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  • Limestone for potted fig tree

    I have recently put some Dolomitic Limestone on the surface of my in ground fig tree to reduce more acidic soils. Can I also put some on my potted fig tree for same reason. Does it help fig tree to stay healthy or not ?

  • #2
    Good question pacifica. Mine are all container figs so also wandering if a little limestone should be added each year.
    SW MO Zone 6a

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    • #3
      I add a cup of dolomite limestone for every five gallons in my mix. Works well but I honestly haven't tried not using it. Just went by the recommendations.

      I was using Espoma but will probably just switch to a generic. Andersons has 40lb for the same price as 5-6 Espoma. It just doesn't say organic on the bag.
      Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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      • #4
        Thanks Don. Are you thinking adding some each year?
        SW MO Zone 6a

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        • #5
          Only to the new soil as I up pot or root prune. I'll add more fertilizer to the top of existing pots but not limestone.
          Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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          • #6
            Dolemite limestone is Calcium and Magnesium, both are needed for healthy plant growth and fig production (Figs have high Calcium and Magnesium content), http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardennotes/231.pdf
            Click image for larger version

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            In potted culture both these minerals are required in relatively large quantities, but are often deficient or not readily available.

            I add a minimum of 1/2 cup per 5 gallons of mix per season which does not include the 1 cup added per 5 gallon of new (freshly mixed) custom peat based potting mix. For Coir based mixes or potting mixes with high pH values add Gypsum for the required Calcium. I add the Dolemite Limestone or Gypsum at the same time that I apply the Organic Fertilizers (Espoma Tones). Good Luck.
            Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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            • #7
              Thank you don. Good info.
              SW MO Zone 6a

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              • #8
                Thanks to Don & Pete for your great informations.

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                • #9
                  Pete - for the existing trees are you adding to the top of the pot ala Belleclaire Nursery? (not that quantity)
                  Ed
                  SW PA zone 6a

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                  • AscPete
                    AscPete commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No, its Pulverized Dolemite Limestone (could also be Pelletized) mixed into the top few inches of potting mix.
                    Belleclaire used (several inches of) Granular Limestone as a 'Gravel' mulch with the finer 'dust' being 'washed down' into the potting mix.

                • #10
                  Yes what Ed asked? Can it just be watered in?

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                  • AscPete
                    AscPete commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, it can be watered in, but mixing it into the top layer gets it into the soil, microbes and moisture for faster breakdown.

                • #11
                  So...as a complete newbie...what should I look for at the garden center? Is this the same stuff as garden/agricultural lime? Do I need to look for actual limestone gravel?

                  I feel so inadequate considering I plan to ultimately make my farm produce to feed me and mine....
                  Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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                  • AscPete
                    AscPete commented
                    Editing a comment
                    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...awn-lime-40-lb

                    ... It should say Dolomite Limestone on the label, I prefer the pulverized limestone but the pelletized is the same product but has been made into pellets with a water soluble binder. Its also available at all the large national chain stores including Wmart.
                    Its only crushed stone dust.

                • #12
                  Hi Pete, attached is an image of dolomitic limestones I bought from local chain store for your reference. I did check with all my potted fig trees with soil tester and found the ph is over 7 means they are alkaline. In other other I can not use this dolomitic limestones for my potted fig trees for now right ?
                  You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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                  • #13
                    Can I put coffer ground on top of the garden soils to make my flowerbed become more acid if possible ? Same for potted fig trees

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                    • #14
                      Fresh coffee grounds may increase the acidity but used coffee grounds are more neutral. There seem to be mixed reports though. I think they are great for the ground and compost pile but I wouldn't rely on them to acidify the soil.

                      You can use this like sulfur (slow), iron sulfate (can interfere with phosphorus availability), ammonium nitrate or sulfate, and aluminum sulfate(possible toxic) to lower the ph if needed after a soil test. Overdoing any of them can cause issues.

                      Figs don't generally need soil acidified...especially potted figs.
                      Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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                      • pacifica
                        pacifica commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thank you so much Don for your great informations. Does peak moss help to acidify the soil ?

                    • #15
                      Pacifica,

                      I agree with Don and would add that a soil test would tell you if you needed to add anything for your in-ground plants.
                      As a general rule Gypsum is added for soils with higher pH values if Calcium is required.

                      Figs and most plants grow best within a pH range not a specific value. Continually amending the soil is not really required, but maintaining healthy soil is absolutely necessary. Providing organic matter (humus and compost) and a healthy environment for soil microbes will ensure that the pH values are maintained within a desirable range. Use the coffee grounds as an ingredient in compost that can be added as a top dressing to pots and in-ground plants. The used coffee grounds can also be used as an ant deterrent when sprinkled (salted) over the "ant free zone".

                      Adding small amounts (dusting) of Dolemite Limestone will not change the pH values very much, and flushing with water will usually bring the values quickly back to "normal".
                      The pH of the water usually has a greater effect on the soil or mix's pH. Good luck.
                      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                      • pacifica
                        pacifica commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thank you so much Pete for your great comments and informations. I might put some peak moss on top of the potting soils for potted fig trees and hope it will help to acidify the soil. What do you think ?

                      • AscPete
                        AscPete commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Fig trees are native to alkaline soils...

                        Adding Peat Moss to the top of soil is not necessary unless you were planning on topping off the containers anyway.

                        Starting off with any standard or commercial Peat based potting mix amended with Limestone and or Gypsum is all that should be required as far as pH adjustment for potted fig trees.

                      • pacifica
                        pacifica commented
                        Editing a comment
                        It looks like I should give dolomitic limestones a trial for my potted fig trees to see how it goes. Thanks...........

                    • #16
                      Wish List -

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                      • pacifica
                        pacifica commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hi Dave, great video ! Thanks...
                        It looks like I should give dolomitic limestones a trial for my potted fig trees to see how it goes

                    • #17
                      I get crushed oyster shell at the farmer's coop and put it in all my container figs and also added it as a top dressing to those I recently put in ground. Discovered in garage storage over winter, those with the crushed oyster shell held moisture a lot better than those with wood chip mulch. I remember reading somewhere, they (old fig guys) would pile oyster shells around the fig trees.

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                      • #18
                        I have a magazine article where the author puts a 2 ' layer around his in ground trees, and then replenishes whatever dissolved the following spring. He said he did that based on the volcanic soils that a lot of the fig trees come from. I'll have to read it again to see what he says about potted figs.
                        Hi my name is Art. I buy fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs-so I can sell more figs-so I can buy more fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs....

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                        • cjmach1973
                          cjmach1973 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          After digging around for a while, I found the magazine. It was a February/March 2000 edition of Kitchen Gardener.He did the same with his potted figs. 2 inches of lime on top. He also recommended putting a little olive oil on the bottom of late maturing figs, to speed up the ripening process.
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