3/8' screen

landpersonNovember 22, 2010

So now I have four screens, and I've screened and even potted up using my very first batch of gritty mix -- hurrah !!!!.

But, I now see that I made my largest screen a bit too big for when I need to make the 5-1-1 mix. I used 1/2". (The others are 1/4, 1/8 and insect). Anyway, since I'm a bit tired of searching everywhere for stuff, does anyone know how easily sourced the 3/8" screen is? Got an easy go-to source for it?

I'll probably just take the screen of the 1/2" frame and change it.....

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I find 3/8 inch "Hardware Cloth" (it's metal mesh) at any hardware store around here.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 11:21AM
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Thanks, Josh.
And....duh.....I'll bet I have some out there from when I put hardware cloth under the raised vegetable beds....But if not, now I know that sourcing it won't be hard. I'm now armed with optimism....:-))))

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 11:31AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Susan, I cannot find the 3/8" screen here in my area either. I live in a small town and checked every store that might remotely carry them...WM, HD or Lowes's don't sell them. I might have to go on line and look for it. I've been using the kitchen strainer all this time...I guess its been working fine so far, I haven't had any major issues, but I really would like to find the correct size. Good luck, and please post if you know of a source.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 8:43PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

I found mine at a hardware store, Ace Hardware.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 8:46PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

ACE is the place... ;)
That's where I worked for a couple years during college.
We ordered just about anything.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 9:36PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks Jojo...can you post a picture...did you make a sifter or just used the hardware cloth by itself?

Josh, I'll let you know if Ace is really the place,lol...

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 8:42PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Okay, maybe I have this figured out finally?? All this time I've only been using the kitchen strainer(1/8 very similar to insect screen) to sift all my Bark, crushed granite,Turface and etc. I've had no issues up to this point and the plants have been just great, so maybe the pieces that I've been using were fine up to that point. But after reading here that I really should be using the 3/8 thought I might want to do a better job. I have this plastic nursery thing(thanks Josh)you posted one similar to it and I found one for .50 at a local nursery. It's the closest to 3/8" (sifter) that I can find locally, so I sifted my Pine Bark through this and the pieces that were too large that didn't go through, I removed and kept in a separate pile...

These are the larger pieces that didn't go through the plastic nursery thingy...

My Plastic nursery sifter...

This pile are the ones that didn't go through the 1/8" kitchen strainer(same size as insect screen (Fines Free).

I'm thinking I can use the larger pieces for my big pots like for my Mango trees, pots that are 18"-24". What do you guys think...does this look right? Are those pieces in the First picture too larger to use for the "gritty mix" or not? Comments and advise welcome~


    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 1:47PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Comments...anyone? anyone?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 12:10PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's a difficult question to answer, Nance. Ideally, the particles in the inorganic fraction of the gritty mix would be in the 1/10-1/8" size range, and the bark fraction a little larger, in the 1/8-1/4" size range.

Drainage characteristics are determined primarily by the size of the highest % of particles. To illustrate: if you had a soil that was 2 parts peat, and you added 1 part large bark to it, it wouldn't change drainage characteristics or the ht of the PWT. If you had 1 part peat and added 2 parts large bark to it, it would significantly impact the drainage characteristics.

There is also a stratification issue. If the bark is significantly larger than the other components, the components tend to separate into layers. For my own purposes, I would consider the bark in the first picture to be too large for the gritty mix. Screening the remainder over a household strainer (quite a bit smaller than 1/8") or insect screen is going to leave some particles that are finer than ideal. I think that what does pass through 3/8 mesh but doesn't pass through 1/8" mesh is very good for the gritty mix. IOW, it might be better if you screened over 1/8" instead of the strainer.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 1:34PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thank you Al!! I appreciate your comments/advise :o)
Now, I'm off to find 1/8" insect screen...

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 8:33PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Try for 1/8" hardware cloth. ;o)


    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 8:58PM
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I know this thread is old but I am going to give it a bump and ask for help. I am building a six foot vibrating screen sifter for making batches of the gritty mix. I pretty much have the sifter done but have ran into a wall finding galvanized 3/8 hardware cloth/mesh. I was able to find one place (Louis Page) that would sell me a 100' roll for $298 dollars. I certainly don't want to spend that when all I need is 6 foot. I have read a bunch of GW posts and searched the internet high and low, also checked every hardware store I could find. I live in North East Ohio near Youngstown, if anyone knows of a place I can get it PLEASE post a reply. Also willing to pay someone who can ship me some. Thanks for looking.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 2:21PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

When making gritty mix, what do you need a 3/8" screen for? I'm probably mistaken, but for the bark I used what fell through a 1/4" screen, and not through a 1/8" screen. In other words between 1/4" and 1/8". And for the granite and turface I just kept what didn't fall through a 1/16" screen. If you are talking about 511, the 3/8" screen would be perfect.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:37PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

I agree...

I use the 1/4 inch screen and use what falls thru ..
For Gritty... I do also use the 1/8 inch to keep the finds from getting into the mix if the bark looks small..

same as you edweather. I found this works best for me.

I also use a strainer to sift the finds from the Turface..

The Gran-i-grit i just rinse.

This works great!!

Take care,


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 4:12PM
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I was looking for the 3/8 because of all of the research I have done on the GW. Al posted this a few posts above. "I think that what does pass through 3/8 mesh but doesn't pass through 1/8" mesh is very good for the gritty mix"

I ended up purchasing a 50 foot roll of "3 mesh" which has an opening of 5/16, for the price I paid I probably should have used the 1/4 mesh. All that being said I am still on the lookout for 3/8. I should say I did find the 3/8 mesh but it is sold by the 100 foot roll. If anyone has any 3/8 keep me in mind, perhaps we can trade.

Thanks to Al and all the others who have taken their time sharing all the wonderful information on this site.

Here is a link that might be useful: Video of my powered sifter.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 1:34AM
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