5-1-1 : Questions from a newbie

ehsteveMarch 29, 2013

Hi All,

This is my second year container gardening and my first year attempting to make the 5-1-1 I have seen to many good reviews about on this site.

I'm a little nervous about messing it up and wasting not only some cash on the materials but also valuable weeks of growing time, so I have some questions:

I have the following materials available at my local Home Depot - do these look like the right sort of pine and peat for use in the 5-1-1?

The screening - I understand the purpose of this is to remove the really fine pieces so I don't end up with wet sludge when I water, is that correct?

Does anyone have a photo of what the screened pine bark should look like? I have never seen this in person so am having a hard time working out what I should aim for.

Reading through the forum I understand that the 5-1-1 is suitable for self watering containers and that the watering should be done from below - is that correct? If so - how do I know if the mix is wicking enough, or do I just have to go by whether my tomatoes and peppers die or not?

Apologies if my questions are dumb - I'm pretty much a novice at this and would appreciate any help.

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Glad you are interested in the 511 mix. The pine bark mulch and the peat moss you show are correct. Don't use the mini nuggets. I'll suggest to you what was suggested to me, and that is to read the post on container soils.

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Soils - Water Movement and Retention XVI

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 9:57PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The 5-1-1 is not particularly suited to self-watering containers. The mix ratio needs to be modified slightly in order to allow proper wicking. I can't remember the ratio off the top of my head, though.

In addition to the Thread that Ed linked, I'd also search for self-watering containers, raybo, et cetera. That ought to yield the modified ratio.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:44PM
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