goodhumusman

Tapla's 5-1-1 Container Mix in More Detail

goodhumusman
11 years ago

I recently joined the forum and discovered Al's 5-1-1 Mix, but I had several questions that Al was kind enough to answer by email. I also found the answers to other questions in several different threads. I thought it would be useful to organize all of the info in one place so that we could have easy access to it. 98% of the following has been cut/pasted from Al's postings, and I apologize in advance if I have somehow misquoted him or taken his ideas out of proper context. The only significant addition from another source is the Cornell method of determining porosity, which I thought would be germane. I have used a question and answer format, using many questions from other members, and I apologize for not giving them proper credit. Thanks to all who contributed to this information. Now, here's Al:

Tapla's 5-1-1 Mix

5 parts pine bark fines

1 part sphagnum peat

1-2 parts perlite

garden lime

controlled release fertilizer (not really necessary)

a micro-nutrient source (seaweed emulsion, Earthjuice, Micro-max, STEM, etc,)

Many friends & forum folk grow in this 5-1-1 mix with very good results. I use it for all my garden display containers. It is intended for annual and vegetable crops in containers. This soil is formulated with a focus on plentiful aeration, which we know has an inverse relationship w/water retention. It takes advantage of particles, the size of which are at or just under the size that would guarantee the soil retains no perched water. (If you have not already read Al's treatise on Water in Container Soils, this would be a good time to do so.) In simple terms: Plants that expire because of drainage problems either die of thirst because the roots have rotted and can no longer take up water, or they starve/"suffocate" because there is insufficient air at the root zone to ensure normal water/nutrient uptake and root function.

I grow in highly-aerated soils with the bulk of the particles in the 1/16"-1/8" size, heavily favoring the larger particles, because we know that perched water levels decrease as particle size increases, until finally, as particle size reaches just under 1/8" the perched water table disappears entirely.

Ideal container soils will have a minimum of 60-75% total porosity. This means that when dry, in round numbers, nearly 70% of the total volume of soil is air. The term 'container capacity' is a hort term that describes the saturation level of soils after the soil is saturated and at the point where it has just stopped draining - a fully wetted soil. When soils are at container capacity, they should still have in excess of 30% air porosity. Roughly, a great soil will have about equal parts of solid particles, water, and air when the soil is fully saturated.

This is Cornell's method of determining the various types of porosity:

To ensure sufficient media porosity, it is essential to determine total porosity, aeration porosity, and water-holding porosity. Porosity can be determined through the following procedure:

* With drainage holes sealed in an empty container, fill the container and record the volume of water required to reach the top of the container. This is the container volume.

* Empty and dry the plugged container and fill it with the growing media to the top of the container.

* Irrigate the container medium slowly until it is saturated with water. Several hours may be required to reach the saturation point, which can be recognized by glistening of the medium's surface.

* Record the total volume of water necessary to reach the saturation point as the total pore volume.

* Unplug the drainage holes and allow the water to freely drain from the container media into a pan for several hours.

* Measure the volume of water in the pan after all free water has completed draining. Record this as the aeration pore volume.

* Calculate total porosity, aeration porosity, and water-holding porosity using the following equations (Landis, 1990):

* Total porosity = total pore volume / container volume

* Aeration porosity = aeration pore volume / container volume

* Water-holding porosity = total porosity - aeration porosity

The keys to why I like my 3-1-1 mix:

It's adjustable for water retention.

The ingredients are readily available to me.

It's simple - 3 basic ingredients - equal portions.

It allows nearly 100% control over the nutritional regimen.

It will not collapse - lasts longer than what is prudent between repots.

It is almost totally forgiving of over-watering while retaining good amounts of water between drinks.

It is relatively inexpensive.

Q. Why do you use pine bark fines? Bark fines of fir, hemlock or pine, are excellent as the primary component of your soils. The lignin contained in bark keeps it rigid and the rigidity provides air-holding pockets in the root zone far longer than peat or compost mixes that too quickly break down to a soup-like consistency. Conifer bark also contains suberin, a lipid sometimes referred to as natures preservative. Suberin, more scarce as a presence in sapwood products and hardwood bark, dramatically slows the decomposition of conifer bark-based soils. It contains highly varied hydrocarbon chains and the microorganisms that turn peat to soup have great difficulty cleaving these chains.

Q. What is the correct size of the fines? In simple terms: Plants that expire because of drainage problems either die of thirst because the roots have rotted and can no longer take up water, or they starve/"suffocate" because there is insufficient air at the root zone to insure normal water/nutrient uptake and root function.Pine bark fines are partially composted pine bark. Fines are what are used in mixes because of the small particle size. There will be a naturally occurring "perched water table" (PWT) in containers when soil particulate size is under about .125 (1/8) inch, so best would be particulates in the 1/16 - 3/16 size range with the 1/16-1/8 size range favored.

Note that there is no sand or compost in the soils I use. Sand, as most of you think of it, can improve drainage in some cases, but it reduces aeration by filling valuable macro-pores in soils. Unless sand particle size is fairly uniform and/or larger than about ½ BB size I leave it out of soils. Compost is too unstable for me to consider using in soils. The small amount of micro-nutrients it supplies can easily be delivered by one or more of a number of chemical or organic sources.

Q. Do you use partially composted pine bark fines? Yes - preferred over fresh fines, which are lighter in color.

Q. I found some Scotchman's Choice Organic Compost, which is made of pine bark fines averaging about 1/8" in size, and, after adding all ingredients, the 5-1-1 Mix had a total porosity of 67% and an aeration porosity of 37%. Is that all right? Yes, that is fine.

Q. What kind of lime do you use? Dolomitic.

Q. What amount of lime should I add if I used 10 gal of pine bark fines and the corresponding amount of the other ingredients? @ 5:1:1, you'll end up with about 12 gallons of soil (the whole is not equal to the sum of the parts when you're talking about soils), so I would use about 10-12 Tbsp or 2/3-3/4 cup of lime.

Q. What grade of coarseness for the lime? Most is sold as garden lime, which is usually prilled powder. Prilling makes it easier to use in drop & broadcast spreaders. The prills dissolve quickly. The finer the powder the quicker the reactive phase is finished. Much of the Ca and Mg will be unavailable until the media pH equalizes so the plant can assimilate the residual elements. Large pieces of lime really extend the duration of the reactive phase.

