Thursday, February 19, 2009

Home made orchid bark chips

I've found my orchids, especially cymbidiums, really like to be potted in pine bark chips. They bloomed beautifully for me this season. That has encouraged me to make more pine bark chips for them.
I often found "raw" pine barks along roadside where huge pine logs were being kept before they got to the lumber yards. I've got several bags full of aged pine barks hauled home from places around Tuysonvien. This is how the raw barks look like.

I use these tools to screen the chopped barks: a big bamboo basket for big size, and two plastic baskets for medium and small size chips.

Plus a chopping log and a big chopping knife.

After the barks have been chopped, I use those baskets to screen them into different sizes: big, medium, and fine. The biggest pieces are for my cymbidiums.

The medium pieces are for my paphiopedilum and other tender-rooted orchids. (They look about the same size in the photo, but actually, the medium is much smaller, and thinner, than the big - of course!)

And here're the fine pices, for use in container soil mix.

The left over "dirt" will be added to the garden beds.

Before using the chips, I will soak them in bleach water overnight and rinse through several times until water becomes clear.
All will be made use of; to make my plants happy and to save the environment from waste.


Hort Log said...

o yes great idea. I wish I could have access to these free bark....

Hà Xuân said...

Thank you, Hort Log, for visiting my blog!
You know, if I could have access to commercial orchid potting chips, I might not have done what I did :-) !
Maybe you can look around your place for these?

Hort Log said...

I have tried but the bark I used rot very quickly and attract insect larvae. Pine bark is good but its not available.