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Author Topic: Wood chips for growing media  (Read 2230 times)

CanadianCitrus

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Wood chips for growing media
« on: September 29, 2019, 06:26:55 PM »
Evening all!

So I am beginning to procure the amendments for the 5-1-1 growing media (1/4Ē wood chips, perlite, peat) as prescribed by Millet. I am the king of root rot as I can never find a soul that drains fast enough, so Iím going to give this recipe a try.

As for the wood chips, I am having a heck of a time finding them in such a small size other than using BBQ smoking chips which usually have some sort of additive for flavour. Does anyone have a website or location that they have purchased such a small size of wood chip in bulk?

Thanks a million!

kumin

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2019, 07:06:38 PM »
If you can get access to bulk wood chips and permission to grade them using 6mm screen, you should be able to create your own. If you're near a farming community, a hammermill feed grinder could quickly process a large quantity of uniformly sized chips.

CanadianCitrus

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2019, 07:11:42 PM »
That is a pretty good idea, the o my draw back is that I am located in a city and finding a mill isnít the easiest. Iím thinking about substituting Akadama, a small baked Japanese clay that is used in bonsai cultivation.

Millet

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2019, 09:30:23 PM »
You can use Repti Bark straight out of the bag for the bark portion. I and MANY others use it with great success.  Repti Bark can be purchased at Amazon, E-Bay, Petco. and most all stores selling pet supplies. I make both a 5-1-1 and 5-2-1 which holds a little water while supplying ample aeration.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=repti-bark&hvadid=78134099151682&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_8et6pl9v8_e

« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 10:12:12 PM by Millet »

Laaz

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2019, 06:03:45 AM »
I'll say it again, use Turface MVP as a 50/50 mix with your soil.

https://www.turface.com/products/infield-conditioners/mvp

Vlad

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2019, 08:45:54 AM »
I use Turface for my gritty mix: 1:1:1 turface (screened through insect screen), chicken grit, pine bark (1/4 to 1/2 inch). Disadvantages of using Turface: have to screen out the fines, it is dense (I.e., heavy) and it is not easy to find. Repti bark on the other and, does not require screening and you can order it from Amazon or Chewy or pick it up at pet stores.

daytripper

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2019, 09:00:35 AM »
You can get coco chips on amazon or any hydroponics shop.  They last a lot longer than wood chips.  You can also use coco coir instead of the peat as it lasts longer too.

brian

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2019, 09:27:14 AM »
The only downsize of repti-bark is that it is expensive!  It seems that the equivalent agricultural product is "pine bark *mini* nuggets" which I have never been able to find locally - only "pine bark nuggets" which are far too large. 

I've had good luck with 5-1-1 using cedar mulch from hope depot/lowes, but it breaks down after a year and must be replaced.   I've started using a mix of something like 3-3-1 mulch/turface/peat lately - I like the weight of the turface, it keeps the trees from flopping over and pots from falling over in the wind.   

You can buy turface from landscape supply stores - I get it from 'Site One' which seems to be a national chain.

spaugh

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2019, 10:55:09 AM »
 Or you can use pumice, sand, and peat and not have to refreshin the soil because its not going to turn to mush like wood chips.  You can top dress with compost and mulch.   
Brad Spaugh

Millet

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2019, 11:41:16 AM »
I once grew a container citrus tree in a pumice based medium.  It continually withdrew all the iron from the medium, and I had to frequently had to add iron supplement.   I did not care much for using pumice.

SeaWalnut

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2019, 08:38:55 PM »
Charcoal lasts houndreds of years unlike the wood chips or any otther organic material.
Also ,the wood chips will make a poore nitrogen soil because wood has zero nitrogen and needs it to decompose.
The downside of charcoal its that it can have ash soaked in it wich is alkaline and for citrus you want the oposite,an acid soil.
Old charcoal washed well by rain has neutral ph.

spaugh

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2019, 04:03:27 PM »
How does pumice depleat iron?  Or does it just get washed away easily? 
Brad Spaugh

CanadaGrower

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2019, 05:24:59 PM »
Where do you live CanadianCitrus? if you're in the Greater Vancouver Area, I can tell you that I bought a big bag of red fir mulch from Art's Nursery in Surrey, and did a 5-1-1 with spaghnum moss and perlite. I replanted a big Yuzu tree from a local nursery and it's been thriving ever since. If you aren't near GVRD, I can tell you for sure that Home Hardware has some, if not you can always ask them to order it.

https://www.homehardware.ca/en/3-cuft-fir-bark-garden-mulch/p/5010604
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 05:28:00 PM by CanadaGrower »

sunny

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2019, 11:30:17 PM »
Charcoal lasts houndreds of years unlike the wood chips or any otther organic material.
Also ,the wood chips will make a poore nitrogen soil because wood has zero nitrogen and needs it to decompose.
The downside of charcoal its that it can have ash soaked in it wich is alkaline and for citrus you want the oposite,an acid soil.
Old charcoal washed well by rain has neutral ph.