Q. Does this mean that I need to make up the soil in advance? Yes. 2 weeks or so should be enough time to allow for the reaction phase to be complete & residual Ca/Mg to become more readily available from the outset .

Q. During those 2 weeks, do I need to keep turning it and moistening it? No

Q. Can I go ahead and fill my 3-gal. containers, stack them 3-high, and cover the top one to prevent moisture loss during the waiting period? Something like that would be preferred.

Q. The perlite I use has a large amount of powder even though it is called coarse. Do I need to sift it to get rid of the powder? Not unless it REALLY has a lot - then, the reason wouldn't be because of issues with particle size - it would be because you had to use larger volumes to achieve adequate drainage & larger volumes bring with it the possibility of Fl toxicity for some plants that are fluoride intolerant.

Q. What about earthworm castings (EWC)? I think 10% is a good rule of thumb for the total volume of fine particles. I try to limit peat use to about 10-15% of soil volume & just stay away from those things that rob aeration & promote water retention beyond a minimal perched water table. If you start adding 10% play sand, 10% worm castings, 10% compost, 10% peat, 10% topsoil, 10% vermiculite to a soil, before long you'll be growing in something close to a pudding-like consistency.

Q. Do you drench the mix with fertilized water before putting in containers? No - especially if you incorporate a CRF. It will have lots of fertilizer on it's surface & the soil could already be high in solubles. If you added CRF, wait until you've watered and flushed the soil a couple of times. If you didn't use CRF, you can fertilize with a weak solution the first time you water after the initial planting irrigation.

Q. How much of the micronutrients should I add if I am going to be fertilizing with Foliage Pro 9-3-6, which has all the micronutrients in it? You won't need any additional supplementation as long as you lime.

Q. Just to make sure I understand, are you saying I don't need to use Foliage Pro 9-3-6 until after the initial watering right after planting even if I don't use a CRF? And no additional micronutrients? That's right - on both counts.

Q. Do I need to moisten the peat moss before mixing with the pine bark fines? It helps, yes.

Selections from Notes on Choosing a Fertilizer

A) Plant nutrients are dissolved in water

B) The lower the nutrient concentration, the easier it is for the plant to absorb water and the nutrients dissolved in the water - distilled water is easier for plants to absorb than tap water because there is nothing dissolved in distilled water

C) The higher the nutrient content, the more difficult it is for plants to absorb water and the nutrients dissolved in water

D) To maximize plant vitality, we should supply adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients w/o using concentrations so high that they impede water and nutrient uptake.

All that is in the "Fertilizer Thread" I posted a while back.

Q. Do you use the Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro 9-3-6 exclusively throughout the life of the plant, or change to something else for the flowering/fruiting stage? I use lots of different fertilizers, but if I had to choose only one, it would likely be the FP 9-3-6. It really simplifies things. There are very few plants that won't respond very favorably to this fertilizer. I use fast soils that drain freely & I fertilize at EVERY watering, and it works extremely well.

If you are using a soil that allows you to water freely at every watering, you cannot go wrong by watering weakly weekly, and you can water at 1/8 the recommended dose at every watering if you wish with chemical fertilizers.

Q. What about the "Bloom Booster" fertilizers? To induce more prolific flowering, a reduced N supply will have more and better effect than the high P bloom formulas. When N is reduced, it slows vegetative growth without reducing photosynthesis. Since vegetative growth is limited by a lack of N, and the photosynthetic machinery continues to turn out food, it leaves an expendable surplus for the plant to spend on flowers and fruit. There are no plants I know of that use anywhere near the amount of P as they do N (1/6 is the norm). It makes no sense to me to have more P available than N unless you are targeting a VERY specific growth pattern; and then the P would still be applied in a reasonable ratio to K.

Somewhere along the way, we curiously began to look at fertilizers as miraculous assemblages of growth drugs, and started interpreting the restorative effect (to normal growth) fertilizers have as stimulation beyond what a normal growth rate would be if all nutrients were adequately present in soils. ItÂs no small wonder that we come away with the idea that there are Âmiracle concoctions out there and often end up placing more hope than is reasonable in them.

What I'm pointing out is that fertilizers really should not be looked at as something that will make your plant grow abnormally well - beyond its genetic potential . . . Fertilizers do not/can not stimulate super growth, nor are they designed to. All they can do is correct nutritional deficiencies so plants can grow normally.

Q. Should I use organic ferts or chemical ferts in containers? Organic fertilizers do work to varying degrees in containers, but I would have to say that delivery of the nutrients can be very erratic and unreliable. The reason is that nutrient delivery depends on the organic molecules being broken down in the gut of micro-organisms, and micro-organism populations are boom/bust, varying widely in container culture.

Some of the things affecting the populations are container soil pH, moisture levels, nutrient levels, soil composition, compaction/aeration levels ..... Of particular importance is soil temperatures. When container temperatures rise too high, microbial populations diminish. Temps much under 55* will slow soil biotic activity substantially, reducing or halting delivery of nutrients.

I do include various formulations of fish emulsion in my nutrient program at certain times of the year, but I never rely on them, choosing chemical fertilizers instead. Chemical fertilizers are always immediately available for plant uptake & the results of your applications are much easier to quantify.

Q. Should I feed the plants every time I water? In a word, yes. I want to keep this simple, so IÂll just say that the best water absorption occurs when the level of solutes in soil water is lowest, and in the presence of good amounts of oxygen. Our job, because you will not find a sufficient supply of nutrients in a container soil, is to provide a solution of dissolved nutrients that affords the plant a supply in the adequate to luxury range, yet still makes it easy for the plant to take up enough water to be well-hydrated and free of drought stress. All we need to do is supply nutrients in approximately the same ratio as plants use them, and in adequate amounts to keep them in the adequate to luxury range at all times. Remember that we can maximize water uptake by keeping the concentrations of solutes low, so a continual supply of a weak solution is best. Nutrients donÂt just suddenly appear in large quantities in nature, so the low and continual dose method most closely mimics the nutritional supply Mother Nature offers. If you decide to adopt a "fertilize every time you water" approach, most liquid fertilizers can be applied at ¾ to 1 tsp per gallon for best results.

The system is rather self regulating if fertilizer is applied in low concentrations each time you water, even with houseplants in winter. As the plantÂs growth slows, so does its need for both water and nutrients. Larger plants and plants that are growing robustly will need more water and nutrients, so linking nutrient supply to the water supply is a win/win situation all around.

