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drew51

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Reply with quote  #51 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoJoe
The PITA for me this year is apparently the pine bark. I found amazing sources for peat moss, perlite and worm castings.... But I want to the store today where I used to get pine bark nuggets for $6 per 2 cubic ft. Today they said it would be $11. What the heck? Is there some sort of pine war going on? That just toasted all my savings on the other components... I'm more likely to go out and strip some trees than pay that...

There is one place that has the same size pine bark on special for $5 per bag but it's the really big chunks....up to 4". I'm not sure how good that would be for my potting mix....


Finding pine bark has always been a hassle, and expensive. I got some big chips like that and I have a leaf blower that you can reverse to pick up leaves. it has a metal impeller, plastic ones would break. It sounded terrible but made perfect size chips. It was the best looking pine bark i ever used. This year I found nuggets that are really nice. A little big, but not too much. The biggest pieces are about an inch, most are 1/4 inch which is just about perfect.


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brianm

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Reply with quote  #52 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leon_edmond
Found the small pine bark fines at local Kmart called Earth-Gro.
A 2 yard bag was $4.59.
This is the perfect size for pot mixes.
I still sometimes use the old Ray Givan recipe of 2 parts pine bark fines, 1 part composted cow manure, and 1 part perlite.

I believe this is what HD discontinued. It was a maroon brown color bag.

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figherder

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Reply with quote  #53 
Just ordered 2 pallets of the fafard 52. Thats about 235 cu ft or 1760 gallons. I already have my amendments so should be ready to go next week.
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figherder

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Reply with quote  #54 
Here's the pine bark mulch I was using the last couple of years if you want to make your own mix.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tl-Pinebark-Mulch-2cf/145307330  3 bucks a bag


Then you could get this peat from lowes or any big box stare around you I guess

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Fafard-3-0CF-BALE-PEAT-MOSS/3319744

for me to make a 5-1-1- mix I would need about 84 bags of bark plus 11 of the peat Plus perlite or rice hulls  and I have to go pick it all up.
Cost of materials to make the same amount of soil mix myself would be about 500 bucks plus gas and time to mix it all. The fafard is 1150 delivered to my house.



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livetaswim06

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Reply with quote  #55 
Figherder I have read negative reviews of that brand including sticks and that the bark is unevenly sized. Is that the case or is it just hit or miss? I pay a significant premium, but the product is very evenly sized with no sticks, or large chunks.
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figherder

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Reply with quote  #56 
You will get some large chunks but its easy enough to pick em out. I usually use them to cover the holes on the bottom of the pot. You could sift it if your super picky about it but for the most part it worked fine for me in previous years.
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stekewood

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Reply with quote  #57 
I have a nursery and greenhouses where I've grown bedding plants, garden mums, cut flowers and poinsettias for the past 25 years. I've become a firm believer in "Quality in, quality out", and nowhere has that proven more true than in the growing mix.  It's not hard to grow decent plants but if you want to consistently turn out high quality plants you've got to start with a high quality mix.  Initially it may seem more expensive, but in the long run it will save a ton of headaches, heartache and money.  Fafard is a top notch, consistent product at a reasonable price.  Their 3B mix is my favorite for all around use for potted plants, and also works beautifully for direct rooting cuttings.  No fungus gnats, no rot and no tossed expensive cuttings.  It's a shame to read the stories of failed propagation attempts caused by poor quality materials when the price of one or two of the dead cuttings would have paid for enough good mix to successfully root dozens or more.
The mixes from Sungro (such as Fafard) are used by professional growers for a reason.  They work, year in and year out.  This is not to suggest that the quality cant be matched by mixing your own, but when dealing with large quantities its hard to beat a commercial bagged mix for convenience, consistency, and dependability.
These are all trees that started as cuttings that came from forum members in December (including a bunch from the OP Aaron).   They were rooted in 1 qt. pots with bottom heat, then up potted to 7 gallon pots about 3 weeks ago and were in straight commercial mix from the get go with no amendments (Fafard 3B then Metro Mix 865).  Just open the bag, fill the containers, and grow.


