Al's 5-1-1 for ferns.....thumbs up!

greenman28 NorCal 7b/8aAugust 4, 2009

Howdy, folks!

I know that many of you are already sold on the performance benefits of Al's (Tapla's)

two main mixes: the 5-1-1 and the gritty mix. That said, here's another endorsement. In this case,

I used the bark-based 5-1-1 mix for my potted Chainfern (Woodwardia fimbriata). I'll include a link

below to the full Thread on the Moss/Ferns Forum, where I documented the enitre re-potting process.

Here's my Chainfern on the front deck this morning:

*Note: in the original Thread, I refer to the mix as "gritty," but I should clarify - I meant

that in the sense that the new mix was grittier than typical peat-based potting soils. In this

mix, I used pine/fir bark fines instead of peat - as well as some pumice with my perlite.

Giant Chainfern - Spring 2009 re-potting

Josh

Here is a link that might be useful: Giant Chainfern - Spring 2009 re-potting

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

.... attractive plant, Josh. Strong work. ;o)

Al

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 5:24PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thank you, Al.
The information and the techniques you provide have made Growing so much more enjoyable. With the guess-work minimized, one can sit back and observe his or her plants in peace....not fretting and wondering if a particular specimen will "make it." ;)

Josh

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 3:35PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The Chainfern continues to thrive in the 5-1-1!
I might be able to go another year in this mix, but I'll likely consider a partial re-potting next Spring.
Pics from yesterday, for your perusal:

Josh

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 11:23AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I am 100% with Al on this one Josh!

Wow, you gave me a great idea for many bare spots with no dirt at my home..

That is beautiful..Thank you for the pictures.

Mike..:-)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 11:54AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thank you, Mike!

This fern is the main "feature" on my front deck - even the Hoyas play second fiddle to this fern,
if you'll pardon the pun. It fills the entire corner, constantly competing with the Star Jasmine
for more room. It gives a great feel!

Josh

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:37PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Good Morning Guys!
At least it is here, still morning.;)

Josh,
It's beautiful!!!
The green is an amazing color!
And I couldn't agree with you more, about taking the guesswork out of growing!

I found foxtail ferns at lowes, hope they are still there tomorrow, gonna get a few.

Failed something terrible with them a few years ago, and want to try again.

The 3 of you are gonna get me in trouble! Everytime I open a post I want to try something new! LOL!!!

But I can't think of better friends to get in Trouble with! ;)

Hugs!
JoJo

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, JoJo!
Looks like we cross-posted at the same time! ;-)
Thank you for the kind words! I love to get others involved...

Ferns are wonderful accent pieces! They can be moved around for garden parties, can frame
a doorway, and provide a temperate or tropical feel when placed correctly.

I often start my ferns in pots while I determine a spot for them in the yard. This year, I've
released an Alaskan Fern and several Western Sword Ferns into my yardscape.

I am putting together another small half-barrel/Chainfern combination for my brother.
He has some good shade now, although he lives in Sacramento, so hopefully this time the
fern will survive....

Josh

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:58PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Josh,

"I love to get others involved"

Is that what you call it? LOL!
I see it as you dangled this huge carrot in front of me, over in C&S.. Then Mike comes along, sends me a jade, and tells me to get over to containers...

Al's mixes, all the beautiful plants, I'm hooked! LOL!
It's the best trouble ive been in, in years! LOL!

I dont think ferns like you have would be very happy here.

You sound like me, every time I send something to mom, I have to hope she doesn't kill it..ROFL!!

Mike, did you ever find you a foxtail?

JoJo

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 5:45PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Hi Jojo and everyone else!!! Hi.:-)

Jojo, I carried a foxtail fern awhile back all over the nursery, for I'd say about 1 hour just to realize that I haven't got one ounce of land left to grow it in my house!!lol

Let me tell you though, the thoughts has now occurred ,loi me thanks to our friend Josh, bad influence, to plant ferns that can ventrally be planted outdoors..I might even just keep them in permanent containers..What do you think? They are so ordinary around here, yet majestic!
Thanks to Al, I think I can just about grow anything in any container now..

I wonder if they get fed Foliage Pro though..? Lol

I can't believe the stiff you have bought just in the last 3 months...You should put them all together. or start a thread showing all you new aquirings,is that a word,? and I will follow suit..lol

Mike:-)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 6:46PM
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cliss(6)

I'm thinking of trying Josh's peat-free 5-1-1 recipe for my own ferns. Since my fir bark doesn't have many really fine particles, though, I was thinking of buying a cheap coffee grinder and using it to grind the fir bark, then use that in place of peat... Does that sound like it'd work? (My ferns are pretty small right now, so I wouldn't need a lot.)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 12:44PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello, everyone!
I was sweeping the front deck and moving things around this afternoon, and I snapped a pic of my fern.
Also, my apologies to Cliss (if you're still around) for not responding to his/her question.

Secondly, I wanted to re-iterate for any new readers that this mix was derived from Al's (Tapla's) teachings
on durable ingredients, particle size, and water retention. I certainly didn't come up with this recipe on my own....
although I've put it to good use, and then some.

Anyhow, here she is!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 7:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Sweeet! ;o)

Happy Thanksgiving, Josh/all.

Al

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 7:52PM
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haxuan(Vietnam)

All lush and green! A very nice "fern lady", Josh.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friend.

Xuan

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 9:45PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Same to you, Xuan! ;)
And thanks, Al, for the great soil mix!

This morning, the overnight freeze had the fronds looking limp, but they sprang back by midday.
Eventually, all of these fronds will yellow and die-back...just in time for next year's growth.

I'm in the process of putting together one of these "barrels" with a Chainfern for my brother.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 11:28PM
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jodik_gw

Nice, Josh! I like ferns, too... we have a few different types planted in the shadier areas of the yard, but I have none in containers.

Way to go! She's a beauty!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 5:15PM
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bayoufilter(9a HouTX)

Just a note... having grown and loved ferns and also having a more recent 'crush' on foxtails...

The foxtail isn't really a fern. It's in the Asparagus family!
What this means to us is that I would definitely try foxtails in the Gritty as well as the 5-1-1 that real ferns love.

Please post pics of foxtails if ya plant 'em! They always make me smile...

Rick

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 11:22AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Rick!
I've read that Asparagus Ferns are considered a part of Lily family. Not positive, though.
I have a friend who grows a common Asparagus Fern outdoors, and it dies back during snows/freezes...
but it returns in the spring and summer.

I'm more interested in true ferns, however.

Josh

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 12:45PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Jodi,
I'm sorry I missed your post there!
It's good to see you back at the Forums!

What type of ferns are you growing? They must be very cold tolerant!
I wish you guys in cold zones could grow the Giant Chainfern...

Josh

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 12:52PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello, everyone!

Well, I never got around to re-potting my Chainfern, but the growth was great again this year.
I was cleaning the deck off, so I snapped a pic for comparison....

Josh

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:18PM
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jodik_gw

Looking good, Josh!

I grow everything, including orchids, in various renditions of Al's mixes! You just can't beat the structure and aeration this type of medium holds!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 3:17PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Jodi, whoohoo! Great to see you!
Thanks! Next Spring will make 3 years in this particular mix....!

Josh

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 3:49PM
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jodik_gw

Great to see you, too, Josh! I've got several plants that have been in a fir bark based mix for a long time... the bark is bound to break down after a while, but this is so much longer than a peat based mix can hold up for. Your fern looks great... and I'm betting the roots look great, too. Are you waiting for next spring to re-pot?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 8:43PM
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