Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Today's Harvest
by yolos Today at 12:49 pm

» Using city water, how does your comsumption increase
by yolos Today at 12:35 pm

» Coffee Substitute?
by No_Such_Reality Today at 12:24 pm

» Howdy, from Central Florida
by AtlantaMarie Today at 9:26 am

» Biochar?
by SQWIB Today at 8:18 am

» My Compost Bin
by SQWIB Today at 8:09 am

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by sanderson Today at 3:42 am

» Tomato Questions
by sanderson Today at 3:32 am

» A really, really Frugal Gardener
by sanderson Today at 3:30 am

» Worm bin?
by sanderson Today at 3:24 am

» Compost pit?
by No_Such_Reality Today at 12:05 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in October 2017
by Mimi2 Yesterday at 7:33 pm

» N & C Midwest: October 2017!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 7:20 pm

» BOOK GIVEAWAY - ENDS 10/20/17
by brianj555 Yesterday at 11:20 am

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 10:55 am

» Sowing Experiment! Anyone Tried This?
by brianj555 Yesterday at 10:36 am

» Spaghetti Squash ?
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 10:28 am

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver 10/21/2017, 5:34 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by yolos 10/21/2017, 5:16 pm

» Frames for SFG Beds - Versitile PVC frames for Protection
by sanderson 10/21/2017, 4:10 pm

» California's Drought
by AtlantaMarie 10/21/2017, 10:04 am

» Hello from a 7b zone
by AtlantaMarie 10/21/2017, 10:00 am

» Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland
by plantoid 10/21/2017, 7:27 am

» Butterfly Junction
by sanderson 10/21/2017, 12:08 am

» Mels book
by sanderson 10/20/2017, 11:54 pm

» Any Strange and Wonderful Visitors? Photos please!
by countrynaturals 10/20/2017, 11:34 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by sanderson 10/20/2017, 3:38 am

» A great offer for a local SFG,er
by sanderson 10/20/2017, 3:07 am

» Hello from Gilbert, AZ
by LizDTM 10/20/2017, 12:21 am

» How to Grow Better Tomatoes
by countrynaturals 10/19/2017, 7:59 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Does this count as five?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Does this count as five?

Post  Wisp on 2/28/2012, 8:30 pm

The compost I found and the country supply store has the following label:


  • Composted Materials:
  • Fir Bark
  • Forest Humus
  • Rice Hulls
  • 15% Chicken Manure
  • Worm Castings
  • Bat Guano
  • Kelp Meal
  • Oyster Shell Lime (pH adjuster)
  • Plus Mycorrhizae

Is this all good stuff? Should anything be added to it? Does it count as 5 different kinds or do I need to keep looking?
avatar
Wisp

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-26
Location : Washington Zone 7b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  Wisp on 2/28/2012, 8:37 pm

And I made a Newbie mistake by somehow posting in the Mid-Atlantic Forum, although Washington State is nowhere near. I meant to be in the general forum. Not too big of a deal, I'm sure the good people on the east coast are a helpful bunch Smile

Thanks Wink
avatar
Wisp

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-26
Location : Washington Zone 7b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  gwennifer on 2/29/2012, 12:22 am

Hi Wisp! Yay - another PNW'er! The powers that be moved your post to the PNW regional forum by the way, so you're good to go there. Besides, most of us post "cross-region" so you're not limited to only our advice here! Soooooo.... this question gets asked a lot! User curio posted a thread about this in the PNW forum just yesterday: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t10514-found-a-5-way-compost

Most people hedge their bets by counting each bag as one source, regardless of how many different things are in each bag. It does indeed sound like an awesome mix though, I've honestly never seen such a variety all-in-one before.
avatar
gwennifer

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 1413
Join date : 2011-05-11
Location : Vancouver, WA

View user profile http://www.bluekeypm.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  Wisp on 2/29/2012, 2:02 am

Thanks for the advice, gwennifer

Should I also be thinking about the ratio of the different kinds of compost to each other? I have some steer compost, if I add that would there be too much steer and not enough of all the little bits in the first compost?

Perhaps I should add another combined compost such as the one curio found in the link? Or am I overthinking it?
avatar
Wisp

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-26
Location : Washington Zone 7b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/29/2012, 5:11 am

wisp, nice to meet you

The following is copied from a post I made just a few hours ago.

(Multiple) 5 ingredient compost coming from one source (One company) sounds great, but I would still look for additional compost types or sources to add to my Mel's Mix.

