Al's own 511 salad mix

tropicofcancer(6b)February 27, 2012

I am waiting for spring, getting bored and looking around for sources for Al's famous mix. I was obsessing to find the pine bark fines and went around several nurseries and bought a few bags that I thought could be good candidates. Last weekend I thought I struck gold. I bought a bag of pine bark soil conditioner and a bag of pine bark mulch. The brand is Kamlar. Then I started sifting them. First through 1/2 inch hardware cloth and then successively through 1/4,1/8 inch screens. After sifting there was not a dramatic difference in quantities of each of the components. My rough calculations was about 25%, 35%, 35% and 5% by volume for 0-1/8, 1/8-1/4, 1/4-1/2 and more than 1/2", respectively. I have not used the 1/16 sieve yet. That is next.

In the mean time I thought you will enjoy tonights dinner:

In the above picture the finest is top right and becomes coarser as you go clockwise. It seemed to me the texture of the components in the mulch was better. The soil conditioner had more shredded stringy material and some sapwood material too.

In Pittsburgh I got this at Best Feeds in North Hills, if anyone is interested. A 2 cubic ft back was $6.50.

What are your thoughts? Looks good and usable - I mean the middle two cuts? I can use the very fine for starting seeds may be and the real coarse ones for the yard.

Tomorrow, I will post some results of sifting turface and a small bag of cat litter I got. That is if I can get around to do it. I started on the turface a bit.

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