Daylilies forum: growing medium

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Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Sep 25, 2014 9:12 AM CST
I know there are other threads on this..please feel free to forward me, if you find them.

I am in a tizzy over finding something to put in my potting mix. I have looked for 'pine fines' now, for at least the last 5 years. I have even taken pine mulch and ran over it with the lawn mower.
I was at Lowes today, determined to come home with something to plant my last years seedling in, and my new plants. Well......all the orchid barks and small mulch is from a fir tree. The pine mulch was huge. There was every color of rubber mulch you could think of, its the right size, but......Then I thought I had hit the jackpot with these bags of very small mulch. Some of the piles were from eucalytus trees and the other was from melaleuca tress.
Does anyone know if these things will work, or harm the plants. Im really just looking for some good drainage.
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Sep 25, 2014 10:40 AM CST
How much do you want/need? This place has pine bark fines for $21 a cubic yard.

http://www.griffislumber.com/mulch_pinebark.html

The other option is to search for soil conditioner. A lot of them are just aged pine fines.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Sep 25, 2014 12:11 PM CST
THANK YOU!! I do feel a bit silly I didnt check someplace like that. Im so jazzed. I will for sure go out there and get some!!

Do you think it hurts it to sit a year, Id like to get some for this fall and next years supply.
[Last edited by gardenglory - Sep 25, 2014 12:15 PM (+)]
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Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Sep 25, 2014 12:19 PM CST
I can't imagine it would hurt it a bit. A lot of people use aged pine fines. Perhaps someone like @tink3472 or @spunky1 who is more familiar with your growing conditions can chime in?

This was just nicely timed since I have been trying to track down pine fines up north. You southerners appear to have a strangle hold on it!
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Sep 25, 2014 1:49 PM CST
gardenglory said:THANK YOU!! I do feel a bit silly I didnt check someplace like that. Im so jazzed. I will for sure go out there and get some!!

Do you think it hurts it to sit a year, Id like to get some for this fall and next years supply.


It can sit as long as you need it to. It may even be better next year since I'm sure the earthworms will find their way into it after it has sat for a bit Thumbs up
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Name: Larry
Augusta, GA area (Zone 8a)
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LarryW
Sep 25, 2014 7:34 PM CST
I know that many of the "big box" home improvement stores stock items regionally, so you may not have the same items available in your local store that I do here in east-central Georgia, but . . .

Home Depot has a product called "Soil Conditioner" here in 2 cu ft bags for about $3.50 per bag. The ingredients are listed as 50% pine bark fines and 50% compost. I've been using it to mix in with my native soil for several years (along with some local compost). If this material is stacked at the store in open weather and you've had rain recently, it can be quite heavy and the bags get slimy, so dress appropriately! (You can get help loading it at the store, but you still have to unload it.)

Lowe's has one of its 'cheap' top soil products in 1 cu ft bags for about $2 per bag. It does not list ingredients, but it looks very much like the material at Home Depot, but with less of the compost portion. I've only used it a couple of times when Home Depot was out of their product and I couldn't wait for the next shipment to arrive.

However, check and see if you have a soil/compost maker or a lumber mill in your area where you can get what you want by the pickup load (or larger quantities delivered to your site for a fee). It is much cheaper that way - - no bagging/no shipping costs!! I'm lucky to have at least one of each within 15 miles of my home and I can get a lot of my needs filled there, but neither has a "composted pine bark fines" product, so I get it in bags when I need it.

Also, I agree with Tink - - letting it sit for a year or more is likely to improve it rather than degrade it.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Sep 26, 2014 8:29 AM CST
I alway thought it was for drainage. I didnt realize it was more of a soil conditioner for the plants. I am going to call the lumber place that James posted, but Im also going to run up to HD to see about the soil conditioner bags, just as a quick fix for the plants I have soaking. Thanks for the info
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 26, 2014 8:48 AM CST
Pam, since our winters are relatively dry anyway, is the drainage issue really a problem here in FL ? I have most of my new plants in just regular potting soil with perlite at the bottom of the pot. It's summer when we get our days of 8in. of rain at once, when it's warm and the plants are growing so not such a headache. Mine will be all in the ground by next summer, in the fast-draining sand of my front bed.