I used Gardner and Bloome, (many ingredients) plus steer, chicken, mushroom and another "garden" compost with several ingredients. I also had just under 1 cu ft of my homemade compost. More is betterer.

When I made my second batch of Mel's Mix, I found some Whitney Farms Planting compost, another brand which has many types of ingredients, and still used some Gardner and Bloome, steer, chicken, mushroom, etc.

A bag of composted steer manure would be a great addition, as would composted chicken manure, mushroom compost and fish compost. These are not the only composts available, someone mentioned a shrimp compost too. As long as you have several types from different sources, (trying for 5) I would not worry about having too much of any one type just because one or two were blended and the others were straight.
avatar
Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 70
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  jamesindetroit on 2/29/2012, 7:36 am

Just remember...I would be more cautious of the Peat/Humus ratio then the various compost ratios. Many of the store bought brands are filled with nothing but Peat...

I just saw a bag yesterday at the garden store called "Shrimp & Seaweed Compost." Flip over the bag and the ingredients read, 54% Peat ... 1% Compost... and I don't remember the rest..

Smile

So be cautious of the bagged stuff.
avatar
jamesindetroit

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 125
Join date : 2011-04-19
Location : Michigan, Zone 6a

View user profile http://www.deliverdetroit.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/29/2012, 7:46 am

Here's a great link packed with lots of great information:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7452-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone

Basically, right now you've got 1/5 of your compost blend. You need 4 more different types of compost. After you have all your composts, you will mix them and that mix will become 1/3 of your Mel's Mix blend. Very Happy

____________________________


I am my gardens worst enemy.
avatar
RoOsTeR

Forum Administrator

Male Posts : 4316
Join date : 2011-10-04
Location : Colorado Front Range

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Dazed and confused

Post  curio on 2/29/2012, 8:32 am

I have read and re-read Mel's book regarding the 5 ingredient compost blend, and have searched for threads here discussing it, and I still don't quite "get it".

I know the goal is to get five different kinds of composts to mix, and that it's beneficial not to get all of it at one source (if possible). I know the different types (cow, chicken, fish, mushroom, plant based, etc) and have done that. What I don't understand is why a pre-made 5 way mix only counts as a single one if there are five or more ingredients in it? I'm sure other people new to this are wondering the same thing. Does anyone know what the answer is?
avatar
curio

Posts : 388
Join date : 2012-02-22
Location : Maritime Pacific Northwest zone 8A/B with ugly heat scale

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  walshevak on 2/29/2012, 2:26 pm

So many of the mixed composts are small amounts of the really good "stuff" and a lot of not so good filler. I consider adding two or three more pure composts as insurance against a bad batch. Just my personal opinion, not scientific.

Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast
avatar
walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4361
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 74
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/29/2012, 2:51 pm

curio wrote:I have read and re-read Mel's book regarding the 5 ingredient compost blend, and have searched for threads here discussing it, and I still don't quite "get it".

I know the goal is to get five different kinds of composts to mix, and that it's beneficial not to get all of it at one source (if possible). I know the different types (cow, chicken, fish, mushroom, plant based, etc) and have done that. What I don't understand is why a pre-made 5 way mix only counts as a single one if there are five or more ingredients in it? I'm sure other people new to this are wondering the same thing. Does anyone know what the answer is?

Perhaps I am overly cautious, but when you use “blended compost” from one source (i.e. one brand) you are putting all of your eggs in one basket. What if there is a problem with that bag of compost? That is why I hedge my bets, by using some composts that are made with multiple ingredients and some composts with single or straight ingredients. If there is a problem, then it is diluted by the other types or sources.
avatar
Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 70
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

thanks

Post  curio on 2/29/2012, 3:05 pm

This makes perfect sense. So, if a blended compost is used, in a pinch, it could count for two "ingredients" if at least three others (different brands also) are used?
avatar
curio

Posts : 388
Join date : 2012-02-22
Location : Maritime Pacific Northwest zone 8A/B with ugly heat scale

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  plantoid on 2/29/2012, 7:12 pm

curio wrote:This makes perfect sense. So, if a blended compost is used, in a pinch, it could count for two "ingredients" if at least three others (different brands also) are used?



When I joined the site in November I read lots & lots of posts .. what did become apparent is the five way mix does indeed mean five way , no other version using less is safe & sound for the reasons Furbalsmum says.

There are quite a lot of people who posted who have admitted to skimping & they all say they suffered as a result .

