Help with Soil and Species Selection

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photonbucket

Help with Soil and Species Selection

Post by photonbucket » Mon May 06, 2013 4:25 pm

I need help with species selection and soil make up now. I have two main areas. The main borders and the living wall that need to be 'soiled' and planted over the next few weeks.

See here for the context...

http://www.hardytropicals.co.uk/forum/v ... 40#p374040

My rough idea for planting is to include bananas, colocasias and the usual jungly fare. (I am prepared to change that if there are any other suggestions). So I need to know what soil makeup I should use to get it right from day one. The soils don't have to be all the same. There are 3 different borders that are completely unconnected and of course the living wall. Remember that this is all going to be completely frost free and can be kept at whatever temperature I wish providing a plant is worth spending the fuel on.

Border one is the border in the link picture. It is the largest border, but is shady. Only the evening sunshine captures it. It measures about 5 meters x 1-3 meters.

Border two is also quite shady and is about 4 meters x 1-2 meters. It has a height restriction of 7ft.

Border three is the smallest and is about 3 meters x 3 meters. It is the sunniest part of the 'biome' and can house a plant up to about 12 feet (just to mix metric and imperial icon_scratch ).

I also need a fair amount of climbers. Help with species selection and soil requirements for the suggestion please!!

PS - Please dont just say "gritty soil". I am a bit simple when it comes to soil, and one persons gritty soil is anothers mud. So any actual ingredients would be really useful. icon_study

greendragon

Re: Help with Soil and Species Selection

Post by greendragon » Mon May 06, 2013 5:01 pm

If you have the money then the soil should be a mix of 1 scoop of perlite to every 2 scoops of john Innes no.3.

For border 1.
Cibotium Ferns
Asplenium nidus
Blechnum gibbum
Cyathea tomentosissima

For border 2
Howea forsteriana
Phoenix roebelenii

For border 3
Cycas revoluta

Vagetarian

Re: Help with Soil and Species Selection

Post by Vagetarian » Mon May 06, 2013 6:15 pm

Oooooo. Jungle understory palms, lots of them! :lol: Chamaedorea would be another one.

It looks like you will be needing several tonnes of soil. 5x2 + 4x1.5 + 3x3 is 25 square metres, if your beds are 200mm high then that's 5 cubic metres, over 5 bulk bags of soil. Are they really that big?

You can actually buy John Innes in bulk bags so it won't work out too much dearer. Personally I'd just do 50% top soil with the rest made up of some combination of peat and grit (or perlite if it works out financially viable, but grit comes in bulk bags and won't crush down in the bed - make sure it's washed) and then at least 10% good, rich composted stuff. John Innes will be easier and maybe more reliable though.

Look forward to seeing what it turns out like!

photonbucket

Re: Help with Soil and Species Selection

Post by photonbucket » Mon May 06, 2013 8:00 pm

Thanks for your help. I have worked out that I need 4 tonnes of soil, so you were right about the over estimation.

As for Cyathea tomentosissima, why go for that instead of C. Cooperi? My biggest problem is going to be finding a reasonable sized one of either. Any ideas where a biggy might be for sale?

I really want a specimen palm in there that looks really tropical. Something like Syagrus romanzoffiana or something equally radical. I will probably live here for about 5 years, so I am not worried about the palm hitting the roof as long as it takes that long! I can't find anywhere selling this sort of plant in a reasonable size.
Last edited by photonbucket on Mon May 06, 2013 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dim

Re: Help with Soil and Species Selection

Post by Dim » Mon May 06, 2013 8:06 pm

contact your council, and find out where you can get 'soil conditioner'

here in cambridge, we get as much soil conditioner as we want for free from a companyey called AmeyCespa .... this is the compost that they make from the green/brown bins

add that to your beds, and you are off to a good start

photonbucket

Re: Help with Soil and Species Selection

Post by photonbucket » Mon May 06, 2013 8:45 pm

I'm excited now! Just noticed that Amulree have had a delivery of palms. Some I am interested in are:

SYAGRUS romanzoffianum
ACOELORAPHE WRIGHTII
Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
DYPSIS decaryi
PARAJUBAEA TORALLYII Var TORALLYII

Excuse the capitals (copy and paste job!).

Yatsura

Re: Help with Soil and Species Selection

Post by Yatsura » Mon May 06, 2013 9:34 pm

Looking good!
I went to Amluree a couple of weeks ago and I fell in love with the Dypsis (triangle palm) and for the size you are getting I think pretty good value at £150 as it would make such a statement! Just gutted i haven't got anywhere to put one :(

greendragon

Re: Help with Soil and Species Selection

Post by greendragon » Mon May 06, 2013 9:39 pm

Mulu are selling Cooperi and other interesting tree ferns, the £49 one has huge fronds, I have a medullaris from them which was very good. Cooperi will outgrow it's place a lot faster than tomentosissima but if you don't mind digging it up one day I guess that isn't a problem. Asplenium nidus looks very unique and won't outgrow it's place.

http://www.mulu.co.uk/plant_info.php?id=1092


Syagrus is very fussy from what I have read you would do far better with one of these mountain coconut palms;
http://www.mulu.co.uk/plant_info.php?id=1099

Parajubaea torrallyi picture from mulu website, everything I have bought from Mulu in the past has been top quality.
Image

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