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1/8 inch screened pine fines

Posted by joeworm nfl (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 5, 12 at 16:53

do the pine fines have to be aged or composted or will fresh ground pine fines be okay?

I screened pine fines with an 1/8" hardware cloth. half of what I screened ended up being less than 1/8". the remaining pine fines are an 1/8" to 5/16". Are the resulting pines fines, those less than 1/8" to dust, too small for the 5-1-1 mix? If so, 50% is a lot of waste!!

Can that less than 1/8" to dust be a substitute for the peat in the 5-1-1 mix?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 1/8 inch screened pine fines

Hey Joeworm,
If fresh is what you can find, that will work just fine.

You can go down to 1/16" without too many problems. Just be aware that the higher the percentage of small particles you have, the higher your water retention will be, and the higher the chances that your mix may perch some water. I personally use:

4-1/2 part pine > 1/8"
1/2 part pine between 1/16" - 1/8"
1/2 part turface > 1/8"
1/2 part turface between 1/16" - 1/8"
1/2 part perlite > 1/8"
1/2 part perlite between 1/16" - 1/8"

You certainly don't have to go about it this way, many people will just use everything > 1/16", however, with this "formula" I ensure that only ~20 percent of the mix is < 1/8" and will perch no water, plus it makes me happy, so, LOL! This is important to me because of my daily fertigation routine, however, depending on how often you want to water, and what the water needs of the plants you grow are, you could very will increase the percentage of particle < 1/8". I would recommend staying shy of the 1/3 mark, to ensure that your mix retains the drainage properties of the larger particles. So to use as much pine as possible, maybe try:

4 part pine > 1/8"
1 part pine between 1/16" - 1/8"
1/2 part turface > 1/8"
1/2 part turface between 1/16" - 1/8"
1/2 part perlite > 1/8"
1/2 part perlite between 1/16" - 1/8"

If you don't use turface in your 5-1-1, no worries. You can you peat of course, or if your looking to minimize your pine losses even more, just use what DOES pass through the 1/16" screen as a replacement for that fraction of the mix.

Have fun with it!


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