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Plants not thriving in Mels Mix

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Plants not thriving in Mels Mix

Post  landarch on 4/14/2012, 2:19 pm

I started some SFG boxes from scratch this spring using Mels Mix. I also kept a few larger boxes from last year with the existing soil that I have been amending (not Mels Mix). As an experiment before converting everything to Mels mix I wanted to compare the two becuase I had pretty decent yields last year with my old soil.

So far, several veggies are not doing well in my Mels Mix...here are a few pics of plants in both soils (same seed, planting date, watering, sun, planting method, etc.)


Any thoughts? I have used 5 compost types and we have had enough rain that the mix is wet all the way down. I have worked some additional organic fertilizer into the soil as well watered with organic Buffaloam Compost Tea (contains Buffaloam Organic Buffalo Compost, Norwegian seaweed, and Endomycorrhizae).

Rossimo Lettuce in Mels Mix



Rossimo in my old soil (not Mels Mix)



Radishes in Mels Mix



Radishes in my old soil



Swiss chard in Mels Mix - purchased as a bedding plant - has looked like this for about four weeks...turning a bit yellow.



Last edited by landarch on 4/14/2012, 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Plants not thriving in Mels Mix

Post  camprn on 4/14/2012, 2:26 pm

If this is only the second season of Mel's Mix, I would put a bit more homemade compost in. Mel says use a trowel full per square but I use a bit more than that and it has served me well. If you have a few inches of space in the box, fill it up with compost.

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Re: Plants not thriving in Mels Mix

Post  landarch on 4/14/2012, 2:31 pm

This is the first season for Mels Mix...this is the second season for my old soil that I have been amending with compost.

Should I try to work in additional compost around existing plants in Mels Mix...or sacrifice the plants to get ready for planting summer veggies?

I'd like to try to get this worked out before tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and peppers go in.
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Re: Plants not thriving in Mels Mix

Post  camprn on 4/14/2012, 2:36 pm

@landarch wrote:This is the first season for Mels Mix...this is the second season for my old soil that I have been amending with compost.

Should I try to work in additional compost around existing plants in Mels Mix...or sacrifice the plants to get ready for planting summer veggies?

I'd like to try to get this worked out before tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and peppers go in.
The radishes, you could put some compost around the wee plants, they are short lived so you will be able to amend the mix in the square when they are done... The smaller plants like the lettuces and any other small plants, I would lift out, add more compost (like any local composted manure or home made compost) and just kind of fork it in or you could mix it by hand. If you do not want to do that, just add it to the top of what you have there.

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Re: Plants not thriving in Mels Mix

Post  landarch on 4/14/2012, 3:37 pm

thanks for the info...it is much appreciated...I just pulled up and threw away my four cauliflower plants that weren't doing well either (also stunted and yellowing for around four weeks)...it will get too hot before they develop...I'll try again in the fall for those.

I worked in some cow manure compost in all of my empty boxes, then worked what I could in and around existing plants. I'll work in some more as it settles before planting summer veggies...I still have some mushroom and cotton bur compost on hand.

I may also try moving some smaller lettuce to a container that I can keep in the shade when it gets hot...opening up more room for green beans and peppers.

Looking back, I think the seeds germinated equally in each soil type, but the photos really show how plants behave when your soils are not dialed in correctly.

Now, if the boxes can only survive the pending storms here this weekend (tornadoes, hail, etc.)...
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Re: Plants not thriving in Mels Mix

Post  plantoid on 4/14/2012, 5:58 pm

land larch this awkward start in the first year is usually bdown to the ingredients used it make t=he initial MM it is not down to you . That's why Mel said use at least five sources of composted manures etc to trry and get a premium average mix.

If you follow the current threads about compost you'll quickly realise that there is massive difference in the quality of commercial compost , the biggest being the large amounts of sawdust, shaving and ground up wood pulp & coir . ( Not to mention any of the composts that says it includes " top soil )

Anythat admit to having mushroom compost with crushed limestone , chalk or gypsum can also be a bit short or excessive in things that don't help plant growth.

Your old beds will have started to mature and that's why you see such a difference ..don't be dishearted it will soon be that the MM beds overtake the old soil ones , if you add your home made composts as per Mels guidance & suggestions.
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