How fine can pine bark fines be before they are too fine?
How large can pine bark fines be before they are too large?
If you are making a 511 mix, anything from dust up to 3/8" is ok.
For the girtty mix (1-1-1) It's no less than 1/8", and up to 3/8" if using pine, up to 1/4" if using fir bark.
JoJo is the (1-1-1) a typo? Don't think I've seen mention of 1-1-1 before.
It looks like the mixes can have either very fine pine bark dust or nothing less than 1/8".
What's the difference?
the 1-1-1 is another way of saying the Gritty mix.
It means equal parts of Grit, turface, bark.
Which mix are you planning to make? And what kind of plants ? That will help narrow down what you need.
The 5-1-1 is used for short term plantings/annuals for the most part. It's usually used for about a year.
And the gritty/1-1-1 is for long term plantings. it can be used for several years.
I'm trying to come up with a mix for a raised bed garden. The affordable ingredients that I have available are pine bark fines, composted yard waste from the county that has some wood chips in it, horse manure that has a lot of sand mixed in it (sand is used for the bedding)and cow manure. Any ideas on how to mix this all together and what portions to make a good soil for the raised bed?
A raised bed? Raised beds are very forgiving, and the physics and biology are very different from that of containers. There are other forums that will help you out a lot more than this one.
Is the horse manure / cow manure fresh? Most kinds of manure, and especially horse manure, needs to be composted with "brown" material before it can be used by plants.. otherwise it will burn them. You can get away with small amounts mixed in.
The compost and pine bark fines are great soil amendments for raised beds, but you may want to get some cheap topsoil to form the bulk of the mix if you don't have enough to mix into.
There is an approach to raised bed gardening that uses completely new material - like mel's mix - but that will require yearly replacement and inorganic components like vermiculite. I think its kind of silly to be honest, but it obviously works in certain situations.