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Containers and Mel's Mix

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Containers and Mel's Mix

Post  Hardcoir on 2/15/2013, 9:49 am

I am trying out Growums boxes this year. We bought a baker's dozen on sale at 9.99 each and figure that we have 26sf of new planting space. The boxes come with coconut coir, and we will be using 1/3 of the coir and mixing it with 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 of our compost.

At the Youtube site "growingyourgreens", the expert gardener is using Mel's Mix in his self-watering containers, but he makes some additions. One of these is Azomite, a supplier of micronutrients. He also adds Mycorrhizae products as well.

Has anybody tried combining SFG methods with self-watering containers? Can you give any tips on what extra needs to be done to try SFG in SWC?
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Re: Containers and Mel's Mix

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/15/2013, 9:58 am

At this time, Mel's Mix consists of 1/3 peat, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 blended composts. No other amendments or additives, fertilizers, etc. are needed if you follow the method as Mel has laid out in his book. This is hard for "expert" gardeners to comprehend, but the simplicity of the method does work

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Another question

Post  Hardcoir on 2/15/2013, 1:21 pm

Loveland, CO? We used to live just a little south of you in the People's Republic of Boulder. We were sentenced to two years there by Wild Oats Corporate Office and escaped before the collapse and sale to Whole Paycheck.

Do you have any information on how effectively Mel's Mix is as a wick in a self-watering container? Should we fill the wicking basket with 100% coconut coir and the rest of the box with Mel's Mix, or will Mel's Mix wick effectively? Thanks.
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Re: Containers and Mel's Mix

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/15/2013, 1:34 pm

More info here:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3068-sfg-wicking-boxes?highlight=wicking
You can probably find more on wicking beds using the search feature in the upper left corner just above latest topics list.

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Re: Containers and Mel's Mix

Post  Turan on 2/15/2013, 2:02 pm

I am going to venture a guess that if one of your five composts is from sea products (there is this lobster stuff that Camprn loves, but others as well as Kelp (isn't kelp part of Mel's approved list as well?)) they would do the same as azomite in a form all ready for plant and soil. Mycorrhizae is part of any good active alive compost. No need to add it unless you are using bagged composts that have been mistreated and are mostly dead. Do a search on both of these, we have discussed them in the past to varying degrees.

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Re: Containers and Mel's Mix

Post  walshevak on 2/15/2013, 2:47 pm

We used MM in our self wicking beds.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5716-experiment-to-deal-with-pure-sand-and-high-water-bills?highlight=pure+sand+++%2Bhigh+water

Coir is an acceptable substitute for peat, but not quite as effective.

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Re: Containers and Mel's Mix

Post  plantoid on 2/15/2013, 4:20 pm

@Hardcoir wrote:I am trying out Growums boxes this year. We bought a baker's dozen on sale at 9.99 each and figure that we have 26sf of new planting space. The boxes come with coconut coir, and we will be using 1/3 of the coir and mixing it with 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 of our compost.

At the Youtube site "growingyourgreens", the expert gardener is using Mel's Mix in his self-watering containers, but he makes some additions. One of these is Azomite, a supplier of micronutrients. He also adds Mycorrhizae products as well.

Has anybody tried combining SFG methods with self-watering containers? Can you give any tips on what extra needs to be done to try SFG in SWC?

By self watering containers I take you to mean some form of automatic watering , be that by wicking , drip or pressured irrigation .

If so lots of us on site use a piped watering system .
Just make sure you don't under or over do it and make adjustments for drought conditions or heavy rain . The MM should just about stay in a ball when well damped .

There are lots of wet bed wicking systems as well that use hose pipe with a ball valve to keep the level of water good.

Some folks use a small sump in a wick bed that has a filler / float rod tube in them and when the float sinks down to a marked line the top up the bed by bucket , hose or what ever till the float shows full .
One person has a set of 3 inch diameter holes in the bed board and has nailed nylon socks in to each hole . When the bed is filled with MM the socks are also full and the socks become the wicks in the sump of water.
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