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I have an eight foot wide strip of dirt between a ghetto street and my door.
In this eight foot strip of dirt, I wanted to lift weights and grow a line of trees to shade my room from the summer sun.
The summer sun heats the room to such an extreme temperature I cannot work. Air conditioning only wastes money. So, I needed a wall of living green to shade the room.
And as I follow the philosophy of Albert Schweitzer in regards to trees, I plant only fruit trees.
From seeds, I had grown several fruit trees in 4 gallon pots. However, I knew from experience, if I planted the small trees in the soil, the roots would expand to fill the available space — and when I wanted to transplant the trees, hacking the roots out of the earth would kill the trees.
To contain the roots, I set 10 gallon pots in the soil, half filled the 10 gallon pots with hydroton, rock wool, and composted manure, then set the 4 gallon pots inside.
I watered the trees with a PVC drip line of hydroponic solution and output water from my washing machine.
Most of the trees in the space grew far overhead. Because of the very narrow space, I trim the trees often to keep the walkway open. The cutting also maximizes the density of the shade on the room.
The trees do provide the shade — so much shade that the mint that had covered the soil died away.
One apricot tree only grew to only six feet. Perhaps the shade of the trees on the sides stunted the apricot.
Taking the smaller apricot tree out of the 10 gallon pot proved very difficult. The roots had woven through the holes of the 4 gallon pot, then through the holes of the 10 gallon pot. I had to hack through masses of root to pull out the tree.
I transplanted that tree to a space on the fence where there will be more sun. Perhaps the tree will achieve the same height as the others.
The second part of the video shows an experiment with a way to transplant the trees easier, faster, with less shock I hope.
I cut a slot in a 5 gallon vinyl pail. The slick interior of the pail will contain the mass of roots and only allow the roots to grow out through the slot.
I put a young apricot tree growing in a 4 gallon bucket into the 5 gallon bucket.
Hydroton and rock wool inside the 5 gallon pail will provide a starting area for the roots. Then the roots will grow outward through the slot to the soil.
When the time comes to transplant the tree, I believe I can possibly sever the roots growing through the slot with a shovel — and a mass of roots will remain within the five gallon container. Perhaps this dense mass of roots will sustain the tree through the shock of transplanting.
I shall learn the outcome in the future.
The empty 10 gallon pot remains in the line of trees, like a socket, ready for another pot. I will use the empty socket in the line of trees to start seedlings — the shade of the trees does not allow enough sunlight for vegetables.
Hydroton, rock wool, nutrients, and anti-shock additive in this video provided by http://www.hydrosuppliers.com.