Ask Al a Question forum: New guy in Los Angeles with a lot of questions

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rysmithjr
Oct 8, 2010 5:27 PM CST
Hi Al. First off, thanks so much for all you've written on GW & here, I've been trying to soak it all in but sometimes, it's just too much for a newbie without the vocabulary and experience to know what is going on.

I am in Los Angeles (Sunset 21, I believe), and have just removed my lawn and have 800 sq ft of pea gravel (3"-4" over landscape fabric over native soil) that I am putting containers on. Focused on fruit trees (in addition to the 12x4 raised bed veggie garden). I can add drip irrigation if recommended.

I am trying a few different methods and different materials, in part as an experiment to satisfy my scientific/engineering brain. One of the things I am trying is to use these fabric Smart Pots and Root Trapper Patio bags (in addition to some standard plastic pots with your gritty mix & foliage pro 9-3-6). I will be looking for a few trees off Dave WIlson Nursery's Southwestern/Low Chill recommended list. A couple of questions arise given my environment.

1. Should I place these Smart Pot bags on top of the gravel, or clear the gravel and set these bags on top of the landscape fabric, or cut thru the fabric and place the bags directly on the soil below?

2. Given each of the above scenarios, what growing medium/soil should I be using? You had mentioned

3. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to using one of the 50" bags for 4 trees vs 4x 24" bags for one tree each? If so, what soil and placement as above? I think I prefer 4x 24" bags for mobility, but if there are advantages to being able to grow 4 trees a bit taller or something, I'd happily consider it.

4. I was given a couple of dwarf citrus (washington navel, improved meyer lemon, from Anawalt Lumberyard/Garden Supply/Nursery) in small containers this week, just as the weather got rainy and chilly here after a hot streak. Should I repot these now? I am thinking I should just do a simple repotting to a slightly larger pot using a bag or bark/peat/compost soil and do a full repot w/root pruning moving to gritty mix in the spring? Please correct me!

I am talking to a couple local folks about training in above and below ground pruning, just reading about it doesn't sink in for me, I need to see it and do it..

Pic here of late afternoon sun. This part of the yard gets full sun all day.

Thumb of 2010-10-08/rysmithjr/7f52d6
rysmithjr
Oct 8, 2010 5:27 PM CST
I forgot to mention, Go Red WIngs! Even though I am in LA, I am born & bred Detroit.

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