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Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Posted by TheMasterGardener1 none (My Page) on
Wed, May 4, 11 at 23:32

Hi. Will Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch work for Al's 5-1-1 I have checked around at HD and my local garden store could not find anything. I just looked online and found Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch at Lowes. Will this work? Do I have to sift if it?
Please any info would be good.

I am also going to try a coarse perlit/peat mix.
75% extra-coarse perlite
25% peat

But I know the 5-1-1 is more economical and drains the same.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

The range of particle size for the bark in the 5-1-1 is between dust and 1/2 inch,
with the average particle being 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

If the bark has a lot of particles over 1/2 inch, yes you'll want to remove those.


Josh


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Probably not, unless you want to chop it up into pieces smaller than 3/8". Usually anything that says 'nugget' is too big. I had a hard time finding the correct size pine bark at first, but I kept looking and eventually found several sources.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Thanks alot for the info. I will go check it out. The only thing I can find is Orchid Bark and it is very expensive. I live in the north east could this be a problem? Otherwise I will go check it out and see if it is 3/8" which I dont think it is.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Master:

I don't understand what you are saying, sorry.

I live in the northeast myself and very HD, Lowes's and or Walmart and that I have been to has tons of pine bark, called mulch in my area.

I would take another ride back since I am not sure if you really know what you are looking for. I think Al has posted countless of pictures of the mulch you need at several threads.

In fact I see these piles of pine bark all over parking lots ready to decorate businesses garden beds and on peoples driveways.

They and the common people get piles by the yard full at every garden center I can think of.

Mike


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

The issue I have with Lowes or HD is the lack of consistency between products even though they are in the same bag from the same company. I live in the Houston area and my brother in the Dallas area. We both bought the same soil conditioner product yet ended up with different stuff.

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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

I notice a lot of inconsistencies where bagged soil products are concerned, fir/pine bark mulches included.

Some industries to consider when looking for fir bark in the sizes we need are orchid growers, bonsai growers, reptile bedding, soil conditioners, certain mulches, and possibly even in the semi-hydroponic area of growing. You never know where the various ingredients will be found.

Locating the proper sized ingredients for the 511 and Gritty Mix can be quite the treasure hunt, and it can take a while to find the best sources. It took me a long time to come up with the ingredients I currently use, which are the small bags of ZooMed ReptiBark, Manna Pro granite chips, a coarse perlite, and turface.

A lot of commercial orchid growers offer bark in different grades. If you can get it in bulk quantities, the fine grade is usually nice, once screened.

Mike has some good suggestions for your area... and yes, it will probably be necessary to screen your ingredients to remove the too tiny, and/or the too large pieces.

The most important part of using a more durable, open medium is being familiar with the concept of each mix, and knowing what qualities each ingredient brings to the mix. This makes it easier to know when you're looking at a product that you can use, and it makes it easier to know what ratios to use if you need to tweak a mix for a certain plant type. Knowing the "how" and "why" of these mediums will get you pretty far!

There's a thread on the first page of the forum that deals with locating the various items we use... you may find store names and locations in your area by perusing the thread.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

I have to agree with ltruett. I think pine bark availability and quality can vary greatly from area to area. Around here HD doesn't even carry pine bark mulch, just nuggets. Lowes carries Timberline mulch which was decent one year, but has been terrible in subsequent years. A couple nurseries carry pine bark mulch, but it looks like a combination of the two pictures above plus more sapwood. After drying, sifting, and picking through it by hand, I end up with around 50-70% usable product. My other option is orchid bark at $28/bag. I'm still looking for a good, cheap product, but am not holding my breath.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

penfold2. sounds like you are in the same posistion as I am. I can only find "orchid bard" for too much $$$.

meyermike_1micha I think I may have found some at lowes so I will go check. maybe i just thought it could not work I would like to fine a bag that said "pine bark fines".