You can tell you've watered too much (or too little - the response is the same - a drought response) when leaves start to turn yellow or you begin to see nutritional deficiencies created by poor root metabolism (usually N and Ca are first evident). You can prevent overwatering by A) testing the soil deep in the container with a wood dowel ... wet & cool - do not water, dry - water. B) feeling the wick & only watering when it's dry C) feel the soil at the drain hole & only water when it feels dry there.

Soils feel dry to our touch when they still have 40-45% moisture content. Plants, however, can still extract water from soils until they dry down to about 25-30%, so there is still around a 15% cush in that plants can still absorb considerable moisture after soils first feel dry to us.

Q. When you water/fertilize, do you give it enough that 10% leaches out the bottom each time? Yes, I try to do that at every watering. Remember that as salts accumulate, both water and nutrient uptake is made more difficult and finally impaired or made impossible in severe cases. Your soils should always allow you to water so that at least 10-15% of the total volume of water applied passes through the soil and out the drain hole to be discarded. This flushes the soil and carries accumulating solutes out the drain hole. In addition, each thorough watering forces stale gases from the soil. CO2 accumulation in heavy soils is very detrimental to root health, but you usually can't apply water in volume enough to force these gases from the soil. Open soils allow free gas exchange at all times.

Q. Should I elevate my pots? The container will not drain the same % of water if it's sitting in a puddle, but the % won't be particularly significant. What will be significant is: if water (in a puddle) is able to make contact with the soil in the container through surface tension and/or capillarity, it will "feed" and prolong the saturated conditions of any PWT that might be in the container. However, if water can soak in or if it will flow away from the containers, there's no advantage to elevating when you're not using a wick.

Q. I like a pH of about 5.7. Is that about right? That's a good number, but you won't have any way of maintaining it in your soil w/o some sophisticated equipment. I never concern myself with media pH. That doesn't mean you should ignore water pH, though. It (water pH) affects the solubility of fertilizers; and generally speaking, the higher the water pH, the lower the degree of nutrient solubility.

Q. How do you repot? Some plants do not take to root-pruning well (palms, eg), but the vast majority of them REALLY appreciate the rejuvenational properties of major root work. I'm not at all delicate in my treatment of rootage when it comes time to repot (completely different from potting-up). Usually I chop or saw the bottom 1/2-2/3 of the root mass off, bare-root the plant, stick it back in the same pot with ALL fresh soil, use a chopstick to move soil into all the spaces/pockets between roots, water/fertilize well & put in the shade for a week to recover. I should mention that this procedure is most effective on plants with woody roots, which most quickly grow to be inefficient as they lignify, thicken, and fill the pot. Those plants with extremely fibrous root systems are easier to care for. For those, I usually saw off the bottom 1/2 - 2/3 of the roots, work a chopstick through the remaining mat of roots, removing a fair amount of soil, prune around the perimeter & repot in fresh, well-aerated soil.

I find that time after time, plants treated in this fashion sulk for a week or two and then put on a huge growth spurt (when repotted in spring or summer). Growth INVARIABLY surpasses what it would have been if the plant was allowed to languish in it's old, root-bound haunts. Potting up is a temporary way to rejuvenate a plant, but if you look ate a long-term graph of plants continually potted-up, you will see continual decline with little spurts of improved vitality at potting-up time. This stress/strain on plants that are potted-up only, eventually takes its toll & plants succumb. There is no reason most houseplants shouldn't live for years and years, yet we often content ourselves with the 'revolving door replacement' of our plants when just a little attention to detail would allow us to call the same plant our friend - often for the rest of our lives if we prefer.

Q. Is there any rule of thumb as to how often to root prune? I'm going to answer as if you included 'repotting' in your question. There is no hard, fast rule here. Some of you grow plants strictly for the blooms, and some plants produce more abundant blooms in containers when they are stressed in some manner. Often, that stress is in the form of keeping them root-bound. I'll talk about maintaining a plant's vitality & let you work out how you want to handle the degree of stress you wish to subject them to, in order to achieve your goals. Before I go on, I'd like to say that I use stress techniques too, to achieve a compact, full plant, and to slow growth of a particularly attractive plant - to KEEP it attractive. ;o) The stress of growing a plant tight can be useful to a degree, but at some point, there will be diminishing returns.

When you need to repot to correct declining vitality:

1) When the soil has collapsed/compacted, or was too water-retentive from the time you last potted-up or repotted. You can identify this condition by soil that remains wet for more than a few days, or by soil that won't take water well. If you water a plant and the soil just sits on top of the soil w/o soaking in, the soil has collapsed/compacted. There is one proviso though: you must be sure that the soil is wet before you assess this condition. Soils often become hydrophobic (water repellent) and difficult to rewet, especially when using liquid organic fertilizers like fish/seaweed emulsions. Make sure this effect is not what you're witnessing by saturating the soil thoroughly & then assessing how fast the water moves downward through the soil. The soils I grow in are extremely fast and water disappears into the mix as soon as it's applied. If it takes more than 30 seconds for a large volume of water to disappear from the surface of the soil, you are almost certainly compromising potential vitality.

I'll talk about the potential vitality for just a sec. Plants will grow best in a damp soil with NO perched water. That is NO saturated layer of water at the bottom of the pot. Roots begin to die a very short time after being subjected to anaerobic conditions. They regenerate again as soon as air returns to the soil. This cyclic death/regeneration of roots steals valuable energy from the plant that might well have been employed to increase o/a biomass, and/or produce flowers and fruit. This is the loss of potential vitality I refer to.

2) When the plant is growing under tight conditions and has stopped extending, it is under strain, which will eventually lead to its death. "Plants must grow to live. Any plant that is not growing is dying." Dr. Alex Shigo Unless there are nutritional issues, plants that have stopped extending and show no growth when they should be coming into a period of robust growth usually need repotting. You can usually confirm your suspicions/diagnosis by looking for rootage "crawling" over the soil surface and/or growing out of the drain hole, or by lifting the plant from its pot & examining the root mass for encircling roots - especially fat roots at the container's edge. You'll be much less apt to find these types of roots encircling inner container perimeter in well-aerated soils because the roots find the entire soil mass hospitable. Roots are opportunistic and will be found in great abundance at the outside edge of the soil mass in plantings with poor drainage & soggy soil conditions - they're there looking for air.

