Question About Bark in 5-1-1 Mix

euarto_gullible(5)February 25, 2013

I have a ton of bark from my woodpile. However, it is a mixture of all sorts of bark. (Mostly elm, cottonwood, ponderosa, and apricot- nothing with juglone) Does it need to be finely shredded pine bark or do people have good luck with other types of bark as well?
Also, I see the mix calls for lime. Will wood ashes work instead?

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esox07

Pine or Fir bark Fines are what are called for. I dont think the others will suffice. Probably something to do with the sap content or something else particular to evergreen type trees. Also, it has to be nearly ALL bark. You don't want very much if any woody particles in there.
I am not sure on the wood ashes. I dont think they would hurt as they are generally used to supply nutrients to a soil however, I don't know if they supply lime. Garden lime is extremely inexpensive and if it was me, I would just use what is called for in that instance. Be careful about trying to cut corners when creating a container mix. I came very close to losing over a month of growing last year due to trying to use some thing that was "close" to what was called for.
PM Greenman28 for some better advice on 5-1-1 mixes and their ingredients.
Bruce

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Bruce is right on all counts. Pine and Fir bark are the best barks to use. The high lignin and suberin content is what lends such longevity to the bark. Not all barks are equal, of course.

Wood ashes aren't really a substitute for Lime.
But I did use ashes in a mix once. I can't remember which plants...but I think I used twice as much Woodash as I would have used Lime - so I did 2 Tablespoons per gallon of mix. Anyhow, I only use ashes in the garden and yard now.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 7:06PM
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euarto_gullible(5)

I will just use the ponderosa pine bark for my mix then. Thanks for the responses.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:22AM
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