In this article, I continue to talk about Dwarf Alberta Spruce, namely the proper substrate. I hope this information will be useful to you and that your spruce will be healthy and beautiful.
The best soil for Dwarf Alberta Spruce is well-drained, nutritious soil. Also, make sure that the pH is in the 5.5-7.0 range. Adding compost to the native soil can bring it to the right condition.
You can also use substrate for conifers, which are available at most garden centers. But the best solution is to add a few buckets of good quality compost or other soil conditioner and mix it with the native soil.
Planting Dwarf Alberta Spruce in such soil, you can be sure that it will get enough nutrients and the roots will be easier to spread. In addition, overwatering and root rot are much less likely to occur in such ground.
Can a Dwarf Alberta Spruce grow in clay soil?
Dwarf Alberta Spruce can grow in clay soil but you need to make some amendments for this.
First, before planting, put a few buckets of organic matter in the planting hole. This can be compost, peat, or soil conditioner. Mix this well with the native soil.
The second thing you want to do is drainage. Dig a planting hole 3 feet deep and fill the bottom with 1 bucket of rocks. Next, pour in the soil mixture you prepared and only then plant.
Lastly, make sure there are no surface streams flowing near the spruce. It could be rainwater from the roof or something similar. Get all the water as far away as possible from where the Dwarf Alberta Spruce is growing.
In addition, you have to fertilize the spruce at least once a year since clay soil is poor in nutrients. Apply a slow-release universal fertilizer once a year in spring. This is usually enough for the whole growing season.
Do Dwarf Alberta Spruce like acidic soil?
Dwarf Alberta Spruce likes slightly acidic or neutral soil. In this type of soil, it will easily absorb all necessary minerals and grow well.
If the soil pH is below 5.5, it may have some difficulties. Too acidic a soil will not absorb phosphorus and this can lead to root and needle problems.
In this case, you need to measure the soil pH with a kit that is available on the market. If the soil is too acidic, add garden lime to reduce the acidity. This product is also available at garden centers.
Sometimes the soil can be alkaline, i.e. the soil pH is above 7.0. This soil makes it difficult for the plants to assimilate nitrogen and other elements that are necessary for photosynthesis. As a result, the needles turn yellow and the tree develops slowly.
To correct this, first, check the pH, and if it is too high add an acidifier (sulfate). This product can also be purchased at a garden center or supermarket.
Is peat moss good for Dwarf Alberta Spruce spruce?
Dwarf Alberta Spruce can grow well in peat moss but only if it is mixed with garden soil. Cultivation in pure peat moss is also possible but may be difficult.
Firstly if the peat moss dries out it is difficult to re-hydrate. If you water dry peat moss all the water will go through. As a result, it is almost dry and only a small part of it gets wet.
To fix this you will have to water several times in a row with small amounts of water.
The second is that peat moss may be too acidic for spruce. So you have to measure the pH beforehand.
The best way to use peat moss as soil for Dwarf Alberta Spruce is to mix it with regular garden soil in a one-to-one ratio. Such a mixture will have all the qualities you need to successfully grow your spruce.
The best soil for growing Dwarf Alberta Spruce in a pot is a mixture of organic matter and regular garden soil. The ratio of the ingredients of the mixture should be one to one.
Avoid using a substrate of pure organic matter (compost or peat) because it compacts over time. After that, watering becomes much more difficult. Water runs down the walls of the pot and the substrate stays dry.
To correct this drawback, mix any potting soil or compost with half of the garden soil. Also, put pebbles in the drainage holes to prevent the soil from washing out of the pot.
If potted, the spruce should be transplanted into a larger container every 1 or 2 years with the addition of fresh, nutritious soil.