Register  |   | 
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
paully22

Registered:
Posts: 2,812
Reply with quote  #1 
Anyone using 100% bark mulch as rooting medium after root initiations in spaghnum moss ?

I did that as I ran out of perlite for over 15 cuttings of Desert King and other varieties in April. The results were impressive - fat roots and these roots grow fast. The bulk mulch I was using was medium coarse. I could see air pockets in the cups because of bark mulch and could this be the reason for healthy roots ? I was using mainly 20 oz cups, mostly plastic cups from McDonalds saved after my ice coffee drinks last summer. I do make at least 15 small side holes on these cups. The other possibility could be related to timing of the cuttings taken late  --  in the sense taken in early spring when the cuttings buds are primed ready. Rooting was easier even in spaghnum moss.
genecolin

Registered:
Posts: 1,517
Reply with quote  #2 
Paully I don't use 100% pine bark fines but it the main ingredient in my mix. I use 2 parts bark fines, 1 part peat, and 1 part composted manure. The manure also has a large percentage of pine fines in it. The barks fines has a little sand. To check out the amount of sand in the mix I filled a quart jar 3/4 full of the mix and then filled the jar to the top with water. I let it set a minute and then stirred it vigorously and then let it set for about 5 minutes until all the sand had settled. I ended up with about 1/2" of sand in the bottom of the jar, a light covering of darker material which I assumed was probably manure, a water only filled gap of about 1 1/2" and all the rest floating to the top. All the pine bark was floating and so was most of the peat.  After about 30 minutes I stirred the floating part of the mix a little. When it settled down again I had about 1/2" of additional material at the bottom below the water filled gap. This was probably the water soaked peak. All the pine fines were still floating on top.

I can also see air pockets in the cups and when I water I can watch the water run down into the mix and out of the bottom fairly quickly. If I pour about 1/2 cup of water into the cup, before I'm finish pouring it, the water is already draining out of the bottom of the cup.

Next rooting season I plan to cut the peat and manure in half for the cup mix but leave it in for my potting mix as it seems to work fine. I also plan to put about an inch of just pine bark fine in the bottom of the cup to set the cutting on before I put the mix in. I have lost very few cutting on moving them to the 1 gallon pot.

And my disclaimer to put it like Martin, I'm not telling anyone what to do, but that's what I do and it works for me.
"gene"

__________________
From the bayou,
"gene"

zone 9
Houma, La.
BronxFigs

Registered:
Posts: 1,849
Reply with quote  #3 
Has anyone ever had success by using Coconut Husk Chips for rooting cuttings, and/or air-layering?  The C-H-C hold moisture, and can't compact into a solid, so oxygen is always around where roots will strike.  They can be bought in big Pet Stores.  Sold as bedding material for critters.

Just curious.

Frank

__________________
Bronx, NYC
Zone-7
dhsandberg

Registered:
Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #4 

I use both coconut chips or bark in my potting mediums.  The CHC holds water a bit longer (will dry out slower) and will not break down as quickly as bark (which turns to mulch in a year or so).

 

If you are changing mediums every year as you repot your choice will not matter BUT the CHC definitely holds more water AND you still have to decide on the size of chips you will use since that will aslo determine how moist the medium stays.  CHC CHIPS MUST BE SOAKED AND THE WATER DISCARED to reduce the salt content that they naturally have when cut and shipped.

 

When we get together to trade cuttings I'll give you some of each and you can experiment.

 

d

 


__________________
Somers, NY
zone 6b
Tapla

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 129
Reply with quote  #5 

Seedlings and cuttings do best with LOTS of air in the root zone, and they prefer the medium damp, never wet. If your medium holds perched water, you should avoid sticking the cutting so deep the proximal end is immersed in the water in the perched water table. It inhibits oxygen intake needed for the cutting to metabolize the carbohydrates that will be used in forming roots, and gas exchange as well. It also promotes the growth of any of the fungi responsible for damping-off diseases, the cause of most cutting failures.

 

An ideal medium for cuttings would hold no perched water, which means that some sort of material that holds water inside or on the surface of particles only. CHCs very often have a high soluble salt content issue that rinsing may not resolve entirely. For cuttings, it's important that we do everything we can to ensure they remain hydrated AND get plenty of oxygen. The sometimes high level of salts in CHCs are problematic in that they make it more difficult for the cutting to absorb water; so given the choice, I would avoid coir or CHCs as a rooting medium or fraction thereof. Also, and FWIW, I've done some experimenting with some loose controls in place to satisfy my own curiosity about how CHCs and coir stack up against pine bark and peat respectively. Even after rinsing very well in an attempt to be sure that a high level of soluble salts did not play a part in the comparisons (I've done 4), the plants in CHC's and coir did not do well at all in comparison to those in either pine bark or peat.