Thanks everyone.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

In my area "Mini Nugget Mulch" are huge wood chips that I wouldn't be able to use. "Soil Conditioner" which some here use is one stage about completely composted material, again unusable. The only think I've been able to find is Repti-Bark from pet supply stores.

Strange that products are so different in different areas.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

":Master:
I don't understand what you are saying, sorry.

I live in the northeast myself and very HD, Lowes's and or Walmart and that I have been to has tons of pine bark, called mulch in my area.

I would take another ride back since I am not sure if you really know what you are looking for. I think Al has posted countless of pictures of the mulch you need at several threads.

In fact I see these piles of pine bark all over parking lots ready to decorate businesses garden beds and on peoples driveways.

They and the common people get piles by the yard full at every garden center I can think of.

Mike"

I just looked every place....nothing unless I want to buy .25 cu ft of "orchid bark" for $7. I cant find mulch with out dye. Everything I se is MULTCH GRADE im not using that as a medium lol.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?2

Now I have A new question. For now I am trying to find a economical source of pine bark. I usally have grown in peat/perlite mix. I picked up some long fibered peat today.

Anyone have a good mix for it?
Use it alone? Soak in fertilizer water then drain then plant? Or should I mix some perlite. Also I am used to reg peat should I add lime to this to get a 6.0 ph?

Anything would help.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Here's a soil products outfit near Los Angeles, Foothill Soils in Newhall. They sell by the cubic yard, and I've bought their organic commercial compost (2/3rds horse manure, 1/3rd chopped up wood pallets ...composted at 150F for 3-4 months). If you follow this link and scroll down the page you can see a photo of what they can small bark ('fine pine bark'). I'm wondering if this might be suitable...I see some 1' pieces, but also smaller sizes. I paid $28 for a cubic yard of the compost, the bark is probably between $20-30 a yard. To give you an idea, my old Toyota longbed pickup (7 ft by 4 ft) took about 1 1/2 cu yards of the compost.

It would be worth looking for similar type yards in other cities for the correct product, always cheaper than the bagged varieties. This is where landscapers go to buy soils, mulches, and compost.

http://www.foothillsoils.com/Products_Page.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Foothill Soils products page


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

What you end up buying will largely depend upon how much medium you want to make, and what your plans are for using it. Do you plan on growing an entire containerized vegetable garden in a mix of 511 or Gritty Mix? Do you have large numbers of pots to fill? Or do you only need a small amount of medium for a few indoor container plants?

For my own uses, I don't need a dump truck sized load of fir bark. I only require enough to work with medium for my indoor plants. And since I don't usually re-pot everything all at once, I only need small amounts of fir bark, turface, and other items at a time.

For small amounts of medium, you just can't beat the small bags of ZooMed's ReptiBark reptile bedding. It's 100% natural fir bark, pre-screened so there's no work involved, and I find the small bags contain the perfect sized product, usable right out of the bag. To me, that's worth the price attached, which would seem high compared to some of what's available as bagged soils. I think I pay about $5, or thereabout.

It's come to my attention that the larger bags contain a larger product, though they aren't labeled as such. So, it's probably best to stick with the small bags where Gritty Mix is concerned.

Since the mediums we're talking about are more durable and last a lot longer than bagged peat based soils, the initial cost that might seem higher at the time, will not end up being higher in the long run. It will cost less because you'll be able to use the medium for twice, and sometimes three times longer! And, by the way... bagged soils aren't that cheap any longer... unless you're talking about generic garbage.

The search for fir bark and the other ingredients needed for the 511 or Gritty Mix can take a bit of time and take you into areas or industries you hadn't thought of... the different ingredients can be difficult to locate in some areas... but it's worth the effort to find the items needed. Don't give up the search so easily... someone somewhere is bound to carry the exact item you're looking for... it just may be off the beaten path a bit, so to speak.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Hi Jodik!!!:-0)))))

Master:

You said you live in the Northeast? Where abouts so that soemone may be able to direct you to a local.

