Pine Bark Fines Substitute

kiropod(7)April 10, 2012

I'm getting tired of paying top dollar for the reptibark and have been looking around for a substitute. I went to a local cactus supply store looking for aged pine bark fines, however they do not carry this produce. They recommended the I use cocunut coir as a substitute. It looked a little too fine, however maybe someone who has used this product could chime in. Thanks.

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Finding good bark is difficult, certainly.

However, Coconut coir is no substitute for bark. You are right, it is much too fine.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:37PM
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thanks. will keep looking

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:05PM
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I'm with Josh on that! I have used it.

Are you sure you know what you are looking for? Most local big box store and or hardware store sell 'pine bark mulch' if need be.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:13AM
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joshuac1v8(6b-Lower Mid TN)

I would look for a Pine Bark "Soil Conditioner" and not Pine "Bark Mulch" IF you can find it in your area, most places carry the conditioner also. I've found most of the "Mulch" to have way to much larger pieces but the "soil conditioner" is almost perfect.. at least in my opinion.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:05AM
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I've not been able to find pine bark soil conditioner in the past and have been forced to use reptibark, which is quite expensive. I plan on growing most of my tomatoes this year in container and as such, need a lot of pine bark fines/conditioner. Will keep looking. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 1:25PM
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The right type of pine bark can be difficult to find in general, but I get a humungo bag of "Partially-Composted Pine Bark" for under $6... a rose by any other name is just as sweet :)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 2:00PM
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kiropod - I have a hard time finding appropriate PBFs in my area, too. None of the big box stores around here carry the soil conditioners that are apparently common in other parts of the country. For my containers, I generally use about 1 cu. yd. each year. I've resorted to buying pine back mulch and then running it though a chipper/shredder. If you don't have one, you can rent them from most rental outfits. I've had good luck with this routine but, of course, it assumes you need enough PDFs to make it worthwhile. I'd happily pay a steep premium to get something that's good-to-go out of the bag.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 3:18PM
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You can also look for a landscape yard that sells bulk mulch. Last year, I found a place that had a bulk pile of pine bark mulch, and they let me fill up two 55g barrels for $12. All I did was dig the stuff out from the bottom of the pile, where all the small stuff settled. I screened it, and more then half was usable as fines right away. The rest I used in my landscape. I basically got a 55g barrel, plus about 1/4 barrel, of pine bark fines for $12.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Thanks again everyone.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:21PM
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I stopped by local business that sells dirt and mulch. They had "triple screened pine bark mulch" - $20 for a front loader bucket. Very nice stuff and a couple of bucket loads will last a long time.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:22PM
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