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pine bark fines for 511 mix and seedlings?

Posted by candogal 5b (My Page) on
Sat, May 14, 11 at 12:09

I'm determined to get the right mix this year. I've read threads about pine fines for hours in the past week and it's not quite clicking, so I need some help. Last year, I read Al's original article and made a "sort-of" attempt, which I wasn't satisfied with. Reading the article again made me really motivated, because the concept makes so much sense.

I live in New Hampshire. I read an old thread about pine bark fines, and there used to be a perfect product at Agway. (I know Agway - the manager knows my name I'm there so much.) I was there this morning hoping to find it, and now they have huge pine bark "mini" nuggets as well as pine bark mulch. The pine bark mulch looked like the Timberline stuff from Lowe's I spread on my garden (and tried in my 511 mix) last year. A lot of it was pretty big. It's somewhat composted.

Is the pine bark mulch what I want - only screened? I'm dreading figuring that out. I don't mind doing it (easier than turning compost), but getting the screen is another issue. I've got one around, but I've got to go measure it to find out how big it is. I'm OK with building stuff, but I take forever...I dread having to build another screen.

I think what's confusing me is that while something like the "mini" nuggets seems like it would help with drainage and aeration, I have trouble visualizing how something partially composted and that small (1/4") would help. It doesn't help that I'm not great with visualizing measurements. I think I should bring a measuring tape with me to the store next time. Or measure some change or something.

Lastly, I've been wondering about what devotees of this concept use for potting up veggie seedlings. Seems like the 511 mix would be good for them, too. After all, you really want baby annuals to grow good root structure.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: pine bark fines for 511 mix and seedlings?

The Agway Pine Bark Mulch is the best stuff I've come across. I wouldn't screen it at all. Just add the 1 part peat and 1 part perlite, and you are good to go.

If it looks anything like this, you're in 511 heaven. If you feel you must screen it, anything that passes through a 1/2" screen is usable.

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