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Where to buy pine bark fines

Posted by ykerzner 9 TX (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 12, 10 at 1:12

I went to the local Home Depot and they have what looks like pine bark fines, but consisting of 50% bark and 50% compost. Is that good enough? It was a Nature's Helper bag. Also, is there any way to incorporate enough fertilizer into the 5:1:1 or gritty mixes that can be taken up directly by the plant roots? Watering with a weak fertilizer every day will take too much time and is infeasible with a hose. Can I just put blood and bone meal and greensand into the mix for the nutrients, along with the lime/gypsum/trace fertilizers?
Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Here is what to look for at Home Depot:

Particle size (on the right) is what you want:

About $4.00 for a 2 cubic foot bag.

Raybo


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Is the bark on the right fine bark, or is it good for the gritty mix?


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 12, 10 at 12:12

The bark on the right looks good for any medium you're mixing. I don't think there is a distinction for size between the gritty mix or Al's Mix, or any adaptation thereof.

I think the word "fines" is confusing to people when they begin looking into this more inorganic approach to growing mediums.

The word "fines" describes tiny little particles that would be too small for practical use in a medium mix.

But to landscapers and lawn people, the word "fines" might describe anything smaller than the large chunks of mulch product they use in their work.

Forget the word "fines"... I do believe what you're after are relatively similar pieces of pine/fir bark at roughly 1/8 to 1/4 inch in size, or dime-sized.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

I checked my local Home Depot, and all they had outside was rubber mulch and pigeon droppings.

Lowes had a fair amount of mulch, but most of it is frozen in place. I saw a product labeled 'Pine Bark Mini Nuggets', but I'm not certain if it's the correct size, I think it may have been too large.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

I found pine mulch at Soutwest Fertilizer, and was told to sift it to remove the larger pieces. Another place with several locations is Living Earth, and the site shows a large selection of mulches, and decomposed granite. I'll report back as to what there is.

Here is a link that might be useful: Granite and mulches


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Lowes had a fair amount of mulch, but most of it is frozen in place.

That's what you will find in the winter in northern states. There is no mass gardening going on with frozen ground so the big box stores revert to other, more 'seasonal' items.

Check again in the mid-late spring time frame.

If you care to you can always go to the service desk and ask for the ordering manager for the garden section. That person will almost certainly not be able to describe particle size to you, but should be able to indicate what pine bark products will be ordered for the growing season.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

The above pictured EarthGro Ground Cover bag is what I have access to and used over the years for mulch. Before late 2008 that particular bag's inscription clearly stated "it has minimal wood and high pine and fir bark content, a consistent size and uniform appearance" on the back. Since then, it has been changed and the words "pine" and "fir" were removed and no reference to tree source is listed. A long disclaimer has been added "a consumer product not intended to be used as a commercial growing medium" no warranty, etc. A new line "Ingredients: Forest products" was added.

I'm wondering if the material content has changed or whether they are just insulating themselves from grower lawsuits who were trying to use it as potting medium.

I haven't used it, but I certainly will from now on if I had some assurance of it being Pine or Fir. Anyone?


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

  • Posted by ltruett Zone, 9 Houston (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 12, 10 at 20:42

ykerzner,

I have always had trouble finding pine bark fines in Houston so I just get the pine bark nuggets and run them through a chipper shredder and this filter out the larger pieces and really small stuff.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 13, 10 at 6:54

It think it needs to be noted that in our consumer driven, disposable society, the bottom line is profit, Cebury... therefore, the label change is probably consistent with a cheaper product change. It wouldn't surprise me if the company did, indeed, change out the fir bark to a less expensive wood product that's not good as a medium ingredient.

That's too bad... because the bag and its contents did look promising for a moment, there... oh well. I'm sure something else can be located.