Also, there are Agway and grian stores everywhere that sell pine bark mulch like crazy. Maybe if you do a search of 'Agway' in the store locator section, you might find one closer than you think.
They are all over the northeast.
Everything they sell is very much the same, and I know they have the stuff you are looking for.

Mike


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

everyone

Thank you. I will look into that for sure. I just mixed my long fiber peat,perlite,fine peat, and a bit of lime. I used about 6 part long fiber,1part peat,and 1part perlite and 3 tbl sp of lime I got a good 7 gal of mix. Does that sound right?more lime?

Again thanks for the info. I need to find a cheap source of pine bark so I will check around some more. I am expanding my garden so I want to find the bark.

If anyone has info about long fiber peat please let me know. Can I reuse it for a while? Should I have mixed perlite and fine peat? I plnted one plant in a 100% long fiber peat but I know it will need extra attention with watering/feeding now. I soaked with fertilizer so it now has food for the plants.

Any other hints?


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Ace Hardware also sells Agway products. I bought two, 3 cu.ft. bags of great looking Agway Pine Bark Mulch at my local Ace.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Thanks I check Ace or Agway.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

I have bought three bags of Redwood Compost from my local Ace this season, only $6 each and the particle size is right in there for the 5-1-1. A very good price for a cubic yard of pine park, I thought.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Yes good price. I see that people from cali however can get it for 2 bucks a cubic foot!


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

MasterGardener what ever became of the 75% extra-coarse perlite and 25% peat you originaly spoke of ?


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re: los angeles area - pine bark mini-nugget mulch ?

I bought a yard of 3/8" mini bark (red fir) from O.F. Wolfinbarger in Chino, California and it came with a lot of sapwood that I need to screen out. It was the closest supplier of bark that I could find in the Los Angeles Area. I called Foothills Soil and they were out of it - they might have it in by April 2013.

It was $51 for the yard (27 cu. ft.) at Wolfinbarger and about 20-25% of the batch was made up of really nice 3/8" bark that looks perfect for the mix. All the other grades of the bark in the batch were too big, such as the sapwood and other long spears of bark.

Here's a picture to show what the batch I bought is composed of:

A) This is just a small handful from the yard to show it whole.
B) These are the long pieces of bark and sapwood.
C) The 3/8" bark that I think is ideal, but I may have to offset it with 1/4" bark.
D) Bark dust.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

  • Posted by four 9B (near 9a) (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 3, 14 at 11:50

From a posting in this thread:
"I have bought three bags of Redwood Compost...."

Oh, how that pains me.

THIS IS NOT A CRITISCISM OF THE POSTER.

It is to entreat all
not to buy, nor to write things that further,
any use of redwood products /by-products.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

This is an old thread but the subject is still worth considering.

For the 511 mix you will need small pine /fir/ or similar bark nuggets. The SAPWOOD type of mulch is not suitable for this purpose. Some bark nuggets might have very small amounts of sapwood. That is ok.

Talking about size consistency, I think as long as 85% or so is within the size range, I will use it. The remaining 15% when mixed in, will not cause any problem.

I have bought 3 bags of small nugget barks from Lowes. They are fine to me, as far as the size goes. As I said, there is some sapwood in it but to me it is negligible.

Here is a picture of it.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

That pine bark may have particles a little on the large size (over 3/8 inch wide). This is the stuff I've been using. It's uncomposted. I use it screened for gritty mix and unscreened for 5-1-1.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Nice looking pine bark Ohiofem. I should be so lucky to have such a good supply of pine bark as you do in your area. Did you say that you use the Golden Trophy brand? Seems like I have seen that brand before but not in the small pine bark. Most likely the larger pieces used for garden beds and such.

When we get closer to Spring I will have to do some looking around and see what I can find. The landscape places and retail stores in my area seem to change mulch suppliers every couple of seasons so who knows what type of pine bark might be available in April. I'm sure I can find something, even if the particle size is not perfect.

