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Frankenstein mix

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Frankenstein mix

Post  Weedless_ on 3/11/2012, 10:48 pm

So this is my first year in Bama, and I had to start over with boxes. In the fall, I put together two 4x8' boxes, 12" deep. Even screwed on a protective chicken wire on the bottom (I guess I was afraid of cangaroos digging their way all the way through the middle of the Earth and popping in my garden). Then I decided to put down some shredded brown paper from all the packaging wrappers from the move (well how green and sustainable of me!), and layer my home made compost with leaves and grass clippings from the garden, interspersed with spent coffee grounds from the local Starbucks. This was my idea of lasagna bed, and this is how I was hoping to kick start my raised bed. Well, as it always happens, a few things here and there went off the beaten path, and my compost went sour and mushy instead of beautifully earthy. Since I have no time to build a new batch, I decided to go with the outsourced compost.
Little did I know - Bama just doesn't have any good sources, other than your personal friends farmers (didn't have enough time to make some yet), or Walmart (boycotting the sucker).
Finally, someone recommended the Captain Compost guy, who makes it all in his own backyard and sells by a truck load. What do you know, we just bought a truck two weeks ago! So long story short, as of this afternoon, I am a proud owner of two almost completely filled beds stuffed (in order of appearance) with hand shredded brown paper, homemade compost gone bad, layer of dry grass clippings, leaves, layer of beautiful CaptainCompost stuff, peat moss, a few bags of cow manure, another layer of leaves and grass clippings, more compost, some coffee grounds. I am going to get vermiculite tomorrow morning, and mix it into both. I am guessing there is going to be a slight surplus of the mix, which will go into the containers for my berry bushes.
I call this Frankenstein mix. Watch our Mel, here I come! affraid


Last edited by Weedless_in_Atlanta on 3/11/2012, 11:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Re: Frankenstein mix

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/11/2012, 10:54 pm

How many inches of shredded paper in the bottom??
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Re: Frankenstein mix

Post  Weedless_ on 3/11/2012, 10:56 pm

It was quite thick. I don't remember, but we had several large paintings that were wrapped in that paper, and I spent several evenings shredding it Smile Probably, when compacted, it would all end to an inch of stuff. Why?
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Re: Frankenstein mix

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/11/2012, 11:04 pm

I was just wondering.

I was thinking of doing something similar with shredded newspapers for my boxes I'm building
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Re: Frankenstein mix

Post  Weedless_ on 3/11/2012, 11:07 pm

Oh yeah, newspapers decompose really quickly, and earth worms devour them! Go for it! I used to put several layers of newspaper around my tomatoes, after transplanting, and by the end of season you couldn't even tell they were there - all decomposed beautifully.
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Re: Frankenstein mix

Post  GWN on 3/12/2012, 12:28 am

I had a move last year too and have made good use of all of the cardboard, both under my beds and between them. Stops the growth and then disintegrates.
What are you going to grow in your frankenstein mix? Who knows you might really be onto something. Be sure and take pictures. Try to avoid setting my foot in walmart as well.
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Re: Frankenstein mix

Post  Weedless_ on 3/12/2012, 10:40 am

I will be growing vegetables, mostly summer ones. Maybe a few peas and lettuces, though with this kind of weather, it seems a bit more suitable for coconut palms Smile.
I ordered vermiculite today, the guy has run out, but said it will be available by Thursday. But I bought cotton burr from him, and some blood meal, so there are two more components for the mix. Hope my gut feeling is the right feeling Smile
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Re: Frankenstein mix

Post  GWN on 3/12/2012, 11:34 am

I am on a small acreage and have taken all of the cardboard from the move and placed it all over the property trying to kill all the wild grass below.
On both sides I have obsessive lawn mowers......that compete...
Smile What they must think of my yard covered with cardboard boxes...... Very Happy
What is cotton burr?
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Re: Frankenstein mix

Post  Weedless_ on 3/12/2012, 11:48 am

Cotton burr compost is a great soil conditioner and pretty attractive looking mulch.
There are some brands that strive to provide it in organic form, and this is the one I got. It's not cheap (I paid 8.00 per 2 cu ft), but it would definitely enhance the multi-compost bouquet that is required for Mel's mix.
http://www.backtonaturecompost.com/cbc.html
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Cotton burr compost

Post  curio on 3/12/2012, 12:05 pm

Make sure you aren't getting compost from cotton that's been sprayed with an herbicide or other chemicals, as they can remain in the tissue of the plants.
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Re: Frankenstein mix

Post  GWN on 3/12/2012, 12:33 pm

very interesting stuff, likely not something I would ever see in "these parts"
It was encouraging that it sounds like the USDA has become more strict with the chemicals used on cotton.
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Re: Frankenstein mix

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