Orchid mix and orchid mix fines. Should I sieve them out?
Well we do and always have and always will.
Why do we seive it out ? Because it facilitates microbial activity and aids the compost to be more quickly broken down. Something we dont want.
The finer the mix, the more the microbes such as nematodes, springtails, millipedes and worms can easily eat, digest and compost the orchid potting mix.
Finer mixes hold more water and less air, so orchid roots begin to stay too wet and eventually drown.
AS orchid barks are expensive and carefully graded, its important to get the fines out and make your expensive composts last as long as possible.
Even the most expensive bark grades still have fines.
This photo shows what we like to use and see.
Some will argue that the natural composting process is good for the orchid as it releases nutrients back for the orchid to use such as in nature.
But in reality we are not trying to recreate nature,we are actually trying to slow down the composting process.
The soluble orchid food we use ourselves and recommend (Peters) does that for the orchid.
The longer the compost takes to break down, the less need to repot into fresh coarse open airy orchid mix.