Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

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Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  Bougies!!1!1!!! :) on Wed May 23, 2018 5:54 pm

I process most of my substrate myself and while I've found an efficient-enough way of processing scoria/lava-rock I'm stuck trying to find a way to turn a bag of pine-bark-mulch into substrate, I've just been making small batches as-needed by hand...

My best idea is to use a blender/food-processor, just mix it w/ water, shred it up, dry it and then sieve to 2 or 3 sizes, would greatly appreciate if anyone's got any better tips/tricks for this!

Thanks Smile

[context/fwiw: I'm using this as my main organic component at around 10% total of my mix which varies but is generally ~~~40% scoria 25% perlite 20% DE 10% bark 5% 'soft organics' (humus, tan sphagnum, sphagnum moss, etc depending what the case is), the goal is rapid drainage and to ride the line of good water-retention w/o water-logging, have actually been considering the 'tampon method' lately ie having a wick(s) that extend downward from the bottom of the container's substrate out the drainage hole and dangle, to fight the ever-present "saturated zone" that are inherent to container-growing!]
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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu May 24, 2018 5:58 pm

Instead of using pine mulch (which is probably not composted), see if you can find Fafards composted pine bark, then just sift to size...
That is what i was using until a couple years ago when i switched to orchid fir bark, which comes in a particle shape more compatible with my other ingredients...

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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  wabashene on Tue May 29, 2018 5:16 pm

Try running over it with a lawnmover
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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  Bruce Winter on Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:29 am

Seedling orchid bark. Perfect size. I think they grow a few orchids down your way.

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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:34 pm

Bruce Winter wrote:Seedling orchid bark. Perfect size.

and shape !!!

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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  Bougies!!1!1!!! :) on Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:57 pm

kevin stoeveken wrote:Instead of using pine mulch (which is probably not composted), see if you can find Fafards composted pine bark, then just sift to size...
That is what i was using until a couple years ago when i switched to orchid fir bark, which comes in a particle shape more compatible with my other ingredients...

The fir bark's physical shape was enough to out-weigh the composted attribute of the Fafards? And thanks I'll keep my eyes open, I've seen the orchid-blend products that are pure orchid bark, frankly I'd just rather get a $2.50 bag of pine-bark nuggets and sift/break what I need and have a ton of mulch (I actually use it as mulch on a lot of stuff like my BC's for instance, to keep 'em wetter!), instead of $4 for a tiny bag of fir nuggets (a good portion of which are too-large to use anyways, far too-many >8mm in the product at my local store :/) Will be keeping my eyes open, am certainly more interested in something that's been composted but especially something that's 75% (by volume) particle-sizes I can use!
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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  Bougies!!1!1!!! :) on Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:58 pm

Bruce Winter wrote:Seedling orchid bark. Perfect size. I think they grow a few orchids down your way.

Have never heard of this but that's a PERFECT sounding solution, will check for orchid-specialty places!! I actually know an orchid-gardener so she'll surely know, thanks for mentioning this!!
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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  Bruce Winter on Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:48 am

Got a BIG bag at Home Despot.

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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  Bougies!!1!1!!! :) on Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:13 pm

Bruce Winter wrote:Got a BIG bag at Home Despot.

Am jealous!! Was it in the landscaping section, or the orchid/specialty section? Marketed as mulch or aggregate/substrate? Will keep my eyes open, have to go return a hose I bought last week anyways ;p
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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

Post  Bougies!!1!1!!! :) on Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:26 pm


Dang, that looks awesome but not available within 100mi (at least at Home Depot, just used their location tool :/ )
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Re: Any tips for shredding bark to make substrate? Breaking mulch by hand takes forever!!

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