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Pre-Made Mix

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Pre-Made Mix

Post  otherguy on 1/26/2013, 8:37 am

Has anyone bought the pre-made Mel's Mix? I assume you can get it at Home Depot or Lowes?

Did it work for you?
Just thinking it might be the best way to go for my first bed.
Thanks for any thoughts on it.
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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  cindre2000 on 1/26/2013, 6:38 pm

I have never used pre-bagged Mel's Mix. When I started my first beds, I used 2 bags of vermiculite, 2 bags of peat, and 5 bags each of Mushroom Compost and Black Kow (3 4'x4' beds). I top dressed with Black Hen and I watered with Fish Emulsion and Seaweed Extract.

Since those long lost days, I have added whatever new fertilizer/compost I could find. As well as compost I make out of our home, garden, and yard waste.

--

I just recommend avoiding the Garden mix, or Potting Mix that you often see at the big box stores. They are largely filler with a dash of chemical fertilizer.

Isaac
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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 6:44 pm

Last year there were some troubles with the companies making the SFG Brand of Mel's Mix. It required the addition of more compost. I have not heard that these troubles were resolved, but at this point I would encourage you to make your own Mel's Mix, it really is quite easy. Takes your time and hunt around for multiple types of compost. Maybe someone has listed on the vermiculite data base a store that sells the vermiculite near your location. Building a garden takes time, determination and tenacity, but it's not all that difficult. Very Happy

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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  otherguy on 1/26/2013, 8:14 pm

I went by Home Depot today just to poke around and they of course had peat, didn't see any vermiculite and had three different compost (mushroom, cow, cotton burr). I guess really I just need two more compost and find the vermiculite.

I am only do one 4x4 bed right now, that's all I can get away with until the wife see the results then I will be given the go ahead to do more, but I will always have to buy compost as its not feasible to do our own at this house.
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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  Gunny's Garden on 1/26/2013, 9:25 pm

When I went to Home Depot here I saw they had Garden Time Mix for $11/bag and only four left on the pallet. That was the day I went after vermiculite only to find they only carried medium grade. The only course they had was pearlite. I did pick up a couple of bags of compost though. Later I checked their online store and couldn't find Garden Time, now there is something else that looks like Mel on the bag for about $8/bag. Go figure. I'll be putting my mix together next week, weather permitting.
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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  Lindacol on 1/26/2013, 9:26 pm

@otherguy wrote:I went by Home Depot today just to poke around and they of course had peat, didn't see any vermiculite and had three different compost (mushroom, cow, cotton burr). I guess really I just need two more compost and find the vermiculite.

I am only do one 4x4 bed right now, that's all I can get away with until the wife see the results then I will be given the go ahead to do more, but I will always have to buy compost as its not feasible to do our own at this house.
You can order vermiculite and Ecoscraps compost from HD online - free shipping with a $45 minimum. This week I saw vermiculite inside by the seeds and potting supplies at my local HD.

What area are you in?
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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 9:35 pm

@otherguy wrote:I went by Home Depot today just to poke around and they of course had peat, didn't see any vermiculite and had three different compost (mushroom, cow, cotton burr). I guess really I just need two more compost and find the vermiculite.
Perlite is a perfectly acceptable alternative to vermiculite. Very Happy
Thanks to Wardnwake, here is the SFG vermiculite database.

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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  Gunny's Garden on 1/26/2013, 9:39 pm

Don't let Mel here you say that rofl
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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 9:40 pm

@camprn wrote:
@otherguy wrote:I went by Home Depot today just to poke around and they of course had peat, didn't see any vermiculite and had three different compost (mushroom, cow, cotton burr). I guess really I just need two more compost and find the vermiculite.

@Gunny's Garden wrote:...I went after vermiculite only to find they only carried medium grade. The only course they had was pearlite.

Perlite is a perfectly acceptable alternative to vermiculite. Very Happy
Thanks to Wardnwake, here is the SFG vermiculite database.

@Gunny's Garden wrote:Don't let Mel here you say that rofl

In the ANSFG Book, on pages 99-100 Mel writes about vermiculite and perlite. He prefers the vermiculite because he doesn't like the texture or the moisture holding level of the perlite, in addition to a few other things, including that it makes him sneeze. In the end he writes, "It's a matter of preference and availability...".

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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  Gunny's Garden on 1/26/2013, 9:55 pm

OK, Stickler, I give up.
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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  donnainzone5 on 1/26/2013, 9:56 pm

Doesn't perlite promote drainage?
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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 10:24 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Doesn't perlite promote drainage?
Yes, drainage, aeration and water retention. http://www.schundler.com/peat-per.htm

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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  camprn on 1/26/2013, 10:27 pm

@Gunny's Garden wrote:OK, Stickler, I give up.
LOL, Sorry Gunny, no worries! The only point I was really trying to make, whilst totally hijacking this thread, is if one cannot find a pre-made Mel's mix and if one chooses to make their own mix, and that person cannot find vermiculite.... perlite is ok to use. LOL Laughing

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Pre-Made Mix

Post  southern gardener on 1/26/2013, 10:28 pm

We have had many problems with the Pre made mix....make your own. It was more than just adding more compost, which we tried. You can PM me if you'd like any more info. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!!
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