No matter what kind of pine bark I find it's going to be better than the typical peat-based MG potting soil.

TYG.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

The brand that I have bought (shown in the picture before) has some pieces close to 1/2" but then it has some very fines too and mostly the nuggets are 3/8" and smaller. The remedy for this is simple, add more peat moss. Better yet, I have found some crushed bark which is close to peat moss. I will mix in some of that along with peat moss.
A small percentage of chunky pieces in potting mix is not going to have a dramatic effect, IMO.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

I used the mini nuggets at my last place. They're too big.

I tended to lay them out on the back patio and let them dry in the sun. They'd become pretty brittle, and you could crush them up into a much more easily usable size. Even just walking across the pile would break the pieces up.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

So, I am thinking of trying to track down some bark.

I noticed that someone objected to redwood bark, and I was wondering, is that because they are worried that someone cut down an old-growth tree?

Or, are we supposed to avoid all redwood products, even if it were from some kind of "sustainable" (whatever that means) farm? (And I have no idea if anyone has such a farm.)

I am not trying to start a fight, I am just curious.

I also get easily confused with all this talk of bark sizes and I really don't want to buy the wrong thing.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

So, I am thinking of trying to track down some bark.

I noticed that someone objected to redwood bark, and I was wondering, is that because they are worried that someone cut down an old-growth tree?

Or, are we supposed to avoid all redwood products, even if it were from some kind of "sustainable" (whatever that means) farm? (And I have no idea if anyone has such a farm.)

I am not trying to start a fight, I am just curious.

I also get easily confused with all this talk of bark sizes and I really don't want to buy the wrong thing.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

The main issue with Redwood bark is the texture....fibrous, hairy, stringy....it tends to mat and compact, which leads to uneven drainage and moisture retention. As a decking or raised bed material, I love Redwood :-)

Josh


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Thanks, Josh!!!

One less thing to worry about.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

I took this picture some time ago at Lowes. Then I bought a few bags of it. I tough it was the right stuff. Two cubic feet for under $4. Not a bad deal,
What do you think ?


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Good find, Seysonn. What does the label say about what's in the bag? Those lighter colored stick like things are probably sapwood. There's no need to remove them unless you see a lot (like 10 percent or more by volume).


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Ohio fem,
The label says "bark Mulch". It is bark mulch with a lot of fines and has very little sap wood almost negligible (as you have detected in the broken bag). Probably less tha. 10%.

Previously I had bought some called "small nugget bark mulch". That one has very little fines and mostly consist of like 3/16" to 1/2". So I think by mixing the two it should be good for 5-1-1.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

I wish my lame local Lowe's carried that stuff. I'd put my annuals and veggies in it instead of peat pudding. Sucks needing to have all my bark fines trucked in from the outside world. :(


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Oxboy,

I agree, and wish (hope) that my local Lowes will carry something like this in the spring. Right now its still freezing cold here, with more snow and low temps on the way, so none of the big box stores have anything in their garden centers as of yet. Might be another month before they get any supplies in.

I would like to make a batch of 5-1-1 before my shrubs and trees in containers come out of dormancy, but since bitter cold temps and snow keep hanging on I don't see that happening anytime soon.

TYG


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

I hope your locale big boxes bring some of that stuff.
The thing is that barks are sold as MULCH. That is why, they are sold during spring time when landscaping activity starts. I bought some from last fall's leftover.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Seysonn, is that the Greensmix brand in your picture from Feb 20? Your pic on Jan 4 makes the packaging look green, but on Feb 20, it looks blueish. Just wondering.


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RE: Pine Bark Mini-Nugget Mulch ?

Oxboy, ... It is the same thing/BRAND. I have two kinds: one is SMALL NUGGETS and the other is called MULCH, which is more crushed. The lighting with the phone camera probably shows different color. MAYBE the back side is green. The brand name is : GREENSMIX.

I will drop by Lowes tomorrow to pick up couple more bags. I am going to use them in raised beds' tomato holes too.


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