storing pre-made 5-1-1

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)April 11, 2014

Now that I've found a source of pine fines, and made a couple batches of 5-1-1 (the second is much better than the first), I have some questions:

Since it appears that finding pine fines during certain times of year will be difficult, if I make more than I need, how long will it last?

Would storing it "dry" (let it dry out and not remoisten) make it "keep" longer? And - would it be near impossible to remoisten it?

Am I best off to leave the CRF and Lime out of the mix if I don't expect to use it for 6 months or more?

Or should I just store the fines in the unopened bags until I need to mix it?

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Oxboy555(Las Vegas)

I probably wouldn't store premade longer than a couple of years. I'd dry it out thoroughly and seal it up to keep bugs out if you plan to go this route. I've never stored longer than 3 or 4 mos so I'm not sure if anaerobic baddies might go to town on it. Probably good to crack the lid and inspect it every few months.

Yeah, definitely resoak it if it seems pretty dry/light colored and you're about to use it . You might want to consider leaving out the peat in your pre-assembly and adding that last minute before planting time since that's the toughest component to rewet.

You can throw the lime in at pre-assembly time so it can work its magic and be all done by planting time down the road. Or you can wait, it's not a huge deal. HOWEVER, do NOT mix in CRF until planting time. With warmth and moisture, it will release out into the mix whether there is a plant in there or not, then when you go to plant later, you could burn up or overload your plant, making for a bad start.

This all said, I store the fines in their unopened bags then break them out when I need to mix. They seem to stay moist for a long long time if stored in a cool shaded spot.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 1:44PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I don't see any problem with storing your mix if you are going to use it this season.

I have made a barrelful of it and I am just using it gradually. When I mixed it on the tarp, I moistened it just a bit so that the lime and crf won't sink down.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 12:13AM
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I sift all my components and store them separately in small galv trash cans. That way I can mix them in any combination I feel is best for the plant and container that I'm potting up.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 1:58AM
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