I have a thousand of these liner plants that I need to get transferred to 1 gallon pots, I plan to do 500 this weekend and the other as soon as I can. To buy potting soil would be alot of money. I have some very well composted pine/oak wood chips and alot of sand, Im hoping someone can honestly tell me that a 50/50 mix of these two ingredients would suffice as an alternative to a store bought potting soil?
I have to scratch around a bit but I have a general idea of the areas of my pile of wood chips that has decomposed very well and while I wouldnt say it resembles dirt I would say it definitely is better looking than some of the crap you buy in bags at the local box stores.
The plants as they are now arent living in soil, I forget what its called, the guy I deal with says he cant use regular potting soil due to some guburment regulation so he uses XX instead.
Whatever he uses is working cause at this point they are very health looking root system.
Would rather no experiment on this one, I will make up a mix and take it back to the guy I purchased these from and get his take. I would prob be able to get material from him at a great price to do these, it would be just so much more convenient to use what I have one site rather than hauling things around.
If the roots werent so delicate cause of the size of the plants than of course I wouldnt be so concerned.
Id like to add an interesting fact to this thread. About a month ago ( no less ) I was transferring maybe 2 dozen loquat trees from a mass of rooted cutting all placed in a single container to individual pots. I was doing this on my work bench AKA the tailgate of my truck.
Some were very small and some larger.
I must have dropped a few on the tailgate and didnt notice, they were then covered up with a thin layer of very decomposed wood chips ( I had been transferring earlier that day) I have been watching these plants grow over the past month right there on my taigate in the very thin layer of wood chips that are laying on top of a black plastic bed liner that Im sure has been getting very hot with the sun and minimal amount of rain.
Ive learned that loquat is a VERY hardy plant already with a deep taproot but I never would have expected these plants to survive on the back of a truck.
I felt bad for the little guys and this past weekend planted them in the sand. Im curious now to see what they do in my pure sand without the benefit of the chips but Id bet they will continue to survive.
I would bet that if your little seedlings were doing so well in that thin layer of mulch in the bed of your truck then they will thrive once in the actual ground. I know that your soil is mostly sand and pretty nutrient deficient, but wood chips are also pretty nutrient deficient. What makes wood chips great for gardening is the carbon makes for a home for microbes and other soil dwelling organisms. When in contact with the ground, woodchips will actually attract all sorts of soil denizens.
Those loquat trees by the way, are probably going to make great pioneer trees, sending roots nice and deep, dredging up other soil nutrients and adding their own leaf litter to the ground. Assuming that they don't grow out of control, they can be a great asset and resource for your land. I have Autumn Olive on my property, normally an invasive weed tree introduced in the '30s as a shelter belt tree because they grow VERY fast and are tolerant of most any weather condition--heat, cold, drought and flood etc. They have become something of a mess in my area. However, one of the guiding principles of permaculture is "the problem is the solution." Since I mow my grassy areas that otherwise would grow thick with Autumn Olive, mine are confined to a dense hedge/living fence. Every couple of years I cut mine back about 2' (out of more than 10') and chip them up for mulch, thus turning a weed into a resource. My point is that those trees you are planting, if growing out of control in the future or just need thinning, could make for a great source of wood for wood chips or huglekulture.
But in the meantime, I think you have yourself a great pioneer tree.
I would think if it is well composted then it is soil. that's where good rich soil comes from, the composted organic matter that falls from growing things. and mixed with sand so there will be good drainage sounds like real good potting media.