Anybody knows where to find or what to use to substitute?
Check with landscape suppliers in your area. If you're close to the south sound/olympia area, Great Western Supply on Old Hwy 99, south of the Olympia Airport has 1/8" - 3/8" "Mini Pebble" fir bark that will work in the 1-1-1 gritty mix. Ace Hardware also has a "Small Nugget Bark" that requires screening but doesn't have nearly as much waste/by product as the stuff from Home Depot or Lowes. If you're near or north of Seattle I found a nursery that had what they called "Orchid Bark" that also required screening but had much less waste than the products at the "box stores".
If you're looking for the partially composted bark fines for the 5-1-1 mix, I'm sorry but I haven't found anything like the stuff Al describes, sorry.
I use the stuff from Lowes called Garden Bark Mulch or Small Nuggets,from Greensmix.
McClendons Hardware also usually carries Pine bark. Brady
I also use Greensmix from my local Lowes; this product: http://www.greensmix.com/mulch.html
Goodluck on your search! :)
Thank you, peapod.
What nursery has "Orchad bark"?
Bradybb and Kemistry,
Are you using Greensmix bark for 5-1-1?
How it works? Do you screeen it? Compost before usage?
Yes for the 5.1.1; I don't screen it but I do soak the mulch in water to try to remove the coloring. I do screen my perlite however. Because my plants are indoors I modify the soil mix recipe to 5 parts bark fine, 2 parts perlite and skipping the peat; And the usual 1 tbsp of garden lime for every 1gal of soil mix. My plants love this "5.1.1" soil. I also love it because it's easy to make and cheap. :)
I have been using Lowes' bark mulch for quite a while. However, a few months ago, a batch that I got looked and smelled different. There are also many tiny unknown crystals attached to many of the pieces. I suspect that there is some CCA wood mixed in in that batch. I ended up throwing those few bags away. The thing that always bothers me is that there is no ingredient listed on that Greensmix mulch which really gives them lattitude on the material used. So now I'm going to try some alternative sources.
Regarding usage, I used to mix in peat with the mulch. Now I still mix in peat for seedlings and cuttings. But for up-poting or re-poting, I just dump in the mulch all by itself, with a layer of small/median nuggets at the bottom. Well, I may wet it in a bucket of water before hand and just pour it in. I haven't really seen ill effect and for me the efficiency is important.
I live in Bellingham and I went to my local Lowes and found Greenmix soil conditioner and the ingredients say composted bark fines. The only thing "bad" that I noticed is it's pretty composted and look almost like soil i.e. it's pretty fine. There are some small bark chunks. The first time I used it in my 5-1-1 I noticed the mix held too much water since I added peat. I over came this by not using peat at all. That was okay so I started using 1 part composted BF instead of peat and used my small nugget bark mulch as the base of my mixes. So far so good.
I found Orchid bark at Emery's Nursery in Lynnwood.
Yes,I use it for a 5-1-1 mix.The mulch for me doesn't need to be screened,but the small nuggets have some bigger pieces and might need it.
I didn't know the bark was colored kemistry. Brady
Hey I know this thread is older - but I just wanted to say, thanks to Blake for the tip on Great Western Supply in Olympia. I will definitely check them out in March or April. I have made Al's mixes in the past, but always had trouble finding the right type of bark products. The mini pebble bark sounds perfect for the gritty mix.
I also just wanted to say, when I looked at their website just now they list a product called dark mulch. It is said to be age fir bark and you can get it in the double grind. So it sounds exactly like what we would want for the 5:1:1. They also have a sister store, a nursery, down the street. It sounds like a great field trip!