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Need to make soil for kiwi mounds

 
pollinator
Posts: 388
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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Need some recommendations for a soil alternative.  I have about 6 inches of loam on top of a gravelly clay

I am a little low on real soil but I have a lot of other materials.  Sand, Homemade compost, expanded shale, wood chips and a bag of peat

I should be able to get some "professional growers mix"  if that would help.  I also have a small dump trailer and can get some composted horse poo.

I need to make some mounds for my kiwi cuttings so they will not get too wet from my drip irrigation system.

Any suggestions on  mixtures and may be rough measures like shovel full?

Thank you
 
pollinator
Posts: 977
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Dennis, I am understanding that you are trying to root the cuttings? I have had success with just composted wood chips and a little rock dust. The challenge is the race between rooting and rotting- too much nitrogen and everything rots, too little and the nascent roots can't get enough nitrogen to make materials. I err on the side of too little nitrogen and some shade. I am very low tech, most stuff I root over the winter in a mild climate, just stuck in the degraded chips. Rooting hormone if I remember but most stuff seems to do just fine. I bat about .500 with some stuff much higher, some lower. I've successfully rooted stuff like Che that is supposed to NOT root. Without hormone because I couldn't find it!

For kiwi, shade is the issue I would think. They like a shaded winter and then they reach for the sun. A shade cloth or old shirt on a stick is all you need. Now my better half has a use for those "comfortable" shirts we can agree on!
 
Dennis Bangham
pollinator
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Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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The kiwi cuttings have already rooted and have some leaves and now the weather is nice and warm. I have hardened them off but will still use a little shade cloth over each.  

I did the cuttings this spring after I got a lot of scions. To increase the success rate and since I got many more than i could possibly use, I gave some to a couple of other local Permies.  These are all A. Chinensis (male and female).  

I have a drip irrigation system and wanting to build mounds that drain well but still hold moisture.  We often get large pop up showers that are hard to predict.  Good thing I live on a hill.  
I have a large bulk sack of permatill (Expanded shale) that I got for my aquaponics system and a little bit of vermiculite.  Just do not have much in the way of soil.  
 
Tj Jefferson
pollinator
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Dennis, that seems like it would work. Mine are pretty neglected and doing fine.
 
gardener
Posts: 6280
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Hau Dennis, Measures by shovel full;

1 expanded shale
2 manure
2 sand
1 peat
Mix together and shape into mounds.

kiwi do like some fungi around their roots so I'd top dress the mounds with composted horse manure.

Redhawk
 
Dennis Bangham
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Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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Thank you Dr. Redhawk.  I live in North Alabama so mushrooms are everywhere.  Just need to look in the wooded and swampy areas.
 
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Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
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