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To Shift or To Chip That is the Question or Pine Bark Saga or 511 Prep

Alanna Migliacci
5 years ago

OR Why is ReptiBark Soooo Expensive?

After reading every single post involving Pine Bark and 511 on this forum, I feel prepared to tackle mixing my own 511 and repoting. I was all set to go with the Agway Pine Bark Mulch and sift it. I called our nearest one, it is about 45mins away, they have the mulch in stock. I even planed on building my own shifting trays. However, after searching the internet, it seems like it will be cheaper to buy shifting trays than it will to build them. Especially since I have to buy an entire roll of hardware cloth and not just a rectangle.

While on a recon mission, I went to Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, True Value and Tracker Supply. HD and Lowes had pine bark mulch, but it looked like garbage. Agway, Lowes and HD all have Pine Bark Nuggets and Mini Nuggets and I can't get them out of my head. They looked great, just entirely too large. They looked like pure pine bark and not a bunch of crappy wood bits and dust. I'm really contemplating trying to find someone with a wood chipper that I can borrow. Does using a wood chipper work? Has anyone here done it?

EDIT: My father in law has a wood chipper, but I'm not yet sure if it works.


I was going to shift out anything below 1/8in and above 1/2in. Is that the proper sizing? I've seen conflicting info. I'm having trouble finding 1/8in hardware cloth in stores. The smallest I've seen is 1/4in.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I plan on documented on 511 adventure from start to finish. I think it will be helpful for the all the people who haven't tackled it yet. It's so overwhelming when you first start.

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