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Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Posted by habjolokia none (zellmarkj@yahoo.com) on
Sat, Apr 7, 12 at 21:26

The difference between Pine mulch and fines are that it's just broken down mulch (smaller size pices) correct? I have organic potting soil that I mix with MG Orchid mix. I have run out of the orchid mix. I have more plants than I intended.

Can I use Pine Mulch mixed in with the soil? About this bag of pine mulch, it's been under our back deck laying flat with one end open for about 3 yrs so it has been there breaking down, though the bag that mulch is in, is still intact.

It's my only option at this point, besides just using the organic soil itself but I fear first rain would waterlogg my plants and destroy them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 7, 12 at 22:24

habjolokia: NOOOOOO!
Mistake I made was just what you are proposing. Almost derailed my whole start to my season. You need Pine BARK fines, not just ground up pine which includes bark and wood. Mulch generally is not composed of strictly bark but usually ground up wood.

Besides, I would be wary of that old bag of mulch anyway. It might be a huge mold factory.

After two years of trying different stuff and looking all over the place, local, online and even driving 90 miles one way to get some Fafard52, I just a few days ago found some honest to goodness Pine BARK Fines at the local Kmart of all places. Below are photos of the two products that should be what you are looking for.

This one actually isn't listed as "Bark" but surely is and looks to be even better than the other product that is listed as "bark".

I cannot be sure you local Kmart has the same products or if you even have a "LOCAL" Kmart but here goes.

First Product:

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And here is the second product. It does say Pine BARK but does seem to have a slight bit of "wood" mixed in.

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Bruce


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re: fine bark fines? mulch? dont go by the label

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 7, 12 at 22:29

PS: The first product above is the one listed as just "Pine Mulch" but it is clearly bark and seems to be the better of the two. The second product, while labeled as "Pine Bark" does seem to have some "wood" mixed in and would probably be an acceptable medium but probably not as good as the first one.

Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

THANK YOU!!! I did not realize you had use pine mulch, I had thought you went with regular hardwood mulch. My peppers thank you. I think we still have some KMarts but its been about 4 yrs since I've been in the area that has a KMart maybe it could still be there.

Thanks
Mark


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

If you have trouble finding it, check pet stores...fir bark is what is used for reptile habitats....just in case.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 8, 12 at 1:45

simsedward is right. The reptibark or whatever it is called is good fir bark mulch. However it will cost you about $20.00 for a 1cf bag. The stuff from Kmart is only $3.19 for a 2cf bag.
Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Yes I totally agree....get the stuff elsewhere in bulk if you can find it. The reptibark is a hail Mary option.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

good to hear about the K-mart bark:) I am heading to a convention in Green Bay this week and will be looking for bark, 52 mix, and Dynagro fertilizer. Thanks for the great pics Bruce!! I am so hoping to find some pine bark!


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 8, 12 at 19:35

No problem naturemitch. It was a real source of frustration for me the last year plus. I looked and called all over the place and either could find nothing suitable or like the Reptibark, it was much to cost prohibitive. At $3.19 a bag, and after mixing with the other ingredients, it will probably be close enough to fill two 7 gallon containers. Although, I had purchased a good amount of Fafards52 previously so I will just cut the Fafards with the bark this year. Next year, if I am out of my supply of Fafards, I will be using the bark as my main ingredient.

Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Thanks all, will look for it. Just sunburnt some of my plants. Moved them to a more shaded location. Need to get them in larger pots soon wind blowes them over in current pots. Now got them all in a turkey pan side by side to support them until I can move them in bigger pots. Will be looking into Kmart this wknd for pine bark fines.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 9, 12 at 13:59

habjolokia:
You might want to stake those plants.

Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Great information, Bruce!

I think you guys will really enjoy the ease of growing, watering, and fertilizing
a bark-based mix. I actually recorded a short video this morning on screening ingredients
for soil-less, bark-based mixes. In the video, I'm describing how to screen for a mix
that is best for woody plants, but in the description below the video I give the recipe
for a mostly unscreened Summer pepper mix.

Potting Mix: Screening bark and other ingredients


Josh


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 9, 12 at 16:57

Excellent video Josh. I am just very happy that you mentioned that preparing the mix for Peppers is not quite as imperative. I have a bad back which would make that kind of work hard. But more significant is that my level of patience isn't high. I will do some screening as you suggest however to get rid of the over sized particles and will make sure the sap wood is at a minimum.

