Well my front yard faces west, and is asphalt floored. Sun hits it just after 7.00 am and disappears by 5.30 p.m.
We don't really gain much sunlight time or lose as the year runs on.
I used to grow all my trees in the front, until the age of trees and eyes watching became a problem. I live on a short side street and my neighbour was a real estate agent. Lots of eyes.
However, the soil I used was either crushed red brick or 3 mm silica based gravel, with aged cow manure [ 1980 to 1990 or so. ]
Humidity drops to 40 / 50 %, heat is intense. Leaves shrank and were more plentiful. Fertiliser was more or less what I use today, lawn fertiliser 1/3 strength into moist soil. In the rainy season, more of a balanced fertiliser still 1/3 or nothing at all, or an osmocote type one, designed for use at 30 deg. C
Anyhow, I have come to realise, with a change to 5 mm on the inorganic size and home-made compost instead of aged manure, I can just use sifted 5 mm gravel and compost.
More or less the compost decides how much water will be held in the soil and the particle size of the inorganic does the air / drainage bit.
I use [ by volume ] less that 1/3 compost, some plants local ficus for example, 1/10 compost.
I do sprinkle on some teaspoons of compost, as the months go by.
For low humidty, it would probably be a mix of more compost, high humidity less compost.
I can also combine that response with porous pots, be it earthenware or cement made ones.
I like my crushed red brick as it makes for a more attractive mix, so I still use it.
Since I repot at the beginning of our dry season, I can use more compost, the trees are hand watered and by the time the rains return they have mastered the soil, so are unaffected by heavy showers or higher humidity.
Just finished checking into the cores of my 30 something year old trees, nothing but fine roots, and compost reforming as rounded balls [ humus ?]
One more tree to go - my big Tamarind.
Anyhow, I can now focus on design and collecting the odd local tree for testing.
Thanks for reading.
* Still have my 3 mm glass bead with compost project growing, let you know in 5 years.
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