The process of aging pine bark is one of stabilization. Green pine bark rapidly decomposes causing drastic changes to its physical and chemical processes. This makes it difficult to maintain optimal growing conditions and can lead to water-logging, anoxia of roots and significant loss (up to 25%) of bulk volume.
Compared to green pine, correctly aged pine bark:
- Is stabilized allowing consistent irrigation and nutrient regimes
- Reduces nitrogen leaching for more effective fertilizing
- Triples available water for better moisture retention
- Provides a predictable aeration/ hydration balance
- Doesn’t harbor weed seeds and pathogen spores
- Offers consistent performance from batch to batch
Stringent quality control during the aging process is essential in ensuring critical properties are in range. These properties include pH and EC readings, soluble salt levels, wetability, moisture content, bulk density, particle size gradation, total porosity, air space and container capacity. Together these are what ultimately determine the growing conditions within a container by their fundamental impact on the availability of nutrients and water to plant roots.
Consistency over time and from batch-to-batch is crucial in being able to confidently plan and manage irrigation/ fertilizing programs. Consistency is what correctly-aged pine bark delivers. It’s what takes the guesswork out of your media base.