Bark for Als mix

tonsus(8b)March 20, 2013

Hi folks!.I purchased a bag of bark and would like to know if it would make a good/decent product for the 5-1-1 mix..I'm in Ca(high desert)8b and am wanting to make a container mix..
For now I'll be using a bagged mix until I can find the proper bark..
TIA

Tony

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sugi_c(9a)

Tonsus, photo of the actual bark out of the bag would be good. Hard to tell the size or quality of the pieces if they are in the bag.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 6:34PM
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tonsus(8b)

Yeah, I kinda figured that after I posted sorry!.
I know I'll need to screen since it does contain bigger chunks than shown..

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 7:09PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

It looks like pretty good bark to me, not much in there that is not bark. Al

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 9:21AM
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tonsus(8b)

Thanks calistoga, I was hoping to hear that..There are some bigger particles in the bag and I'm wondering if I need to screen some out.. Here's a pic of the bigger stuff.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 11:07AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

How much material falls through a 1/2 inch screen?

Josh

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 10:27PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Sorry, but most bags that say nugget or mini-nugget will be too large. The bag needs to say pine bark 'mulch' to have large quantity that will be 1/2" and smaller. Some people grind up nuggets, but that's alot of work.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 10:33PM
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crizq0

That might be a little large. The same earthgro company has "decorative groundcover bark" which should be the perfect size.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 2:08AM
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tonsus(8b)

Thanks for the tips/help guys..Josh I was at the HD just yesterday and forgot to pick up some 1/2'' screen..Will let u know..
Maybe when I do go I'll check on the other earthgro groundcover bark and see how that compares to this.For now I'll stick to a prebagged mix till I find the right/proper bark..
Thanks again everyone :)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 12:20PM
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loriash

I scored tonight! Eight 2cf bags of pine bark mulch, on clearance for $1.68 each at a Menard's that is closing! Bags had a few holes and were partially frozen, but what a bargain! The only other place I've found a suitable type pine bark, it was $4.99 per 2cf bag. I got two of those bags, and I'm glad I didn't get more of them!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:40PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

That is a good price. Less than $30/cu yd. Hopefully you got decent stuff...the quality can vary a bit. Buy all you can if it's good.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:42AM
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loriash

I got the last eight bags. The bark is a little larger than perfect, with some sapwood in it, but overall not too bad (I'm a novice here, but the only other stuff I've found is $5/bag, and it's only marginally better quality).

Unfortunately, since in addition to a pile of regular pots, I have two deck boxes that are 4-foot by 2-foot by 22 inches deep, I'll need quite a few more than those eight bags...

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 11:56PM
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badsmerf

A little too large. I like mine less than 3/8 an inch. When I'm making a mix I'll run it through the screen and if I don't have enough I'll just smash some with a hammer. I'm tried chopping it up, but it just doesn't seem to be as easy or fast as a hammer.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 2:13PM
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squeezied

Hi guys,

I've been wondering about the purpose of the bark in the gritty mix.

I made my batch of gritty mix two weeks ago. I realize now that my bark size is larger than recommended here. I'd say they're around 1/2 to 1 inch big.

I noticed that while I was mixing my batch, the bark tends to shift its way to the top. I'm guessing it's because it's so light and large. Is this the reason why small bark sizes are suggested? To prevent segregation from the grit and turface?

If the only purpose of the bark is to provide organic matter and nutrition to the plant, does bark size matter? I suppose smaller bark size has a larger surface area overall, thus providing more nutrients.

So what's the reason for small bark sizes?

Thanks

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 2:21AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Squeezied, yes the ingredients in the Gritty Mix work best when fairly uniform in size - 1/8 to 1/4 inch. This helps prevent the bark from "floating" to the top. As you note, the bark does provide a minimal amount of organic matter, but not so much that the mix will collapse or compact significantly as the bark ages. The other purpose of bark in the mix is that it holds moisture - the turface absorbs moisture immediately, and then the bark slowly wicks moisture from the turface which evenly moistens the entire mix in the hours after a good watering (even if the bark didn't become fully saturated at the time of watering).

Josh

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:17AM
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