What is Pine Bark Fines

richdelmoApril 29, 2006

I cannot locate it any of the large department stores or local nurseries. What exactly is it anyway and can pine bark mulch be used as a substitute, if not can anything else be substituted. Else I will probably use pure MG potting soil for my large containers.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
username_5(banned for no reason)

Here is a link that goes into more depth than you are likely interested in on potting mix components. Quite a lot of info on pine bark including fines.

http://www.scnla.com/Potting_Mix_Choices.PDF

Long story short is pine bark fines are partially composted pine bark. Fines are what are used in mixes because of the small particle size. Some of it will look like compost and be really tiny particle sizes, a good amount will likely be 1/4" chunks and maybe up to half will be up to 1/2" in size (about the size of a dime).

Can you substitute mulch? No, not really, as the larger particle size doesn't serve the same purpose/function as the fines. Sometimes the labelling is the problem though and bark fines are sold as mulch. Sometimes it is mulch, sometimes it is fines ;-). When I think of mulch I think of nuggets or larger particles, not fines, but look at the stuff inside the bag to be sure.

You can substitute it with more easily found stuff though. Peat moss is easy to find pretty much anywhere and is a mainstay in potting mixes. Do be aware though that some pine bark fine advocates would not consider peat a good substitute. If you simply can't find the fines where you live though, what can you do?

Call a large nursery that makes their own potting mixes (most do). They will almost certainly have it. They may not sell it, but they have it so maybe beg a little ;-)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 3:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rickjames(9 Cali)

It's sold as "soil conditioner" where I live.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 5:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
schusch(Luxembourg z7)

This could help: it is a pic of Al's soil components.
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/contain/gal1019192325670.html

As regards the size of the pieces: most recommendations were around 1/4" to 1/2" pieces, but two of the bigger European maple growers I asked actually talked about using 1 inch and even bigger pieces mixed half/half with your other components.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 2:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
richdelmo

Thanks everyone much appreciated.

So can last years pine bark mulch spread in the yard be used as a potting soil mixture now if it has broken down enough?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 9:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
username_5(banned for no reason)

Don't see why not. Inside pots or outside? Inside I would be tad concerned about what critters I might bring in, but outside, why not? Use what ya got.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 10:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lynnencfan(7b/8aNC)

Lowes sells it as Soil Conditioner - I use it for potting up any of my shrub cuttings and also as mulch for my gardens. You can mix it with peat moss and vermiculite to make a soiless mix....

Lynne

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 9:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Many friends & forum folk grow in this mix with very good results. I use it for all my garden display containers.

5 parts pine bark fines
1 part sphagnum peat
1-2 parts perlite
garden lime
controlled release fertilizer (not really necessary)
a micro-nutrient source (seaweed emulsion, Earthjuice, Micro-max, STEM, etc,)

Al

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
girlndocs(8 WA)

I bought mine at Lowe's too and it was in with the mulches -- a green and white/clear 2cu ft bag and the brand was Greensmix. I paid about $3 per bag.

Kristin

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 12:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Palm_shade

Would coir be an ok substitute for pine bark fines?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 5:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spaceman13(6b)

The one I found is made by Kambark. It says Pine Bark Mulch. If it says nuggets or mini nuggets it will be too coarse.

It is my experience that virtually anyone outside of this forum has neither heard of, nor has any idea what "pine bark fines" are, and will stare slack jawed at you as if you have sprouted geraniums out of your skull!

Ask for fine pine bark mulch that can be used as "soil conditioner", (as in to aid in drainage of clay soil)

Read the small print on the BACK of the bag, and look for the phrase "Can be used as soil conditioner" and/or "particulate size" of 3/8 in to dust (hopefully mostly 3/8")

Good luck!
SpaceMan

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Palm_shade

I found this, if I seive it down would this work?
I also found reptile substrate fine orchid bark chips, think I read it wouldnt do tho.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 6:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

That may be perfect. But look at the fine print to determine whether it is pine or fir bark, and not hard wood bark. Coir is not a good choice, in my experience. When fine, it's like peat. And sometimes it's got salt in it.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 7:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
meyermike_1micha(5)

It would be great if it said PINE instead of fine bark.

But if it is pine, wow! All you will have to do is add perlite. Lucky.

MIke

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Palm_shade

Thanks ill avoid coir.
Ive emailed a question about size of the particles but didnt get a response lol ill ask another about what it is.
Seems lots of people are having trouble getting "pine bark fines"
Im going to get a seive and probably do it that way.
If I mix bark with loam and perlite would I still need lime? Will bark be ok with palms?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

You should sieve out the pieces that are bigger than a dime (3/8 inch or 1 cm.) but don't sieve out the dust size particles for the 5-1-1 mix. If by loam you mean garden soil, that is way too heavy to use in a potting mix. And I definitely think you need the lime if you use pine bark as the major part of your mix. It not only brings up the pH, it also provides calcium and magnesium. Both 5-1-1 and gritty mix work great for palms. You really need a fast draining mix for them.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 12:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Palm_shade

Its not pine its bark collected from our woodlands so a mixture.grrr
Im about ready to give up, ill stick to my loam and perlite maybe, (when I say loam I mean john innes formula) is there anything else I can add to help with aeration and drainage or a commercially sold mix thats better overall?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 5:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Palm_shade

Might this be any good?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Palm_shade

Or this if I break it up and screen it?
Thanks

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 2:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pmb2005

I found this today. Would this be a good substitute?

Here is a link that might be useful: Fine Pine

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 11:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Posted by girlndocs 8 WA (My Page) on
Wed, May 3, 06 at 0:05

I bought mine at Lowe's too and it was in with the mulches -- a green and white/clear 2cu ft bag and the brand was Greensmix. I paid about $3 per bag.

Kristin
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
That is what and where i bought mine .
They sell 4 pine products:

1- Large nuggets ...(2) Medium Nuggets ...
those are TOO big for 511

(3) Small nuggets: the size of nuggets are better than 90% smaller than 1/2". And maybe about 5% sap wood. But not enough real fines in it. But it can be fixed by adding peat moss.

(4) Pine Bark Mulch: This stuff is the best, when mixed with (3) above (small nuggets).
It is not composted but just crushed.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

pmb2005: Those pine shavings are not what you want for the 5-1-1. I would try to avoid nuggets and shreds as well.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:51PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Meyer Exploding in 5-1-1
My meyer lemon in 5-1-1 is just going nuts right now....
Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)
Coarse Perlite for 5:1:1
Hi all, first off is "coarse" the correct...
halocline
zone 9 or so best roses for containers
what are your best roses for container gardening
zippity1
Long Term Potting Mix Recipe - Alternative to Gritty Mix
Hi everyone, I'm a new gardener from Perth, Western...
arcan
Dealing with Water-Retentive Soils
Dealing with Water-Retentive Soilscolor>size> A...
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™