Those who use 100% pine bark mulch for medium....

Discussion in 'Maples' started by STi, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. STi

    STi Active Member

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    Do you have a pic of the mulch size? I been getting alot of rain here the past 2 years and thinking on switching medium to 100% pine bark mulch.
     
  2. jacquot

    jacquot Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I use this, but it is marketed as pine bark soil conditioner, and is much finer than any standard mulch I've seen. I have had good results, too. I buy it at a local garden center in Mamaroneck--Nables. I don't know where you are in CT, but it might not be a long drive. David
     
  3. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I use a product called Virginia Pine bark and Fines, the bark has a diameter of about 2- 9.59 mm and from 1 to 4 mm thick. I buffer the acid with crab compost. I also add granite grit because once it decomposes this keeps the water flowing through the medium. The product is made by Norfleet plus it is all shipped north, none of it stays in Virginia. Well almost none, I keep some here by driving to Fredericksburg because there is no real pine bark mulch in Richmond, all we have here is mock pine bark mulch. http://www.norfleetproducts.com/index.html I spent years trying to find the good stuff, and I never knew it could be as good as what I found at Norfleet. It looks just as nice as west coast fir bark and I think it has a richer looking color too.

    You may think this is over kill but if want to find the best product for your needs you can call these guys: http://www.mulchandsoilcouncil.org/ they are very helpful and what da know they are in Virginia too. We have all these *.org because of DC.
     
  4. STi

    STi Active Member

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    I got them in Western fir bark with some perlite and lime.

    How often do you guys water them in bark? They seem to be dried and ready for water each night...Should i water them each day or two days? I know some of you wait till they droop...How do the rest of you feel about this?
     
  5. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I would add some sand and a bit of brooder grit, it has lime stone or shell in it. I would water consistently every third day when it is cool, if warm and windy everyday day if not twice a day. As the medium breaks down you can reduce the watering a bit.

    How did you get fir bark in Connecticut

    To tell the truth I would listen to word I have to say I kill more trees then anyone here. But if the humidity is low water a lot, that's all I really know.

    I have not killed any of Sam's tress this year, however the year is just getting started. I have killed one form Mendocino Maples, it was just about to take off when I heard a sudden bam that shook me violently, it was a fire in the aft rotor and it just blew all to hell. If I can get them to leaf out I am usually good. It is like if I can get the plane in the sky I can fly it. I think it was the afternoon sun that got it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008
  6. jacquot

    jacquot Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    My pine bark medium holds moisture pretty well. If hot and dry I might water twice a week, but usually I don't have to bother and my container trees (20+) are doing very well. I mixed in sand in the past, but it settles and compromises the mix, too. I tried this after reading a recommendation on this list and have had good results. I have afternoon shade. David
     
  7. STi

    STi Active Member

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    Home depot sells it in small bags $3.**
     
  8. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    He has fir bark, it is very different from pine bark. Use big grit sand on top of the medium not in it.
     
  9. STi

    STi Active Member

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    Last night i picked them up and they still had alittle weight to them so i'm sure moisture should last longer. As far as sand goes it didn't work for me that well before plus i wanted lighter pots.
     
  10. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I don't like sand or horticultural grit either ... it seems to make the mix much too heavy for my liking, and doesn't seem to help too much with drainage. Some sands actually seem to close up drainage capability
    My last experimental mix involved sifting my own soil finely and adding to a general purpose compost, and this seems to be a help
    I have yet to find anything that makes me purr with satisfaction
    Trees I imported from Holland last year came with a fine black sandy soil (reminiscent of a dust, or powder might be a better description) which was very light and obviously ideal for growing Japanese maples
    Now ... if only I could get my hands on some of that at the right price ..........
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  11. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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  12. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Is this considered suitable for Japanese maples?
     
  13. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Sam,

    The char i bought was commercially prepared. I do not believe it has had any effect on the Ph. I think that home made high temp char is closer to ash and has more effect on Ph.

    My plants this year are the best ever but i changed a few controls so it's not scientific at all. It does seem, so far, though that the char is a good idea for the potting mix because of: weight, biology, longevity, and texture. I'd like to see the price come down some and I would test it on everything I'm growing (in pots).

    Personally I feel (and again I get this idea from the Amazonian practices), that charcoal and biochar should be composted with organic matter for four reasons; first to avoid nitrogen "shock" where to much charcoal can tie up nutrients for your first year, second to buffer the ph levels to a neutral level, third to let the carbon-nitrogen ratio balance out, and fourth to start the microbial process going before you put your mix into the soil. I call this "Carbonposting" and am currently researching (not much information), and writing up this idea.

    The suggestion cited above was also recommended by the Eprida guy who sold me a batch.

    Gil
     
  14. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I am sorry I often forget my pots are totally different, I cut the bottoms out of them. So all of my pots have rat wire bottoms. You could use diatomite for your silica supplement. Here is a little short about Si and why, we you me and Japanese Maples need more Si in our lives: I could use some thing of anything right now, my throat is beni goshiki. http://aob.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/short/100/7/1383

    I agree about the charcoal, it also absorbs methane which can get to toxic levels in the summer with the rapid brake down of organics. I never mixed a potting soil for my orchids with out it, but the quantity of potting soil needed for my maples makes it less economical, plus my plant don't ware any bottoms, and everyone know it is much healthier that way.
     
  15. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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