The 411 on 5-1-1

starofleviathan(z7 - L.I.)March 28, 2013

Good afternoon all. Just finished sifting & rinsing my gritty mix for my Plumeria & am now in the process of putting the 5-1-1 together for my Brugmansia. Been reading all the various posts about adding dolomitic lime and/or gypsum to either mix & was wondering if some compassionate soul could kindly point me in the right direction before I add either to my mixes...

My water report reads something like this:
Total Alkalinity: 5-51 units: mg/l
Total Hardness: 11-70 units: mg/l
Calcium Hardness: 7-56 units: mg/l
ph: 6.6 - 8.9 units MCL: 7.5 - 8.5

Please pardon my post if you find my questions bordering outright stupidity but this is an area I tend to be lax in & felt it best to confer with those better versed in such ;).

With that said, do I still need to add lime to the 5-1-1 & gypsum to the gritty? I had read that Plumeria like a pH of 6.4 - 6.8 & that Brugs prefer a pH of 6.0 but can tolerate a pH between 5.5 - 7.0.

I had plans on collecting rainwater this yr to water my containers but since the weather's been a crapshoot thus far I need to know if using my tap water is going to present a problem for my plants in these mixes?

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

That water report is pretty wide ranging from what sense I can make of it, but I would definitely say that you should still add the lime and gypsum to the 511 and gritty mix, as the lime will supply calcium and magnesium, and the gypsum will supply calcium. The only thing I wouldn't lime the 511 for is something like blueberries that like low pH, and in that case I would substitute gypsum for the lime and supply magnesium separately.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:14AM
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a better question is where are you finding the bark and gritty mix ingredients on long island? I think that an agway in hicksville sells the gran-i-grit.

i think Ed's post should be clarified that it is lime to the 511 and gypsum to the gritty mix. The lime is 1TBs per gallon if i remember correctly.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:31AM
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starofleviathan(z7 - L.I.)

Thank you kindly edweather & queenskitchen for your responses! Truly appreciate it! Even happier to see fellow NYers here! Hello :D !

queenskitchen: Sadly, the Agway in Hicksville closed down a few yrs back. I used to go there religiously for everything I needed for my lawn & garden. I now have to travel over 2 hrs out to Port Jefferson which is the closest Agway. There are a few places closer that claim to be like Agway, even selling the Agway brand, but they are definitely a far cry from the actual place; & yes, Agway did have the Gran-i-Grit as well as the Turface for the Gritty Mix. The biggest pain in the butt was getting the pine bark. Agway's selection at the time I went was very limited & not in the size I wanted & none of the other places I was able to get to had any in the right size either so I wound up buying it online from rePotme (see link: ). This site has all of the ingredients needed for small batches of Gritty Mix if one absolutely cannot find any of the materials in their area. Not the cheapest way to go but for someone like myself who only has 3 small pots to fill I figured what the heck. I sifted & rinsed everything (man that Turface & Grit are DUSTY!!) & now, thanks to you & ed, added the gypsum. I have my batch mixed up & ready to go in a Lock & Lock container.

I also found something called Hoffman Bonsai soil mix at my local nursery. It's $10.99 for a 2 dry quart bag. Has almost the same ingredients as Gritty mix except it contains Haydite & sand pebbles. I remember reading another member had used it & had good results so I decided to buy a few bags as well to test it out & see what results I get with it. Sifted & rinsed & now it's also waiting to be used.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:24PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Yeah, thanks for was early.

Actually Agway makes the best Pine Bark for the 511 and gritty mix, that I've ever used, and it comes in 3 cu ft bags. It's a little expensive but might be worth buying a bunch. Maybe they can order it if they don't have it.

Also don't get discouraged about not finding the ingredients right away. Just keep researching and calling places, nursuries, garden centers, big box, mulch suppliers. You'll eventually find it. Also there are threads on buying the stuff in NYC. I lived in Manhattan for 11 years, so I can relate.

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

This post was edited by edweather on Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 15:38

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 3:30PM
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starofleviathan(z7 - L.I.)

LOL. It's perfectly alright ;).

Ah ha!! THANK YOU ed for giving me a heads up on the pine bark at Agway (the link was especially appreciated too). I'll have them order it for me unless I can find it over at the one nursery that's a bit closer that sells Agway products. Going to make a few phone calls next week & see who has what. Hope your weekend is enjoyable!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Hi there, I have been trying desperately to find the container mix for the 511-gritty mix for tomatoes. Can someone please give me the list of what I need? I keep finding comments on it but not the actual recipe, so to speak. I live in Montreal, so hopefully I should be able to find everything. Also, I am thinking of using the grow bags this year. Thanks,

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 6:12PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

sharonie, If you don't want to read the whole post, just scroll down a bit and the recipies are there.

Here is a link that might be useful: soil recipies

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 8:48PM
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