Up north (well, north of us) they get snow that melts suddenly in winter and early spring, creating cold, soggy conditions and I'd figured that's the situation where you really need fantastic drainage and a light airy mix to prevent roots rotting.
Elaine

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Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Sep 26, 2014 9:38 AM CST
Tell you the truth, I dont really know. Whenever people with amazing daylilies post their mixture recipe, it always seems to include pine fines. My plants dont seem to increase and get as big as most peoples seem to. I was hoping it would give them a little more 'ease' for the roots to grow. Ive been using straight miracle grow potting mix.
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Sep 26, 2014 1:47 PM CST
I used miracle grow potting soil once and know a few who used it and the daylilies didn't seem to like it much. They didn't grow very well and stayed puny.
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Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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JWWC
Sep 26, 2014 2:00 PM CST
gardenglory said:Tell you the truth, I dont really know. Whenever people with amazing daylilies post their mixture recipe, it always seems to include pine fines. My plants dont seem to increase and get as big as most peoples seem to. I was hoping it would give them a little more 'ease' for the roots to grow. Ive been using straight miracle grow potting mix.


I've had my potted plants in a pretty airy mix this year and I can tell you I have not had root growth like I am seeing. The caveat being they do require much more frequent watering.
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dormantsrule
Sep 26, 2014 2:18 PM CST
tink3472 said:I used miracle grow potting soil once and know a few who used it and the daylilies didn't seem to like it much. They didn't grow very well and stayed puny.



Agree.
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Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Sep 26, 2014 3:02 PM CST
well im going to add some stuff..peat maybe., and use up what I have. Michele can help me here maybe, I thought it was Fred who used pine fines, sand and ???perlite/vermiculite maybe. I just dont know what kind of sand. Builders sand..playground sand...
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Sep 26, 2014 4:55 PM CST
I am going to keep an eye on this thread to see what is recommended. I have some seeds that sprouted in my fridge so I may try to grow them indoors this winter. I would also like to know what soil would be the best to use.
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Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
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tink3472
Sep 26, 2014 5:57 PM CST
gardenglory said:well im going to add some stuff..peat maybe., and use up what I have. Michele can help me here maybe, I thought it was Fred who used pine fines, sand and ???perlite/vermiculite maybe. I just dont know what kind of sand. Builders sand..playground sand...


Fred and I both just use the small pine bark (dime to nickel size) with sand, 90/10 ratio. We do not add vermiculite/perlite, just pine bark and sand. Then of course the fertlizer, lime, alfalfa, etc.
Here we get a dump truck of sand brought in and it is double washed sand. Some places the single washed sand is just as good, but it's the playground sand you want.
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Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Sep 26, 2014 6:51 PM CST

I've gotten truck loads of free chopped up tree branches from road crews clearing along power lines.
Had it dumped in piles to age. Didn't get back to it right away and now it has become part of the soil.

Well it helps stop erosion anyway....
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
Sep 27, 2014 9:01 AM CST
A local nursery now carries 1 cu ft bags of "growing medium" and it looks great! It's 40-50% composed pinebark plus new FL peat, Canadian peat, cypress sawdust and a wetting agent and it comes from Florida Potting Soils. The bag costs $5 and that makes it a bit cheaper than Miracle Grow and substantially cheaper than Fafard's 3B mix I usually use. I did add some perlite to it to make it lighter. The good news is that the bags weigh about 25 lb. and they pack easily in the trunk of my car. Man, it's going to save me a ton of money this year because I need to remove some soil and replace it in almost all of my 10 boxes.

I have big 2 bags of the Miracle Grow stuff. Guess I'll use it when I move and replant tropicals in the shade garden. Don't want to throw it out, but it will not be used in the daylily boxes!!! Thumbs down
[Last edited by florange - Sep 27, 2014 4:52 PM (+)]
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Sep 27, 2014 2:15 PM CST
That's sounds like really good stuff!!!
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Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
Sep 28, 2014 6:33 PM CST
I remember a bunch of years ago that both Pat Stamile and David swore by mixes that had Fl peat in them. I could never find those mixes because I can't order in bulk. So now, umpteen years later, I find it. Well, I'm still growing daylilies and I might as well take advantage of this and make my daylilies as happy as they can be. There is no downside.
Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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gardenglory
Oct 1, 2014 6:27 PM CST
Bingo!!!!! I found some pine fines nodding . They are in 2 cu. ft bags, and are produced about an hour from here. I am so excited, I found those just in time to transplant my keeper seedlings and to shore up plants that have pulled down and gotten smaller.

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