• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • r ranson
  • James Freyr
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • thomas rubino
  • Carla Burke

Seedlings in 5 gallon buckets...

Posts: 2989
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have recieved a large number of bare root oak seedlings. I don't want or need this kind of oak in my yard, but I thought I might pot them up and grow them out to sell or give away.
So should I use 5 gallon buckets, or can I use something smaller to get to them to a sellable state? Can I use my poor clay soil, sifted and top dressed with compost or will this stunt the growth? Should I maybe plant annual legumes or a mimosa seedling in the same pot?
Should I make sure they can drain completely or leave a reservoir ?

Posts: 1728
Location: Los Angeles, CA
hugelkultur forest garden books urban chicken food preservation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Obviously drainage will be important, so drill some 1" holes around the base of the buckets. A paddle bit on a cordless drill will make quick work of it.

Straight clay isn't the best soil for a potting mix, so can you amend it a bit with organic material, perlite, bio char, etc? Oak roots will drill down, so that won't be a problem -- they send down a strong tap root, but a bit of amending of the soil will help with drainage and help the tree get a better start.
gardener & author
Posts: 1933
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
trees food preservation solar greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've used lots of buckets as pots, with random local soil (commercial potting soil isn't available within thousands of miles from where I am). I don't always have success but I certainly don't know if that's my soil, or my occasional watering lapses in this intensely hot dry sun, or what.

I use a hot nail to make lots of small holes so not too much soil comes out. It makes perfect little round holes. A collar of melted plastic rises on up on the side you push from, so it makes a smoother finish if you push the hot nail from the inside of the bucket. I balance two long nails or spikes on the gas burner with all the windows and doors open and a good cross breeze, and try to hold my breath to avoid the plastic fumes. It doesn't seem very safe, fume-wise, I'll admit.
Beware the other head of science - it bites! Nibble on this message:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic