Where to Buy Quality Fir Bark?
I used to buy a lot of Better-Gro fir bark in the old red bag. I liked it because it was convenient to buy at LoweÂs and it was an excellent medium for Cattleyas in wooden baskets. But at about the time they changed the appearance of the bag to the current version with pictures of orchid flowers on a light background, the quality of the product began to deteriorate.
It used to be chunky pieces of golden brown outer bark. Now itÂs almost entirely dark brown inner bark supplemented intentionally or unintentionally with wood chips and sometimes pieces of walnut shell. The inner bark is soft and crumbly. In a planting container, it absorbs water, stays slimy wet, and quickly packs into a squishy, rotting clump.
I have read here and there that fir bark is not as readily available as it once was. ItÂs more expensive now, so I guess Better-Gro has been substituting cheaper crap for the good stuff in an effort to hold the price down.
If IÂm going to continue using it, I need to find another source. Does anybody have a recommendation for an online vendor that sells high-quality fir bark?