As for the rubber mulch... I'm seeing a lot of that junk being displayed, and I have to wonder exactly how "green" a product is when it will leach into the ground eventually, and will also sink into the ground eventually... have tire companies simply found a way to dupe the public into using their gardens and yards as cheap landfills? And at the same time, they're making a profit getting rid of old tires. It makes no sense from a consumer standpoint, but it does make sense if you're a tire company, trying to unload your garbage.

Somewhere here in the forum, there is a thread with the different ingredients being discussed, and where to obtain them around the country... on one of the older pages.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Still have that link. :) I had emailed it to myself, thought it would come in handy. LOL

Hope it is of some help!

Jodi~ I agree about the rubber junk! awful!

JoJo

Here is a link that might be useful: Ingredients by region


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines/substitutes

Here's one more, I don't know if it will be of much help, I haven't had a chance to read it all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Substitutes


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 13, 10 at 10:14

Thanks, JoJo! I have so many links and bookmarks, it would take me the better part of an afternoon to go through them all! Organization is not one of my better talents! ;-)


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

ykerzner - Southwest Fertilizer's a great place. They have Turface and expanded shale also.
I must have gone in a little after you did. Monday I think. Looking for bark and granite grit, and collecting prices on everything. They showed me the Pigeon Grit, were interested in what I wanted to use it for. "Hmmm, a lot of people coming in for grit and bark this season!"

Living Earth is good also, they've been around a long time. I'm interested in what you find - I've only visited the Richmond location (shopping for bulk expanded shale).

My own favorite: Nature's Way Resources is up in Conroe and they compost their own mulch. They sell it after composting 2 years. But you can get uncomposted bark there and you will know what's in it. Strike up a conversation with John about soils! Ironically their bagged stuff is priced lower at SW Fert than on-site in Conroe.

If you're more to the south, you might try Action Soils. Haven't been there, but they have been mentioned as a decent source of soil components.

Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: Nature's Way Resources


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

So you must have been the guy who didn't buy the pigeon grit - it was $27.99, right? Living Earth has decomposed granite, which I'd have to sift, but they don't sell anything less than .5 cubic yard, for something like 32 dollars, not including $40 for handling. And you need a truck. I called Wabash and they have five pound bags of crushed granite (not decomposed) for something like 8 dollars.

BTW, I came in on Tuesday. The guy told me to call back about where I find crushed granite, if I do find it.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

I found decomposed granite at Lowes, in a bag, 1/2 cubic feet. Id say it weighs about 30-40 lbs. for $4 and change.

Yes, it does need sifting, lots of dirt and sand in the bag, but it will get me started, and I have a use for the left overs.

JoJo


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Cool. I'm going to check a couple of other feed stores for gran-i-grit / grower grit. Several stores if you go a little out of town. And it should be under $10 for a 50-pound bag, so no I wasn't interested in the Pigeon Grit, LOL.
Down the street from Wabash is San Jacinto Stone, they carry exp. shale (aquaponic medium) and I just realized they just might have an appropriate grit too.
(addicted to Wabash - I go there more than weekly for ferts, pet food, the free used hay, etc. Check 'em out in person if you can)
Where are you? I'm in Alief, just north of the Sugar Land city limits... but work inside the Loop.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

At HomeDepot I sampled the products SuperSoil Garden Gro Mulch and a Kellogs GroMulch; they also still have the EarthGro product mentioned earlier - that product seems to have larger size chunks and looks at least partially screened. The Kellogs product is very dark and smells of steer manure. It seems like a fair choice as a soil mulch for amendment purposes.

The SuperSoil product looks very much like those recommended on this group. The particle size fills the full range (un-sifted) and is not too large. I potted up several plants and bulbs this fall with a mix based on this product with moss and perlite etc. and am happy with the way it looks/feels/drains etc. and the plants are happy too.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Bayoufilter: I'm looking for crushed granite for Al's mix - would expanded shale work too? I probably will wind up at Wabash more often now that Teas has closed. I'm in Southwest Houston, outside the Loop... and go to UH.