I was thinking that a good alternative to the pond baskets would be a square wood frame of 1x4 stock with some 1/2" hardware cloth fastened to the bottom of it. Seems like you could screen a whole lot of bark quickly that way. Then you could make one with 1/8" holes and use that to screen out the very small particles leaving pieces from 1/8 to 1/2 inch. You could make the "sieves" any size you desire allowing you to screen as much at a time as you wish.

The Perlite I have is labeled "Course" perlite but looks significantly smaller than what you are using. Would that still be acceptable?

Oh, and a request for your next video: Putting all the prepared ingredients together and creating your 5-1-1 mix.

Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Sure thing, Bruce!

One day I will build some screens with hardware cloth, and you're right...it goes much faster!
I do have aluminum door-screen with 1/16 inch holes, which is perfect for screening Turface MVP
(I'm out of Turface, otherwise I would have included it in the video).

Bruce, I would recommend using window screen to remove the dusty Perlite from your bag.
The pond-baskets really come in handy with the rinsing of ingredients in particular.

Great idea on the next video...5-1-1, you got it.


Josh


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 9, 12 at 18:42

Josh, I will have to find some door screen for my Perlite. It does have a lot of "dust" in it. Looking forward to the 5-1-1 video.

Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

I'm tracking right along with this thread! I wanted to switch over to 5-1-1 last year, but just never got around to it and time got away from me. So, I'm really making an effort to get my ducks in a row this year.

Currently, searching for the best source for the pine bark. The local nursery I went to was basically clueless and tried to direct me to the peat moss because "that's probably what I want". They did have some crushed coconut shells that looked pretty awesome. So I came home and looked that up...good thing!! Turns out I would have been setting myself up for a headache if not failure! I saw some pine bark mulch at Lowes that looked ok, but, that may have some wishful bias, I'll have to look again.

My perlite is also course, but, much finer than what your video shows, Josh. I'm guessing we got the same stuff, Bruce.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 9, 12 at 19:47

Tsheets, check a Kmart for the two products I pictured above if you want to go with the pine/fir bark and 5-1-1 mix. I got my Perlite from Home Depot online.

Photobucket

Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

k-mart was going to be one of my stops. :-)

I already have a giant bag of perlite. It just sounds about like you described your's.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Thanks Josh for the video, and Thanks Bruce all the additional comments on where to find the supplies for the 5-1-1 mix. Its good to see video's much better then explaing the process by typing it out IMHO. Thanks for all the feedback.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 9, 12 at 22:10

tsheets. Yes, that is a 2cf bag. I have a total of probably two or 2.5 bags worth. So, I think I am set for a while there. I just need to get back to the Kmart and get a few bags of the pine bark and I will be ready for final potting next month. Like I said, I have already purchased a large supply of Fafards 52 so I will just be amending that with a bit of pine bark and perlite to get my summer mix.

Now that it seems I have a source and inexpensive one, I will be going with the 5-1-1 mix in the future. Even though the Fafards has a great reputation, it is quite a bit more expensive than the $3.19 a bag for straight pine bark.

Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Woooo found this at Lowes online, plan to pickup some this weekend $2.82 2cf bag does this look good for what I need?

Here is a link that might be useful: Pine Bark Nuggets


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Good morning!

I can't tell what size that is, but it looks large.
You don't want bark that is larger than 1/2 in diameter.


Josh


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 11, 12 at 10:24

habjolokia:
Looks like a possibility. But my guess is that the "nuggets" are too big for use as a soil mix. Check it on site before you buy.
Here is one of the online reviews of the stuff. Read the rest:

Nuggets, no! Large ground mulch, Yes! This product in no way resembles the pine bark nuggets that I have previously purchased at Lowes. This product is large pieces of mulch, with sticks, strips of bark, etc and other
pieces of pine products. It isn't at all pretty, but maybe it will keep the weeds down. Wish I had known this
before I sent my husband to purchase 16 bags. He certainly wasn't up for taking it back!
Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

In the OP the purple bag of Timberline is the right stuff. After years of looking for that stuff, last year Wal-Mart started carrying it. I bought a bunch throughout last year but only a few bags at a time as I needed. I figured they'd carry it on a regular basis as it was at all my local Wal-Marts from around spring up until fall of 2011. Then all of a sudden they stopped carrying it. Back to square one to trying to find this brand and retailers that carry it here in SW Florida.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 11, 12 at 16:03

