Screen Sizes for Al's Gritty Mix

succulent_succotashJune 12, 2013

Hello, I am new gardening & this forum.

I've done many hours of research over the last few weeks to learn about Al's Gritty Mix, but didn't find all the information consolidated or definitive for screening.

I wanted to start a clean thread to discuss the sieve/screen sizes for every material in the gritty mix (1:1:1).

Based on my research, here is my conclusion. Can you let me know if this is correct?

Material & Screen Size
1. TURFACE MVP 1/8" or 1/16"
2. GRANITE 1/8" or 1/4"
3. BARK 1/4"

Turface Details
> Sift through 1/16" insect screen and keep what is left on TOP
(I've read you can also use a 1/8" sieve, but layering the 1/16" will help minimize waste.)

Granite Details
> For Gran-I-Grit No. 2 (3/16"): Sift through 1/8" and keep what is left on TOP; rinse to remove dust
> For A-1 Grit No. 5 (1/4"): Sift through 1/4" and keep what is left on BOTTOM (top will exceed 0.25" in size); rinse to remove dust
> For A-1 Grit No. 10 (1/8"): Sift through 1/8" and keep what is left on TOP; rinse to remove dust

Bark Details
> For Pine/Fir/Reptile Bark: Sift through 1/4" sieve and keep what is left on TOP; soak in water prior to use

Thank you.

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Almost exact! ;-)

The Fir bark is sifted through a 1/4" screen to keep what falls *through* - the bark material that is 1/4" or less is then sifted over either insect screen or an 1/8" sieve to remove the fine bark dust. Indeed, soak prior to use.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:43PM
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Thanks, Josh. I just realized my error and was going to make the edit, but you beat me to it ;)

To clarify, sift fine bark (pine/fir) through a 1/4" screen and keep what is on the BOTTOM. Then, sift again through 1/8" or 1/16" to remove the fine/dust. Then, you will keep what is on TOP.

Did I get that right?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:50PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a



    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 2:38AM
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Just a footnote ...
I read that, when using pine bark in the gritty mix, the size range could be increased to 3/8"-1/8". By doing that, I increased the usable portion of a 1 1/2 cu. ft. bag from 11 quarts to 19 quarts.

Not saying that will be the result with all pine bark products. Some brands will contain a higher proportion of pine bark fines; others will have a larger proportion of the small 'nuggets'; etc. It so happens that over 30% of the Jolly Gardener product I use was too large (over 1/4"). Increasing the size range to 3/8" cut that loss in half.

Given the low cost of pine (compared to Reptibark) and depending on how much gritty mix you use, increasing the size range may not be worth the time and effort. Of course, I'm one of those penny pinchers, so ... : )

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 9:27AM
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