511 mix or raybo 3-2-2 for peppers

coworkerbob(9)June 5, 2012

I have 3 half wine barrels (each barrel can hold 30 gallon or 4 cubic foot ) that i plan on growing numex peppers in (sandia and big jims). 4 plants per barrel.

I have been hearing great things from Al Tapla, Greenmans', and Raybo's mixes. I've decided this year to test them out. Would love to hear feedback and tips. Here is what i have so far.

Ingredients list:

left over peat

turface 50lb

napa dry

granite (tri city rock, granite yield was 70% if you scoop from the top of the piles, fines tend to be at the bottom)

fir bark (osh pathway bark, tri city rock bark fines, yield about 60%)

dolomotic lime

foliage pro

I screened the turface, napa dry, granite in insect screen to remove dust.

I screened the bark through 1/8 hardware cloth found at OSH. I know i screened it for gritty mix but i can throw the bark fines in for 511 mix?

location: eastbay/fremont,ca

511 mix:

could i use 5 parts bark, 1 part turface/napa dry, and 1 part granite?

would there be any hydropohobic issues or moisture retention?

or 5 parts bark, 1 part peat, 1 part granite?

1 tbsp dolomitic lime for each gallon of mix, wait one week for it to be reactive.

Raybo 3-2-2 mix:

I think Raybo uses 3 parts potting soil (sunshine mix), 2 parts bark, 2 parts perlite

I can probably use miracle grow, bark, and sub perlite for granite?

I couldn't find Raybo's fertilizer source:

"I am using a Simplot product called "Landscape Color". It is a 14-14-14 CRF like Osmocote, but it also contains several Micros such as Cu, Mg, S, Fe, etc. While Osmocote costs about $4.00 per pound, the Landscape Color costs about $0.80 per pound in a 50 pound bag."

I think i will try this fertilizer that advetises micros, anybody have any experience with this?



I think the gritty mix would be great as well but it would cost too much, i did test out that mix on a jade plant a neighbor gave me and yesterday transplated some peppers into it. (the green stuff is mg crf, which i prob didnt need as it has no micros and i am using FP)

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If your container is going to be on the ground, which technically turns it into a mini raised bed, you can use either soil. If you are going to grow as a conventional container, some version of the 5:1:1 would be better (reduced water retention, which the peppers will appreciate). Whether or not it's wise to include some peat depends on how fine the bark you're using is. Remember that you want to have good water retention with a minimal PWT.

If you have the FP 9-3-6, I don't think you'll be able to beat it by trying various combinations of other fertilizers. If you had to amend it at all, a little KCL is likely all you'd need.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 3:35PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Bob! Howdy, Al!
Bob, I agree with Al. For the self-watering containers, Ray's mix wicks well.
For traditional containers (even large ones), I go with the less water-retentive 5-1-1.

It looks as though your peppers might be staying a bit too wet...?


    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Thanks Al and Josh,

I'll be mixing up my first 511 mix this weekend and report back.

Al, KCL is potassium chloride/potash?

Josh, i took those photos right after i had watered that morning and thank you kindly for posting that video on making the 511 mix. Josh, I might try your mix out when i run out of turface as its easier on the pocket book. Where did you get coarse perlite?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 3:06AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Bob, I usually have Turface on hand....but I've run out!

I buy the coarse Perlite (Sunshine brand) at a local hydroponics shop, 4-cubic feet for $20.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:24PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Yes - potash.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 5:46PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Also, Bob, I was thinking that the peppers looked overwatered from the color/condition of the leaves,
rather than the actual moisture visible in the mix. Peppers really can dry out quite a bit.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Thanks Josh,

Your right, i watered every morning and then set them in the sun. The peppers in the gritty mix has greened up after i skipped watering every day (every other day now). I still have 20 plants that are in the seed start kit that needs to be transplanted.

I was able to mix 25 gallons of the 511 mix with the stuff i have on hand. Good enough to fill 1 half wine barrel and a start on the 2nd.

Josh and Al, do you have any tips on fertilizing? the 511 mix i have is made up of turface, bark, and granite.

do i soak it thouroughly with hose, wait 30 mins then fertilize? If i have 15 gallons of the mix in each container, do i pour about 5 gallons of water, 1 tsp of fp for each gallon?


I will post pics this weekend once I have transplanted the peppers into it.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 11:55AM
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