. I had to ask him how big it was because I've never seen one. study 
Turns out it is a little less than an inch, which is 2.54 cm.
Years ago, on a botany newsgroup, some European members kept talking about elks. I was very puzzled, because elk, Cervus elephas, is strictly a New World animal. Finally turned out they were talking about moose, Alcis alcis, which is found in northern Europe & Siberia as well as North America.
Did you know? According to the Oxford English Dictionary definition of communication, plants communicate. According to Merriam-Webster, they don't. (A plant that is threatened by an insect or disease may produce a chemical signal that reaches other nearby plants of the same species.)
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:57 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : More information.)

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:23 pm

Iris i know what you mean, even here in the philippines, tiny country, but each little province have very distinct differences... People from one town tease people from 2towns over because of their accent and how they talk... Andi just think how can that be they live withen a mile of each other... I moved to maryland when i was six and spent my life there until 3years ago. I can speak the language but i cant fool anyone, they all giggle at my accent, the strange thing here is they are all More embarassed about not being fluint in english then me for not being fluint in "visayan".. On the subject of bonsai, i cant find ANY supplies here. Im in cebu the 2nd biggest city nxt to manila and the only thing i can get my hands on are cement pots... Everything else i have my brother order through amazon in N.Y. then package it to me its a 2month waiting process

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

Post  J.Enecio on Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:31 pm


Iris how is horse manure? Will that do as my main form of comp. to start treating the soil? Today i had no luck with any compost or top soil, only sacks and sacks of rice hulls but someone did mention being able to get horse manure.
Jeff

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Re: Questions on prepping to grow in the ground

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