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Tips for raising small conifers in pots? (0 Replies)

Posted March 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm

I have a large garden and have typically purchased plants in #5’s and larger, partly to fill the space and partly because the jackrabbits like to eat the small plants. However, now that I have attended several ACS meetings with auctions and purchased interesting and rare cultivars in small sizes, I now have to deal with getting them large enough that I don’t ‘lose’ them in the landscape and that the rabbits leave them alone. Most start out as 4″ or #1 size. Most are planted in very, very lightweight mix, generally mostly bark. I like to plant in heavier soil, because it means that I don’t have to water every day, and also because that way when I plant them in the ground, the material that they have been growing in is similar to that of their new home. I use a mix of about 2/3 amended loam and 1/3 red lava rock pebbles.
So, I’m wondering if anyone can give me some tips about how to grow these babies up. Do I need to fertilize if I’m moving the pot size up every 6-12 months? What is the optimum time to pot up into a bigger size? I’m looking to get them to at least a #3 before I plant in the ground. I just haven’t maintained woody plants in pots for multiple years and want to make sure that I’m giving them the best chance. They will be in my greenhouse until they get to planting size. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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