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aeration plus water plus soil density/Dan's message of 1/31

  • Subject: aeration plus water plus soil density/Dan's message of 1/31
  • From: BanyaiHsta@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2003 23:59:27 -0500

Dan, I would add today's soil-less mixes also drain better, both because of and due to porosity. Thus you may have to water more but don't run the risk of oversaturation.

Years ago my mother made an interesting observation: at the time we root propagated all the sieboldianas like Elegans and Frances Williams, also montana A.M and Sagae. We changed our potting procedure: remember, before tc was available, we were dividing them in late April once they broke bud, for sale in full leaf by mid to late May.  Those slow growing varieties we would firmly press the soil around the roots to get all the air out, versus less pressure on the fortuneis and undulatas. Mom said she noticed the siebs grow well in heavy soil - slow but big. 

After about 2 weeks, the big leafed ones would shoot up big leaves in all their glory, vs the other cultivars which would sometimes shoot out new leaves in 3-5 days - all with the same soil and watering. But if you didn't press down the soil on the big slow ones, they rarely leafed out in 4-6 weeks and were ofter dead by summer. Obviously that is how we learned right from wrong! Recall back in the late 1960's through the early 1980's, leaf display commanded the best prices and sales , so we had to learn if we wanted to eat! 

These soil mixes were quite primitive given what is available today, where drainage and porosity can be specified.

bruce 

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