Effect of potting mix texture on farm tree seedling survival in heavy soils.
The importance of compatibility of potting mix and soil type for increasing the survival of tree seedlings planted in heavy soils is indicated by the results of a preliminary trial, in which seedlings of 2 species (Eucalyptus maculata and E. viminalis) were raised in a coarse mix of bark and sand, and a finer mix of bark and sandy loam. Seedlings were planted in November 1991 on a heavy clay site (sprayed with Roundup to control weeds) north of Birregurra, Victoria, Australia, and watered as necessary. They were protected from rabbit and hare attack by plastic guards, and crickets were baited in neighbouring paddocks. Tree survival was monitored in January and March. On planting out, it was observed that roots of seedlings from the coarse medium were thick and white, while those from the finer medium were more fibrous, fine and creamy. Survival was low overall (0-26% in March), but better from the finer medium and better for E. viminalis than E. maculata (none of the latter survived to March from the coarse mix seedlings).