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adipose

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have been using various potting mixes and whatever soils I have around in my garden for planting figs in the ground, and never had any issues, but I am growing a few trees in pots now, and am looking at this 5-1-1 mix.

However, no one sells pine/fir bark in the Bay Area, that I can find.   I found this on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Organic-Pine-Bark-Mulch-3-Cubic-Feet-/261741922894?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cf108ca4e

Does this seem like the right stuff for making a 5-1-1 mix?

Also, I wonder about using "fines" vs. "mulch."  Is this basically just about the size it has been ground down to?

Any other recommendations for purchasing the ingredients for 5-1-1 (or 5-1-1-1)?

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adipose

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Reply with quote  #2 
Came across this as a source of fir bark:

http://smile.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Reptile-Bedding-Quarts/dp/B001F9AMW6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431814475&sr=8-1&keywords=reptibark


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adipose

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Reply with quote  #3 
I installed this Firefox addon so amazon links automatically go to smile.amazon.com:

https://addons.mozilla.org/En-uS/firefox/addon/amazonsmileredirector/

Easier than retyping the url every time :)

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figherder

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Reply with quote  #4 
Check wal mart for pine bark mulch. Its like 3 bucks for a large bag. Its in a purple bag.
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nycfig

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Reply with quote  #5 
Dan - The best I've found is Pine Bark Mulch from Agway. Can use it right out of the bag but I still sift it a little. Makes a perfect mix. Don't know if Agway is in CA. My local feed store doesn't stock it but orders it for me. Place order by Tues and it's in on Fri. 5 bucks or so for a 3 cu ft bag. Just picked more up today.

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jpeg image.jpg (117.42 KB, 31 views)


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Danny NYC Z7a

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Figinqueens

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Reply with quote  #6 
Danny-
Which store in NYC are you getting that from? The last time I was in NJ for work I picked up 5 bags at the agway there. It is good stuff and I need more.

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adipose

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks, guys.

Nope on Agway: http://www.agway.com/Storelocations/results.aspx?zip=95124

Found this at walmart.com: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Timberline-Pine-Mulch-2CF/16911966 (but, it says it's not available within 50 miles of me).

This is available near me: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Greensmix-2-Cu-Ft-Cedar-Mulch/16778233

Another question on 5-1-1.  Do you really put 5 times as much of this mulch in there as peat?  It seems like an awfully high ratio.  Or does it take less space once the peat fills in the spaces?

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Dave

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Reply with quote  #8 
I paid $4.50 for a large bag here in CT $39.00 is crazy!  Fox Farm Oceanantic has the same mixture that we make up, maybe you could find it out your way I believe it is made out your way in California
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adipose

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Reply with quote  #9 
A nursery near here says it has the following:

http://www.redi-gro.com/products/bark_mulch_info.shtml
http://www.redi-gro.com/images/bags/printable/mini_mulch_blue_bag.JPG

Supposedly this is fir bark mulch.

They sell Foxfarm but not the mulch.

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nycfig

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Figinqueens
Danny-
Which store in NYC are you getting that from? The last time I was in NJ for work I picked up 5 bags at the agway there. It is good stuff and I need more.


Get the pine bark by the other house near Oneonta, NY.

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figherder

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Reply with quote  #11 
The timberline is the one I use.
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Black Mission, Angelos dark Yellow Neeches, sport, Kasariani, Planera, Emalyns purple, Galicia Negra, Italian 376, Olympian, Valle Negra
 

 
 
adipose

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Reply with quote  #12 
I'll have to try the redi-gro.  I think pine mulch doesn't show up much out here, so fir mulch will have to do.  Hopefully it isn't too fine.
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adipose

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Reply with quote  #13 
Here is what I got (redi-gro) at Summer Winds Nursery.  Perhaps it needs a sifting?

IMG_20150517_170617329.jpg 


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bamafig

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Reply with quote  #14 
Here in central alabama you find it at Lowes labeled as soil conditioner.  3.50 a big bag.
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adipose

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamafig
Here in central alabama you find it at Lowes labeled as soil conditioner.  3.50 a big bag.


They had a soil conditioner at the nursery, but it didn't seem to be a bark at all.  I will see what Lowes has around here by that name, though.


Is this what you are talking about?  http://www.lowes.com/pd_131340-11628-8710___?productId=3011773&pl=1&Ntt=soil+conditioner

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tyro

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Reply with quote  #16 
This is what I use from Lowe's,

P1010106.JPG 
This is from Home Depot,make sure it's not the dyed stuff.

P1010105.JPG 
Frankly,being in CA.,you might want to reconsider 5.1.1 with the water situation.


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Paul.Simi Valley,Ca.Zone 9a/Sunset 18





eboone

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Reply with quote  #17 
I have heard not to use cedar bark as it has an inhibitory effect on plant growth. Not sure from personal experience though.
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Rob

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Reply with quote  #18 

I have a lot of thoughts on this issue....

First question is, if you are in CA, why are you growing in pots to begin with?  Why not just grow in ground?  Will be a lot less labor and expense and you'll probably get more fruit.

The photo isn't that clear, but to me it looks like the stuff you got at Summer Winds Nursery has quite a bit of wood pieces mixed in.  Usually you want it to be almost entirely bark, if possible.  It's not feasible to separate it by hand. 

Around here soil conditioner is sometimes bark, but sometimes it's just composted leaves, which is very different.  Have to poke a little hole in the bag and investigate.  I think they will use either to make the product, depending on what's available/cheaper. 

To answer the question, "What's the difference between pine bark and pine fines".  There may or may not be a difference, depending on how they are labeled.  In my experience, if it's called pine bark mulch, it is usually a fresh product and hasn't been composted or aged at all.  Now if it says aged pine bark, or pine fines, it should be partially composted/aged.  The aged product is better because it retains more water.  On the other hand, it is heavier (probably because it contains more water).  In my opinion the aged product is better.  However, for me it's harder to find.  So if I am forced to use the fresh product (as is often the case), I will make sure to add the peat moss, maybe even a little extra, to make it more water retentive.  After a year or two, the fresh product will naturally deteriorate into the aged product, and then eventually into mush. 

If I can get the aged product, I don't even add peat moss.  Just some fertilizer, lime, and slow release fertilizer (osmocote, for example). 

I don't see any point in sifting.  Why would I sift away the small particles, and then add in peat moss (small particles)?  Just not worth the work, in my opinion. 

Also, I think adding the perlite is totally unnecessary and just adds expense without improving the characteristics of the mix.  It may have usefulness when rooting cuttings, but when you get to larger sized trees, it's not helpful.


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Rob
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greenfig

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Reply with quote  #19 
The best clean bark I found in LS Angeles was an orchid bark. It comes in 3 sizes, the medium is best .
Ask your nursery to order if they do not carry.
It is a high quality product, you will like it.
I will take a photo of a bag later today

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erics11

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Reply with quote  #20 
Look up Armstrong garden center. Microbark is almost perfect right out of the bag. $10 for 2 cf
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erics11

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Reply with quote  #21 
I also have gone more like 3-1-1. 5-1-1 just doesnt hold enough water for me
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Hayward, CA 9B Own: Brown Turkey, White Kadota, Mission Black, Celeste, RdB, VdB, Hunt, Dominick, Strawberry Verte, LSU Scott's black, Brown Greek, Spanish Black Wishlist: Chicago Hardy, Desert King, Col de Dame Gris, any other favorites
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