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cprao 12-26-2010 10:55 PM

Compost or top soil requirement
 
I am planning to fill this gap with dirt or soil or compost to plant fruit trees. (See the pic)

This gap between the existing ground level to the newly built retaining wall is around 4 ft wide and 3 ft depth.

Now my question is - what is the requirement of soil depth here ? and what kind of soil ?

Is it that I can fill 1 ft height with small stones and then add top soil or compost on top if it (2ft) ?

Please help me understand this requirement ?

http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/v...1/PC260022.jpg

hortman 12-27-2010 11:38 AM

Hello cprao. Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area.
If your soil above the retaining wall has good drainage, you shouldnít
need any rock in the bottom of the gap. But if you have clay soil, some
corrugated drainage pipe in the bottom surrounded by pea gravel would
be recommended. Then fill the gap with a mixture of top soil, compost,
and some garden soil from your local nursery. Be sure to mix the ingredients
well. Make the grade no higher than six inches below the top of the wall.
You donít want soil washing over the wall during a rain storm.
I hope that helps and good luck with your new orchard.

cprao 12-27-2010 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hortman (Post 557445)
Hello cprao. Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area.
If your soil above the retaining wall has good drainage, you shouldnít
need any rock in the bottom of the gap. But if you have clay soil, some
corrugated drainage pipe in the bottom surrounded by pea gravel would
be recommended. Then fill the gap with a mixture of top soil, compost,
and some garden soil from your local nursery. Be sure to mix the ingredients
well. Make the grade no higher than six inches below the top of the wall.
You donít want soil washing over the wall during a rain storm.
I hope that helps and good luck with your new orchard.

Thank you Ken for answering my question. It seems like the soil has a good drainge. However, when we built retaining wall, we inserted one inch sch 40 pipe so that water can be drained out. I am going to put some gravel sorround that pipe so that water can be drained out.


However, the reason to put rocks at the bottom, I have lot of debris at the backyard.. can I dump them into that gap so that I have to buy little soil/compost/garden mix to fill the gap ?

In relation to the above question, is there a requirement that fruit trees should planted at least 1 foor ot 2 foot thick soil ?

hortman 12-27-2010 02:18 PM

compost or top soil
 
Hello again, cprao. Ken here again. Any plant needs soil to grow in. They can’t
grow in the air spaces in debris. Your fruit trees will need more than one
or two feet of soil to grow in, otherwise they won’t do well.
Here’s an idea you might try. When you go to get your fruit trees, buy
dwarf fruit trees. They only get about ten feet high at the maximum. Plant
them in old wine barrels or pots on top of the ground. That way you can get
rid of your debris and save money on soil. Let me know what you decide and
I can help you with buying containers, soil, and planting, etc. Take care.

cprao 12-27-2010 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hortman (Post 557525)
Hello again, cprao. Ken here again. Any plant needs soil to grow in. They can’t
grow in the air spaces in debris. Your fruit trees will need more than one
or two feet of soil to grow in, otherwise they won’t do well.
Here’s an idea you might try. When you go to get your fruit trees, buy
dwarf fruit trees. They only get about ten feet high at the maximum. Plant
them in old wine barrels or pots on top of the ground. That way you can get
rid of your debris and save money on soil. Let me know what you decide and
I can help you with buying containers, soil, and planting, etc. Take care.

Thank you ken again. I don't want to save money at the expense of my fruit plants. your point makes sense.