Chadinlg: Different HDs carry different products. I didn't find anything close to what I needed there, except for gypsum.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 13, 10 at 18:53

See? And I can't find gypsum here, but I have no problem locating Reptibark and Manna Pro granite chips. Perlite is everywhere, I think.

I plan to do another search this spring... all the big box stores again, plus a few greenhouses and farm stores... perhaps I can come up with gypsum this time!


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

I found at Wmart, Timberline pine mulch, which I'm told is the illusive pine bark fines. It seems to appear there off and on. It looks to be ground pine bark ranging from coffee ground size up to 1/4'" particles. I only started trialing it about two weeks ago in the 5-1-1 mix, but toms and peppers and some Tipu seedlings look happy so far.

john


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

decomposed granite,???
isn't this a rock ? how does it decompose ?


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Hi dickiefickle,
I honestly have no idea what it is. But I checked with Al and he said it can be used as long as it is stable and the size right and the rest screened out.

JoJo


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

You can also try Zeolite in Kitty litter from H-E-B. Less than 3 dollars for 20 or 25 lbs bag. Cheaper than Turface. I tried both and I can't tell the difference so zeolite is good enough for the price. You do have to sift out small particles using 1/16th inch screen like you do with Turface. Cost-wise, I prefer zeolite. I also use expanded shale. Just have to wash out dust and you're good to go. They are a little big but I don't see any difference between turface and zeolite. Another place to try is Auto Zone for their product (diatomaceous earth ) Napa's oil absorbent (part# 8822). I haven't tried it though. My local Autozone didn't carry it and I lost the urge to drive further out to different Autozone so I never tried looking for it since then. Maybe in the spring...


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napa

Maybe it's not Autozone but NAPA store. I forget. It has been a while. Search for it in this forum. It has been discussed before.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

I've also seen that EarthGro Ground Cover bark at local KMart stores but the bark pieces looked very large and "stringy" and would have required a LOT of screening so I didnt buy it. I use Reptibark (fir bark for reptile bedding) at a local Petco. It's expensive compared to pine bark but its 100% fir bark, it's the correct size, and doesn't need screening.

Jodi you should be able to find gypsum at the same place you buy your grit. Any place that sells lawn care products should have it. I've seen gypsum at HD and Lowes as well as local hardware stores. Small 5# bags from Espoma are available but they cost as much as 40# bags at the other places.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 14, 10 at 14:18

Our Lowe's and HD don't have it... and the farm store I get my granite chips from doesn't carry much in the lawn and garden department.

I think the different stores carry different items, depending on location.

I haven't checked the hardware stores, though... Ace might carry gypsum.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

I've seen gypsum and lime at our local Aco hardware stores (very similar to Ace) so that might be a good bet.

If you have a Menards nearby you might have a look. Ive seen it there as well.

Good luck!


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Bayoufilter: can you please send me a message when you find the crushed granite? Also, is expanded shale good enough?

At HD I found a soil conditioner called "Nature's Helper" that contains 50% pine products and 50% compost. Is that good enough? Tapla?

Here is a link that might be useful: Nature's helper - first product


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

ykerzner-

I thought Landscape Mix by Scotchman at Lowe's is better than Nature's helper. Landscape Mix is mostly pine bark fines with some dust that you have to screen out. I got tired of screening so I went and got Garden Plus pine bark mulch from lowe's (3 cuft bag that goes a long way) and just mow over them. A lot less pine bark dust that way. My brother in Houston used a shredder/chipper to chew up pine bark nuggets and it works pretty good.

