Square Foot Gardening Forum
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I don't understand how to make Mel's Mix

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I don't understand how to make Mel's Mix

Post  Jean B on 6/9/2012, 3:13 pm

I got the new square foot gardening book, but as soon as I get to the part about the mix, my eyes glaze over with formulas for converting weight to volume and figuring out how to mix it all up.

I want to make my mix in small amounts - I can't possibly mix a heavy load as I'm a senior with osteoarthritis. If the mix is supposed to be equal parts compost, peat, vermiculite by volume, doesn't that mean I can forget about formulas and just use one pail of compost, one pail of peat, one pail of vermiculite, stir in the wheelbarrow and dump in the square foot frame, then repeat? Or is there something I don't understand about the term "volume"?

That chapter almost put me right off trying this intensive form of growing my veggies! And, no, I don't live close to a place where I can buy the pre-made mix.
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Re: I don't understand how to make Mel's Mix

Post  cheyannarach on 6/9/2012, 3:24 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum!!! You got it just use a paill of each! It is that simple. Do you make your own compost? If you are buying compost from the store try to get a blend of 5 different types (i.e. 1 chicken poo, 1 cow poo, 1 sheep poo, etc.)and mix those together first then one scoop compost, vermiculite, and peat (make sure the peat is fluffed up when you put it in your bucket too) and voila! I mix mine up in a wheelbarrow this way very often! Have fun and good luck if you have any other questions feel free to ask, many people here have lots of experience to share!
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Re: I don't understand how to make Mel's Mix

Post  Jean B on 6/9/2012, 3:27 pm

Thanks! Why the heck didn't the book just SAY that! Laughing

Yes, I have five types of compost and figured I'd put a can of each in the bucket until it was full, then toss the bucketful in the wheelbarrow.

Okay....of to start mixing and fill those frames I built yesterday.
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Re: I don't understand how to make Mel's Mix

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/9/2012, 3:57 pm

Yes, it really is that simple Jean Cheyanne has given you some great advice. Another very valuable tip is to wet the ingredients as you fill your frame. So after each load you put in the frame, water the mix really well. Do this till your box is full then soak it some more Wink It's amazing how much water it takes to get Mel's Mix totally wet.
I would also like to commend you on obtaining the 5 different types of compost. In the long run you will reap the rewards of your efforts now.

Don't forget to check out the regional forum for Canada and welcome to the forums!!
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/f21-canada

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making Mel's Mix

Post  memart1 on 6/9/2012, 4:36 pm

The first time you fill the bucket with compost, count how many cans of each type you put in the bucket. After that first batch you can just put that many cans of each directly into the wheelbarrow, then add a bucket of loosened peat and a bucket of vermiculite and mix it up. Save you a step.
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Re: I don't understand how to make Mel's Mix

Post  toledobend on 6/11/2012, 12:03 pm

Be sure to fluff up the peat. I use two buckets to do this. I put a couple of inches in the first bucket, fluff it up, then pour the result into the second bucket. I repeat this until the second bucket is full.
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Re: I don't understand how to make Mel's Mix

Post  plantoid on 6/11/2012, 7:10 pm

Doing it really small scale like I've been doing to make almost four cubic yards of MM when all the beds were first set up

three amounts of ingredients :- a pile of fluffed peat , a pile of well mixed 5 different types of compost & a bag of coarse vermiculite



bung 5 cans of peat in the barrow , add five of the well mixed composts and finally add five cans of vermiculite.



Level it out and mix it well , add a second layer to the barrow and again mix well add third layer and mix well.

Lay it in the beds in 2 inch layers and water each layer well so you can just about squeeze water out the material .
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