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Dolomite? Is MM Earth Box compatible?

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Dolomite? Is MM Earth Box compatible?

Post  Windmere on 6/11/2013, 5:42 pm

Hello all,

I have ten Earth Boxes and I called the Earth Box company today concerning how soil content might affect the "wicking" property of the self watering box. My worry is that MM might not work well with the system.

The lady I spoke to had never heard of the SFG method (???). We sort of went around in circles because she referred me to a section in their website called "approved" soils. All of them were, of course, commercial (even Miracle Gro).

She also told me that I MUST add a pound of dolomite to each Earth Box to prevent magnesium and calcium deficiency.

I have done a search on the Forum site, and I have not found anything on the topic of dolomite. I may not have performed a good search, I'm not sure.

Is dolomite something that is ok as a MM additive? I have seen a few posts where plants were affected by magnesium and calcium deficiencies. I'm guessing it can be an issue.

Does anyone have any thoughts/advice?


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Re: Dolomite? Is MM Earth Box compatible?

Post  camprn on 6/11/2013, 5:51 pm

Now when you are asking about magnesium and calcium deficiency, taking into consideration the pH of the growing mix will have an effect on the absorption.
What is pH? Well read this interesting rant.

Unless your plants are actually suffering symptoms of deficiency, why add anything...?

If the EarthBox folk have Miracle-Gro soilless growing mix on their list and it works in the boxes, it should work well enough with the fresh Mel's mix, which is basically the same this without the chemical fertilizer. Just my$0.02. Good luck!


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Re: Dolomite? Is MM Earth Box compatible?

Post  boffer on 6/11/2013, 5:52 pm

Walshevak and I have both posted excellent results using MM in a wicking box.

Quality homemade 5 way compost shouldn't be lacking in calcium and magnesium.

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Thanks very much

Post  Windmere on 6/11/2013, 6:58 pm

Thanks so much camprn and boffer. Boffer, I did do a forum search with the word "wicking" and I found your and Walshevak's posts. Lots of information there. Thanks for leading me there. Boffer, you garden "explosion" was very encouraging to read!

Camprn, the rant was very interesting. I was actually wondering about acid loving plants and the application of lime. I learned a lot from that.

Well, my compost should be good. Black Kow Compost, Pure Mushroom Compost, Vegetable and Fruit Compost, Worm Castings, and Chicken Compost. A friend of ours has rabbits, so a few clumps of droppings for good measure.

Thanks again Smile

P.S. It is June 10th and, for various reasons beyond my control, I finally got my 4x4 boxes assembled and put on the ground (I had to use a pick axe to level the ground... only available option was on a slope). Compost mixed. MM mixed. Garden fabric laid down. Boxes filled. Tomorrow: Planting my (huge) plants. They've been languishing in 5" peat pots. Roots just barely peeking out... so I think they'll be ok.

I'm pretty excited. cheers

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Re: Dolomite? Is MM Earth Box compatible?

Post  walshevak on 6/11/2013, 10:07 pm

My 2 cents. MM works in every container you can come up with. I would trust in in the earthgrow boxes over anything else.


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Re: Dolomite? Is MM Earth Box compatible?

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/11/2013, 11:25 pm

Sounds like you are going to have some fun Windmere!

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Good advice all - Thanks to all of you for taking the time to leave me your messages.

Post  Windmere on 6/12/2013, 2:18 pm

Just wanted to thank all of you for your input.

Tricia:  Yes, this will be an adventure.  If I get at least one tomato out of all of this... I will be happy. 


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Re: Dolomite? Is MM Earth Box compatible?

Post  squaredeal on 6/12/2013, 10:57 pm

I, too, am using Earthboxes (or EB look-alikes).  One thing I've learned from this forum with my SFG's is that systems work.   EBs are designed to use potting mixes which maximize soil wicking.  However, potting mixes have far more peat moss than does Mel's mix and that tends to make the soil more acidic than Mel's Mix.  I put in my dolomite and the organic fertilizer in my EBs as they suggested and the plants are doing great.  I have yet a different system in my Smart Pots - using 50% compost and 50% Mel's Mix and the veggies in those are doing great, too.

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EB requirements

Post  Windmere on 6/12/2013, 11:08 pm

Thank you for your comments squaredeal.  I have read some and I've also gotten some advice from other EB users.  The requirements are a bit different and I'm adapting accordingly.

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