Ohhhh, I was a little worried about something like that happening. Our local Walmart has never carried it. I see Timberline products in stores around here but never the pine bark fines. I dont know if our local Kmart carried it last year or not but they do have it this season. I also saw it at another Kmart in the area here so I am taking that as a good sign. I am told that pine bark fines will keep over the winter in good shape if it is stored out of the elements. If you find it this year, you may want to stock up for next year before they close the garden centers.
Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Bruce thanks for the feedback, guess the picture was not worth a 1000 words based on the comments. Will keep hunting for it. Thanks for looking out.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Ok, I'm new so please overlook my ignorance. I tried to do a search, but either I'm doing it wrong or the search function is down. I see you guys keep referring to 5-1-1 mix. I need to know what are the 3 ingredients of your mix are. I take it that 1 ingredient is pine bark. I assume 1 would be some sort of potting soil. I assume the other would be perlite or vermiculite. Also, I assume the ratio would be (5)potting soil, (1) pine bark fines, and (1) perlite. Is this correct? I have been growing jalapenos for a few years now and I usually just mix miracle grow with my garden soil. I'm growing some super hots this year.(bhut jolokia, 7 pod, red savina,*mostly thanks to Ottawapepper donating seeds). Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I live in the Piedmont of North Carolina just outside Charlotte.My apologies for taking over your thread, but I assume others could also benefit from the information.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

It's 5 bark - 1 perlite - 1 sphagnum peat

Here's a link.

Here is a link that might be useful: 5-1-1


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Thanks tsheets!


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 12, 12 at 14:50

I just picked up three bags of the Timberline product at $3.49 per 2cf bag. It was very wet and heavy. I will have to dry it out before I sort out the over sized and non bark pieces.
Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Hi Peppernovice no worries the thread, my initial question was answered glad you could continue it for the benefit of others including myself. Stopping by a few place/s this weekend to check out some potential bark bags.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

I found some pine bark mulch at a local hardware store. It's by a company called Butterfield Farms. I purchased a 3cf bag for about $3.50 usd. It looks pretty good to me, but I really don't have any experience with pine bark mulch. Has anyone ever used this product?


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

It's all about the texture/size. Finding Pine Bark Mulch isn't hard at all, at least this time of year. But, finding some that isn't too stringy (sap wood), too big of chunks, not too much really fine stuff, etc. etc. is the trick. IIRC, the desired size is between 1/8" and 1/2".


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Hi all.

I picked up a number of bags of pine bark from Kmart today in Green Bay. Hoping some of it isn't too fine, will post a pic tomorrow. A lot of the bags were broke or open a bit, so I got them for $1.74 each:))) Wasn't quite the same brand name, but they have been the best I have come across yet.


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Ended up having to go to Home Depot not ideal but made it work, but I would say its good quality bark. They had a mini nugget bag but was not see through and when picking it up felt like more sapwood then nuggets so I went with the Nugget bag.

Nugget sizes

Scrap sap wood and sticks

Pine Bark fines, don't ask lots of labor went into making these


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

haha! I can imagining spending an embarrassing amount of time cleaning it up! Looks good!


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 16, 12 at 21:58

Yep, looks like you got what you need. Now, just 30 more containers full and you will be done....giddyup!

Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Hello!
Those pieces of bark are too large - most look 1/2 inch or larger.


Josh


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Thanks Josh now I will have to spend more time on breaking down my bark bricks. Well at least I had not gotten to far before I read your message. Thanks!

Mark


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 18, 12 at 16:58

Yes, after relooking, Josh is right. Those are too big.

How are you sorting out your bark? Josh posted a video in another thread on how he does it. I hope you are not sorting by hand? Try for pieces that are about the size of a garden pea give or take.

Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Yes by hand, because I have bark bricks (nuggets) its not too bad, just time consuming, food scissors cut through most pices so just got to cut them smaller. Before next season will search everywhere for better bark, less time consuming. Insane but worth the peppers


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

It is a lot of work up front, but less work in the long run ;-)
Sifting bark is time consuming, so I do a little each day to make it easier on my back.


Josh


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

I bought several of the purple bags shown near the top. I know they say you don't have to screen for the 5-1-1 mix, but, with the product I got, I just felt like it needed it.

Last night, I built a 2x2 screen using 1/2" hardware cloth and an 8' 1x6 and started sifting. Yes, it is rough on the back!!! I got through 1.5 bags of mulch before calling it quits. There was a lot of left over larger pieces. Luckily, the GF needs mulch anyway, so, I'll give her the left over chunks.

