Daylilies forum: Pine Fines for Daylily Beds

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
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Natalie
Sep 1, 2016 1:53 PM CST
Stan, that wasn't the post, but it's close enough. She posted a picture that I thought she took herself. It shows basically the same thing though. I really thought that fines would have been really tiny, and I was glad to see that I was wrong!
Natalie
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Sep 1, 2016 1:54 PM CST
Now that I think about it, it may have been on the Porch Swing thread, and those get deleted after a while. So, the post is probably long gone, but the link you sent is perfect.
Natalie
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
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GaNinFl
Sep 1, 2016 5:18 PM CST
Hoped it helped even if it wasn't the one you were referring too.
Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Sep 1, 2016 5:57 PM CST
I wonder if '3/4" fines' indicates that the material is not screened to exclude smaller material. In other words, the maximum size is 3/4", but the mixture contains a range of material down to the size of coffee grounds. My local soil yard calls this '3/4 minus'.

signet
Sep 1, 2016 7:07 PM CST
sooby said:Signet, do you normally grow potted plants in garden soil? Since it doesn't typically work well in pots then that adds another factor to the experiment. BTW I thouht you were using shredded pine bark mulch rather than pine fines? That also likely makes a difference.


Yes I am using pine bark mulch ( shredded pine bark ) ,.Thought that was understood. Sorry for any confusion . Yes I do grow my overflow plants in garden soil and keep them beside the green house. Overwinter them there too. They grow quite well in it actually.

[Last edited by signet - Sep 1, 2016 7:08 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 1, 2016 7:19 PM CST
".....to see which plants do better and to see how the fines affect the plants in general ."

Yes, it was understood but you said above that you wanted to see how the fines affect the plants, so wondered if you were thinking your mulch would have the same effect whereas it won't necessarily if the particle size is different. Having said that, based on Michelle's post that was linked to above, pine fines can be anything from coffee grounds to 1" in size. Blinking
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Sep 1, 2016 7:45 PM CST
The finer the wood, the faster it breaks down into a compost mixture. You do have to add some soil or sand to it to keep it from compacting too much when it does break down, but you don't need a lot of dirt. I live in Florida where the soil is quite alkaline and the pine fines seem to provide the needed acid in the planting mixture. For plants that require alkaline soil, they may not do as well in a pine fine mixture.

When the pine fines have completely decomposed, the soil in that area is beautiful. Dark, rich, and has a really nice earthy smell to it. I typically find a lot of earthworms in the that type of soil, too! The plants seem to thrive in it. I have also noticed over the past few years that more and more plant nurseries are using pine fines in their potted plants. It actually makes transplanting easier (in my opinion). I swear by pine fines!
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Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
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cybersix
Sep 2, 2016 1:33 AM CST
I find pine bark but the pieces are really big. I tried to mulch a spot in the bed, but a cat found it better than soil to use as a toilet. I wonder why I can't find anything smaller.
Sabrina, North Italy
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Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Sep 2, 2016 3:57 AM CST
Talking about dyed mulch - our new island landscape place has just got in dyed red, black, brown - and naturally coloured mulch. Piles of it. Shocking. The first time I had seen this. Thumbs down
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Sep 2, 2016 9:34 AM CST
Glen, you're very lucky if this is the first time you've seen dyed mulch. It's very hard to find mulch here that isn't dyed. Hopefully it doesn't catch on there, and everyone wants dyed mulch. You'll be stuck in the same situation that so many of us are, trying to find plain mulch!
Natalie

signet
Sep 2, 2016 10:25 AM CST
Seems what I have written is causing some confusion so I thought to avoid any further confusion I would send pictures of the pine bark mulch I found at True Country and Garden . Seems pretty finely shredded to me but I have nothing to which I can compare it

If anyone has a picture of the pine fines you have bought , can you send it along for comparison please. I would really appreciate seeing an image of it . Doesn't matter if it is in a bag or on the ground , I would just like to see what it looks like to compare to what I found . Thanks in advance

