Pine bark fines at Home Depot?

katskan41April 20, 2009

While at Home Depot today I found something that *might* work for pine bark fines. I guess Al would have to give us the definitive opinion on whether it's usable or not so I don't want to get everyone's hopes up.

The bag was white with orange writing and was labeled as "pine bark mulch" and the pine bark look very finely shredded. Nothing over 1" in size, most of it much smaller. Certainly you'd have to sift through the bark and remove a lot of fine material but you might be able to use at least some of the material.

The bark was not composted at all. They also had a bag of large pine bark, the kind you'd use in garden beds in a blue and silver bag, right next to the shredded pine bark.

I didn't have my truck or else I would have grabbed some. I hope to go there again this weekend and will grab a bag. Even if I can't use it in containers I could use it somewhere in the garden.

So if you are near a Home Depot you might want to look into this as at least a possibility.


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I saw something similar at my HD. It looked very promising. It was from a company I believe was called Permagreen here in Colorado.
I went to the trouble of looking on their website before buying and was glad I did- the website showed the product had pine bark fines plus dairy manure.
I am fairly sure the bag had no mention of manure.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:33PM
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frank1965(z8 NWLouisiana)

At the Lowe's in north Louisiana they have the "Scotchmans" brand labeled as "organic compost"- it is defintely pine bark fines. It looks like it and smells like it too. It is also very light weight for a large bag which leads me to believe the it is pine bark fines. Can't seem to understand why they label it as such. It comes out of Texas.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 1:21AM
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Thanks Frank and Kyle, that's good information to have. When I get a bag of this shredded pine bark I'll go on the website and see what it says about the product and report back.

Yes this seems to be a good example of the "regional effect", where each region of the country has different suppliers of gardening materials, including barks and mulches. So a Lowe's or HD in Louisiana for example won't sell the same products as they do here in Michigan. Depends on what is available locally.

I noticed on the HD website that they list only six (6) types of mulch, however at the actual store they have many more types. Again, probably the region influences what each store carries so the website has to be fairly generic.

One thing is for sure, there's no shortage of Miracle Gro products at any of the big box stores! The HD I was at yesterday had pallet after pallet of different MG products, but absolutely nothing called a "soil conditioner".

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 5:29AM
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Here in Illinois, I can't seem to locate anything called "soil conditioner"... and pine bark fines haven't been located yet, though I think a very few types of the pine mulches could be sifted... there would be a lot of waste, though.

I did find a nice crushed granite grit at Rural King, a large farm store in the area. It's sold for poultry under the name Manna Pro Poultry Grit, in small yellow and blue bags. 5 pound bags are about $3.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 10:11AM
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Since you are fairly close to west Michigan the Home Depot closest to you *might* carry the same pine bark fines that I saw yesterday in Grand Rapids. I don't know whether these will work or not for Al's gritty mix but I've not seen such finely shredded pine bark anywhere else so far.

As you say, at least some of this material would be unusable due to size but I think at least some of it would work.

I will try to get to Home Depot this weekend and grab a bag and perhaps post a few photos.



    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:54AM
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Frank 1965,I am in south Louisiana and found the same thing at my lowes(scotchmans organic compost)I don't know if it's the same thing as fines but i have 6 indeterminate tomato plants in 5 to 8 gallon containers and already have loads of fruit on all of them.I also used the same mix on my bell peppers,cucumbers and snap beans and everything looks good so far.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 2:10AM
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After looking at Al's pine bark photo in the "Container Soils - Water Movement & Retention VII" thread, the pine bark on the right side of his photo is very similar to the pine bark mulch I saw at Home Depot on Monday. The size is about the same, although the mulch I saw would require screening to remove tiny pieces of bark.

So if you are looking for pine bark fines for the gritty soil mix and happen to live in or near Michigan, I'd suggest looking at your local Home Depot. The pine bark I saw was available in two grades, but the finer grade was in a white plastic bag with orange writing.

I'll try to upload a photo of the actual bag if I get to HD this weekend.



Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 7:56AM
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elsbed(7b SC)

I found very fine pine chips/mulch labeled "soil conditioner" (not sure of the brand offhand; I'm at work) at Lowes here in SC in a blue/green bag. They are mostly about 1/4" in diameter and seemed to work just fine when I mixed up Al's mix!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:33AM
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Several stores in Virginia (HD, Lowes, and possibly some Walmarts) sell variations on "clay buster" soil conditioners that are mostly based on composted pine bark fines.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:05PM
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Follow up to my earlier post.

I was at the Home Depot in Kalamazoo, MI today to get some pine bark mulch (big chunks) for our garden beds. While there, thought I'd see if this store had any pine bark fines similar to the ones I saw at the Grand Rapids, MI store a couple of weeks ago. Those fines looked ideal for containers and Al's gritty mix.

Believe it or not, the HD in Kalamazoo had NO pine bark mulch of ANY kind, big chunks, mini nuggets, fines, you name it. Nada. None. They weren't sold out, they just didnt have any. I looked in each rack of the garden center but found none. I did see every concievable size and color of cypress mulch, but no pine bark at all.

They had pallets of pine bark at the HD in Grand Rapids, about 1 hour away, so I have no idea why our local HD had none at all. I had assumed (dangerous thing to do) that HD stores in the same area would have the same products, but this is not the case. So no wonder that list members in other states have access to different supplies and brands of pine mulch.

On the positive side, the fir bark I found recently seems to be doing quite nicely as a pine bark fines substitite. This fir bark comes in 4, 8 and 24 quart bags and is used as reptile bedding. The particle size is about 1/4" to 1/2" and has very few fines or dust in the bag. For sure it is more expensive than pine bark, but you *should* be able to find this, or something similar, at your local pet stores or via mail order. I've attached a link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fir bark

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 9:13PM
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Keep in mind that if you find a source, no matter how expensive it is packaged, look at the bag to find the supplier's name. If they are even remotely local call them and they can tell you who carries the same product elsewhere.

For example the reptile bedding might have large labeling on the front saying 'ABC Reptile Co.', but look for the small print, probably on the back and it will likely say 'XYZ forestry Co.' That's who you want to call.

The producers of pine bark don't just make high priced stuff like reptile bedding, but instead they produce pine bark of all sizes and sell it to other suppliers. Some put it in tiny packages at huge markups, others don't.

They (the producers) will know who they sell to and can point you in the right direction. This is how I initially found a suitable product which no longer is being sold, but I still know the place where the trees are processed so I have a lead should I need it in the future.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 10:15PM
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natalie4b(7b GA)

soil conditioner is sold thru HD and Lowes, and it is in large bags called Nature's Helper. Sells for about $2.77 a bag.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 7:33AM
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