does this 5-1-1 mix I just made look good?

greentoe357June 8, 2013

I used two different kinds of pine bark particles for the 5 parts in the 5-1-1 mix in about 50/50 proportion, one composted fine particles and another uncomposted larger particles - the latter I actually ran through a blender (yes, really :-) and broke some particles by hand, too. For pictures of these ingredients pre-mixing and pre-blender, see this:

The perlite I used was finer than I'd want - I needed to use up the Miracle-Gro perlite bag, and I actually ran out, so the mix is just a bit light on perlite. I'll add some coarse perlite when my Espoma bag arrives.

It also looks to me like the mix is underweight on the larger bark particles. The composted bark was too fine and it looked and felt just a bit coarser than peat. Do composted fine bark particles retain water the way peat does? If so, looks like I'll need to add quite a lot of uncomposted larger bark particles.

Do you agree with all the above? Any other ideas to improve the mix?

I did add dolomitic lime but no controlled release fertilizer - will fertilize with Foliage-Pro alone.

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it looks like the mix you made will enhance uneven drying out process.

It seems to have too many fine particles and a few big pieces that will gravitate towards the top as the finer stuff settles towards the bottom and staying wet far longer than the top.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:12PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

IMO I like it. The dime shows me that the largest particles aren't too large. Looks like you will have decent drainage and good water retention which will be key if you want to grow thirsty tomato plants.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:28PM
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