FullSizeRender (2).jpg  FullSizeRender.jpg 


stekewood

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Reply with quote  #58 
"How many 1 gallon pots can you get out of a 2.8 cf bail of pro mix, fafard, sun mix, or whatever. Not sure I'd make a custom mix if all I needed was 2-300 gallons. I saw the sun mix today. It looked exactly like what I've been looking for. However I'm talking about 3,000 gallons. That's just the shifting up of existing pots. Then I have the 400 3 gallon pots I'll need for the cuttings I'm rooting now. Many of those will find their way into 15 gallon pots by fall so figure an easy 7,500 gallons by the end of 2017. What is that in yards? I have no idea. I was going to start with 4 yards because that's what my truck will hold and go from there. 8 yards maybe?"

The 2.8 cf mix is in loose fill bags and you will fill about 26 one gallon nursery containers per bag.  A 15 Gallon nursery container actually holds a little more than 13 gallons (1.76cu ft).  Don't forget to subtract the volume of your current container size if you are up potting.  To up pot a 3 gallon (.36 cu ft.) pot into a 15 gallon you will need 1.4 cu ft of mix so you would get 2 up pots/bag.  If you are up potting from a 7 gallon (.86 cu.ft.)  to a 15 you will only need .9cu. ft so you will get a little more than 3 up pots done with one bag of mix.

If you are starting from scratch and know that everything will end up in a 15 gallon, you can just plan on using 1.76 cu ft of soil per tree no matter what size pot you start out with or how many times you step up pots before getting to the 15 gallon.  If you pay $14/bag, that means your soil cost is $5/ cu. ft. and each 15 gallon will run you $8.80.
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Reply with quote  #59 
Ok. So I'm planning on spending $100/yd on potting soil so I'm looking at $6.66 per 15 gal pot. Good to know.
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NoelG_123

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Reply with quote  #60 
If you have a truck, call anyone in your area who does stump grinding which often produces pretty fine material. I also found a near by firewood seller who splits firewood, leaving the ground littered with small pieces of bark which I get for nothing. Our local cemetary also grinds up their tree trimmings which they give away. Cities also contract for tree grinding and one near us gives it away but it needs composting. Lots of free options out there if you have a truck, a barn shovel and a strong back.  :)


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figherder

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Reply with quote  #61 
Stekewood, I need a greenhouse LOL.. Your trees look great. If you aren't using any amendments are you feeding them?
Originally I was going to up pot everything to 25's this year but others warned me against that so only going to 5's and then 10's by the fall.  I only need 1700-1800 gallons of material.

I did try to buy the 60 cu ft bales but you have to buy 24 at a time. I only needed 4 LOL.

Here's the site I used for the conversion of gallons to yards

7500 gal= about 37 cu yard

http://www.asknumbers.com/cubic-yard-to-gallon.aspx

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brianm

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Reply with quote  #62 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stekewood
I have a nursery and greenhouses where I've grown bedding plants, garden mums, cut flowers and poinsettias for the past 25 years. I've become a firm believer in "Quality in, quality out", and nowhere has that proven more true than in the growing mix.  It's not hard to grow decent plants but if you want to consistently turn out high quality plants you've got to start with a high quality mix.  Initially it may seem more expensive, but in the long run it will save a ton of headaches, heartache and money.  Fafard is a top notch, consistent product at a reasonable price.  Their 3B mix is my favorite for all around use for potted plants, and also works beautifully for direct rooting cuttings.  No fungus gnats, no rot and no tossed expensive cuttings.  It's a shame to read the stories of failed propagation attempts caused by poor quality materials when the price of one or two of the dead cuttings would have paid for enough good mix to successfully root dozens or more.
The mixes from Sungro (such as Fafard) are used by professional growers for a reason.  They work, year in and year out.  This is not to suggest that the quality cant be matched by mixing your own, but when dealing with large quantities its hard to beat a commercial bagged mix for convenience, consistency, and dependability.
These are all trees that started as cuttings that came from forum members in December (including a bunch from the OP Aaron).   They were rooted in 1 qt. pots with bottom heat, then up potted to 7 gallon pots about 3 weeks ago and were in straight commercial mix from the get go with no amendments (Fafard 3B then Metro Mix 865).  Just open the bag, fill the containers, and grow.


FullSizeRender (2).jpg  FullSizeRender.jpg 


Beautifully grown and yes you are right. You get out what you put in.

