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Soil Mix density for Tropical climate

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Soil Mix density for Tropical climate

Post  blackthumb on 3/5/2012, 4:58 pm

Hi All- First post, and first time SFG tester, so trying to follow the best rules of thumb. I have my box built and ready, but am in the process a acquiring the items for my soil mix. I hve gotten some opinions that the Mels Mix as instructed in the updated book may be too heavy for the afternoon rains and may cause rot, etc.

Has anyone experienced this, or does anyone have feedback one way or another?

Thanks!
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Re: Soil Mix density for Tropical climate

Post  fiddleman on 3/5/2012, 5:39 pm

@blackthumb wrote: I hve gotten some opinions that the Mels Mix as instructed in the updated book may be too heavy for the afternoon rains and may cause rot, etc.

Has anyone experienced this, or does anyone have feedback one way or another?

Thanks!
First, WELCOME!!!

After you use Mel's system, you'll become a believer-I sure did. If the people giving the "opinions" haven't used Mel's system as directed, take their opinions with a grain of salt. Really, row gardeners who try to give advice without having tried this system, don't have a clue as to how wonderfully it works. Do it as directed, and weather and bugs willing... you'll have a garden to amaze your friends.

While I am not in your neck of the woods, my experience with heavy rains suggests I wouldn't expect a problem. I had roughly 2 inches of rain in about an hour last year and checked the boxes afterwords.

5 minutes after the storm there was a bit of puddling in the boxes, but the ground around the boxes hadn't drained yet. Went out 1 hour later and the surrounding ground had drained the standing water (the soil was filled to saturation though, I sunk into it and left foot prints in the sod) and there was no water standing in the Mel's mix. When I dug around, the mix was wet, but wasn't sticking in a soppy mess. A half hour after that, I was able to plant. My mix was already moist from rain earlier in the day, then we had a cloud burst which filled the sewer's and flooded the road; the Mel's mix handled it just fine, and drained the excess water out within an hour.

What I take away from that lesson is if your boxes aren't sitting in a low spot and the excess water can drain away from the boxes, you shouldn't have any trouble.

That impressed me greatly. I would think with the vermiculite and good drainage you shouldn't have a problem.

Mark
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Re: Soil Mix density for Tropical climate

Post  littlejo on 3/5/2012, 7:37 pm

Welcome!

I live up here in SC. We had 5 inches of rain in about an hour, after it had rained all week, off and on. The whole yard was standing in water. I went out to ck the garden. It was well drained, but the walkways were flooded.

I'm curious, did anyone suggest anything 'lighter' than Mel's mix? and did they tell you why?

Jo
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Re: Soil Mix density for Tropical climate

Post  elliephant on 3/5/2012, 8:20 pm

Haven't had any trouble with MM being "too heavy" or causing rot when we've gotten tropical storms down here in deep south Texas.

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Re: Soil Mix density for Tropical climate

Post  Chopper on 3/5/2012, 11:20 pm

Mel spent a lot of time in Fl perfecting his theories so no worries.

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Re: Soil Mix density for Tropical climate

Post  shannon1 on 3/6/2012, 4:26 am

It works fine here in noth florida.
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Re: Soil Mix density for Tropical climate

Post  graficow on 3/6/2012, 7:56 am

I live in your area - in Spring Hill. Please please follow Mel's instructions

and you will be so happy you did. I have used it for about 4 years now

and Ive never had a problem....only good gardening results.

Please keep us posted on what you decide to do. We all are here to help

in any way we can.

Arlene
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Re: Soil Mix density for Tropical climate

Post  acara on 3/14/2012, 8:08 pm

The verm component actually makes the mix drain faster than the zone 10 soil, and much faster than some of the Zone 9 clay-based stuff.

My boxes always drain faster than the ground around them.

If yr having problems, make sure your Peat is in the right proportion.....thats the only think I can think of (other than closed-bottom box) that would accumulate enough water to cause rot.
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