Expanded shale is great for 3g or larger. I use it a lot.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

ykerzner -
1) Yes. I sure will. I haven't gotten around to any more likely (or unlikely) granite/grit sources.
2) No, or "sorta" - expanded shale falls in between Granite and Turface on both density and absorbency. It is larger than the recommended size for either of them in Al's mixes. It is also known as Haydite and Tru-Gro - if you search this forum for "haydite" you'll find more commentary.
It's a Texas product and reducing shipping distance is a plus for me.
If I were building a green roof, I would be starting with mostly exp. shale on an impermeable liner material...
I will post a link that might be useful. 8-)
Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: Tru-Gro expanded shale


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Where to buy Grower Grit

Grower Grit is $7.99 for a 50-pound bag
Found at Fort Bend Feed (281) 232-4208
4323 Avenue H, Rosenberg, TX 77471
They have Starter and Grower, same price.

I think Alief Feed Store is no more. Would have been a little closer in for you and me.

I'm still calling around, Ray's Feed Store has 50# for $12.95 but they are on Cullen Blvd, no not near the University but way down south almost to the Tollway.

Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: Map & Directions - Fort Bend Feed


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

We had a bit of a thaw, so I went back to Lowes to check out their mulch better. The product labeled 'Pine Bark Mini Nuggets' was too large and contained a lot of sap wood. Another product labeled 'Pine Bark Mulch' looks pretty promising for 5-1-1 mix. Since it's been sitting out for a while, it could be more composted than usual. Both products were 'Garden Scape' brand. I bought a bag to check it out further.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

I just picked up a few 50 lb bags of Gran-I-Grit at Steinhauser's feed store in Alvin. $8.15 and not taxed.
This store has locations in Richmond (TX) and Sealy...
YK I can bring you some at the school... I will be crunching up some pine bark, the Repti-Bark is just too pricey. Though I found out PetCo charges less for it than PetSMart!


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Bayoufilter: I will pay you more than their list price if you could buy some for me. Here's my email: ykerzner@gmail.com. I wound up mowing pine bark and sifting it through 1/4" hardware screen to get the fines.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Ok Im seeing three different products at lowes that could possibly be pine bark "fines" Landscapers mix, pine bark mulch and soil conditioner


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

How critical are the bark fines to the gritty mix? I got some reptibark, but the bag I got seems to have mostly larger chunks, and I just can't get them to stay mixed w/ the granite and floor-dry--the mix gets striated very easily, which I'm thinking might lead to a perched water table (?). I'm wondering if I could just mix granite and floordry and leave it at that. Maybe increasing the floordry slightly to allow for the lost porosity of the bark? Or am I missing something crucial?

Anne


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

OMG...my WM is now carrying Pine bark fines for the very first time ever!! I'm so excited!! The big bag was only $2.68. This is the very first I've seen it there, (I've even asked them to special order it(but they wouldn't). mix. HD or Lowe's never had it either. So don't give up hope...keep checking your local big box stores. It only took over three years to find it at WMart,lol...

Hi Ann, if you don't need to mix a whole lot...you can try
breaking the larger pieces or cutting them up with some pruners...but again this would only work if you don't need much since it will be a pain to chop them up.


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RE: Where [not] to buy [granite to mix with] pine bark fines

ykerzner!
I have not forgotten you. I have had difficulty in getting back to the Alvin Tx Steinhauser's store where I first got the Gran-I-Grit. They close too early.
I went to Ray's a week later, despite what they said on the phone they did not have 50# bags.
Yesterday I went to the Richmond Steinhauser's location. No big bags, just the 5 pound boutique sized bags at $6 each. I asked them if the Brookshire store would have it. Dunno, maybe... I suggested they call their sister store for me. LOL. No, it turned out that location doesn't carry the affordable size either.
On the way back I stopped at Brehm's Feed Co. Yay, a real feed store! (Steinhauser's is more geared to horse fancy and pets it seems) No, Don Brehm didn't have the 50# bags but he can probably order it in. I didn't order it from the very knowledgable and helpful Don. I will give Fort Bend Feed in Rosenberg a try. I will keep in touch with Don though, he used to be a sales rep for Diamond Pro (aka Texas Turface).

