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Another 5-1-1 recipe to try...

Posted by DaMonkey007 10b - Miami (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 7, 12 at 12:18

Hey guys,
Since the topic has grabbed some attention lately, this should fit right in. For those of you who were following the previous 5-1-1 threads, you know that I use a turface modified mix for my containers. Well, my go-to turface dealer was located very close to my old job. I would just pick some up on my lunch break as needed. My new job is on the other side of town and I just found out that this place isn't open on weekends...go figure. I thought that I better start rethinking my approach. This is what I'm going to go with:

I do have 1 50 lb bag of turface, and I have some leftover turface modified mix from last season, but I'm gonna reserve the turface mod for long term plantings only. I've recently found that I have a fond affinity towards agaves, they just make me happy for some reason, so I'll save it for that new and exciting obsession...

For reference, this is the turface mod mix:

4 1/2 parts pine bark (range: 1/8" - 1/2")
1/2 part pine bark (range: 1/16" - 1/8")
1/2 part coarse perlite (range: 1/8" - 1/4")
1/2 part coarse perlite (range: 1/16" - 1/8")
1/2 part turface (range: 1/8" - 1/4")
1/2 part turface (range: 1/16" - 1/8")
1 TBSP Dol Lime per gallon

I started doing some screening this morning and found that I was getting quite a bit of bark in the sub 1/8" range. I ran all that through some insect screen and ended up with this.

Photobucket

Nice stuff. There's some sapwood in there but not enough to be detrimental at the rate I use it. This is the product what I would use for the "1/2 part of bark (1/8" - 1/16")" in the turface modified mix.

Being that I'm low on turface, and my future turface stock can't be gauranteed, I thought that I had better use this stuff up. I personally don't like using peat in my container mix. So this is what I'm going to do for this Fall's container plant out, including the new class of peppers, of course:

5 parts pine bark (range: 1/8" - 1/2")
1 part pine bark (range: 1/16" - 1/8") (as seen in photo)
1/2 part coarse perlite (range: 1/8" - 1/4")
1/2 part coarse perlite (range: 1/16" - 1/8")
1 TBSP Dol Lime per gallon

As I've said before, I try to keep my particluates <1/8" around 20% of my total mix. This ensures adequate water retention while eliminating PWT. This recipe will accomplish that nicely, and will not require any peat - yay! When this mix has lived it's life, I'll recycle it into the raised beds (plus 1 part peat per 6 parts), and recycle the raised bed mix into the in-ground areas of the yard.

The fresh raised bed mix ~does~ use peat, as it bridges the gap in particle size and consistancy between the mix and the native soil, cutting down on the tendancy for water to perch at the transition. The ~fresh~ raised bed mix is as follows, and is actually a 5-1-2:

5 parts pine bark (range: 1/8" - 1/2")
1/2 part coarse perlite (range: 1/8" - 1/4")
1/2 part coarse perlite (range: 1/16" - 1/8")
2 part peat (as is, except of the removal of sticks and such)
1 TBSP Dol Lime per gallon

Just thought I'd share, happy plantings!

PJ



Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Another 5-1-1 recipe to try...

PJ - that small bark in the picture - do you think that would make a good seed starting mix? Maybe mixed with something? Or bad idea?


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RE: Another 5-1-1 recipe to try...

Hey sheets,
Well, I've never used it in that application, but I would think it would be infinitly better than peat. I would also definitly mix it with something inorganic and not internally porous, like perlite or granite chips, etc. I would probably try to use a slightly larger range of material, not huge - just slightly larger - in an effort to keep the average particle size north of 1/10"

For my buck though, I just use the finished mix to start seeds in, works great. You can puck out the larger pieces of bark easy enough. It also makes for a very smooth transition to your 3" pots and beyond.

PJ


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RE: Another 5-1-1 recipe to try...

I currently have about a 1 gal pot full of the fine stuff that passed through a 1/8" screen that looks similar to what your pic shows. I was thinking of using it for seed starting next year. I was thinking of adding some perlite, but, wasn't sure if it would work well or just scrap the whole idea. Thanks for the input!


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