We repotted a number of fruit trees that I’d bought recently. I swapped their small seedling pots to big plastic pots so they could spread out their roots and grow. The basic steps I follow when repotting a fruit tree are as follows:
- Add a thick layer of sugar cane mulch or hay at the bottom to allow any excess water to drain out. You could use stones (although it’ll be heavy to lift) or broken Styrofoam.
- Add some homemade compost to half way. If you don’t have any compost ready use a middle of the range bag of organic fruit and vegetable mix. Be careful the cheaper bags of compost tend to be filled with stones and sticks.
- Mix in a handful of blood and bone, chicken manure, and a spoonful of trace elements. This is to ensure your plant has a good mix of different minerals so it will develop healthy fruit.
- Add a handful of water crystals (or cat litter) – If you have time pre-soak them in water and seaweed solutions (optional).
- Add the plant making sure it’s straight and back fill to the rim with more compost.
- Gently press the soil down and water well.
- Add some more sugar cane on top to act as a mulch.
I use the same basic method for repotting a native tree – leaving out the extra nutrients at step 3, and using a decent quality native soil mix in place of the compost. Although these days I have started planting out native seedlings straight into the ground. Natives can be touchy and do not like being transplanted.
An alternative to using a pot is a planter bag. These are lightweight bags made from tough plastic with handles. They are easy to move and allow good aeration.
Any other hints?