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  #11  
Old 03-29-2024, 04:54 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies! As it stands I am waiting to hear from SVO and KK as to shipping costs.

KK is 40.00 for 2 cu ft of medium fir bark
SVO is 35.00 for 1.75 cu ft of kiwi bark (50L)

1 gallon is about .134 cu ft. 13 gallons is about 1.75cu ft.

Repotme is 38.95 for a 2 gallon (8qt) bag of med fir bark. Medium Monterrey Bark is 39.95. If you buy 4 bags you pay for 3 right now, free ship. That works out to 12 gallons for 194.75 fir bark. 199.75 for pine.

Also, There is a Kiwi bark on ebay, Glass Box Tropicals 50L 159.99 free ship. More as it updates

Last edited by 19 Below!; 03-29-2024 at 05:12 PM..
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  #12  
Old 03-30-2024, 10:42 AM
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Got an email this morning from Fred at SVO....69.00 shipped to MN! I think this is great! Thanks guys for the sources!
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2024, 05:02 PM
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I have not used orchiata but I have heard multiple horror stories with aging orchiata. I believe this is the same type of bark as kiwi, but "treated" with a liming process. pH is higher...until the treatment wears/washes off and the pH drops. People have told me about losing plants quickly to root rot, presumably due to the rapidly dropping pH, with may or may not affect 1-2 year old orchiata.

Again, I have not used the product, I have recently moved to kiwi (from CHC, which I have grown to really dislike), but I am passing information from what I believe to be reliable sources. I also know some large growers use orchiata with no problems.
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2024, 05:14 PM
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I use lots of Orchiata, have for years and have never seen that. I have some Kiwi bark that I'll be using when I use up the Orchiata, just because it's an all-around better deal, the price of Orchiata at my usual supplier went up astronomically due to shipping costs and so is now more expensive.
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2024, 05:27 PM
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The pH is unlikely to change much nor be a problem in aging bark. The microorganisms keep that fairly constant. More likely crumbling bark plugs up the air spaces and suffocates roots.
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2024, 09:11 PM
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Again, THANKS All....
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  #17  
Old 04-02-2024, 10:38 PM
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hmm...to be clear I'm not insulting anyone who uses orchiata! I know people and several commercial growers who use it successfully. However I do have trusted sources who swear some people have issues with it over time. Like serious issues.

We do know that orchiata has been "treated" by the manufacturer. I will just copy and paste an excerpt from Daltons FAQ:
Dolomite is a natural mineral that contains calcium and magnesium. Research shows dolomite addition to substrates is very beneficial. We add dolomite to Orchiata to:

Stabilise the substrate by increasing the pH to within a range of 5.5 to 6.5
Prevent salt accumulation
Provide the minerals calcium and magnesium, essential for plant growth
The dolomite in Orchiata provides the plant with an initial start up supply of these two minerals. Growers must remember though that after a good length of time (around 9 months), dolomite will have broken down and growers must reapply dolomite or other liming compounds to maintain optimum plant growth.

Orchiata FAQs | Daltons

It is interesting to me that they actually mention the need to reapply lime. I can't find where I read this, but I had come across information where you can re-use the bark by re-liming it. Of course that is not so practical, as you have to repot the plant and process the old stuff.

But I don't think the issues some have are related to physical breakdown. This stuff is supposed to break down very slowly, as this and kiwi are touted as being "hard" bark.

All I'm saying is after doing my "research" (tongue in cheek, when I hear that phrase my first reaction is to want to punch someone in the face), I went with kiwi even though it costs more for me to get here in the NE. I suppose if the "theory" that the pH change is the culprit, one could repot more often....

just thoughts. if it works for you I wouldn't change a thing!
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  #18  
Old 04-02-2024, 11:10 PM
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It may be a function of other factors. My water is alkaline - tap water is loaded with calcium. Even the RO is neutral to slightly alkaline. People with more acidic water may get different results.
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Old 04-03-2024, 08:22 AM
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Yes, and your nitrogen source and rate of application can affect it, too.

Upon absorption of nitrates, plants secrete compensating OH- or CO3- ions that raise the pH. Ammonium and urea-based nitrogen absorption leads to the secretion of acidic compensatory ions.

I never had issues with Orchiata “going off” as it aged..

I don’t use bark at all any, longer, but I think Steven Male at Fishing Creek Orchids had the best practice going:
  • Buy the least expensive, quality bark you can.
  • Replace it annually, before it has any chance of decomposing.
If you do that, any roots that grew into the mix will see no change in their environment when repotted, so will carry on without a hiccup. If you’ve ever seen his plants, you’ll see what a good practice that is.
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  #20  
Old 04-03-2024, 10:54 AM
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There are a lot of "pine" barks on Amazon. Most don't state what kind of pine, so I'm not sure if those would be OK. I understand that the Douglas Fir bark, which was widely used is now harder to come by (probably due to the loss of stands of Doug Fir by invasive insects).
Hence my quest for bark. I also wonder about using the degraded bark (after heat sterilization) as part of the sand bark mix for Cyp. acaule. They need a good acid medium.
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