Newb help needed for 5-1-1 and 1-1-1 Gritty

tjbarney(7)May 19, 2011

Ok, so I'm a newb and trying to find out exactly what I need for the 5-1-1 and 1-1-1 gritty. I have been reading all the posts and I'm still confused. I am going to use Al's 5-1-1 for my potted tomatoes and peppers. I am going to use the Gritty for my indoor bromeliad and hot peppers I will over winter. I thought I was doing really good with using Miracle Grow mixed with Mushroom compost from talking to people around here. Boy are they wrong! Everything is planted and not looking too good so I am going out tonight after work to get all the stuff for Al's mixes and try and get it all changed. UGH! I'm also recovering from shoulder surgery so this isn't too fun with basically one arm, lol.

I have seen where the Pine Bark Fines is referred to as 'soil conditioner' as well as the Turface being referred to as 'soil conditioner'. What exactly is Turface, I've also read that it was like kitty litter, isn't that the same as the grit? So confused! :S I plan on buying the Reptibark for my Gritty so I won't have to screen and not for sure what I will need to get for the 5-1-1 bark fines. Locally I have Lowes, Tractor Supply, and Atwoods. I called Tractor Supply and they carry the Manapro grit for $4.99 and Atwoods has a 5lb bag of grit for $2.87 (they didn't know what brand). Then do I need to get the Lime and Gypsum for both (which for which mix?) or can I get just one of the two to use on both mixes? I don't have to make very much so I really don't want to have to buy 50 lb bags of all this! lol Also, what exactly to do for both on the fertilizer that's listed? Thank you so much for the help and sorry for all the q's! Thanks Al for all the help you are giving everyone!

Julie

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gyozu(7 Winston-Salem, NC)

I have seen where the Pine Bark Fines is referred to as 'soil conditioner' as well as the Turface being referred to as 'soil conditioner'. What exactly is Turface,
They are both "soil conditioners" Pine Bark fines are organic. Turface is calcined Montmorillonite clay. Check your area for John Deere Landscape suppliers. If you can't find that then check your Tractor supply for "Oil Dry" in 40# bags. It will need to have the fines removed with an 1/8th inch screen.
I've also read that it was like kitty litter, isn't that the same as the grit? So confused! :S the kitty litter is a clay product. The chicken grit is often a crushed granite product. It is a volume and aeration additive (?) that does not soak up water like the clay or the bark. I plan on buying the Reptibark for my Gritty so I won't have to screen and not for sure what I will need to get for the 5-1-1 bark fines. For the 5-1-1 mix check out the pine bark soil conditioners. See if it is ground to a fairly small size and is 100% pine. I have seen some that have other items like ground forest products whick are of questionable background. Locally I have Lowes, Tractor Supply, and Atwoods. I called Tractor Supply and they carry the Manapro grit for $4.99 and Atwoods has a 5lb bag of grit for $2.87 (they didn't know what brand). Then do I need to get the Lime and Gypsum for both (which for which mix?) or can I get just one of the two to use on both mixes? If I understand it correctly the lime is added to the 5-1-1 mix at the rate of 1 tablespoon per gaollon of mix. Seems that the ph of the 1-1-1 mix warrants the use of gypsum in the mix and then epsom salts are added to the water to help free up Ca and Mg. I don't have to make very much so I really don't want to have to buy 50 lb bags of all this! lol Also, what exactly to do for both on the fertilizer that's listed? you can add a Controlled release fertilizer or it is recommended to water with a weak fertilizer solution. Tapla has written on this and is worth the read Thank you so much for the help and sorry for all the q's! Thanks Al for all the help you are giving everyone!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 5:38PM
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oakiris

For the gritty mix: I was unable to find a local source for Turface (OK, so I didn't check with a John Deere landscape dealer in my area) so I am using Oil Absorbent from NAPA auto parts, part #8822, which is recommended by others here; it is made out of Diatomaceous Earth. Here is a thread about using such products as substitutes for the Turface: NAPA 8822 The use of the this product may mean you need to add a bit more crushed granite (chicken grit) or cherrystone #2 (quartzite) to your mix because it retains more water than does the Turface. Also, the NAPA product has a slightly higher PH rating.

If you use Dyna-Gro Foliage-Pro as your all-purpose fertilzier for the gritty mix, you do not need to add gypsum to the mix or Epsom salts to the water when you fertilize. The Foliage-Pro already has all of the necessary trace elements, etc.,that your plants should need.

Holly

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 9:19PM
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tjbarney(7)

Thank you both for the help! I was able to find all the stuff last night except the pine bark fines, turface, and the foliage pro. I have one more place in town to check that will hopefully have the pine bark fines. I guess I will just have to try and get the oil dry stuff. I am not going to be able to screen anything, do u have to on the oil dry? Also on the fertilizing part, I guess I will try and order the foliage pro online. Does it have to be applied right away or will it be ok if there is a few weeks without it? I will be leaving in a week to go on vacation and I doubt it will be here before I'm gone. I have just set up an automatic drip irrigation system for all of my plants so how will that work with trying to use the fertilizer? Thanks again! Julie

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:57PM
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tjbarney(7)

Ok, so the Napa in town has the Floor Dry, thank goodness! Unfortunately the last hope I had for the Pine Bark Fines was a dud. I have no idea where I'm going to find the last, and main, ingredient I need. I have everything now for the Gritty but the one I really NEED to have quick is the 5-1-1.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 2:07PM
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oakiris

I'm having trouble finding the pine bark fines for the 5:1:1 mix as well, but I am not going to give up! As you stated, Julie, the bark is the main ingredient in the mix so it is frustrating that it seems so difficult to find in many parts of the country. Guess we all need to move to Michigan where Al lives in order to have a steady supply of the ingredients in his soil mixes!

Some people have said they have used the Repti-Bark for both the gritty mix and the 5:1:1 mix with good results, so I may end up using it for both mixes as well. It is certainly not "partially composted," but the pieces are small enough that I am hoping it will work. I am also going to check for the 'fine' grade of fir bark sold for Orchids to see if that might be better.

Holly

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 2:36PM
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tjbarney(7)

I just can't imagine having to use the reptibark for the 5-1-1 because I will need more of that and it's $14 for 8 quarts here! Our atwoods did have a bag that said soil conditioner but didn't say anything about what was in it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 2:48PM
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tjbarney(7)

Yippee! I think I've got the right stuff now. A friend was going to Tulsa and I called around and found a place that knew what pine bark fines were and said they had it. I've got the bag and a pic of it and the pb inside. I'm on my iPhone and cant see how to upload the pics. The bag says 100% Organic Compost it's Hapi Gro from Hope Agri products in Hope, AR.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:29PM
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