5-1-1: did I do the math/chemistry correctly?

njitgradMarch 31, 2014

This afternoon I took my first hack at making a 5-1-1 mix using pine fines that I worked through a 1/2" screen last week.

Below is the series of steps I followed, please tell me ASAP if I did anything wrong. I want to know before I start mixing more tomorrow.

1) Added 2 gallons of peat moss to the bottom of my wheelbarrow (and handpicked out any large chunks out in the process).

2) Added 10 gallons of pine fines on top of the peat moss

3) Added 2 gallons of perlite (dust-free! - see footnote below) on top of the pine fines

4) Stirred the combined 14-gallon mixture with a shovel for about 5 minutes (it was just the right amount for easy & thorough mixing, not too little and not too much)

5) Added 14 tablespoons of dolomitic lime (1 for each gallon of growing mix) into an empty pail

6) Added 10 tablespoons of Dynamite 15-5-9 (it said 3 and 2/3rds tablespoons for a 5 gallon container so I just tripled it and shaved a tablespoon off in my calculation) into the same pail

7) Dumped the pail with the lime and CRF into the 5-1- mix in the wheelbarrow and stirred very well with a shovel for another 5 minutes or so

8) Filled a 10-gallon geopot and a 5-gallon geopot, both to about 3 inches from the top

Assuming everything above looks good so far.....when should I water the mix in the containers (a few days before transplanting, right before transplanting, or right after transplanting)? I have 11 broccoli seedlings, all except two will be in 10-gallon geopots. For the other two I will be experimenting with the use of a 5-gallon geopot and a 15-gallon geopot to compare yields.

Regarding the dust-free perlite, what I did over the weekend was leave it in the 20 gallon small trash can that I dumped it into last week, drilled several holes in the bottom of the trash can, and put the drenching rain we got this weekend to good use by letting mother nature filter out my perlite dust. Worked like a charm because as windy as it was today, I lost no perlite when transferring from the trash can to the wheelbarrow.

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

You should have moistened the ingredients while mixing to help incorporate and activate the Lime.....so I'd recommend that you dump some water - a little at a time - into your mix and shovel it around thoroughly. You really want the bark to have absorbed moisture, otherwise you might end up with dry-spots in your containers.

Everything else sounds good, as far as I can tell.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 5:03PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Yeah. I would recommend dumping it on a tarp and go from there instead of working in the barrel.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 1:00AM
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