One option you can try that I've seen mentioned before is running over the nuggets with a lawn mower. Probably would be pretty rough on your blade, but, also probably easier than doing it by hand!


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

This is what I found at Kmart. Hope it's not too fine, but guess I can adjust peat if it is.

Photobucket">


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 21, 12 at 11:23

naturemitch:
Is that the stuff in the purple bags? From what I can see, it looks like the right stuff. Was it wet at the time you took the photo?
Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Bruce-

Yes, it is still wet:) Was drying some out and forgot to cover it...so now I am starting over again!

They were in purple bags, but not the same name as your purple bag. I don't plan on sifting, did you sift yours? One thing weird is it looks like fine sand particles in the bark, but I am thinking this is a component of the tree bark being used. You can see the it in my above post. Here is a pic of the Kmart bag.

Photobucket">

The other bark brand I had found earlier was substantially bigger, but I did mix up some of it. Think I might use it for my peppers, thinking it might be too coarse for my tomato pots.

Lastly, I did find some mini-nuggets at Menards. They did not have any stock in, but the sample of the bark nuggets they had looked not bad. Has anyone seen this bark?


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Mitch, is that a quarter in the pic?
The bark looks good for the 5-1-1. Not too many overly large pieces.

Josh


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 21, 12 at 17:23

Mitch, I agree with Josh. It looks like some good stuff. Looks about the right size of chunks and doesn't look to have a lot of pine wood mixed in. Once you get it dried out, it will be much easier to tell.
Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Not a quarter, but a dime. And yep, the mix has very, very, little pine wood mixed in.

Thanks for the Kmart tip, I think this stuff will work out pretty good. I am almost hesitant to use the other stuff that I had already mixed up...there is much bigger bark pieces in it and also some pine wood mixed in.

Probably will use all the Kmart bags first and see where I get. I get to Stevens Point next week, a visit to Kmart might be in order:)

Thanks everyone for all your help!!


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 22, 12 at 2:53

naturemitch:
Is Stevens Point Kmart where you got the other bags???
Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Bruce-

No, I was at the Green Bay K-mart. Will be in Point this coming weekend, will be checking that Kmart. I have 6 bags of the stuff from GB, but we have lots of pots to fill:) Did up my first mix with this bark this morning. Does anyone have a pic of their 511 mix?


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Heavens! Just finished my first bag of that stuff! What the heck have I got myself into! Those better be some darn good pepper!!

OK, I feel better.

I was able to find that timberland purple bag at our Lowes. Best news is that I was able to get it for $1.00 a bag. A few of the bags had small tears in them so he gave them to me at below 50% clearance. Bad news is I bought 20 bags at that price and that's a lot of sorting that stuff!

I'm trusting y'all that this will work!ha


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Lorabell,
just to be clear....you are mixing the bark with peat moss (or potting soil) and perlite?
5 parts bark, 1-2 parts perlite, 1 part peat/potting soil. To this, you add 1 Tablespoon
of Dolomitic Garden Lime per gallon of soil that you mix together.

If you use this simple recipe, you will have good results.


Josh


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Yes, I'm doing the 5-1-1 mix. I planted my first pepper in a container today...a pablano. Success!!


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

Excellent, Lorabell! :-)

Mitch, that's great if the coin is a dime! Have you made up a batch of potting mix yet?

Howdy, Bruce!

Josh


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 30, 12 at 15:33

Hey Josh:

I just opened the three bags of the Timberline Pine mulch I bought. I have them laid out on a tarp to dry. The pieces are bigger than I expected along with more woody pieces than expected. Maybe a different lot than the others I looked at a week earlier. I am wondering if I should go and check out the other brand "Gardners Pride". I dont want to spend too much time sifting and sorting and my back won't take too much of it any way. With the Fafards52, I dont need a ton of the stuff anyway.
Bruce


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RE: Fine bark fines? Mulch?

When I sifted the Timberline product, I started with 5 bags and ended up with just over 3 bags of the smaller stuff and just under 2 bags of larger pieces. I'm sure if I were to run the smaller stuff through again, I could eliminate more of the long/narrow and sap wood pieces. It is a LOT of work.

It would be nice to find stuff that would work as-is, but, I really didn't think I would find the perfect base, so, just bit the bullet and sifted it over the course of a week.


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