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Compost & Vermiculite for Chicago area

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Compost & Vermiculite for Chicago area

Post  Chi-Town Deadhead on 4/7/2013, 11:35 am

Hey all,

I'm about 20 miles north of Chicago and starting my first SFG. I'm having a heck of a time with the 5 composts. I have 3 currently, cow, mushroom and worm castings but can't find the last two. I've hit the major (Home Depot and Lowes) stores and am trying a few local nurseries today. We will see how those go and will update if I'm successful.

As for the Vermiculite, I bought mine at Brew & Grow down in the city which has a few locations. The prices were great compared to the big boxed stores. $25.00 for a 4 cu ft. bag. They also had Coco Pith for $11.00 for a block that made 3.8 cu ft. The Coco is very dense but they also have smaller sizes. I hope it will be a nice mix to supplement the peat moss.

For the smaller gardener, they also have bat guano.

There is a SFG seminar at The Chalet garden center in Wilmette that I will be attending on April 11th. I hope to meet some fellow SFG members there and share some experiences.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and good veggies to all.


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Chi-Town Deadhead

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Update

Post  Chi-Town Deadhead on 4/7/2013, 7:49 pm

Just to let you know I found almost all the compost you would need at Red's Garden Center in Northbrook.

They have 3 different types of Compost besides Cow, Mushroom and Worm.

I'm a happy camper and have finished my Mel's Mix and have filled my boxes. Done for the day but still need the grid, critter cages and my vertical supports.
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Re: Compost & Vermiculite for Chicago area

Post  Goosegirl on 4/7/2013, 7:56 pm

@Chi-Town Deadhead wrote:Just to let you know I found almost all the compost you would need at Red's Garden Center in Northbrook.

They have 3 different types of Compost besides Cow, Mushroom and Worm.

I'm a happy camper and have finished my Mel's Mix and have filled my boxes. Done for the day but still need the grid, critter cages and my vertical supports.

golly gee whiz yahoo fun veggie winner golly gee whiz

GG
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Thanks for the info

Post  Serendipity3 on 4/12/2013, 6:05 pm

Hi,

I'm just northwest of Chicago and am familiar with the places you mentioned. This is the first year I'm trying the SFG method and was just going to begin the search for compost and happened upon your post. I'll definitely take a trip over to Red's. I'm not sure where the Brew and Go is, but I've seen a few of similar places in the city and never thought of checking them out.

I wish I had found your post sooner in regards to the SFG seminar. I was going to go to the Chicago Flower and Garden show a few weeks ago because Mel was there, but had to change plans last minute. I'm hoping he'll be there next year.

I used raised beds last year for the first time, after taking a long time off from gardening. Had mixed results which was in part due to some very aggressive garden pests. This year I'm hoping for better results.

Thanks again for your info.
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Compost Challenge

Post  rjeongco on 6/9/2013, 6:41 pm

I've been trying to put together Mel's mix for a week now and it has been quite the challenge. My SFG is only 1' x 8'. Finding 5 kinds of compost a huge challenge in my part of Chicago. I've only been able to find earthworm castings and steer manure (in a 2 cu ft bag which is too much for my small SFG).

After running around for a week trying to stay true to Mel's mix- I have buckled. I've settled on just getting Fox Farms Ocean Forest "Potting Soil". The ingredients include: humus, sphagnum peat moss, crab meal, shrimp meal, earthworm castings, vermicultural compost (bedding material and livestock manure), sandy loam, perlite, fossilized bat guano, granite dust, Norwegian kelp meal and oyster shell.

Ill probably just add vermiculite and more castings. Im crossing my fingers.....

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