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livetaswim06

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Reply with quote  #63 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoelG_123
If you have a truck, call anyone in your area who does stump grinding which often produces pretty fine material. I also found a near by firewood seller who splits firewood, leaving the ground littered with small pieces of bark which I get for nothing. Our local cemetary also grinds up their tree trimmings which they give away. Cities also contract for tree grinding and one near us gives it away but it needs composting. Lots of free options out there if you have a truck, a barn shovel and a strong back.  :)



I would state again that using sapwood is a bad idea. It is not bark and reusing firewood or a ground stump would be 80%+ sapwood.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #64 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stekewood
I have a nursery and greenhouses where I've grown bedding plants, garden mums, cut flowers and poinsettias for the past 25 years. I've become a firm believer in "Quality in, quality out", and nowhere has that proven more true than in the growing mix.  It's not hard to grow decent plants but if you want to consistently turn out high quality plants you've got to start with a high quality mix.  Initially it may seem more expensive, but in the long run it will save a ton of headaches, heartache and money.  Fafard is a top notch, consistent product at a reasonable price.  Their 3B mix is my favorite for all around use for potted plants, and also works beautifully for direct rooting cuttings.  No fungus gnats, no rot and no tossed expensive cuttings.  It's a shame to read the stories of failed propagation attempts caused by poor quality materials when the price of one or two of the dead cuttings would have paid for enough good mix to successfully root dozens or more.
The mixes from Sungro (such as Fafard) are used by professional growers for a reason.  They work, year in and year out.  This is not to suggest that the quality cant be matched by mixing your own, but when dealing with large quantities its hard to beat a commercial bagged mix for convenience, consistency, and dependability.
These are all trees that started as cuttings that came from forum members in December (including a bunch from the OP Aaron).   They were rooted in 1 qt. pots with bottom heat, then up potted to 7 gallon pots about 3 weeks ago and were in straight commercial mix from the get go with no amendments (Fafard 3B then Metro Mix 865).  Just open the bag, fill the containers, and grow.






I'm a bit confused. We have Fafard everywhere here but I don't see the 3B on their website...Can't find it searching...  I want to try experiment with a mix that I don't make from scratch and if I understand you're saying this will drain as well as a 5-1-1. 

Do you know where this stuff is made? maybe a subsidiary? 

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livetaswim06

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Reply with quote  #65 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoJoe


I'm a bit confused. We have Fafard everywhere here but I don't see the 3B on their website...Can't find it searching...  I want to try experiment with a mix that I don't make from scratch and if I understand you're saying this will drain as well as a 5-1-1. 

Do you know where this stuff is made? maybe a subsidiary? 


http://www.sungro.com/professional-products?brandID=2&productID=180

http://www.sungro.com/professional-products?brandID=2&productID=187

Adding that Fafard 3B, 52 and nursery mix are all supposed to be good and bark based. I am not sure what the specific differences are between the 3 mixes. Also check ProMix BRK, should be available over yonder.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #66 
LOL! I was reading the links you posted.... Check this out:

"Available In: U.S.A. - Eastern United States only"

and then

"Ingredients: Bark, Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, Perlite, Vermiculite, Dolomitic Limestone, Wetting Agent"


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livetaswim06

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Reply with quote  #67 
Hahaha Canadian just sounds like it's better. I think many shops that sell retail Fafard products can order the professional ones. Might take a little calling around.
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DomGardens

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Reply with quote  #68 
Quote:
Originally Posted by livetaswim06
Have you tried reaching out to CPS? There is a location in north and south NJ.


Can you tell me where in South Jersey? I am right outside in a city in looking for a better place for supplies thanks

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #69 
Quote:
Originally Posted by livetaswim06
Hahaha Canadian just sounds like it's better. I think many shops that sell retail Fafard products can order the professional ones. Might take a little calling around.


So much for our bi-lateral Sphagnum Peat Moss treaty! ;-)



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livetaswim06

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Reply with quote  #70 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomGardens


Can you tell me where in South Jersey? I am right outside in a city in looking for a better place for supplies thanks


The one in the southern part of the state is in Pittstown. Just Google crop production services new jersey and it should pull up.

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stekewood

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Reply with quote  #71 
Thanks for the compliment Brian.

