Soil and Compost forum→Leaf Mold for Pecan & Walnut Seedlings?

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Jul 8, 2018 7:34 PM CST
Hello, all,

We have a large black walnut and some (mahan) pecans growing in the yard and are getting lots of walnut and pecan seedlings in the yard that I want to transplant in the fall to another nearby property.

In the meantime, in order to mow under those trees, and to get the seedlings to develop larger, better root systems before I transplant them into their new home this fall, I plan to transplant them into 2 gal pots with a good, loose growing medium.

Was considering Pro Mix for a planting medium but it is expensive and I want to save it for other uses. Would screened hardwood leaf mold (I can get it from the property where I will plant), mixed with local soil (fine sassafras loam) be acceptable for transplanting pecan and walnut seedlings into, or would it be too acidic? (I would take it from non-wetland area of the land where seedlings will eventually be planted.) Would also mix in a small amount of Pro Mix, since it's supposedly inoculated with mycorrizhae...

If the leaf mold is too acidic, would liming it help?

(I have some universal pH indicator and plan to test the mixed growing medium by running some water through it and checking the pH of that water.)

Years ago, I worked in a nursery, and the medium we used seemed like it was mostly chipper mulch mixed with sand...

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Name: Bazram Radmehr
(Zone 9a)
Sep 28, 2018 1:29 PM CST
Hi friend,

Walnuts love acid soils. The recommended PH is about 5.5 to 6.5 for walnuts. If you use leaf soil, be sure to mix it with 50% of the normal garden soil. Walnuts are not susceptible to root limitation, but root restriction will stop growing. so do not keep the walnuts in the pot for a long time.

Have fun,
canada 4b (Zone 8a)
Oct 5, 2018 10:31 PM CST
I have trouble using water based ph tests for soil. They always seem off. On the other hand, my soil probe meters are fussy about to little or to much moisture in the soil. A day after a nice rain seems the best time to take values.

Also, those pecans will require zinc.
[Last edited by Dirtmechanic - Oct 25, 2018 12:02 AM (+)]
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