I mixed a lot of charcoal in my soil but 3 years later it was all gone....

Organic Cavalry

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2019, 11:38:37 PM »
Wood chips? Wood chips take nitrogen to break down and they will take it before the tree ever gets a chance to... I think sand or lava rock would work better. Unless you compost the chips really well I think it's a recipe for disaster.
That's in my experience... if it works for you cool.

SeaWalnut

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2019, 05:12:22 AM »
Charcoal lasts houndreds of years unlike the wood chips or any otther organic material.
Also ,the wood chips will make a poore nitrogen soil because wood has zero nitrogen and needs it to decompose.
The downside of charcoal its that it can have ash soaked in it wich is alkaline and for citrus you want the oposite,an acid soil.
Old charcoal washed well by rain has neutral ph.

I mixed a lot of charcoal in my soil but 3 years later it was all gone....
Maybe your charcoal had a lot of ash.
Ash disolves and leaves the soil but charcoal stays in the soil  non decomposed for thousands of years.

Organic Cavalry

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2019, 06:27:04 AM »
Charcoal does not last thousands of years in soil. Or this planet would be much much blacker. First it acts like a sponge, then it releases the nutrients. It breaks down like anything else...

SeaWalnut

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2019, 02:21:29 PM »
Charcoal does not last thousands of years in soil. Or this planet would be much much blacker. First it acts like a sponge, then it releases the nutrients. It breaks down like anything else...

It doesnt breaks down as you say.
Read this forum board to learn more about the charcoal and how people use it for soil amendment.
This year i burned 3 cubic meters of wood to make charcoal.
It lasts thousands of years ,watch the documentary about Terra Preta hats in a link at the begining of the forum.
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=31671.msg363512#msg363512

dlhvac

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2019, 07:29:26 PM »
If you can get access to bulk wood chips and permission to grade them using 6mm screen, you should be able to create your own. If you're near a farming community, a hammermill feed grinder could quickly process a large quantity of uniformly sized chips.
30% river sand 30% cactus potting soil 10% coco coir or peat moss 25% hardwood bark 5% worm castings also sprinkle mycorrhizae and rock dust that will work great

CanadaGrower

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2019, 09:18:36 PM »
I'll chime in about the wood chip size... I haven't bothered to sift out different particle sizes and gone directly from the bag with good results I'm not convinced that sifting out wood chips is necessary.

Millet

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2019, 10:02:58 PM »
dihvac, the formula you list above to be used as a potting medium contains 5 ingredients.  It has long been understood that growth mediums containing  more than 3 ingredients is generally not wise.  Simple is  always better than the complex.

lebmung

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2019, 02:29:07 PM »
"charcoal" and "30% river sand 30% cactus potting soil"
I wonder where you people get these ideas  ;D ;D ;D
Millet is right and has the experience of actually growing citrus

brian

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2019, 02:54:52 PM »
Lowe's currently sells "pine bark mulch" which is small enough pieces to be useful for potting soil, not too small, and inexpensive.  Not as consistent as the reptibark but way more useful than the huge chunks sold as as "nuggets"

jbclem

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2019, 06:56:23 AM »
If you can find Earthgro Groundcover Bark, that was my favorite.  After Home Depot stoped carrying it, and OSH closed, I tried two types from Lowes.  I didn't like the pine bark mulch, but their Pathway Bark was better and I've been using it for a year now.  It sometimes has more heart wood than you'd like and it's as much shredded as chunks, but the only other solution I've found is to buy the larger Bark Nuggets and run them through an electric shredder.

If you have a pickup truck, landscape supply yards usually sell small bark by the yard or half yard, and it's much cheaper.  They call it Groundcover bark, pathway bark, or just small bark and I think the size is 1/4" to 1/2" though sometimes larger.

dlhvac

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Re: Wood chips for growing media
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2019, 06:23:39 PM »
I didnít see river sand in that list i highly recommend river sand for loose breathable soil

 

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