3) When the soil is so compacted & water retentive that you must water in sips and cannot fully flush the soil at each watering for fear of creating conditions that will cause root rot. This isn't to say you MUST flush the soil at every watering, but the soil should drain well enough to ALLOW you to water this way whenever you prefer. This type of soil offers you the most protection against over-watering and you would really have to work hard at over-fertilizing in this type of soil. It will allow you to fertilize with a weak solution at every watering - even in winter if you prefer.

Incidentally, I reject the frequent anecdotal evidence that keeping N in soils at adequacy levels throughout the winter "forces" growth or "forces weak growth". Plants take what they need and leave the rest. While there could easily be the toxicity issues associated with too much fertilizer in soils due to a combination of inappropriate watering practices, inappropriate fertilizing practices, and an inappropriate soil, it's neither N toxicity NOR the presence of adequate N in soils that causes weak growth, it's low light levels.

Q. Is there any rule of thumb as to how often to remove and replace the old soil? Yes - every time you repot.

As always, I hope that those who read what I say about soils will ultimately take with them the idea that the soil is the foundation of every container planting & has effects that reach far beyond the obvious, but there is a snatch of lyrics from an old 70's song that might be appropriate: "... just take what you need and leave the rest ..." ;o)

Comments (346)

  • tapla
    last year

    3/4" is much too large: Ideal size range for 5:1:1 is dust to 3/8; for the gritty mix, use 1/8-1/4 if using fir, and 1/8-3/8 (nothing finer than 1/8) if using pine bark.


    Items, pencil, black sunflower seeds, .177" lead pellet, are to help with a sense of size.


    Al

    Best Answer
  • tapla
    2 months ago

    You can use pH up if you think the pH is lower than 5.0 - 5.5.

    Al

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  • WMS Lee
    2 months ago

    Unfortunately, that's not available to me too. A similar local product that increases pH contains only potassium hydroxide, and no potassium carbonate like pH Up. Will that work?


    Also, is this to be used every watering or only when fertilizing?

  • tapla
    2 months ago

    Where do you live that dolomite is n/a?

    Al

  • WMS Lee
    2 months ago

    Singapore!

  • WMS Lee
    2 months ago

    I've managed to find dolomite lime, but the Ca:Mg ratio is 2:1. Will this work?

  • greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a
    2 months ago

    That is exactly the ratio that you want, Lee


    Josh

  • Alexander Goncharov
    2 months ago

    Tapla, excuse me for an off-topic question, but what is your opinion of Lechuza's PON soil mix? Is it possible to use this one as a commercial alternative to the gritty mix? I'd like to try gritty mix but even before the recent restrictions due to quarantine, it was quite problematic to find all the necessary ingredients and of the right size.

  • Jaku
    last month

    Hi Al, I have been calling all the landscaping shops within my local area here in Perth, Western Australia but they don’t have the pine bark fines as small as the size you have been using... is there any substitute for that? I’m a beginner here and I have been experimenting in the best potting mix for my indoor plants especially my calatheas. The last potting mix I did was a bit too wet for calatheas due to mix of premium potting mix and coir peat with perlite. I think i need to repot them now but I don’t have the right main ingredient and only have osmocote orchid mix on hand. Any help would be appreciated :)

  • Just Started(Sydney)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @Jaku Go to Bunnings and look for Pinebark Playground Mulch. On seiving you will end up with about half the volume of very usable pine bark. In Sydney, ANL is the brand I look for,


    You will also get perlite and peat moss there. Although flowerpower (I am not sure if they are in Perth) have better peat moss.

  • Jaku
    last month

    Also what material do you use for seiving? I am new to this and not sure how to do it. Also there’s the brand PineGro in Bunnings, and looks like pine fines but not quite sure if it’s just mulch?

  • Jaku
    last month

    This is the PineGro in Bunnings not sure if they are fine?

  • Jaku
    last month

    This is the PineGro in Bunnings. It’s composted pine apparently.

  • Just Started(Sydney)
    last month

    You do not want the black mulch. Just get the natural ones without color.



    Sieving is needed to remove the big pieces of bark. And to be honest there is no easy solution. Atleast I could not find it.

    In Bunnings they sell mesh sheet like this.


    I got one. And framed it in the pine wood planks to create a DIY seive. It is ugly but it works.

    You will have to find the one with 10mm * 10mm squares. If I remember correctly, the mix calls for pine bark pieces to be less than 10mm in size.

  • Enlightened Gardener
    29 days ago

    Jaku,

    I would strongly recommend against using 511 for calathea unless you like crispy edges.

    When I had some calathea in 511 they grew like crazy! Possibly the fastest growing plants in the house. LOTS of brown edges though. I assumed the usual culprits: insufficient humidity, chlorinated tap water, and I just resigned myself to never growing perfect calathea until I got a greenhouse.

    Well, one day I started experimenting with other mixtures and I tried a 1:1:1 of bark, potting mix, perlite and also a 2:2:1 of the same. My plants look better than ever! I also have some growing in leca (passive hydroponics) and they have no brown edges whatsoever.

    My theory is that even at full saturation, the 511 does not supply the moisture content that calathea require. Unlike my other plants, I was watering as soon as the uppermost later became slightly dry.

    I would encourage you to find the proper components and experiment for yourself but I’d highly recommend a “wetter” mix for calathea. I’m still trialing the 1:1:1 vs 2:2:1 but they’ve both been great so far and I’m shocked that my calathea look better than I thought was possible outside of the tropics.

    Best luck to you and happy experimenting.
    Cheers,

    Here’s the current collection:

  • Jaku
    29 days ago

    They looked unreal! Wow!! No brown edges! Yeah I was just trialling but couldn’t get a 6mm bark fine readily available. But the previous comments above I could use the mulch bark fines. I’d give that a go too.

    Well i repotted my calatheas few months ago with potting mix, perlite, coir peat and charcoal. I forgot the ratio but is well draining. Only issue is that it seem to take longer to dry.... and crispy brown edges, I use humidifier above 60% and filtered water. Only water when top inches is dry... still yeah brown and even yellowing. They are in bathroom and close to the frosted window east facing. I just trimmed some brown tips and dead leaves.

  • Jaku
    29 days ago

    @juststarted thank you for taking time to patiently help me and recommend these products. Will surely give it a go. I appreciate your help

  • Jaku
    28 days ago

    @enlightened Gardener - did you used plain bark chips or bark from orchid mix like osmocote?

