What Are Pine Fines – How To Use Pine Fines With Your Soil
By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)
Many homeowners dream of creating beautiful and productive flower and vegetable gardens. However, many may be left disappointed once they begin the process of turning over the soil in their planting spaces. Though most plants are fairly adaptable in terms of soil conditions, some garden spaces create frustration in the form of troublesome soil. Whether caused by a lack of nutrients or poor drainage, in most cases, various amendments, like that of pine fines, are needed as increase the chances of healthy crops and bountiful harvests. So, what are pine fines? Read on to learn more.
Pine Fines Information
Sometimes overlooked, the quality of the soil within a garden is one of the most important keys to success. Depending upon where you live, soil may require certain adjustments in order to create the ideal conditions for plant growth. As you can imagine, the process of amending large garden areas can become quite costly. In fact, this is the reason that some gardeners choose to build and grow in raised bed planters or containers.
When exploring soil amendments such as mulches, moss, peat, and others, information may quickly become confusing even for the most experienced growers. Pine fines are often referred to by a variety of names, including pine fines mulch and pine fines soil conditioner.
It is important to note that pine fines mulch may be somewhat misleading. As a byproduct of pine bark mulch (large sized mulch pieces), the particle size of pine fines should be very small – usually no larger than the size of a fingernail – and most often used as a soil conditioner rather than your typical mulch.
How to Use Pine Fines
Despite its small size, pine fines soil conditioner has a wide range of uses in the home garden. While the size of the product does not make it a proper choice for mulching around trees and larger landscapes, pine fines are ideal for use as mulch in small flower beds, raised beds and in container vegetable gardens.
In addition to their use in small scale plantings, pine fines work exceptionally well in improving the drainage quality of flower beds and in vegetable gardens when turned into the soil. In fact, many growers choose to create their own container potting mixes with the aid of this soil amendment.
You can also use pine fines as a soil conditioner around acid-loving plants like azaleas, magnolias and holly.
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I have been reading about these miraculous things for months now and still don't know what they are. I remember reading that they aren't always sold under that name/description, so I don't know if I'm looking at the right stuff at Home Depot or not. Could someone post a picture of what pine fines actually look like? And am I correct that some of you (Michael?) actually pot things directly in just the pine fines? Or do you always mix up a batch of something like Al's Mix (listed on the Container Forum)? Can you use it in beds as a soil conditioner? Or is that cost prohibitive?
Any info would be appreciated and a photo would be SUPER!
1 bag - Pine Bark Mulch 3 cu ft (also called "pine bark fines", you really want the smaller pieces)
5 gallons - Peat Moss (I buy the big compressed bales of it for making multiple batches. It also comes in handy when prepping soil for planting blueberries)
5 gallons - Perlite (I prefer the coarser grade stuff without as much of the "dust" you find in the cheaper perlites)
5-10 gallons - Compost (we use 5 gallons of mushroom soil and 5 gallons of leaf mold compost per batch)
1-2 lbs of granular limestone (more could be used, figs love a bit more and it doesn't hurt them)
A few cups of time-release fertilizer - I suppose this could be skipped if you go a little heavier on the compost. We use a synthetic fertilizer currently but will be looking into possible organic options. Most time-release fertilizers will have instructions printed on the bag to let you know how much should be added to a mix.
Our potting mix after combining everything with a fork. Pen is there for comparison to see the size of the various components.
Our mix after it's been potted up and watered in.
Conserves moisture while protecting against erosion
Beautiful rich bronze color
Palletized and Mesh wrapped
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