juniper soil recommendations

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juniper soil recommendations

Post  logdog on Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:42 am

I'm very new to this i only bought my first tree early this spring. Its a Juniper that was doing pretty good for a little while but has started to lose its vigor. I peaked at the roots and I think my soil is all wrong. When I potted it this year after bringing it home i used a 50 50 mix of coarse sand and potting soil because I read it somewhere.(not sure where) I live in northern California zone 9 where in the summer it gets well over 100 degrees so I worry about my trees drying out. But I think I have to much organic mix and i am watering to much so I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for the "perfect soil mix" and best to e to report. Thank you.

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  JimLewis on Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:39 pm

Discussions about soil can go on forever, but basically you want a soil that drains quickly.  This means you do have to keep a close eye on when the tree needs another drink.  Luckily, Juniper prefer to stay a bit on the dry side.

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  beer city snake on Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:59 pm

yeah... like jim said... so many opinions on soil...

being not very far removed from your newbie status, i know it can be, but doesnt have to be, overwhelming

the best advise i have received, and that i can pass on, is to settle on components you can get locally if possible...

as an example some substrate components that i can easily source are:

napa oil dry (which is simple diatamaceous earth and nothing else)
very small lava bits (1/8 - 1/4")
composted pine bark
common chicken grit (small granite chips)
pumice

i imagine all of the above can be easily found in california at auto stores, garden centers, farm supply stores, etc...
a little research can help you determine how much to use of any of the above for any particular species...

a simple recipe would be 1/3 each of the first 3 ingredients...
for trees that like it a bit drier, cut back on the pine bark and add some chicken grit

finding out what each of your components do will help you adjust the amounts of each that you use.

one last GREAT trick i was taught regarding when to water is to just stick a chop stick in the soil and leave it there...
every day, pull it out and check it...
if it is damp, dont water, if it dry, water...

that is very effective and simple if you only have a few trees...

you may also find these walter pall videos helpful
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccOGUj9b6dc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pij3eGv-nW0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q11HMWatCxY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF0W0KKpzS4

the above can be especially helpful as your collection grows.

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  geo on Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:36 pm

Yes that little wooden skewer trick works very well down here. No drought stress or root rot. One of those little things that make a big difference.

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  beer city snake on Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:34 pm

i have switched to bamboo appetizer skewers with the small paddle on one end as they dont deteriorate as quick and i can write small notes on the paddle... these are a really good size

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PacknWood-209BBTG90-Teppo-Gushi-Bamboo-Skewer-Appetizer-Pick-3-5-inch-200-PICKS-/361366990967?hash=item542326b077:g:unsAAOSwT6pV0gVU

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By the way, the name is Kevin
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  M. Frary on Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:37 pm

Fingers! Fingers! They work excellent.
Actually once you get watering down you won't need anything. You will be able to look and see if they need water.
I have my soil components figured out so I water once a day. Rain or shine. No overwatering,no underwatering.

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  logdog on Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:45 pm

Thanks for the help everyone. I will definitely use the skewer or chopstick idea I think I way overwater especially when its hot. Snake all those are available in fact I am experimenting with all those but the chicken grit on a few maples I have recently acquired. But that leads me to the other question when is the best time to report. Although my plant isn't doing great i don't think its in dire need of being repotted and can wait for the proper time. So when is the best time to report? Thank you

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  M. Frary on Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:56 am

, I like to repot junipers in late spring or early summer. When they are actively growing. Right around the same time to do Mugo and Scots pine.

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  logdog on Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:02 am

Thanks for all the help.

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  leatherback on Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:17 am

M. Frary wrote:,  I like to repot junipers in late spring or early summer. When they are actively growing. Right around the same time to do Mugo and Scots pine.
Same here

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  beer city snake on Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:55 pm

and for deciduous material, generally speaking, as the new buds are swelling in the spring
(or however that works in cali-forn-eye-aye... best to seek local advice from a local club)

btw - frary pots in straight oil dry... his fingers can slide into that pretty easy... my mix is a bit harder to work my finger in deep enough to feel the root zone but the skewer is kept right in the root zone so i know whats going on down in the sweet spot as opposed to the top inch or so...