  • Enlightened Gardener
    27 days ago

    Hey Jaku, your plants look great! I’m not sure why you’d want to change anything 😄

    I’ve always used real bark from landscape supply companies. Here in California it’s all fir bark and I have a supplier that pre-sifts it all to be below 3/8”.

    I wonder what is your goal in trying the 511 for these plants? Do you want increased growth or healthier foliage?

    I do still get some brown/yellow on the oldest leaves before they start to drop off. I’ve noticed that if I spray the leaves down and let my tap water stay on them, I will get some brown/yellow spots. This doesn’t happen to any of my other plants so when I need to give them a rinse, I’ve been blow drying them with low heat!! Not sure if that’s an issue for you or not.

    Also, if the humidifier is actually hitting the plants directly it could be causing some discoloration.

    Calathea are very sensitive so if you haven’t already, you might try testing your plain water and water with fert for ph. I’ve personally never done this but I could see it causing challenges for sensitive plants like these.

  • Alexander Goncharov
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    @Enlightened Gardener

    Very insightful posting. Thank you. Did you try 511 with monstera? What is your opinion?

  • Jaku
    27 days ago

    Enlightened Gardener sorry I might have posted the wrong photo; they were like that before but not now. Haha! Yeah I noticed that too when the mist actually hit the leaves it starts to yellow and that water from humidifier is just hard tap water maybe that’s why... I’m like my plants to grow big with good foliage haha... but maybe more on beautiful foliage.

    I have asked people in garden centres what they used in their plants as growing media and they just said it’s just plain premium potting mix and nothing else and they say the truth as I inspect the plants I bought from them.

    However other nursery where I got my plants from seem to have bark chips that are very fine with bit of potting mix. I just can’t find very fine bark fines Doni result to orchid mix by Osmocote. I was thinking of asking a wood chipper if they have some pine or fir that are very fine but then again who knows if those wood are clean or not (disease free).

    Now I’m thinking if I will pot them up with the mix you were experimenting with perlite I will give that a go.

    I’ll send a photo later. My Orbifolia now has smaller leaves as I keep cutting the brown edges so it may not look like a normal Calathea Orbifolia now.

    Thank you anyway.

  • Jaku
    26 days ago

    If I did use 5-1-1 mix with only total of 9L of overall mix after mixing it everything, how much dolomotic lime should I add. I intend to use this mix for my aroid indoor plants.


    is there any formula to calculate the amount of lime needed to incorporate in the total mix of 5-1-1? Thank you!



  • Enlightened Gardener
    25 days ago

    Alex, yes I’ve used 511 for monstera and they love it. I’ve currently got most of my aroids in 111 but that’s purely for my own convenience. This gives me more time to focus on the other plants which I choose to grow in gritty mix. My variegated monstera is staying in 511 so that definitely tells you something :)

    Jaku, the standard usage of lime is 1tbsp per gallon which is roughly 15ml for every 4L of 511. Sounds like you’d need about 2.5 tbsp or ~40ml

    I’ve had the best luck finding bark at landscaping companies here in the US. It looks like there is a great deal of pine bark coming out of NZ.

    Have you looked into Orchiata or Kiwi Orchid Bark?

  • Jaku
    25 days ago

    Funny you asked because I just went there today and didn’t think about orchid centres I was fixated with just looking for pine barks. And yes I finally got them today! Sizes I wanted to 6-10mm roughly. Lol. I’m so excited to make 5-1-1 and other mixes now that I got hold of pine barks!

  • Jaku
    25 days ago

    I got it ;)

  • Jaku
    25 days ago

    Enlightened Gardener - sorry to ask a stupid question but do you just sprinkle the lime in the mix or do you have to saturate the mix and then add lime? Thanks again. I’m having hard time to reply or use messaging function to directly ask you sorry

  • tapla
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    Here's the best way to mix your media:

    If it's a big batch, open your bag(s) of bark & empty them on a plastic tarp on the ground or driveway. Spread the bark around so there is a 1-2" (2.5-5cm) layer. If the bark is wet, no need to wet it. If it's dry, wet it. The reason for wetting ensures the tendency toward hydrophobia in the bark and peat will be 'broken'. Add your peat on top of the bark. Hold the bucket/container close to the bark to prevent it from blowing in the breeze, and try to spread it in a thin layer. Don't wet the peat. Sprinkle the lime or other additives (Micromax, e.g.) on top of the peat, then pour on your perlite and wet it. Mix by pulling on alternate sides.corners of the tarp; or, mix with the flat side of a garden rake. If I don't use it all right away, I use a dustpan to scoop it off the tarp and back into the bark bags or other bags I keep on hand for that specific purpose. Woven polyethylene grain bags work very well because they breath and help to reduce the acid build-up that occurs when organic matter is composted anaerobically. This is the reason bark stored in windrows is turned occasionally.

    If you're making smaller batches, follow the same sequence including the moistening, but use a tub and mix with a garden trowel or other tool that makes the mixing easier but still mixes everything thoroughly.

    Avoid mixing dry ingredients whenever possible, as it forces you to deal with a hydrophobic medium when it's time to establish a planting. If you DO find the ingredients have dried down or are simply too dry. Pour about 1/2 of what you think you'll use into a tub and add enough water to fully saturate that half of the medium. Then, add the other dry half and mix again. Water in the saturated half will diffuse into the dry half of the medium and break the tendency toward hydrophobia. The result will be an evenly moist easy medium to work with - no fussing and swearing over trying to wet a too dry medium.

    Edited to say: Actually, the best way to blend your media is with an electric cement mixer, but few are willing to buy one ($200) and devote it to that single purpose. Still, if you have access to one ...........

    Al

  • Jaku
    25 days ago

    Hi Al as always, thank you for the detailed instructions! Very helpful and practical. As of the cement mixer I’ll try to find one ;)

  • Alexander Goncharov
    25 days ago

    Enlightened Gardener,

    Thank you for answering. Since you mentioned gritty mix, did you try that with monstera as well and how well it performed? Also, do you have any experience with Lechuza PON commercial mix? Is it equivalent to gritty mix? In my region it's quite difficult and time-consuming to find all the components for gritty, so it would be great to have a commercially available option.

  • Alexander Goncharov
    25 days ago

    tapla,


    I noticed a tendency for peat moss in 511 to migrate to the bottom half of the pot. Is it normal or a signal of some mistake on my part?

