Sunday, March 13, 2011

Small fir bark

I have been doing a lot of re-potting in the Sonoma greenhouse. Those plants are almost all in small fir bark over peanuts. This is the second year re-potting, primarily for renewing the medium and shaping.

I have a few of the Sonoma plants here in Napa to work on. I finished off a gallon of fir bark. I went to my box-O-bark to get another and noted I have only three gallons left out of the original 18 from processing the large bag.

The Sonoma County Orchid Society buys a pallet of bark and has other supplies on hand for members. It is a great service and it saves money. The Rexius bark is very good quality but a 2-cubic foot bag is hard to work with over time.

One option is to dump the bag into a garbage can. I have done that and it works, but I had to have another smaller container in the greenhouse.

What I do now is to clean and dry the bark and put it into 1-gallon ziplock bags. It is easy to work with, dust free and completely dry.

I don't soak the bark or mix it with anything else. For most plants in the Sonoma greenhouse, I have a single layer of peanuts to keep the bottom of the bark dry, and then tap the pot until the bark settles around the roots. I push down around the edges to firm it up. After that I water.

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