_________________

AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

By the way, the name is Kevin
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  JimLewis on Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:59 pm

when is the best time to report.


Well, you are repoRting now, aren't you?  Repotting is ALWAYS better in the spring.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  beer city snake on Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:33 pm

JimLewis wrote:
when is the best time to report.


Well, you are repoRting now, aren't you?  Repotting is ALWAYS better in the spring.

careful logdog !

you will get more of that if you post a picture sideways !!! Razz Wink Razz Wink

_________________

AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

By the way, the name is Kevin
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  Intricate Simplicity on Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:42 pm

beer city snake wrote:yeah... like jim said... so many opinions on soil...

being not very far removed from your newbie status, i know it can be, but doesnt have to be, overwhelming

the best advise i have received, and that i can pass on, is to settle on components you can get locally if possible...

as an example some substrate components that i can easily source are:

napa oil dry (which is simple diatamaceous earth and nothing else)
very small lava bits (1/8 - 1/4")
composted pine bark
common chicken grit (small granite chips)
pumice

i imagine all of the above can be easily found in california at auto stores, garden centers, farm supply stores, etc...
a little research can help you determine how much to use of any of the above for any particular species...

a simple recipe would be 1/3 each of the first 3 ingredients...
for trees that like it a bit drier, cut back on the pine bark and add some chicken grit

finding out what each of your components do will help you adjust the amounts of each that you use.

one last GREAT trick i was taught regarding when to water is to just stick a chop stick in the soil and leave it there...
every day, pull it out and check it...
if it is damp, dont water, if it dry, water...

that is very effective and simple if you only have a few trees...

you may also find these walter pall videos helpful
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccOGUj9b6dc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pij3eGv-nW0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q11HMWatCxY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF0W0KKpzS4

the above can be especially helpful as your collection grows.

Just wanted to add my newbie two cents:

I'm using a mix of basically everything stated above in a 1:1:1:2 ratio of turface, chicken grit, lava rock and pine bark mulch- all with the fine particles sifted out and leaving the size at about 1/8." Turface can be obtained from a landscaper supplier, chicken grit from a feed and grain shop (alternately crushed granite from a quarry can work), lava rock from a pool store and pine bark mulch from any home improvement chain like Lowes.

Obviously you will have to vary the components and ratios based on your personal circumstances, tree, location and availability. Regardless: aeration, water retention and drainage are the chief factors to keep in mind when developing a custom substrate. For example, if you won't be around often and feel the substrate may dry too quickly, you may want to focus a little more on water retention (while keeping the other factors balanced as well) than other characteristics.

If you are going to be using a substrate similar to the one mentioned here, I strongly agree to watch Walter Pall's videos on the subject and to do some more research. It's not difficult to figure out; more than anything, there is just a lot of information to sift through (no pun intended Smile).

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Re: juniper soil recommendations

Post  dick benbow on Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:27 pm

Where I'm from, the pacific Northwest, we USED to deal with a bunch of rain/wet 3 of the 4 seasons of the year. This year with the "climate change" we had an especially dry spring and hot summer. NOAA is predicting something similar next year....and here's my point. When i repot next spring I am changing my soil mixture from 2 parts drainage and one part moisture retention (pummice,volcanic, akadama) to less volcanic and 10% more pummice. Pummice drains quite well intially yet retaings moisture quite well. It's proven itself in adjusting yamadori dug trees from the mountans at a rate of 90% pummice and 10% pine bark. So I appreciate it's ability to accomplish both purposes.( initial drainage and moisture retention)

Whie i agree with the many who felt soil mixture conversations can be a long drawn out story depending on various climate changes, I still think having the knowledge to "tweak" a mixture to adapt to change has it's value. There's a popular phrase used these days that I think applies...." the devil is in the details"....


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