  • tapla
    25 days ago

    It's normal for the peat at the top of the soil column to settle a bit to just below the first 1/2-3/4" (or so) of bark, but I've not noticed anything like stratification where peat moves downward and or bark moves upward so the body of soil is no longer homogeneous. If you do get a distinct separation, exchange the fire hose for a garden hose and cut back on the flow rate. ;-)

    Al

    You can find ingredients and/or a number of workable substitutes for gritty mix. Scroll down the page until you see the links to Browse All Mixes andBrowse All Aggregates. Never mind - I did it for you.

    Al

  • Jaku
    25 days ago

    Al can I substitute the Sphagnum Peat with Coco Peat?

  • Alexander Goncharov
    25 days ago

    tapla,

    Thank you for your response and especially for taking the time to link commercial alternatives to gritty. I really appreciate your joke on watering with a fire hose )))

    I've asked about Lechuza PON because I'm from Europe and as a premium potting mix it's relatively available here while looking superficially similar to gritty. Since the brand also sold in the US I decided to ask here in case someone has experience with it.

    Anyway, I'll try to look for local bonsai stuff resellers or will consider international delivery.

  • tapla
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    J - Something I wrote about coir (coco peat) and CHCs (coconut husk chips):

    Peat vs. Coir

    Sphagnum peat and coir have nearly identical water retention curves. They both retain about 90-95% of their volume in water at saturation and release it over approximately the same curve until they both lock water up so tightly it's unavailable for plant uptake at about 30-33% saturation. Coir actually has less loft than sphagnum peat, and therefore, less aeration. Because of this propensity, coir should be used in mixes at lower %s than peat. Because of the tendency to compact, in the greenhouse industry, coir is primarily used in containers in sub-irrigation (bottom-watering) situations. Many sources produce coir that is high in soluble salts, so this can also be an issue.

    Using coir as the primary component of container media virtually eliminates lime or dolomitic lime as a possible Ca source because of coir's high pH (6+). Gypsum should be used as a Ca source, which eliminates coir's low S content. All coir products are very high in K, very low in Ca, and have a potentially high Mn content, which can interfere with the uptake of Fe. Several studies have also shown that the significant presence of phenolic allelochemicals in fresh coir can be very problematic for a high % of plants, causing poor growth and reduced yields.

    I haven't tested coir thoroughly, but I have done some testing of CHCs (coconut husk chips) with some loose controls in place. After very thoroughly leaching and rinsing the chips, I made a 5:1:1 soil of pine bark:peat:perlite (which I know to be very productive) and a 5:1:1 mix of CHCs:peat:perlite. I planted 6 cuttings of snapdragon and 6 cuttings of Coleus (each from the same plant to help reduce genetic influences) in containers (same size/shape) of the different soils. I added dolomitic lime to the bark soil and gypsum to the CHC soil. After the cuttings struck, I eliminated all but the three strongest in each of the 4 containers. I watered each container with a weak solution of MG 12-4-8 with STEM added at each watering, and watered on an 'as needed basis', not on a schedule. The only difference in the fertilizer regimen was the fact that I included a small amount of MgSO4 (Epsom salts) to provide MG (the dolomitic lime in the bark soil contained the MG, while the gypsum (CaSO4) in the CHC soil did not. This difference was necessary because or the high pH of CHCs and coir.) for the CHC soil.

    The results were startling. In both cases, the cuttings grown in the CHC's exhibited < 1/2 the biomass at summers end as the plants in the bark mix.

    I just find it very difficult for a solid case to be made (besides "It works for me") for the use of coir or CHC's. They're more expensive and more difficult to use effectively. The fact that some believe peat is in short supply (no where near true, btw) is easily offset by the effect of the carbon footprint of coir in its trek to the US from Sri Lanka or other exotic locales.

    That's the view from here. YMMV

    Coir Study: https://sites.google.com/site/plantandsoildigest/usu-crop-physiology-laboratory/coconut-coir-studies

    ***********************************************************************************************

    Alexander - I don't know why it wouldn't work or be made to work as a very large fraction of a medium. I haven't seen/used it, so I think I'll buy some just to see what it looks like. 3/4 of the goal is getting to a place where your medium holds enough available water w/o holding perched water - or holding nearly none. The other 25% is making sure there's nothing phytotoxic in your mix (and I'm relatively certain there is nothing like that in the LP product) and it's able to hold onto nutrients (cation exchange capacity) reasonably well.

    Edited to say: I'll still buy it to see how it works, but I probably won't use it because I'm not willing to pay $4.50 usd/quart for it. I use somewhere around a cu yd (765 liters) of gritty mix annually.

    Al

  • Jaku
    24 days ago

    Wow so good! I love your explanation! It’s so well informative Al. Thank you! I’ll buy peat moss tomorrow and coarse perlite and I’m actually so excited to make the mix tomorrow!!

    Btw Al are you like a plant doctor? I don’t know your background but I’m pretty sure you’re like the lead plant person!!!

  • tapla
    24 days ago

    No - not a plant Dr. I was at a business meeting in a Chicago hotel in the late '80s where they were setting up for a bonsai show. I was smitten with the diminutive trees and knew I HAD to learn how to do it myself. My first try failed, so I set the trees aside and started hitting the books (no internet to default to back then). 3-4 years later when I tried again, I was pleased to discover I could rely on my ability to keep trees alive and healthy. In my continuing quest for a higher degree of proficiency as a bonsai practitioner, I've learned a lot of things I knew would be helpful to others; so, helping others get a more satisfying return for their efforts at growing things has become an extension of my own growing experience.

    Best luck!

    Al

  • Alexander Goncharov
    24 days ago

    tapla,


    thank you again for looking that closely into my question with LP. Also, I perfectly understand that for large-scale production it's too costly. But for typical houseplant owner with 2-5 foilage plants convenience sometimes more important than cost.


    BTW, besides using 511 myself I actively recommend your recipe to my colleagues, friends and relatives (usually with a link to this topic) in order to spread your technology in my area. So far people surprised and sceptical at first but really grateful for the result later.