Figherder-  Thanks.  The greenhouse is great for getting a jump start.  There is no heat turned on until mid February so I built a mini greenhouse for rooting out of some old double walled acrylic panels.  It sits on the bench inside the main greenhouse, and has a heat mat and a temperature activated vent arm.  I set the mat at 76 so the root zone stays warm but the air temp is usually around 60 or so up around the cutting.  On really cold nights it can get down in the low 50's.  By the time the heat gets turned on in the main greenhouse they have just about outgrown the 18" tall rooting box.
 Once they are rooted I use liquid feed about once a week  and also drench them with 20ml/gal of flowable limestone about once every three weeks or so to offset the acidifying effect of my water and the fertilizer.

TorontoJoe-  I think the Sungro manufacturers are in NC in order to take advantage of the virtually unlimited pine bark available down there.  I agree with you though, they could at least return the favor by sending the finished product back up to the source of the peat moss!  I think Lambert is a big Canadian mix producer and makes some bark mixes.  You may have more luck finding that up there.
figherder

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Reply with quote  #72 
I bought my Fafard through BFG supply. Corporate office is in Oh but material is shipping from Pa. They also have locations in other places.
I had contacted Fafard through their website. The local guy put me in touch with regional guy and he put me in touch with BFG supply. Shipping was only 50 bucks via common carrier so very reasonable for 2 pallets of material.

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ricky

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Reply with quote  #73 
>> 2 parts tripple shredded root mulch, 2 parts well decomposed leaf compost, and 1 part Pro Mix HP-CC.

I have seen soil place 1/2 block away from my house, They pile up root bark mulchs with leaves and composted them at winter, After 3 months, They add 20% sand, some manure, lime and mix them together,  I bought 3 yard (81CuFT) of soil from them for $75 (delivered) for my raising garden last year,  it works fine but I do not like their manure in soil, it contains lots of Gnat, and it shrink 25% in 1 year.



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Reply with quote  #74 
At $100/yd I'd switch to hardwood chips and add nitrogen over time.  My local supplier has a playground mix for $8/yd.
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Reply with quote  #75 
Today was the first Potting soil day of the year. I got 2 yards of prepared potting soil. (Pine bark, peat, fert, perlite, and a little sand). I then added 1 yard of screened compost. Total cost for 3 yards was about $75/yd. I guess I can live with that.

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livetaswim06

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Reply with quote  #76 
Aaron, why do you add sand? I would assume to make the mix a little more water retentive, right?
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Reply with quote  #77 
I don't add the sand. The mix I buy is pre-made. I'm assuming it comes from the Carolinas. I would say it is under 5% of the mix. Once I add the compost it dilutes it to under 2% by volume.
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livetaswim06

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Reply with quote  #78 
Ah that makes sense. I saw so little sand in the pictures I wondered how little it must be. Mixing ProMix HP and pine bark, that is running me around 3x that amount. 7 cubic feet in one package ProMix and 2 cubic feet of bark per bag and your soil looks nicer.
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Reply with quote  #79 
That's some tasty looking mix. The pine bark is a lot darker than anything I've found around here. The stuff I found is more of a terra cotta color. I can't imagine doing better than $25 per yard for a good mix. Well done!

May I ask what fertilizer you went with? I've been looking at some of the stuff available at farm supply places. I assume it doesn't have any of the micro-nutrients in it but at this price I'd just as well let the compost take care of that and use this cheaper stuff for the N-P-K. 

This is what I found. I'm sure you guys have something similar in rural areas. I've just started tinkering with this stuff so cant yet speak to the quality, but at these prices it's looking hard to beat.

http://www.tscstores.com/TSC-ALL-PURPOSE-FERTILIZER-10KG-P40042.aspx#.WTdNVOvyvIU

http://www.tscstores.com/25KG-5-20-20-TSC-GARDEN-FERTILIZER-P30567.aspx#.WTdNlOvyvIU




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ADelmanto

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Reply with quote  #80 
I wish it was $25 per yard. No, it was $75 per yard.

I went with a 5-10-10 granular fertilizer but then topped the pots off with rabbit poop with hay and pine bedding all mixed up. (About 1-2") I am going with a ring of 1/4" drip irrigation tubing on top of the pots, but because it's been raining so much this spring I have not even turned them on yet. The leaves look nice and green and there are plenty of breba. I'm happy with it so far.

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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #81 
Oops! I misread. Thought it was $75 for all three yards. Still not bad for good mix.... A whole lot better than Promix

Lol! I've not had to water much either.... If it ever stops raining maybe I'll see some decent growth. All my smaller plants have been stalled since early May. Apparently May is the new April.... [Sigh]



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