When you think it through ...a five way premade mix even of the best ingreedients would only give you a fifth of of an ingredient for the mix .

But it could work out that you have 1 & 1/5 parts of each of the other four you already have thus being totally devoid of one vital part of your final version of MM
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3737
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  Wisp on 2/29/2012, 7:37 pm

Thank you curio for asking the question I had, and thank you everyone else for the replies.

I have also reread that section of the book, and it seems to me he emphasises 5 different ingredients. However, I did not know that you could sometimes get a bad bag, so I can see why hedging your bets would be good.

I'll look for a couple more bags to add to my mix. Thank you everyone!
avatar
Wisp

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-26
Location : Washington Zone 7b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  southern gardener on 8/26/2012, 12:17 pm

Wisp wrote:The compost I found and the country supply store has the following label:


  • Composted Materials:
  • Fir Bark
  • Forest Humus
  • Rice Hulls
  • 15% Chicken Manure
  • Worm Castings
  • Bat Guano
  • Kelp Meal
  • Oyster Shell Lime (pH adjuster)
  • Plus Mycorrhizae

Is this all good stuff? Should anything be added to it? Does it count as 5 different kinds or do I need to keep looking?

How did your compost work with the Gardener and Bloome? We bought a few bags yesterday, trying to straighten out our Mel's Mix. It looks to have lots of wood in it, in addition to the good stuff. We mixed a lot of our compost we had ready in also. I wish we had piles of homemade ready.... Rolling Eyes
avatar
southern gardener

Posts : 1887
Join date : 2011-06-21
Age : 37
Location : california, zone 10a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  Wisp on 8/26/2012, 4:29 pm

southern gardener wrote:
How did your compost work with the Gardener and Bloome?

Hard to say, as far as I can tell it's fine, but I also mixed in cow and chicken manure, along with another compost blend. My garden itself didn't turn out too great because my new yard wound up being to shady, so I'm not a really good test. I didn't notice a signifigant amount of wood in my batch, though.
avatar
Wisp

Posts : 10
Join date : 2012-02-26
Location : Washington Zone 7b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  llama momma on 8/26/2012, 4:49 pm

Don't know if this was mentioned elsewhere in this thread but 5 different types of compost is the minimum goal. In the book Mel says on pg. 93, "add as many different plant-based ingredients as you can find." So I'd like to add - Keep an active lookout for new sources at all times.
avatar
llama momma

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4855
Join date : 2010-08-20
Location : Central Ohio zone 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  spinwind on 8/28/2012, 2:25 am

I have been using this compost base for several of my beds, adding chicken manure, mushroom, and steer. I didn't add extra peat. I also fertilize with fish emulsion, and consistently add more compost in. I have rabbits working on making fertilizer for me too. I am preparing beds for next year, we'll see how they do.
avatar
spinwind

Posts : 15
Join date : 2012-08-10
Location : Washington Coast

View user profile

Back to top Go down

post deleted

Post  plantoid on 8/28/2012, 1:13 pm

poste deleted .. as it was part duplicated


Last edited by plantoid on 8/28/2012, 1:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3737
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  plantoid on 8/28/2012, 1:18 pm

plantoid wrote:Thats a good mix to compost up... Bet it will put extra muscles on your baby brother .... if if you let him play in it.

I offer that occasionally it will do good to add something slightly coarser like peat or composted coir that has a longer decaying time when it is composting just to vary the crumbsize & texture of the compost . This is to help keep the finished compost open with air and water passages and also to " dilute " dissipate & retain the concentrated nutrients in a mix made from the materials you are using .

Do you also use vermiculite to hold nutricious moisture and air/ oxygen ?
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3737
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  spinwind on 8/28/2012, 2:20 pm

Personally, no I haven't added vermiculite. I would suggest people do, but the location that I am living in, has made getting compost a pricey matter (we are far, far away from a city, and the close locations charge quite a bit for their bagged compost) so I have left it out right now. My beds are 10 inches deep, and I have filled them to 6 or 7 inches, which leaves me quite a bit of space to amend in the future. Over the winter I will keep adding rabbit compost, (rabbit droppings, some shavings, and hay), and I may plant a couple nitrogen fixing crops as well. If I think the vermiculite is necessary in the spring, I'll add some. I am a great believer in steer manure/rabbit/fish emulsion as it's what my grandmother used for years in her award winning garden Smile
avatar
spinwind

Posts : 15
Join date : 2012-08-10
Location : Washington Coast

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Does this count as five?

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum