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Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Posted by thebutcher 6b (Philadelphia are (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 21:49

Here is the Pine Bark that I purchased to go with Al's 5-1-1 mix that I have been reading a lot about here.

I must of called over 10 nurseries in my area and only one person had Mini Pine Bark Nuggets and Pine Mulch together (Pine Bark Fines was a strange term to the rest). Also, 1 Major store had hardwood mulch in my area and the other tried to sell me name brand potting soil.

I told the nursery lady that I bought this from, what I was trying to accomplish and she had two farmers helped me out with picking the Pine bark from the samples and knew a lot. The other nurseries in the area are pretty reputable in (Bucks County, PA which is notorious for vegetable farms and borders NJ).

The photo below is just a sample when I cut the bag open, it seems mostly shredded but has some larger pieces in it. Now, Would this work for Al's 5 -1-1 MIx? If it does not I am kind of at the point of no return because I dropped off about 10 bags of it for a friend and I have 5 of my own.

Even though the package does not say Pine bark, it was labeled it on the receipt and the nice elderly farmers that helped me showed me the samples.

I am growing these in 20 Gallon Hydrofarm 'Dirt Bags' (which I am waiting for UPS to deliever this week) and the majority will be tomatoes at first, then hot peppers (in smaller 5-7 gallon bags) about a month from now.

I will double post a photo of the label (sorry) I still can't figure out how to post 2 separate photos.

Any advice would be great, even if it means that the pine bark is not right. The 2 CuFt bags were about $5.50 each. And returning is not really an option, I would rather work with it/screen it ect...

- Mr Beno


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Sorry for double post, this is the photo of the Bag Lable.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Sorry, but that probably won't work for the 511. The pieces need to be much smaller and you have to be sure it's pine bark. Did you try Lowes and Home Depot. A local mulch/topsoil supplier near here sells double ground pine bark. Maybe try calling a few mulch suppliers. Here's a good example of pine bark.

Here is a link that might be useful: pine bark mulch


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

That looks like its all sapwood, and not bark.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Yeah, that's Black *dyed* sapwood...not useable at all...other than as mulch.

Josh


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

If you are looking for a pine bark fines, I have had luck getting fine pine bark mulch from Home Depot. It's called Golden Trophy Pine Bark Mulch and has 302 on the bag. However, this is from last year's batch of bags I purchased. Always look at the mulch in the bags though. The pieces should be about the size of a dime. A few larger pieces is OK. Since they usually run out of this stuff really fast in my neck of the woods, I've been trying to find a similar product elsewhere. Believe it or not I think I've found something at Wal-Mart. Need to do a bit of research on it though.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

crap lol I thought that lady knew what she was doing and I specificly ordered the Pine Bark mulch (unless the workers in the back put the wrong stuff in). Oh well I only spent $60. (I even borrowed a car to get it while mine is in the shop), I will probably spend $20 in gas money to return it because I got to drive an hour in the other direction to pick up the other 6 bags, so might as well keep it.

I called Lowes and Home Depot and they gave me the runaround trying to sell me potting soil and said they didn't have Pine fines or even Pine Bark Mulch, but HD said they had hardwood much but was out of stock. I think I may hit up an Agway or another nursery. I think there an Agway in the next town over or I could go to a wal mart. It just sucks now because I don't get my car back till next week. But above all I think I still got some time left to plant them until I get the right stuff.

On the bright side of things, Can I use this to put on top of my in-ground tomato and pepper plants? I am planting about 15 directly in ground.

Also, will this work well as mulch in a regular flower garden as well? My mother usually buys 2 bags of mulch this time of year.

On the other hand I have a friend who's brother owns a landscaping business so maybe I can give it to him in return for some of the right stuff.

Thanks everyone for the help and sorry to dump. Now I just hope I get some nice winnings on Saturday's derby to get the right stuff. :)

- Mr Beno


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Ok Here we go again.

I called a number of shops again and this one seemed to be the best when I mentioned pine bark fines. In the photos below is the label of the Pine Bark, the left is a 44 pound bag of dolmite lime (that's all they had at the garden center and only $7) and below to the left is 3.8 Cu Ft of Peat Moss.

I understand the pine bark may not be small enough and mini nugets may not work, but at this point I think I will have the patience of jumping up and down it with football cleats or break it down with a sledge hammer or any other household tool :)

AnNyway I am ready for the bad news if it is not right and if that, can I alter it with chopping it down? I did not put the perlite photo in but will do afte.

The 5-1-1 mix I am making is going into 20 gallon Hydrofarm Dirt Bags. (I got 10 but only doing about 5 or 6 now).

Thanks again,

- Mr Beno


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Sorry For Double post, but here is a closer shot of the Pine Bark, the larger pieces feel thin and I don't know if that is good or bad.

Thanks Again


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thin bark is ok, but the pieces as shown are too big. Everything else looks good. They need to be in the size range of 1/2" down to dust. If you can find a way to smash the bark to smitherines you'll be in business. Do you have a solid surface where you can drive back and forth over a bag of it?


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thanks Ed for the reply,

I got a few flat areas I could drive over it with out people thinking I am nuts :) , and also just thinking, I have an Ice chipper, it is kind of like a garden hoe, but not curved and a bit sharper. I will do both and I will send photos (as I always do).

Thanks again,

- Mr Beno


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

I didn't drive over it with a car yet, but I did the Ice Chipper, and chipped away with a shovel as well. It took me about 3-4 hours to break down (2) 3 Cubic Foot of those mini nuggets. What a workout wooh.

But I think it is coming along? There is still larger pieces in it, but I will break it down a little more and probably use a 1/2 screen to get the bigger ones out. I still got 2 more (3 cuFt. bags to go tomorrow) then 4 more next week.

The photo is the pine bark in my 20 gallon bags, I am just using it to hold the pine bark as I break it down until I get it where I want it to or how it should be.

Thanks again for the help.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

thebutcher, That bark looks really good. And there was no charge for the workout!


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

I have a question how much does the big bag of spag peat cost over there ?

have a guess how much it is here 10 $ for 150 grams and that's it there is NO bulk stuff here anywhere lucky to find the 150 gram bags,
sorry for the high jack but this may help others ?

what are people using instead of spag peat if anything ?

cheers for the help

BZ


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Sorry for the sideways movement, but you could use any peat based potting mix instead. Or is any peat product hard to find there? $10 for 150 grams is a crime!! Peat is relatively inexpensive here in the US. Hope that helps.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thanks Ed, we don't have any peat fields here only stuff I can find comes from New Zealand and yes I would be better off buying gold :)

I can get this stuff its not stringy has a peat type consistency its cheap enough.

Here is a link that might be useful: here is a link to fine coconut coir


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

this is the only Sphagnum peat I have found :( and its not for the lack of looking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sphagnum Moss Block


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thanks Ed, my arms and most my body hurt this morning but feels great knowing I am doing excercise I never would of done before. And come to think of it I am looking forward to chipping the rest of the 2 bags + another 4 in a week or so. I think I will set my GoPro Camera out for the next 2 bags on a high framerate HD setting so I can show in slow motion of the chipping. I am addicted to making videos and takign photos.

@BZ no worries, I hope this thread becomes very informative on everything about the 5-1-1 mix like others. I learned the hard way buying the wrong stuff and could not really return it because the gas money would pay for half of it. Instead I am going to use it for mulching since half the bags my family buys every year.

Now I am going to do some stretches and get back to the chipping away. I will; post more photos as I get closer to adding the peat and the rest. The other error I made is that my 1st round of tomato plants are a bit over do even though it is in the 7th week from germination, they seem like trees. But I have a 2nd round back up I may plant instead that are abot 8-10 inches. And if all else fails, I prepared a 3rd round back up in their 5th week and just started to harden them off. Luckily my hot peppers were germinated late and won't be ready for another 2-3 weeks in Zone 6b.

@ Ed... As far as the Lime goes, I bought a PH tester kit and was wondering if I should test a sample of the Pine Bark? A lot of it is dust so I think it would be good or should I wait until I have the total mix done?

Thanks agian all,

- Mr Beno


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

bitzppa, I checked out those links. I also noticed that they sell Peat Moss, but it also seems really expensive at $6 for 5L of loose material. The peat part of the 511 is for water retention only. So anything that would achieve that could be usable. The Coir looks to be the best bang for the buck, but I don't know much about it. I know I've seen threads on it.

Mr Beno, I wouldn't worry about testing the pH of the bark, unless you want to just for the grins. Make the mix with the suggested amount of lime and you'll be fine.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thanks Ed, I probably will do it just because I have 9 capsules left and probably won't use too many more.

And below is my link to the video I did as I was chipping away. 8 Hours to do (12 Cu.Ft). What a work out let me tell ya but I feel great knowing that I did that. The next work out this weekend is gona be digging for my in-ground Veggies.

Tomorrow I will complete the 5-1-1 with the Pines.

Enjoy the video, it was just a few clips from it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mr Beno Chipping away at Pine Bark


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

That video was awesome!!!

You made my night.. Only people like us can appreciate the hard work and the effort that you put into making this mix and letting us peek while you chop!!

I'm still smiling.. Thank you!!

Laura


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Mr Beno, You must be in shape! Not sure if I could have done it. 12 cu ft....not bad. That's almost half a yard. You are determined. Hope things go well in making the mix. Who say's gardening's not physical ;-)


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

its good stuff Mr Beno I recon we need to be determined to do this not really a weekend garden style is it :) I will check out your video asap when I get time to relax, been out working hard getting everything safe we get big winter westerly winds that blow right through my yard like a train coming so all looks well for now :)

Ed its crazy prices hey and that's one of the cheap places the coir holds water pretty good and is similar texture to peat and from what I am seeing I need that in the mix other wise I will have to be walking around watering 24/7 :(

so yes not paying those crazy prices so coir it is will keep an update as I go but heading for winter now so wont have to much growing , more getting ready for spring :) don't like winter much.

oh well thanks heaps guys for the help and feedback :) and the motivation to keep going :)

BZ


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

just watched the vid Mr Beno thought I was buggered before I watched it now I am totally buggered, and no buggered is not a swear word here it means exhausted etc..

you deserve very big and healthy plants and I am sure with that dedication you are sure to have both :)

well done !!

BZ


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

half the fun seems to be finding the right materials for this bark mix ? at the right price !!

this stuff is 50 miles each way to check out guess I will take the trailer if it turns out to be ok as per photo.

what do you guys recon ?

Here is a link that might be useful: bulk pine bark


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

bitzppa,

The bark shown in the link looks really good. Looks useable as is, but will have to see what it actually looks like. I'm assuming it's pine bark? A bit on the expensive side, but what heck, hobbies cost money. I drove 30 miles each way for bulk pine bark mulch, so 50 isn't that bad. They probably use a 1 cu m bucket on the loader to load the stuff. Maybe you can get the guy to fill the bucket really full :-)


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

yes looks Good in the photo Ed but I have learnt that dosnt mean much :( so will have to go check it out and yes if its good ask for a big scoop !!

better not come live in Australia that's cheap :) that stuff I used the blower vac on was $230 for 500 L and well I don't like going out the door !! it cost to much :(

as always thanks for the feedback and support :)

BZ


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thanks for the comments and everything. Sorry to keep it short but I'm exhusted and just finished another short vid I uploaded.

I planted 2 of the tomato plants in (2) of the 20 G container bags. I am delivering 4 of the rest up to my brothers as well tomorrow. I didn't plant his families yet but will tomorrow and shoot some more vids and give updates when I get back on Sat or Sunday.

In the meantime here is my video of this evening, the music will change just nor sure when (I messed up) but oh well. These plants that you will see are my first Ramapo and the first 4th July plant that I thought could not wait. ( I guess it is a good test).

So see you all Sat or sunday and I will update my progress and plant the rest of the 20 Gal Containers when I get back home and show some vid of my brother's containers. I will probably even bring my camera to the big box shop or another garden center for the fun of it :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Mr Beno's First Container Planting with 5-1-1


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Very impressive video. If you keep those babies fed and watered they should grow really big. If you have any left over mix you can top off the containers some. There will be quite a bit of settling over time. Your mix looks really good. Congrats.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

thanks for the vid Mr Beno looks good to me :)

do you guys have fruit fly over there ?

BZ


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thanks guys, I am off for a couple of days. One question I have Ed is about watering now, last evening I soaked the mixture but not overly soaked. What should the proper amount be when planting them in and after. For the intial fertilizer I used Espoma Biotone Starter Plus.

Also I did not cage or stake them yet, I think they are strong enough for a day or two until I buy them this weekend. I hope that won't be a big deal. I mean I do have a few stakes and 4 cages from last year but they are only 42" and last years tomatoes outgrew them in a month.

see ya on Sat or Sun and i hope to return with good photos of videos of my other planting.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Watering won't be too much of a concern early. The plants are small and don't drink alot. I'm sure you will notice that the mix drains really well. As the plants get bigger they drink more. Tomatoes drink ALOT. It's nice that you have large containers, that should help. For example, I use smaller containers, and my plants get full sun. In the height of the season they need soaking once per day. One method I use to determine container moisture is to stick a dowel or one of those cheapo bamboo kabob skewers down into the mix. Leave it there for a minute or so and remove it. If it's damp, your good to go. If it's dry, time to water. When I make my mix, I include a "little" controlled release fertilizer. More for back-up than anything. I use MG liquid fertilizer, in the yellow bottle, at 1/4 strength at basically every watering. Container gardening using a fast draining mix is akin to hydroponics and nutrients need to be supplied often or they will wash out the bottom. Another good liquid fertilizer is Foliage Pro, a bit expensive, but is about the best you can buy, and is available online.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Finaly back, planted the other 3 containers but no video. But On the way back I went to lowes bought the tomato stakes and other stuff plus more perlite and Pine Bark Mulch. It was only $3 a bag so I gured what the heck.

Below is photos, I had to get more plants in the containers as they were starting to start the buds and over due to be planted. So now I will compare the mini nuggets that I chopped up to the timberline Pine Bark Mulch (It took me an hour to get a decent Percentage of the sap wood out. Anyway time will tell with the same identicle plant in it.

I will ttry to take more vids tomorrow.

- Mr Beno


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

I can get similar bags with about the same amount of wood, sat there for over an hr picking it out I called it meditation, but I don't feel like meditating again :)

I did see a post somewhere in my travels on here where Al told someone 10 to 15 % sap wood is ok but might need to up the N a bit, so I am trialing something like you got there Mr Beno , we will see how it goes :)

BZ


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

I'm not 100% in love with the Timberline Pine Bark Mulch. Some have had good results with it, but IMO the quality control is poor. Would probably use it as a last resort.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thanks Bitz and Ed, yeah as far as the pine bark mulch, I had a gift card for lowes and just got it because I had no time to chip away again, but so far the plant seems ok. I just got back and noticed something today with one of my container tomatoes. They all have the buds starting on topo and one in particular flowered. It made my day. Now I was told a Blue jay has been eyeing and eating my newley planted peppers.

Thanks again

-Mr Beno


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

kool Mr Beno spring and summer great times :) cant beat growing tomatoes !!

bad blue jays :( is there any other things that eat tomatoes there ?

BZ


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

@ Biutz

Besides neighbors that want to steal them then no (my neighbor made a joke last night). But I am a new to this and my second year growing and I can't answer that accurately but last year I had a few few tomatoes that had holes in them out of around 35 total (early goliath) tomatoes and had 4 plants. Something went wrong and hoping to do better this year.

But tonight I took a photo of the containers after 3 days of rain and this is what my 20 gallon'ers look like, I can see the moisture going right to the bottom. I hope this is good, it stoped raining a fewt hours prior to the photos. Now tonight saying prayers that 45-48F temps won't harm them and for 3 straight nights. I could of covered them or bring them in, but leaving for vacation tomorrow with a family member watching house. I think more harm could be done lugging them around and not properly covering them ect I have plenty of back up plants just incase.

Photo is below


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

if their not there when you get home you will know where to find them :)

be interesting to see the water line drop on those pots, sure it will.

unless you get frost they will be fine!!

yes tomatoes have a learning curve for sure and every session is different weather wise but the plants stay pretty much the same.

so I do try and come up with ways of getting nice clean fruit to the table and it does take some work here but it can be done :)

so that would be my only suggestion if you see any problems fix now if possible and learn for the next season, well that's what I do :)

have a good trip and sure they will be fine.

BZ


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Photo Update on May 30th after 3 days of 42-48ish night temps with Al's 5-1-1 mix that I followed from here along with 3-4 nights of the winds of 20 mph+..Now the temps are going to be in the high 80's and low 90's for the next few days and I will do my first fertilization with them

Thanks again GW and Al, Ed and all.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Update photo for the 4th of July Hybrid with first tomato.

At least I think it is the 4th of July plant among the 3 other Ramapo F-1 hybrids in the 5-1-1 mix in 20 gallon fabric containers. I am excited now. The other plants are have many blooms and if looks like they will drop soon as well.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Nice going. That plant looks really healthy.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thanks Ed an all and here is Another photo update and I have some concerns.

Now I think they appear well and starting to become monsters and all, but only 1 tomato started to produce (on the 1 4th of july plant as shown in the photo above). That tomato is larger now and becoming the shape of a "old fasion top, you know the ones you used to wind up and they spin"

But the main concern is with all of the other blossoms (each one has almost 20+) on each of the plants, they are just sitting there doing nothing for a couple of weeks not popping out those little green marbles yet.

As for the weather they went through: They survied around 42-45F nights, then a 5 days increase 90F and 2 major rainstorms with yesterdays being Tropical storm Andrea with 4"'s of rain.

I have used Mircle Grow liquid soluble tomato food (2x's since planted) at about 1/4 doseage. They are due for more feeding on Monday (as I try to do it once a week). I also used "Espoma Bio Tone Plus" with Micro stuff when Planted. I think it is slow release but aids initial stuff to help transfers and to help roots and blooms out.

Do you think I need more calcium or anything else or just wait it out? I think these were planted a little less then a month ago.

Thanks again

- Mr Beno


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

IMO they look good, and very healthy seeing as you haven't fertilized all that much. Just stay patient. I know it seems like forever waiting for tomatoes. The shape of the 4th of July tomato sounds a little strange. Are there more fruits on that plant that are round? Nice having containers that drain well isn't it? We had 3" of rain here and my containers are the least of my worries.


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

Thanks Ed,

I love how they drain and I check them with my finger, gona stick a chopstick or something. The plants are double the size of my inground ones of the same variety. I attached a photo of that weird tomato, it showed up about 10 days after planting.There are no other green little things yet, but I know it does take time. I was just conerned reading stories on here how people have bloom but no young tomatoes.

THe varity is 4th of july, it is defintly growing though just odly shaped?

Thanks again for the help.
-Mr Beno


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

New Update, they seem to be doing great, I think I counted about 50+ green marbles/golf balls with both the "4th of July & Ramapos combined'" 7 Plants total.

In this photo, it is the "4th of July" hybrid that I thought was bad (Look Above...it was the same mater) but it came around and has many new friends around his cluster of new babies.

He has till next Thursday :D

But I will give him some slack since I planted him May 16th.

- Mr Beno


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

mrbutcher... Your tomato plants look great! I am in shock over that video and must show it to my husband!!! I found the products, including Pine Bark Fines. However, the bark inside the bags was wet so we had to spread a tarp and let it dry. Then sift it once to get the small pieces, then again to eliminate the dust and tiny particles. Then sift the grit and turface. Turface and grit are heavy, so he has to help me. It takes a lot to fill 5-7 gallon pots.

If I even mention gritty mix he glares at me since he's the one that has to load and unload 50# bags of grit and Turface and move the pots.

I love the mix but in pots over 5 gallons it's just too heavy to be practical unless you are very young and/or a body builder and he is neither. Maybe if I show him what you did to get the mulch, he won't gripe so much. lol! I have potted over 100, most in 3-7 gallon pots and I'm out of the mix and some need re-potted.

When I mentioned that 4-5 needed to go into 10-15 gallon pots he said don't even think about using that mix for those.
The next day he came home with a yard of potting soil and put it in a big pile in a corner of the yard..... sigh.

He said you want those in 10-15 gallon pots, there is your soil. :(


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

I myself am much to lazy to make my own mix. So I sought out commercial potting mixes that include the basic ingredients. I try to use rainwater but at times need to use city water and here it is super basic so I certainly do not want to add lime. I have an old bag of gypsum, and I do want to use it up, but usually forget to put it in. I do add trace minerals with azomite and powdered kelp during watering. Anyway I found fafard potting mix, and may not have the right ratio, but has all the ingredients I need.

Here is a link that might be useful: fafard potting mix

This post was edited by Drew51 on Tue, Jul 23, 13 at 7:57


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RE: Al's 5-1-1 Mix - Is this Pine Bark ok?

I would have to say that it took time but well worth the effort. Chopping that up took a lot out of me but it was a work out. I am kind of in shape but have ankle, knee and hip problems from an old highschool injury many years ago so I have to sit down to do a lot of the work. I am approaching 40 now and trying to get back in shape and by doing that and how good my body felt after the sorness went away I would do it again next year.

However there may not be a need to because I bought the Agway Pine Bark which is near perfect. The price is also excellent I think they have a deal where you can buy 3 to for 4 (3 cubic ft bags) for around $20. The price keeps lowering the more bags you buy. Also I love the cheap cost of Peatmoss. $10 for 3-4 Cubic ft. The perlite is the problem with expense though.

Now I would use a commercial mix but the cost would be far too high. I had to fill 9 (20) gallon containers and 15 (5-7) Gallon containers. So as a safe estimate I filled about 250+ gallons which would work out to about 16 (2 Cubic ft ) bags of a commercial mix. If I did my math right I estimate that 15 gallons is about equal to 2 cubic Ft.

I estimate that I have spent $20 for about 6-7 Cubic Ft of Peat moss, $50-$60 for Perlite, $10 for 40lbs of Garden Lime, and about $50 in Pine bark. So Let's say I spent around $140 for 16 bags (2 cubic Ft) of mix then the total price per 2 cubic Ft would be about $8-9. This is also not to mention that I have plenty of Peat moss (about 2 cu ft) and a bunch of lime along with more perlite left over.

So technically I saved over $100 if I were to buy a commercial 2 CU Ft. Mix bag at about $15. Now if only had to make a small amount I would totally buy commercial and I almost did but the cost was way to high. I also forgot to mention that I did not use control release Ferts, instead I used MG liquid soluable tomato food. This was because it was cheap at the time and I was on a limited budget, but next year I will do it after this crazy weather. Here in Philly area we just got about 7+ inches of rain in one day a few days back and another inch yesterday. It has been very tricky to plan the fertilization days.

Edit: I forgot that I had 4 (5) gallon Bell peppers in the front growing and my Yellow Kellogs in 2 (16 Gal) containers so that would make it 300 Gallons of Mix I made which would bring the price down to about $7 per (2 Cu Ft). Also the production is doing great.

This post was edited by thebutcher on Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 14:19


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