I can fill in the gap with top soil + compost + garden mix. I believe I need to mix welll all these three components in equal proporotion, right ?

yes. I do need fruit trees that grows mininmul 6 ft height .. how far apart they should be to each other ? How long they survive in general and how long it will take them to grow 6 ft if I purchase 5 gallon trees (3 ft)?
What should be their water requirement ? Do they need any addittional protenis or vitamins to stay healthy ? Sorry for lot of quesions.

hortman 12-27-2010 03:49 PM

Hi, Ken here. They donít have to be in equal proportion but can be. I would go
Ĺ topsoil, ľ compost, and ľ garden mix.
How far apart to plant depends on the mature size of the tree and what kind
of fruit tree it is. You donít want the branches and roots growing into each other
competing for space. I would estimate 12 Ė 15 feet apart to begin with, but
check with your nursery professional when you buy your trees. He or she will know
depending on what exact tree you buy.
How long it will take a 3 foot tree to grow to 6 feet depends on your soil, water, and
light conditions. Your trees are going to need full sun and regular water. It may take
five years to get to six feet. You will need to fertilize the trees too. Again, ask your local
nursery pro for specific instructions. Good luck and stay in touch.

cprao 12-27-2010 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hortman (Post 557564)
Hi, Ken here. They don’t have to be in equal proportion but can be. I would go
Ĺ topsoil, ľ compost, and ľ garden mix.
How far apart to plant depends on the mature size of the tree and what kind
of fruit tree it is. You don’t want the branches and roots growing into each other
competing for space. I would estimate 12 – 15 feet apart to begin with, but
check with your nursery professional when you buy your trees. He or she will know
depending on what exact tree you buy.
How long it will take a 3 foot tree to grow to 6 feet depends on your soil, water, and
light conditions. Your trees are going to need full sun and regular water. It may take
five years to get to six feet. You will need to fertilize the trees too. Again, ask your local
nursery pro for specific instructions. Good luck and stay in touch.

Thank you Ken for all the help so far. I have a catalog of soils available at local nursery.

Which of the following combinations you would recommend.

1)Compost - A combination of differrent types of wood shavings & a small percentage of horse humus, composted and screened. 99% weed free
- 12.50 /Cubic yard

2) Garden Mix - A rich, ready-to-grow blend of our finest oragnics & soil. For the subrbun farmer in all of us
38.50/Cubic Yard

3) Soil Mix - A blend of compost & topsoil; average organic content approximately 65%
- 16.50/Cubic Yard

4) TopSoil - Varies from a sandy loam to loamy sand, with a slight organic content
- 20.00/Cubic Yard.

5) Amended TopSoil - Topsoil with a dash of extra organic
- 21.00/Cubic Yard.

hortman 12-28-2010 09:19 AM

compost or topsoil
 
Good morning cprao. Ken with The Home Depot again. Iím about halfway
through my first cup of coffee. Hereís your combination: topsoil, compost,
and garden mix. Use the ratios I talked about earlier. Make it a great day.

cprao 12-28-2010 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hortman (Post 557916)
Good morning cprao. Ken with The Home Depot again. Iím about halfway
through my first cup of coffee. Hereís your combination: topsoil, compost,
and garden mix. Use the ratios I talked about earlier. Make it a great day.

Thank you Ken. I am just having first cup of tea (we like tea) mixed with pepper (good for my sore throat).

Great.. Thank you for the combination. Sorry, one more question - what is the best way of mixing all these three components. I can't run any machine/rototiller in that area to mix all these three components (where I am going to put fruit trees).

Thank you very much for all your help ken. Have a great day. How is the weather in Chicago ?

hortman 12-28-2010 12:07 PM

compost and topsoil
 
Hey cprao. Get yourself a wheelbarrow and mix with a hoe. When you are done
just dump away. It may be a tedious job but your trees will thank you for it in
the end. Please share some pictures when you are done.
By the way itís going to be cloudy and 30 degrees today. A mild day for a
Chicago winter. Ken.

cprao 12-28-2010 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hortman (Post 557976)
Hey cprao. Get yourself a wheelbarrow and mix with a hoe. When you are done
just dump away. It may be a tedious job but your trees will thank you for it in
the end. Please share some pictures when you are done.
By the way itís going to be cloudy and 30 degrees today. A mild day for a
Chicago winter. Ken.

Well. Thank you very much for all the help. Yes when all is done would be very glad to share the pics.


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