 

Al


__________________
z5b-6a mid-MI

The destroyer of weeds, thistles and thorns is a benefactor, whether he soweth grain or not. ~Robert Ingersoll
BronxFigs

Registered:
Posts: 1,849
Reply with quote  #6 
Al....Thanks for the rest of the story. 

I thought I remembered reading that the CHC may have a too high salt content, and that they need rinsing/soaking, but I didn't know that the salt could remain too high for use with rooting plants.  I should have done more homework before posting questions.

Thanks for the "rescue mission".

Frank

__________________
Bronx, NYC
Zone-7
BronxFigs

Registered:
Posts: 1,849
Reply with quote  #7 
Al....Thanks for the rest of the story. 

I thought I remembered reading that the CHC may have a too high salt content, and that they need rinsing/soaking, but I didn't know that the salt could remain too high for use with rooting plants.  I should have done more homework before posting questions.

Thanks for the "rescue mission".

Frank

__________________
Bronx, NYC
Zone-7
BronxFigs

Registered:
Posts: 1,849
Reply with quote  #8 
Al....Thanks for the rest of the story. 

I thought I remembered reading that the CHC may have a too high salt content, and that they need rinsing/soaking, but I didn't know that the salt could remain too high for use with rooting plants.  I should have done more homework before posting questions.

Thanks for the "rescue mission".

Frank

__________________
Bronx, NYC
Zone-7
BronxFigs

Registered:
Posts: 1,849
Reply with quote  #9 
Al....Thanks for the rest of the story. 

I thought I remembered reading that the CHC may have a too high salt content, and that they need rinsing/soaking, but I didn't know that the salt could remain too high for use with rooting plants.  I should have done more homework before posting questions.

Thanks for the "rescue mission".

Frank

__________________
Bronx, NYC
Zone-7
BronxFigs

Registered:
Posts: 1,849
Reply with quote  #10 
Al....Thanks for the rest of the story. 

I thought I remembered reading that the CHC may have a too high salt content, and that they need rinsing/soaking, but I didn't know that the salt could remain too high for use with rooting plants.  I should have done more homework before posting questions.

Thanks for the "rescue mission".

Frank

__________________
Bronx, NYC
Zone-7
Tapla

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 129
Reply with quote  #11 
You said that already!  ;-)

Al

__________________
z5b-6a mid-MI

The destroyer of weeds, thistles and thorns is a benefactor, whether he soweth grain or not. ~Robert Ingersoll
hoosierbanana

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 2,295
Reply with quote  #12 
I hear that Paphiopedilum orchids prefer coco chips. I am guessing it has to do with their unique roots though, they are really fuzzy.

Paully- could you take a picture, or describe, what the pine bark mulch you used was like? It varies around here, sometimes there is wood in it and sometimes pieces of bark over an inch and sometimes it is kinda loamy.




__________________
7a, DE "While you were hanging yourself on someone else's words. Dying to believe in what you heard. I was staring straight into the shining sun"
dhsandberg

Registered:
Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #13 

paphiopedalums do like the coconut husk chips because the roots do not like drying out, the CHC stays moist and generally will not become soggy - soggy would suffocate the roots and the plant will die.

 

Dennis


__________________
Somers, NY
zone 6b
7deuce

Registered:
Posts: 566
Reply with quote  #14 
I use 3 parts pine bark mulch(fines) and 2 parts perlite this year for my freshly rooted cuttings to 3 gallon pot size. Just like you the roots and growing like crazy and very healthy looking. I was considering using all pine bark but never got around to it because this was working so well for me.
__________________
Jason V
Egg Harbor Twp., NJ/ Zone 7

Wishlist: Nothing.
Tapla

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 129
Reply with quote  #15 

 

The bark you see at 6:00 in the picture above is ideal for use in bark-based soils. Add very small peat and perlite fractions to it, along with a little dolomitic (garden) lime, and you have a very well-aerated soil that holds good amounts of water but little perched water.

 

If the particle sizes of peat and pine bark were reversed so it was peat that was available in a larger size and pine bark was only available as fine material, I would advocate for peat as the primary fraction of your soils. What your soil is made of is much less important than the size of the particles and its structural integrity (how long it will last) ...... as long as the material isn't toxic to plants, of course.

 

Al   


__________________
z5b-6a mid-MI

The destroyer of weeds, thistles and thorns is a benefactor, whether he soweth grain or not. ~Robert Ingersoll
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.