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Re: [Aroid-l] Re: potting mix

Hi Russ,

I would estimate that the pine bark is perhaps 1/4 to 1/2 (very large) inch in size.....more or less. In Alabama when I used to grow a lot of bonsai....now I only have around 10 of my favorites that I bothered to keep, we would have sifting and mixing parties to get rid of the small bits. Basically you had screen conveyor belts that you put the pine bark on and they vibrated to get all the small bits out. This brings up one more point that I do not think was touched on. Remember, drainage is determined by the smallest size particle in the mix....you can put all the big junk in you want and the small ones determine the total water holding capacity of the mix. This is why in bonsai, where drainage is critical, all good growers.....not potters as Dewey says, but "growers" sift their potting mix to get uniform sizes. If you really want to learn a lot about the physics of water movement through "soil" then the bonsai forums are your place to get an earful :o) I use a 50:50 mix and by the end of the summer when I take the tubers out the pine bark has nearly disintegrated and so does not drain as well....the particles are smaller so drainage has decreased....it is true what they say....size matters.

As I said though, and as Dewey reiterated....he has knowledge about FLA and I have knowledge about PA.....I would listen to his advice, as I have in the past, but then eliminate what I know is useless info based on my own personal experience and try to incorporate the new knowledge as best I can in my never ending trial-and-error plant life. However, Dewey, if you are not willing to toss in your two cents then who?? We can all learn a great deal from the collective wisdom of growers such as yourself, Tony, Wilbert, Alan, Derek, etc. etc., but only if you offer a couple of cents every now and again.

Ken and Tony...thanks for the info about the various sites. I will enjoy looking at them once I have a few minutes to spare!!

Dan in Gibsonia, zone 6a....went above freezing today...yeah!!

----- Original Message ----- From: "Russ" <chammer@cfl.rr.com>
To: "Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 1:30 PM
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Re: potting mix

Dan in Gibsonia,

Interesting about your pine bark and perlite mix. What size pine bark are
you using? Finely ground or something larger? Here in central Fla, I have
finely ground bark available, and the wood chips for landscaping,
but no in-between size that I know of. What ratio of bark to perlite?


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