Last week I finally made my first batch of Gritty. I need a smaller screen than I used, as I was losing half the Turface. But no worries. The mix is a world away from what everyone around here uses. It's fast and furious!
I will take a quart or so of the mix to SW Fert so they can see and feel it. Our best outcome is if they can stock all the ingredients there, right?
I'm very sorry I haven't reposted in a long time. I so want to get the right ingredients into the school greenhouse! Let me know, too, if you have obtained some granite and I will reduce the urgency.
8-)

Rick


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Thanks so much for your time and effort. I still have no granite, but because school takes up a lot of my time there's no urgency, since I probably won't get to use the granite for another month and a half. I still haven't obtained any granite, in response to your question.
You screen your Turface?


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

It is advisable to screen out the smallest particles from the Turface MVP. Using all of it will retain more water.

In Mike's thread linked below, it is said that insect screen, or window screen, which is all about 1/16 inch, will let the sand-like silt fall out and let you keep the 75% that matches the size of the Gran-I-Grit particles.

You don't need to screen the Gran-I-Grit.

I used a bigger screen and I could tell I was leaving out some usable-size Turface grits. I saved this for re-screening later. I am starting some cuttings in it too (or trying to).
The only other problem I had was the reptile bark tending to float up out of the mix - don't know whether this is due to the size or if it should be wetter to make it heavier. I used a tarp to mix it...

Here is a link that might be useful: Sifting Your Turface


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Just wanted to add what I found. It's called "Fine Pine" decorative ground cover. The bag is solid white and it doesn't say ANYWHERE on the container whether or not it's bark. But the nursery owner seemed to know exactly what I meant when I said I needed "pine bark fines," and he said that was what it was. I even asked him if it was just the bark and he said "yes." So I bought 3 bags (they were $4 a piece). When I started mixing the 5:1:1 I did notice some sapwood, but really, it was VERY little, and never having done this before I was concerned about the size... but my mix looks PERFECT!!! So if you see "Fine Pine" I think that's a good one (or good enough at least!).


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Would sending pine cones thru the chipper work just as well?


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

I have used a chipper to chop up larger pieces of bark and that works well but never pine cones.


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RAYBO, what about Sweet Peet?

Raybo or anyone else...

I have not had any luck finding groundcover pine bark fines in my area (northeastern Ohio).

Would using Sweet Peet suffice? It's a mulchy soil amendment that is supposed to be very good, but I don't know if it's the right substitute for the pine bark fines?

Here's the description:
http://www.daytonnursery.com/tips/Sweet_Peet.htm

Thanks!!


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

No, Sweet Peet will not work.

It is for outdoor gardening, not for containers (Did you examine their page?).

It has high nitrogen, which it advertises as causing a heat-spike as it composts
that will kill weeds. That will also elevate container temperatures around roots....

In addition, Bark doesn't rob soil of nitrogen...that's primarily a sap-wood concern.
Moreover, the gardener is responsible for nutrients supplied in his or her containers.

I firmly do not recommend this product.


Josh


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Snoop92 -- I'm in your region and I found Lowe's got pine fines mid-April.

It's not well marked, and you have to be careful not to get the nuggets, but it looks to be correct. There's 3 cubic feet in a bag and it's less than $4.

The bag is opaque white with bright pink (I think) writing.

Lowe's has a wood box with clear plastic front in their garden area that shows samples of all their bagged products so you can see what it looks like and where they keep it.


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Josh- Thanks for telling me not to use Sweet Peet!

Tropic Dreams- Thanks for the tip! I called Lowe's and they said it's called "Rustic Mulch," and it is made of Forest Pine. Have you tried using this for the earthtainers at all? Does it work well?

Thanks!!


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RE: Where to buy pine bark fines

Snoop92 -- this is my first year with 5-1-1 and I have only had plants in it for maybe a week or two and only in regular pots. So far, so good. As you know the cold has really stunted things, but anything that was healthy to start with is still hanging in there.


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