Peppers didn't like 5-1-1, suggestions, comments?
I have had a rough year with my pepper plants in the 5-1-1 mix. With help from esox07, we have pretty much narrowed it down to bad/slow draining of the mix. A couple of things I did not do this past spring was....screen the mix, add lime, and/or reduce the peat due to a high ratio of fines in the pine bark. This is what my mix looked like this year (this was at the bottom of a 3 gallon container after at least 5 days of no added moisture)
So, I just went out to the garage and screened some pine bark. This was the same brand of pine bark that I used earlier this year, but remember I did not screen the mix this spring. Below is the mix screened thru a 1/2" screen, and the stuff that did not go through.
Couple of questions. I have heard of others not adding peat to their mix due to there being enough fines in the pine bark. Do you think there is enough fines in my screened mix to NOT add peat? How does this pine bark look overall?
Would those big pieces of bark in the above photo create havoc in the mix if I did not screen them out of the mix (kind of what I did in the spring)?
Finally, how detrimental was it to not have added the lime?
Overall, I think I know what some of my issues were, but I am looking for help in getting the mix right the next time. I sure don't want to lose a whole growing season with more bad choices:( Any help would be greatly appreciated!