  • Enlightened Gardener
    24 days ago

    @alexander I’ve never grown a monstera in gritty but I do have some other aroids in it (aglaonema). It’s probably overkill to be honest, but of course they are loving it! If I didn’t have so many plants, they’d all be in gritty mix.
    Personally I use lava instead of granite but I need the extra moisture here in California with all my windows facing WSW. I also sift everything between 1/12”-1/4” because my windows are so bright and hot. Since you have so few foliage plants it’s probably best to buy a prepackaged mix to play with or else you’ll need to buy lots of material and screens to sift it all.

  • tapla
    24 days ago

    So far people surprised and skeptical at first but really grateful for the result later. Because of how widely the 5:1:1 and gritty mix are discussed here at Houzz/GW, it's no longer particularly difficult to get people to look at the underlying issues of aeration and water retention with an open mind. When I first started putting together snippets of information explaining why the worship of rich, black media was misplaced it was met with a tsunami of disagreement. "If it ain't made with rich black humusy compost and perlite, it ain't worth talkin' about". The more recent your arrival at these fora, the more difficult it might be to believe, but the thought you could grow perfectly healthy plants in something as forbidding looking as the gritty mix was scoffed at by the overwhelming majority of GWs members.

    In my reply to Jaku above I mentioned my initial attempt at bonsai failed, and I rightly could have called it an abject failure. The stumbling block, plain and simple, was not understanding what was going on in the growing substrate. My first clue came during a master gardener class I took. A guest geologist was talking about water movement in open soil. During his talk, he explained how water in clay or loam could perch on top of a substrate of gravel or sand. It rang a bell for me, and from there it was off to the races. In my time here, I've discovered that when people come to those fora related to container gardening for advice, about 8 or 9 of 10 times the underlying reason for the problem is too much water and not enough air in the substrate. This even includes issues like disease and insect infestations that occur as a result of the diminishment of a plants natural defenses due to metabolic limitations imposed by poor root health. I was using the same off-the-shelf media others were using, but I was compounding the problem by using shallower pots, thereby ensuring a higher % of the medium would remain saturated after a thorough watering. In fact, in most cases the media I was using was undoubtedly 100% saturated at container capacity, so my efforts were doomed from the outset.

    I also learned that trial and error is an abysmally slow way to gain proficiency. If you depend on getting bit on the butt by your mistakes in order to learn, you should realize it takes some knowledge to really discern what the heck bit you. If you don't have that key bit of knowledge to unlock the message Mother Nature is trying to send you, you're out of luck and risk being bit again ..... and again. It's best to learn all you can from reliable sources, then use your practical applications to validate what you already know.

    Al

  • Jaku
    23 days ago

    Al your input is really highly valued. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I now have a deeper understanding of soil media and aeration. It’s true that all I know before was just compost and potting mix is the only way ‘good’ plants grow best and have tried and failed many times when I just use compost and potting mix and even add coir. Thank you for introducing me to this and guiding me step by step with depth and practical explanations for all these.

    For calatheas that loves moisture is 5-1-1 good to use for them? Enlightened gardener tried it and they grew well but problem apparently was brown tips and suggested it may have been due to tap water, low humidity. He then used 1:1:1 or 2:2:1 ratio and reported it was better.

    My local nursery people recommended just to use their own premium potting mix which they use for all their plants that they sell..

  • tapla
    23 days ago

    Thank you for your kind comments. I especially enjoy thoughts conveying the idea others might be getting more from their growing experience because they're actively working to make it so, so good for you!

    For calatheas that love moisture, is 5-1-1 good to use for them? Enlightened gardener tried it and they grew well but problem apparently was brown tips and suggested it may have been due to tap water, low humidity. He then used 1:1:1 or 2:2:1 ratio and reported it was better. Consider this, and it's not meant to disparage EG or anything he observed/said: If tapwater was a limiting factor, the necrotic leaf tip problem would be related to soil solution chemistry, and changing mediums or their formulation probably wouldn't be corrective unless he had the information and wherewithal to analyze/ identify/ and fix a specific issue - like soil pH or an existing presence of a nutrient that needed changes in the nutritional regimen to adjust for it specifically. More importantly, most necrotic leaf tips are caused by a root system that isn't functioning effectively, a too high level of dissolved solids in the soil solution, or a chemical toxicity of fluoride, chloride, other, chemical pollutants in the air, and can be exacerbated by low humidity or light issues. For the most part, the more you need to water, the greater would be the opportunity for your plants to realize as much of their potential as possible. It's very likely you or I could get 5-10x the growth and yield of a crop grown hydroponically than one grown under conventional container culture. So, If I wanted to grow a plant in a bucket of broken glass, and was willing to water it with a fertilizer solution hourly, I could grow bigger and better looking plants than I can in conventional container culture. So, changing the ratio of ingredients in a medium to favor increased water retention, unless one was under-watering in the first place, would almost certainly be going in the direction of reduced opportunity. In most real situations, the best way to provide more water is by watering more frequently, not by increasing the amount of water held in spaces between soil particles. The reason soils like 5:1:1 and gritty mix work so well is they decrease water held in inter-particular spaces and increase air porosity. There is nothing wrong with moving in that direction if it better suits how one might have ordered their priorities, but in most cases it would provide decreased opportunity for maximizing potential.


    If there was a perfect soil for conventional container culture, from the plant's perspective, one of its qualities would be particles as small as possible w/o holding perched water. Since we know media becomes incapable of holding perched water between uniform particles when the particles become larger than .100 (1/10) inch, all the particles would be very slightly larger than that.

    My local nursery people recommended just to use their own premium potting mix which they use for all their plants that they sell. For long term plantings, substrates used by nurseries are generally reasonable choices; but often, nursery managers depend on the pots being on the ground while growing on, so the earth can act as a giant wick to remove excess water. Substrates used by greenhouses will usually be much more water retentive than media for nurseries (because of the smaller containers) and often aren't easy to deal with in larger containers. In the end, some nurseries will be using good substrates and others not so good, though you can rely on the fact they'll all probably tell you what they use is what you should use. If you're lucky, you'll get to talk to someone knowledgeable at a greenhouse/nursery retail op, but most of the time you'll be talking to someone without much in the way of real growing skills or knowledge.

    I was buying tomato/pepper plants a few weeks ago and was in need of a large bag of perlite, so I asked if they could spare one. The girl looked at me like I had a horn growing out of my forehead and asked me, "What's perlite?" When I told her, she said, "We don't use that in our soil". I didn't bother pointing to the perlite in the tomato and pepper sets I had on my wagon. Such is the nature of things, I suppose.

