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Any chance these plants will work in my new house?

 
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: Any chance these plants will work in my new house? Reply with quote

So I just moved into a new house in Maricopa about 2 months ago. I'm finally getting moved into the place, but the one thing that's been kinda under my skin since I moved in was that since the place was a foreclosure, the bank had a landscaping team scalp the back yard.

When I viewed it at one point, it had three small trees and some grass. Now the grass is totally dead (due to non-watering) and the trees are gone.

This actually works in my favor, as I wanted to make my own decisions about trees in the backyard without having to feel guilty about ripping out already established plants. So after reading this website and a whole lot of others, I think I've settled on a Trovita orange tree, a Minneola tangello tree and an Earli Grande peach tree in.

The issue that I think I might run into however, is with the caliche. I've dug down three spots that I'm planning on planting trees, and in every spot I've hit caliche about 2 feet down. The saving grace on this is that the previous owner must have had somebody punch drainage holes in it, as 2 the two feet of water I filled the hole with drained in about 16 hours. So drainage is covered. I'm just worried that with only two feet of root dept, I'm going to have to setup guy-wires for these trees pretty early on.

Thoughts?

(also - awesome website. Full of amazing information)
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phoenixtropicals
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 1177
Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they'll work. It sounds like your yard is a lot like mine. Many nurseries will transport and plant your trees for you for an extra $40 a tree or so, and they'll bring along a jack hammer, so its worth it. Of course, make sure that the jack hammering is included in the planting. I know that Greenfield citrus does this. That being said, the trees will handle 2 feet of soil because some of mine have. However, they will take longer to get established, meaning they'll get beat up more in summer and need to be babied for longer. Taking 16 hours to drain isn't actually that great. In fact the water is just probably spreading out into dry soil nearby not actually draining. Good drainage is more important for the citrus than the peach.

Sooo, to make a long story short, your trees will make it regardless if you take care of them properly. However, they will do better if the caliche is busted up more.
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting that the drainage is insufficient. I had read previously that 1 inch per hour of drainage is sufficient (though I don't know if they included citrus in that). Since this drained 1.5"/hour, I had thought it was more than enough. Good to know.

The comment about Greenfield Citrus is a good one. I'm familliar with the place as I used to live out at Val Vista/Southern and used to go by it on my way to work daily. My concern with them is that I live in Maricopa. They mention that jobs over 5 miles away will be charged extra - I can't imagine what they would charge for 42 miles away door-to-door. But maybe there's a local nursery down here that could prep the site and then I could get it from them, as they list that they carry EXACTLY the orange and tangello variety I've been looking for.
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phoenixtropicals
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 1177
Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good. I chipped a tooth once pounding the caliche with a pick. A piece of rock flew up and nailed me in the mouth. Having someone else do that for you is worth it.
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading more info on the peach tree, I read one bit that suggested a peach tree be planted in a grass lawn as a method of weed prevention because weeds are apparently a critical danger to a peach tree.

Any truth to any of this? If so, it would actually make things a bit nicer, as I like the concept of putting a tree in the middle of my grass lawn. Might be a bit more of a P.I.T.A. to mow, but it looks a lot nicer. I'd just have to plant it in the low part of the lawn to ensure proper watering (which would be a problem in so far as I would need to irrigate the peach tree without drowning the grass).

Also, is it fair to guess that the peach tree would use probably about double the water of a citrus tree? I've been trying to calculate the cost/benefit analysis of a rainwater harvesting system (which would actually be supplemented by reclaiming the water from my RO/DI system that I use for my reef aquarium). Additionally, this could benefit my trees, as the captured rainwater would naturally be less salty than municipal water. Whether or not it would be more acidic due to falling through pollution is debatable, since I'm about 20 miles outside of Phoenix.
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phoenixtropicals
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 1177
Location: Mesa Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:40 pm    Post subject: Peach tree Reply with quote

I think a peach tree would grow well in the grass since both the tree and grass do well on the same schedule. Just dig up at least a 3 foot radius of grass around it so the tree can get started without too much competition from the grass.

I don't think weeds are any big deal around a peach tree, but it doesn't hurt to keep the weeds down around anything you are trying to grow in general to reduce competition for nutrients.

Reverse osmosis would be a very expensive way to water your yard. Trees do fine on city water in general, but RO water would be a luxury for them that's for sure. Rainwater is very good for just about any plant. You don't have to worry about acidity here. The ground is so alkaline any extra acidity in the water would be a benefit. One thing to definitely avoid is watering your trees with softened water. Water softeners add sodium which is very bad for plants.
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psimitry



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 75
Location: maricopa

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh no, I didn't mean that I would be watering plants and whatnot with my RO/DI water. That'd cost me an arm and a leg and be extremely wasteful considering my system has an 8:1 rejection rate. No, what I meant was that the wastewater coming out of my system would go into the cistern like the rainwater once it's collected.

So for example, if I make 50 gallons of aquarium water per month, that's ordinarily 400 gallons I'm flushing down the drain. If I can recapture that and use it for watering plants, it's just good sense.
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