Thumb of 2016-09-02/signet/bca9c8


Thumb of 2016-09-02/signet/706b48

[Last edited by signet - Sep 2, 2016 11:31 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Sep 2, 2016 12:20 PM CST
Thanks for posting that picture. It looks as if it has a lot of wood chips mixed in it as well. This is pretty common, since the demand for bark exceeds the supply. The problem with softwood chips is that they tend to mold, developing an overgrowth of mycelium that can render the soil waterproof. The result is that it can break down to a waterlogged, airless muck in as little as one season. (These are both much bigger problems in containers)

Bark is the tough, water-resistant layer that the tree develops in order to protect itself from pests and disease. If you look at dead, standing timber, you can see trunks where the core of the tree has decomposed, leaving a shell of bark standing. Because it breaks down much more slowly, it maintains its structure longer and promotes a healthier, more long-lasting planting medium, particularly in pots.

Canada Red and similar products would be fine as a garden mulch, (which is what we're talking about, I guess) and once it had aged you could mix it in, but you don't really want to incorporate a lot of raw or actively rotting wood pulp into your soil.

When I buy plants from Yucca Do and Plant Delights, they arrive in some of the best potting mix I've ever seen. The bark in it is instantly recognizable as such—it's the type of bark (pine or fir?) that looks like jigsaw puzzle pieces. I've never seen it offered around here.

So far, the best bark I've ever found locally is sold as ground orchid bark. I don't see any pulp wood in it at all, and I've had very good results using it in container mixes, but it's too expensive to use as a general garden amendment.

[Edited for clarification.]
[Last edited by CaliFlowers - Sep 2, 2016 6:21 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 2, 2016 1:36 PM CST
Ken, it does have wood chips in it also according to a study on mulches and termites by the City of Guelph, Ontario:

".......This category included two AllTreat products, Rustic Bark and Canada Red, both including a mixture of bark and wood chips."

http://guelph.ca/wp-content/up...

signet
Sep 2, 2016 6:26 PM CST
Thank you Ken ! That was my original postion . So Ken, what you are saying is that this mulch should not be used , or should be sifted before use due to the wood chips ?

My whole postition to start was why use a wood product . It makes no sense to me , so I thought I would try this experiment with the shredded mulch to find out if it makes a difference in the growth of the daylilies. Initially I said it would remove nitrogen from the soil as it is breaking down . Now we have termites thrown into the mix which only reinforces my original position that adding a wood product to soil or pots of soil is not advantagous at least till the wood breaks down into soil . I began by suggesting it should be composted first .
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Sep 2, 2016 6:39 PM CST
Re termites, the Guelph report noted:

".....Also not recommended are many products which have “bark” in the product name, because many such products actually contain substantial quantities of wood chips in addition to the bark. Therefore, only those bark products that are 100% bark, are likely to be termite resistant."

Also that pine fines may already be composted, e.g.

http://www.parkerbark.com/nurs...
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Sep 3, 2016 5:10 AM CST
Just a note in addition to the above, this University of Georgia Extension article on container growing notes that "One of the best organic matter amendments to use is ground pine bark having a quarter to 3/8 inch particle size. Nurseries usually have this size bark on hand for their potting needs. Either fresh or composed pine bark is acceptable. Compost hardwood barks before use." They suggest if using field soil in containers, 50:50 soil:organic matter works well.

http://extension.uga.edu/publi...

As this article on evaluating container substrates says, pine bark is the predominant substrate in the nursery industry:

https://www.extension.purdue.e...
[Last edited by sooby - Sep 3, 2016 5:19 AM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Sep 3, 2016 7:34 AM CST
Here are some photos for comparison.

