Has anyone tried cutting regular size pine bark mulch with a lawn-mower to reduce it to fines? I'm having trouble finding bark fines in anything but 1/2 cu.ft. bags.(about $7)
Yes - there is a thread with photo-directions around somewhere.
Lol - it took some lookin', but I found it over at Figs.
Here is a link that might be useful: Chop chop
Hey Al - thanks for re-posting this. Beth and I were wondering if this would work (since it's hard to find bark that's the right size)! I'll have to try this as soon as the wind quits blowing, and the rain and hail quit coming down....might be a while though!
Did we ever talk about you trying to find the Shasta products out there? They're a really big producer of fir bark & right on the NoCal border.
Northern California and Oregon is the home of the Douglas Fir and mature trees will have bark at least four inches thick. On our six acres we must have at least 10 trees on the ground, rotting away. It is the tree that rots away, not the bark. It takes me about an hour to run the bark through my shredder/chipper and make two or three garbage cans of fir bark. I would expect small woodlots to have lots of bark with no market for it, that should be available for next to nothing. Al
I tried the chop-chop lawn mower method described above with poor results. Over half the bark shoots out 20ft. in all directions & doesn't get chopped. Out of a 2cu.ft bag of mini bark nuggets, I only got 1/2cu.ft of fines. If anyone could recommend a bark fines supplier in southeast FL. I would greatly appreciate it.
Florida is one of the most difficult states in which to locate Bark.
Puglvr (Nancy) might be able to give you a lead.
Grit is tough in FL, too.
Im in Boynton Beach Fl. and I used to get it at Nu Turf in Pompano, 25 miles south of Boynton. I would buy it a pallot at a time. I told my friends where to get it and now its gone and there not gona carry it anymore. Kinda left me[ not holding the bag ]. If someone finds it in Fl. please post where its at.
Plant em if you got em.
I like calistoga setup. I'm jealous! I bet he has no sapwood in it too. I just buy a dump truck load every spring. I spread it out on my drive way on sunny days."to dry it out" Then I sift through a few different screens. All the stuff that is too large "about 3/4 of it" I use for top dressing my flower beds. filix.
The best way I've found is to buy a couple large bags of pine bark mulch, sift the material through 1/4" screen, THEN run over it with a lawnmower and sift again. That way you get the most out of your effort. However, out of three cubic feet I got 1.5 cu ft pine bark nuggets, 0.5 cu ft. pine bark dust, and 1 cu.ft usable fines.
Now, what to do with the 1.5 cubic feet of pine bark dust that's just sitting there?
I use a chipper/shredder to break down pine bark nuggets and this works a lot better for me than the mower. I was lucky enough to have access to one though.
I wish! I've been wanting a chipper/shredder forever! A decent one with a strong enough motor would come in so handy! They tend to be rather expensive, though... I guess it'll stay on my wish list until either the prices come down, or I happen to run into a great deal on a used one!
Another option might be to rent or borrow a chipper/shredder for a day and get all the fines you want or need.
I just successfully re-chopped fir bark that was larger than1/4" by putting a handfull at a time into my old kitchen blender and put on the 'chop' setting for about 6-10 seconds to avoid chopping it all down to dust. Re-sift with a 1/4" screen and repeat until all the large pieces are broken down. I did this with some pre-packaged orchid bark that was WAY too large (about 1" pieces) and the large pieces of repti-bark from petco. Both were labeled as 'fir bark.' A little time consuming, depending on volume, but well worth it, if you ask me! I did lose about 1/5 of product that was reduced to dust, which was sifted out using a 1/8" screen. Much better than throwing it ALL out! :)
I find that if I just run the pile over with my truck tires about a dozen times works best to make my own fines.
Tires seem to do a good job of breaking up bark without creating too much dust. I just pour it out in a column and run back and forth with a ground guide to keep me on track. Piece of cake.
I bought a bag of orchid bark which had a lot of too large pieces. I soaked them overnight in water and then during times when I was just sitting around talking to my family, I used a nippers (like heavy duty scissors) and cut the pieces up, they were pretty easy to cut when they were soaked. I still have some to go but it's better than wasting the bag.
Driving over them isn't a bad idea, as I have a good amount of too large pine bark left. I put smaller amounts into different feed bags and run over them. I'll have to try that!