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  Re: [Aroid-l] Re: potting mix
From: plantguy at zoominternet.net> on 2005.12.19 at 02:38:33(13621)
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.

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