Gritty mix minus bark fines?

Joe1980(5)April 27, 2011

A thought crossed my mind about the gritty mix. I haven't used it long at all, but with thought to the future, I searched "reusing gritty mix" and read that the problem is sifting out the old bark fines. Now, with that said, what would be the consequence of making the gritty mix without the pine bark fines?? From my understanding, the turface is the main moisture holder right?? If you used just turface and grit, screened obviously, what would be the result?? If it would work, heck, you could make a batch, and never have to make more again.


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The bark is used for the pH factor and it is far less expensive and lighter on a per volume basis than Turface or granite.

You might be able to favor the presence of granite a bit more than the Turface after it is screened, but I can not even imagine how much that mix would weigh.:-)


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:25PM
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I would bet it would weigh a ton, because let me tell ya, I have a large snake plant, in a 14" pot, that is filled with gritty mix, and I'll be a monkey's bare aced uncle if that isn't the heaviest dang pot I ever lifted!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:38PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)


I know what you mean Joe! I moved a 14" terra cotta with a tree. :-) But around here, winds are bad in the summer, so I appreciate the extra weight.

Hi Mike!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:49PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

I'm about to mix my 1st batch, bark is hard to find. Actually, there's a local landscape supply wholesaler that has them, but they sell by the truckload. They can fill up a pickup bed for $70.

meyermike: did you receive my email? Thanks for any info you can provide!!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 2:01AM
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Thats why I started making a lighter version of the gritty. 4 parts perlite,3 parts bark 2 parts turface. I have 4 20 gallon teracotta pots filled with the gritty. Last fall I went to pick one up, and I thought someone nailed it to the floor! Sweet fancy mosses! :) filix.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 5:57AM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

I grow most of my succulents in a pumice, Turface, granite mix. Al has stated that he grows some conifers in a Turface, granite mix. So 100% inorganic soils can definitely work. If you want to keep the weight down, you can replace the bark with a lightweight ingredient of moderate water retention like pumice, lava rock, perlite, etc. You may need to experiment with ratios though.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 10:26AM
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ykerzner(9 TX)

If you don't mind the cost of such a mix then it will work fine. Just remember that because you don't have any acidifying component in the soil you may need to add gypsum to counter the alkaline effects of the turface/granite, or else occasionally water with vinegar. I have one amaryllis in a bark-less mix and it flowered really well.

Maybe Al knows what a turface/granite mix looks like after 6 years of non-stop use.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 11:49PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Other than some staining on the soil particles as a product of the decomposing organic matter left in the soil by dying roots, and the roots that would inevitably remain in the soil as you combed it out of the root mass, it would essentially look the same (texture) ..... just used as opposed to fresh & new, but still just as functional.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 7:00AM
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I never recieved an e-mail from you. Sorry:-(


    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 9:10AM
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lrvjim(7 to 8)

So, can we say that perlite is an OK replacement for the bark component of the 1-1-1 gritty mix? Any special considerations? This would make things simpler for me.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 9:48AM
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Al would know better than me, but in my case the perlite replaced the granite. That made the mix much lighter. filix

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 5:04PM
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