5-1-1 Hosta Mix Pine Bark
Sorry I have not been back in the past couple weeks as I said I would, time has just gotten away from me this month. I took a bunch of my larger hosta and made a large bed and planted them in the ground. I mixed a large amount of wood mulch in with the soil along with peat. It was over 300 sqft so it was pretty large to use much else.
I just got in 480 Hosta liners I need to plant up. I had a few dozen that I planted up earlier this month and I just mixed maybe 1:1 bark with some miracle grow I had, I know likely not idea, but I knew the Hosta would have been okay in just the miracle grow, so I figured with the bark they would do better.
The best bark mulch I've been able to get my hands on is called small western bark mulch. It measures about 1/4" thick and the pieces then range from about 3/4" by 3/4" up to about 3/4" by 1-1/2". It is clean and has few fines. This is what I mixed in with the miracle grow. What I used in the gritty mix I made was a little smaller, but very inconsistent, so it not only had to be screened, but had to have many large pieces removed.
I know the size is not what you said was ideal "The best sizes for the 5:1:1 mix are dust to 3/8". The gritty mix works best with bark sized 1/8 - 1/4"." So I'm not even close to the 3/8". I understand why you can't use smaller particles, but am wondering about the slightly larger ones.
As long as the mixture is workable for the size containers I am using, is there a problem using the large bark? I'm not sure where else to look for smaller bark, unless I've missed it somewhere, I've looked at all the normal places, Home Depot, Menards, Stein, Lowes, Walmart, Hardware Stores, and I also checked with SunGro who makes some commercial bark mulch mixes and the only place that sells their mixes within about 100 miles absolutely refuses to sell retail. Due the the volume I need small bags of reptile bark or orchid bark are out of the question cost wise; at least at the prices I've seen. The hydroponics store gets little bags of orchid bark and similar, but again, the cost is very high.
Hope your doing well.