Potting whips

I’m going to be doing some whip grafting on Bud9 rootstock and have decided to plant them in 2 gallon pots. My thought is to potentially plant them in the ground this fall or next spring. Lots of good discussions have been occurring here about optimal ground planting soils but I haven’t been able to determine what I should be using if planting in pots. Should I use a typical potting mix from the nursery or do I want to incorporate top soil? Any fert? Perlite? How much water?

You need a mix that drains better than soil. Don’t add that to pot unless very light and sandy. A little potting soil is OK but mostly bark fines. Something that won’t break down and water log. Water logging is biggest danger.

Thank Fruit. Anyone have recipes for making your own mix? I’ve seen some claiming 1:1:1 ratios of compost, vermiculite, and peat moss makes good potting mix but clearly no wood chips in the mix. How about adding sand? OR shagnum moss?

If they are only going to be in the pots for a few months I wouldnt worry too much. I’d just use a comercial mix and add pine bark fines to it.

I make mine using about 60-70% Pine bark mulch(not the real fine stuff,something like fairly small nuggets)20-30% peat moss and 20% perlite.
I recently planted 10 bare root trees with this and added a little lime and about a tablespoon of slow release fertilizer per gallon of mix.I use this for all potted plants,but don’t put any lime for Blueberries and haven’t added fertilizer before potting up the trees. Brady

My hats off to you who successfully grow in pots. My experience is that while I can maintain trees in pots I rarely get good growth. I have tried a number of different recipes for growing medium and have yet to have good success. Growing in the soil where I am at wins hands down.

5-1-1. 5 parts pine bark fines, 1 part perlite, 1 part peat moss. To that add 1 tablespoon of dolomitic lime and Osmocote Plus per gallon of soil.

I had good luck last year starting bench graphs in a 2/1 bark fines and vermiculite. Put a diluted 20-20-20 water soluble fert. on once a month.(1T/gal water). Bark fines had fert. in them also. A question along this line, I want to t-bud some G935 this fall, would you set these in their assigned spots or plant them in a nursery bed and transplant them in the spring? This of course assumes I can graft them properly.

Ok, good information guys. I appreciate it. I know I can get vermiculite and perlite locally but I don’t ever remember seeing anything labeled as pine bark fines. But considering almost all of you suggest using it Id suspect my local nursery or coop would sell it. I’ll check this afternoon.

On the topic of pine bark fines how would that compare to spruce bark? I am removing 2 large spruce trees from my property and wondering if I could strip the bark and grind it up? I’d think it would be very sappy but I know nothing about this kind of thing.

Pine bark fines can actually be hard to find. The only place I can get something acceptable is actually at Walmart. They sell pine bark mulch and pine bark nuggets. The mulch is what you want. It comes in a purple bag.

I just came from my local southern state coop And they sold Pine Bark Mulch and Pine Bark Nuggets. The 2 cuft bags were $3.99 for the mulch. I picked up a couple of bags to try it out. If it’s not fine enough I’ll run it through my Husqvarna leaf Shredder and cut it down.

You definitely will always see better growth and fruiting with in ground trees no matter how well you take care of potted ones.

“You definitely will always see better growth and fruiting with in ground trees no matter how well you take care of potted ones.”

Actually I can get better initial growth (first year) from apples in a good potting mix- especially if I start with a 10 gallon pot. Peaches need a lot of root to serve themselves adequately so don’t do well in pots.

Does anyone know why pine fines are the go to ingredient for outdoor mixes while peat moss is for indoor.

So I picked up some Pine Bark Mulch from Southern states and on my way home I stopped at Lowes. They had the same thing at Lowes only they sold it in 3 cuft bags and it was cheaper. Same manufacturer. Lowes also had hardwood bark “fines”. What stood out to me was that it actually said “Fines” on it. I picked up a bag just to try it out. would the fact that it’s hardwood fines instead of pine fines make it less desirable to use in a potting mix?

would the fact that it’s hardwood fines instead of pine fines make it less desirable to use in a potting mix?
Here are a couple of things I read in the link that Alan provided above.“Pine bark is preferred over hardwood bark since
it resists decomposition and contains fewer leachable
organic acids.” Brady