    Al

  • westes Zone 9a California SF Bay
    23 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    @tapla You are making the point that plants can realize better growth with a soil medium that does not hold too much water and allows oxygen to get to the roots. You are saying it is better to water more often in a well-draining soil than to water less often in a water-retentive soil.

    But how do I reconcile that with your statement that "It's very likely you or I could get 5-10x the growth and yield of a crop grown hydroponically than one grown under conventional container culture." If you grow hydroponically, the roots are underwater 24x7? Isn't that exactly the opposite of the conditions in a well-draining medium?

  • enlightenedgardener
    23 days ago

    Hey all, just wanted to clarify some things regarding my experiences growing calathea in 511. I got incredibly fast growth with lots of brown edges. I had reasoned (at the time) that this must be due to tap water quality and/or humidity. Since then I have moved several calathea into a 111 mix of bark, ocean forest, and perlite; they are growing very well with hardly any leaf damage whatsoever. I do still get some blemishes occasionally but only on the oldest leaves and I take that as an early indicator that they are on their way out. This leads me to believe that they prefer a mix that has a higher moisture content at full saturation. Even the day after watering in 511 they didn't perk up as much at night. (I did occasionally soak the pots and bottom water to ensure a fully wetted pot.)

    I also have some growing in leca and they grow very well since they receive only ph-adjusted, filtered water with foliage pro. The transition to leca was very rough though compared to other plants I have tried.

    As far as watering in 511: it is certainly possible that I was underwatering and the brown edges resulted from my error, but I watered as soon as the top layer became slightly dry. I never let even the uppermost portion of the mix dry completely. I'd be terrified to water more often than that! One other possibility is that I watered TOO QUICKLY and flushed the fertilizer right out the pot, resulting in nutrient deficiency. I've heard of this happening before although I did get very fast growth so I'm not sure how viable that theory would be in my case.

    This thread has me curious to switch one back and test it again although I'd probably rather test one in gritty mix. Anyone else growing calathea in 511 or gritty without blemishes?

    We must also consider that, now that I've been at this well over two years, my plants are simply responding to the heightened levels of confidence and ease that are positively oozing from the center of my being ;) Hah!

  • Jaku
    23 days ago

    Al thanks again for pointing out in detail what possibilities could have taken place. I will consider experimenting on those mixes myself however it’s winter now here so I won’t be doing that until spring. 🙂

    EG thank you for clarifying and sharing your experience that I may as well encounter. I will have a go as well. Appreciate your input :)

  • westes Zone 9a California SF Bay
    23 days ago

    @enlightenedgardener You should water the 5-1-1 to flush any waste products, then apply the fertilized water. You might be doing that, but the last post suggested you might be fertilizing before watering, in which case yes you are flushing away fertilizer.

  • tapla
    23 days ago

    "...... how do I reconcile that with your statement that "It's very likely you or I could get 5-10x the growth and yield of a crop grown hydroponically than one grown under conventional container culture." If you grow hydroponically, the roots are underwater 24x7? Isn't that exactly the opposite of the conditions in a well-draining medium?" Please note what I described insofar as growing in a bucket of broken glass - "If I wanted to grow a plant in a bucket of broken glass, and was willing to water it with a fertilizer solution hourly, I could grow bigger and better looking plants than I can in conventional container culture." This would be more like the ebb and flow system where the roots are made wet by a flush of weak fertilizer solution, then the water is left to drain away until the roots need the next fertigation flush. In reality, growing even under conventional container culture is much closer to some form of hydro/aquaponics than it is growing in the earth. I'd say it would be a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is growing in the earth and 10 was some form of hydro culture.

    Al

  • enlightenedgardener
    23 days ago

    Thanks Westes. I believe I was relying purely on crf at the time (Osmocote Plus). Nowadays I rely mostly on crf but supplement with foliage pro whenever I feel the need.

    Also, just want to express my gratitude for everyone in this thread. I love the fact that it keeps getting picked up every so often and it's great that Al is still willing to chime in.

    Jaku, I wish you the best of luck and I look foward to seeing what you discover!

  • Jaku
    23 days ago

    I ended up making 8.2kg of pine barks (5 parts). Then I used 2.5 tablespoons of dolomite lime. But when I finished mixing them all (pine barks, peat, coarse perlite and lime) and put in bucket, it looks like its 25L because the bucket is 50L bucket and it’s halfway.

    Now I’m doubting my computation of how much lime I put. I used 15mL to 4L of lime as a guide. Is it insufficient lime? I’m not good at computing parts haha. Photo below

  • tropicofcancer (6b SW-PA)
    22 days ago

    Your mix is at least 20L if the tub capacity s 50L. That is about 5 gallons. So you should have used 5 tablespoon of dolomite. Just add another 2.5/3 tbsp and mix it in well and call it a day. The mix looks good.

  • tapla
    22 days ago

    Because the bulk density of fir bark is slightly less than that of pine bark, you should have added about 6 u.s. tbsp (90ml) of dolomitic lime to 25L of substrate.

    For reference, 5:1:1 made with pine or fir bark would require about 1 u.s. tbsp lime per gallon of substrate (3.5ml/L), or 1/2 cup per cu ft (about 105ml/30L). You can make your own conversion table based on 3.5 ml/L. Keep in mind that 5 units of bark + 1 unit each of peat and perlite does not = 7 units of substrate. Count the units of bark as full units of volume and the peat/perlite as half units to come up with the approximate volume of the end product; this, because the product occupying space between the bark particles does not increase the volume. Think of a liter jar filled completely with marbles - you can add about 300 ml of sand to it w/o increasing the volume or overflowing the jar.

    Al

  • Jaku
    22 days ago

    As always AL thank you for helping me out again for measurement of this mix. I always put these calculations and new gardening knowledge in my diary for future reference. I’m also considering doing a course next year for this tho I’m currently a medical practitioner haha! Can’t wait to use it in 3 weeks. For now it will be left covered in this container. I’m so excited to use this mix.

    TropicofCancer thanks for your answer as well and feedback on my pics of final mix!

    By spring these aroids will be awesome I’m keeping putting faith in this mix! ;) thank you everyone who helped me complete this mix from the one who started this topic, to Al who always give golden information in mixes, people who helped me find pine bark fines here in Aus haha and shared experience in their use of this 5-1-1 mix and other alternatives specific for plants needs. I appreciate you all!

    I’m calling it a day. Goodnight from the land down under.

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