Pine Fines (1 year old raised bed):

Close-up photo:
Thumb of 2016-09-03/beckygardener/6d06d9

Photo showing the pine fines planting medium that one of the daylilies in this bed is planted in:
Thumb of 2016-09-03/beckygardener/585d3f

And I also have red dyed mulch (shredded mulch actually) around the outside of that raised bed:
Thumb of 2016-09-03/beckygardener/6fcfdc

And here is a photo of the entire bed surround by the red dyed mulch. The green on the ground is fallen leaves, not weeds growing in the red mulch. We had a lot of rain and gusty winds were recently. :
Thumb of 2016-09-03/beckygardener/89f378

And this is my worm compost bin and the compost they produce:
Thumb of 2016-09-03/beckygardener/b39db3

I add 1 handful of some worm compost to every hole before adding a plant. I swear by worm compost to prevent transplant shock. And yes! I grow my own worms (which I originally purchased online as "red wigglers"). I stopped using commercial bagged compost because I noticed that it was killing my plants. Home grown compost is the only way to go!!!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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[Last edited by beckygardener - Sep 3, 2016 7:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Sep 3, 2016 10:45 AM CST
Becky, thanks for the great pictures!
Natalie
Name: Sabrina
Italy, Brescia (Zone 8b)
Love daylilies and making candles!
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cybersix
Sep 3, 2016 11:33 AM CST
The pine bark I had molded in the bag, I could see fungus too. Angry

I can't compots here because the place is not suitable. Our city is collecting green from citizen, they placed big open composters here an there on the territory. So I thought I could call someone (the municipality, I thought for sure) and ask to give me some of the compost I contribute to make. Until now it's impossible to know a phone number or having a name to contact. Angry
Sabrina, North Italy
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Name: Davi (Judy) Davisson
Sherrills Ford, NC (Zone 7a)
Davi
Sep 3, 2016 11:33 AM CST
I have used pine bark as a mulch and to improve tilth in both my zone 5 and zone 7 gardens. If I could not find aged pine bark, I would purchase the smallest particles I could find of pine bark mulch and set it aside for at least 6 months or prepare new beds well in advance as newly ground pine bark will be "hot" and require a lot of nitrogen when added to new beds as an additive. I would instead make new beds in the fall and let the mixture "cook" all winter before planting any plants after the bark had aged and partially decomposed using alfalfa as my nitrogen source. The best way to make a new bed would be to put layers of newspaper on top of your grass and layer on pine bark, compost, ground leaves, alfalfa, and native soil to at level of 12 inches and just let it cook for 6 months....the grass and newspaper will disappear, the area will settle, and you'll have a nice raised bed for spring planting.

Obtaining pine bark in recent years has been a problem even living in the heart of where they manufacture pine bark mulch. I live just around the corner from a sawmill where I have obtained pine bark in past years and can no longer get it because they are grinding the whole tree now and the product includes the cellulose, the center part of the tree, as well as recycled pine such as chipped up old pallets. Those are the "long" pieces in your newly labeled mulch and the label on your bagged product has been changed from "pine BARK mulch" to "pine mulch" to reflect this change. Pine mulch containing the whole tree and recycled products do not make good additions to your garden....they will change your Ph and attract termites. There is an additional problem in the Carolinas with borers that have been drilling into loblolly pines....they kill the tree quite quickly....yet the dead trees are taken away and ground into mulch. That may be why you can no longer find pine mulch in Canada. Another product that can improve tilth is spaghnam peat which is readily available for use in the creation of new beds. The only problem with peat is that it decomposes quickly whereas pine bark will keep your soil crumbly for several years. Daylily roots LOVE traveling in looser soil and it also makes digging daylilies and cleaning them so much easier. I dig frequently, so using pine bark as a summer mulch enables me to age it "in place" on top of the soil and automatically dig it in with my fall shipments every time I dig up a plant.

I can still find pine BARK mulch here in North Carolina but I have to look hard to find a product that is 100% bark. The products in the big box stores contain the whole tree and shredded pallets so I go to landscaping firms that work directly with the sawmills that still produce a pure BARK product. For bagged products, I prefer the products that are sold as soil conditioners now because they are not only aged, but also 100% bark.....and have, hopefully, gotten hot enough to kill all the buggy things that abound in the Carolinas. These products do not significantly change soil Ph.

Judy

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