Appropriate bark for 511 mix?

Marrme(6)March 27, 2014

Hi!

So I made up a pot of 511 mix on the fly because I've waited 3+ weeks for my Agway bark to come in (they keep telling me 1 more week, 1 more week), so I got impatient and decided to try it for my Plumeria before I try it on my citrus trees. I got this bark from Lowe's.
It was pretty uniform but I picked out a few big pieces. I pretty much followed RedShirtCat's youtube video which was excellent and much appreciated. :) Anyways, has anyone tried this bark? Success? Failures? It says there are no dyes or any other additives on the website. I'm still waiting for my plumeria to do something but I expect it will go through some transplant shock as it was very rootbound and I broke off a decent amount of roots to stop them from strangling each other (I inherited this winter).

Here is a link that might be useful: Lowe's Bark

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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I've never tried the Lowe's Bark but have used the one from Walmart...its under $3 for a large 2 cf size...after I sift/rinse the dust this is what it looks like...there are sometimes large pieces which I remove...

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:51PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

This used to be the color of the Bag...but I think they have changed the color of the packaging this year?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Marrme(6)

Ah, I was looking for that one in Walmart because I've seen it posted on the forum but they didn't have it yet. :( My Agway is still on order, they said it will be "1 more week" x 3. I suppose I'll just compare when it gets here.
What size do you sift with?
Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:58PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

From the pic in the link provided, the bark looks pretty bad. Shredded, rather than bark pieces, and with a considerable amount of sapwood for a sample of that size. I wouldn't use it, personally.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:32AM
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Marrme(6)

Ahh, what a shame. I suppose I'll have to repot it again once I get my Agway after all. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 11:10AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Marrme, I use one of those kitchen aluminum sifter...does the job.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 11:32AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

This is by far the best Orchid Fir Bark I've ever used on my Gritty mix...my friend belongs to the local Orchid society so she and I split a bag every once in a while...its expensive so I use it only my prized plants,lol...

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 11:34AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Good choice, pug. I have also used Repti Bark from PetsMart and Petco. It is not cheap, so I would look to see which product is more economical.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Repti Bark

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:49PM
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Marrme(6)

Hm.. the last picture seemed to look more like nuggets to me. So are small pine bark nuggets okay to use as well?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 1:32PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

That's precisely what you want - the bark nuggets/chunks/pieces. Here's a pic of some bark on my 1/4 inch screen.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 5:05PM
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Tavimh(5)

It is so helpful to see pictures of what bark people are using!

I recently made a mix for my kumquat tree with bark much larger than these examples. The pieces are about 1" in my soil mix, but the tree is very happy and putting out new growth. Do I go searching for smaller bark/mulch and re-pot, or is large bark not going to hurt much?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:02PM
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Marrme(6)

Ohh, that looks different from the previous pictures I saw. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong. Thanks for the picture!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 1:57PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I've never used anything but the bark in the image above.

After the ingredients are mixed together, your 5-1-1 should have a texture very similar to this:

Josh

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:14PM
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Marrme(6)

Thanks Josh, you're so helpful! I perused a gazillion 511 and gritty posts before, a picture is truly worth a thousand words but everyone seems to do something a little different so it gets confusing for newbies like me. What brand bark do you use? I wish I could just buy it off you..

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:36PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

This is brand that works best for me: Greenall Micro Bark.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 3:36PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

E.B. Stone is the parent company that produces Greenall Micro Bark. They also package this "Orchid Bark" in a bag half the size but at nearly the same price....which is why I go for the Micro Bark instead.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 3:41PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Another packaging of the same product:

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 3:42PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

And, lastly, a product that is carried by Home Depot. Warning, there is a lot of variation between batches....only buy this stuff if the bark is *small* - other bags I've purchased have had huge bark for landscaping mulch. Also, be aware that this product has much more sapwood in it - which is why I don't favor it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 3:45PM
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Chandran

You are so right, Josh! I used to buy Earthgro Groundcover Bark as seen in your photo from Home Depot. I was happy with the first couple of bags but then subsequent bags the nuggets were way too big! I could not use them at all in the 511 mix. Like you I found the Greenall Micro Bark at Armstrongs - a nursery chain in the Southland who carry the EB Stone line. Although the Greenall Micro Bark is relatively expensive, it is the best size and most uniform bark I found for the 511 mix. I think it is a quality product.

Mae

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 9:15PM
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