Pine Bark in soil mixes

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  drgonzo on Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:15 pm

I couldn't find it individually list on their site either.
-Jay

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  drgonzo on Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:20 pm

Doing the zip code search I noticed one of the results near me was an Agway. If its a product Agway carries I can probably order it through my local true-value which is partnered with Agway (thats how I get my Turface) I would just need an item number for the product.

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:40 pm

They call it Fafard Soil Conditioner, but it is made up of composted pine bark in fairly small sizes. I don't sift it, I just mix with equal parts Turface and Lava.

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:51 pm

I Googled Fafard Organic Soil Conditioner and found nurseries selling the product I use that comes in a PURPLE bag. I have five bags on hand that I purchased this summer at BWI for about $5 each.

BUT, I went to their web site and don't see it exactly.

So, I don't know if they discontinued it or are simply using a different name.

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  drgonzo on Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:20 pm

The description I see of it is that it contains Limestone and Gypsum as well as pine bark
http://www.leilanisgardens.com/Soils_%26_Such.htm

scroll all the way down, Is this the same stuff Billy?

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:33 pm

drgonzo wrote:The description I see of it is that it contains Limestone and Gypsum as well as pine bark
http://www.leilanisgardens.com/Soils_%26_Such.htm

scroll all the way down, Is this the same stuff Billy?

Yes, purple bag.

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  Jesse McMahon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:06 am

i was told by my local retailer (and i can NOT accurately verify this, for the record) that Fafard had changed the marketing for the soil conditioner and was marketing it now as Ground Rules (the brand name) soil conditioner/organic compost. i've bought a few bags of it and it's definitely a very similar product if it's not the same. seems to works as well for me this season as the fafard was. if you'd like pictures i can get some tomorrow...just thought this relevant to the dialogue.

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  drgonzo on Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:24 am

If I'm looking for a soil component to help with acidity and buffering alkalinity is it wise to use a pine bark product that contains both gypsum and Lime?

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  coh on Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:50 am

That's what I was wondering. To me, the addition of those items by the manufacturer just adds another level of uncertainty and more variables to the equation, since you don't know exactly how much of each is present. Do they pretty much wash out with the first watering or do they persist for some time?

Chris

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  drgonzo on Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:01 am

Chris

you would have to do an electrical conductivity test for total dissolved solids between first and subsequent waterings to tell if they were released and removed from the medium. And the REALLY scary thing is I actually understand what I just said!

I been at PH school, I talk smart now! Laughing

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  63pmp on Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:29 pm

gypsum and lime are standard additions to organic potting ixes. Gypsum provides slow release calcium and sulphate. Lime keeps the pH up, pine bark can release toxic levels of manganese at low pH.

Paul


Last edited by 63pmp on Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  coh on Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:55 pm

63pmp wrote:gypsum and lime are standard additions to organic potting ixes. Gypsum provides slow release calcium and sulphate. <i>Lime keeps the pH up, pine bark can release toxic levels of manganese at low pH</i>.

Paul

It gets more complicated all the time! How low of a pH are we talking about for this toxic effect?

Chris

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  Jesse McMahon on Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:23 pm

here's an excerpt from the Fafard products FAQ labeled 'What is the PH of Fafard mix, and how is it affected by plant culture?'

Fafard mixes are limed so that two or three days after watering in, the pH will be between 5.5 and 6.5. However, the amount of lime in the mix is only one of several factors that affect media pH as the crop is grown. Water alkalinity level and type of fertilizer used also have a major influence on mix pH. Alkalinity, a measure of water's ability to neutralize acid, is caused by the bicarbonate ion. Highly alkaline waters can cause mix pH to increase over time with high levels causing a greater degree of increase than lower levels. While moderately alkaline water may not change media pH, low alkalinity can actually cause mix pH to decrease. Water alkalinity levels can easily be determined through water analysis. Fertilizer also affects media pH. Fertilizers that contain ammonium or urea (20-20-20, for example) have an acidifying effect, causing a decrease in pH after repeated use. Fertilizers that contain little or no ammonium or urea (like 20-10-20) are not strong acidifiers. Some materials like 15-0-15 have a basic effect, resulting in a pH increase. The label on soluble fertilizer bags will always show the material's potential acidity or potential basicity. This measure can be used to judge a fertilizer's potential to change growing-mix pH. With controlled-release fertilizers, the potential acidity or basicity is not shown on the bag. If the fertilizer is formulated with ammonium or urea or is sulfur coated, the material will have an acidifying effect on mix pH. The amount of lime in the mix is not always the main factor controlling mix pH. Two other factors — the alkalinity of the irrigation water and the type and concentration of fertilizer used — also have a major influence on pH. When managing growing-mix pH, all three factors must be considered.

there are some other sections that might have info helpful to the topic. not trying to be a salesman here, just interested in how this problem gets solved. i have one baby american beech that's alive and well now. the more i learn, the longer it stays that way.

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  63pmp on Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:09 am

pH below about 4.5 - 5 starts to see Mn being released. Low oxygen ( also known as water logging) in soil also causes high Mn, but this is because of bacterial using it instead of O2. High Mn causes small black dots on the leaves of waterlogged plants, and causes havoc in cellular processes.

My potting mix is 1/3 pine bark, I don't add any manganese to my fertiliser mix, plants get all they need directly from pine bark.

Paul

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  roberthu526 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:36 am

I don't recommend pine bark or any form of large wood piece in the potting soil. It may provid some nutrition or lower the PH a little bit. But it will be really hard to clean the roots when you repot. You will have to pick them out piece by piece and the roots attached to the barks will be damaged. If you leave the barks in there when you repot, the drainage will get worse and worse year after year.

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  drgonzo on Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:53 am

roberthu526 wrote:I don't recommend pine bark or any form of large wood piece in the potting soil. It may provid some nutrition or lower the PH a little bit. But it will be really hard to clean the roots when you repot. You will have to pick them out piece by piece and the roots attached to the barks will be damaged. If you leave the barks in there when you repot, the drainage will get worse and worse year after year.

I cant tell ya how many nursery trees I've had to pry bark from. Sometimes its like pulling teeth with tweezers to get the bark chunks out of the roots. More and more the signs are pointing to straight inorganic for me and the kids.

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:05 am

roberthu526 wrote:I don't recommend pine bark or any form of large wood piece in the potting soil. It may provid some nutrition or lower the PH a little bit. But it will be really hard to clean the roots when you repot. You will have to pick them out piece by piece and the roots attached to the barks will be damaged. If you leave the barks in there when you repot, the drainage will get worse and worse year after year.

The Fafard product is "composted" pine bark. There are no "big chunks." In most cases by the time you repot it has broken down.

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Re: Pine Bark in soil mixes

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