Questions about Al's 5-1-1 Mix

mikedavid00August 3, 2011


I have some questions regarding the mix.

-I understand the mix needs pellet dolomite lime. I keep hearing that powder is better but I'm afraid that the powder will just leave with the run-off. At least I know the pellet would stay put. What is the difference between the two and what do YOU use? How long does the lime take to 'kick in'.

-Does root inoculant like Mycorrhizae and Trichoderma work in this mix with mix? I'm feeding the Dyna-Grow Foliage 9-3-6 that Al recommends and tap water.

-Does a moisture meter work to detect moisture in this mixture? How do i know when it's dry?

-Do any of you use things the 'snake oil' products like Liquid Karma (humic acid, molasses, etc) or things like B1 Superthrive.

-Is there a method you use to germinate seeds in the 5-1-1 mix? I was thinking of rockwool cubes for the seed and letting them sprout into the mix.

-Are aged pine bark fines considered 'organic'?

Any help would be appreciated... thanks a bunch!!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

'Organic' means, yes, pine bark is organic.

I use powdered Dolomitic Lime. You sprinkle it in with the ingredients, then mix it together.
The lime phase reaction takes anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks to complete, which is why it is
often recommended to make your mix ahead of time. However, there is no danger in mixing
and potting the same day. I've done it many, many times.

In a large volume of 5-1-1, where moisture and temperature is moderated, I imagine that some
innoculants might work....but I do not use any, and I only know one guy who does - and his
results are far too variable to draw meaningful conclusions.

Instead of a moisture meter, just stick a kabob skewer or other stick into the container to
check for moisture. It's the easiest way.

I germinate seeds directly in the 5-1-1, but I start most seeds in a Gritty Mix.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 1:35AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Dealing with Water-Retentive Soils
Dealing with Water-Retentive Soilscolor>size> A...
tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)
Need advice for container garden for elderly woman
I have a question on container gardening for an elderly...
Container gardening
My clivia, 20-30 yr old lives in a pot, maybe 15 gal....
Help! My kumqat is dying
Hello everyone, I am hoping to get some help related...
Potting into Air Pots, root length question
Hello all, My question is, air pots are supposed to...
stickstring (Northern California 8b)
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™