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Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  donnainzone5 on 7/19/2013, 11:59 am

Nick,

Where exactly do you live? I lived in Southern California for many years and frequently drove to Palmdale, Lancaster, Barstow, Hesperia, etc. Even Bakersfield a time or three.

Hmmm.... I have some former colleagues who probably make a business trip up that way every month. Would you like me to check to see if anyone might be willing to bring you a bag or two? Perhaps you could meet him/her at a convenient place.
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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  southern gardener on 7/19/2013, 12:05 pm

nick2788 wrote:Thanks! Nobody around me sells chicken or mushroom compost unfortunately.

Lancaster craigslist has some good stuff it looks like http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/grd/3892293024.html

Also, check your "ag" suppliers, that's where we got our aged chicken manure. Our local one is called "Ag RX" they have all kinds of manures. Steer is only about $2 a bag, chicken is about $6?

In the craigslist post above, there's a post about Mixture of tree trimmings, compost from home, and cow, chicken, and llama manure for only $15 for a tractor scoop!! that's so cheap! Even if you don't need a full scoop, bring some bags if you need to. Good luck!
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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  grownsunshine on 7/19/2013, 1:25 pm

Southerngardener - thanks soooo much for the craigslist listing! I plan on getting out to Hemet, even though it's 1 hr drive for me. I wonder how much of that I can fit in my car. Unfortunately not a tractor scoop, unless I want to be sitting in the middle of it while driving home...ha ha.

Nick2788 - I have a co-worker that lives out your way. I can go to Hemet and pick up as many bags as will fit in my car. We can split the cost of the compost (example: if I get 10 bags for $10 I'll give you 3 bags for $3). The only thing is I don't know exactly when I'll be able to get out to Hemet (hopefully this weekend or next weekend)..but it'll be better than waiting a 4-6 weeks for your compost to be ready and it looks like we might be scoring on some nice compost.

Is anyone familiar with meal worm castings? Someone on craigslist is saying, "The commercial Wiggleworm earthworm castings are rated at 1-0-0. . .. And meal worm castings contain 4 times the available nitrogen, plus other important nutrients such as phosphorus and iron -- Nitrogen-4.17%, Phosphorus-2.70%, Potash-1.64%, Sodium-62.9mg/100gms, Iron-26.5mg/100gms. PH is 7.25--- perfect for your vegetable garden! You will be using only ¼ of these castings for the nitrogen value of above-mentioned brand! Extremely cost-efficient! Packaged in sealed extra heavy paper sacks" Someone in posting in Gardenweb said Redwigger castings are better because they contain microbes Meal Worm casting don't. Here is some informationfrom http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/verm/msg0220490429610.html Apparently there is some place you can get these for cheap. Or maybe it's another good source of compost to add to the homemade Mels Mix. Does anyone know?

Nick - if we find out the meal worm castings are good, I'll see if I can buys some and you can let me know if you want some of that too.




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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  nick2788 on 7/19/2013, 5:36 pm

Sure, that would be great. Let me know what you find out on the worm meal.
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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  mollyhespra on 7/19/2013, 9:49 pm

nick2788 wrote:Thanks, I guess I should probably buy the book!

LOL! That would be a good idea!

The book has lots of great info and explains Mel's rationale behind his "Mel's Mix", the SFG layout, etc.

Best of luck to you and *do* keep us posted on how you're doing!  
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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  southern gardener on 7/20/2013, 2:18 am

[quote="grownsunshine"]Southerngardener - thanks soooo much for the craigslist listing! I plan on getting out to Hemet, even though it's 1 hr drive for me. I wonder how much of that I can fit in my car. Unfortunately not a tractor scoop, unless I want to be sitting in the middle of it while driving home...ha ha.

You're welcome! Glad you were following and saw it. Sounds like some good stuff, hope it really is, please update us if you get some!! I LOVE CL!!
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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  grownsunshine on 7/23/2013, 7:00 pm

NIck - don't forget to check your PM box. I sent you one about a free source of chicken/cow manure in Littlerock listed on Craigslist. Also I hope to get out to Hemet this weekend to get the compost. Actually if you get the chicken/cow manure, I'll swap you for the Hemet compost...if you want

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Soaked peat before using in MM

Post  Esteban on 7/24/2013, 4:50 pm

Hi folks,
I am in the process of making a new batch of MM.  I got half the amount of peat moss on a tarp on the ground and soaked it good.  I was under the impression it would swell up to twice the size.  It looks like it shrunk.  Any ideas what I have done wrong?  Should I get another bag of moss and start over and only fluff it up dry?
Thanks,
Steve

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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  Goosegirl on 7/24/2013, 6:34 pm

Steve - you want to measure the peat volume after it is fluffed, before it is wet.

GG
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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  sanderson on 7/24/2013, 7:36 pm

I agree with GG.  Fluff the peat moss, measure amount of fluffed stuff, then wet it.  Don't worry about the volume after you have wet it.
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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  Esteban on 7/25/2013, 8:32 am

Sanderson & GG,
Thanks for your response.
I will now pitch the still very damp peat moss on my in ground garden and start over.  I used half a bag of peat moss and I still have the other half in the shed.  That will save much drying out time and more confusion on my part.
Or, I just had another thought.  I used half a 4 cu ft bag initally, I planned on using 2 cu ft in the total mix.  When this mess dries out, it would still be the same volume as the remaining 2 cu ft that is compressed in the bag.  Is that correct?  Or, am I still missing something important?
Please keep in mind with your responses, I just had my 73 birthday,  I used to be brilliant, but I ain't no more. Laughing
Steve

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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/25/2013, 9:19 am

One very simple method. Grab a 5 gallon bucket. On a tarp or wheelbarrow, add a bucket of each of your 5 composts and mix. There's your compost blend.
Now mix one bucket each of your compost blend, vermiculite, and fluffed up peat. There's your 1/3 of each ingredient. Mix well. Add this to your box. As you add each load, water it well. Wink 

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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  Esteban on 7/25/2013, 8:33 pm

RoOsTeR, thanks for the help.  I did it like you suggested and it came out great!  We have heavy rains forecast for tonight, that will get my MM settled.
Steve

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Re: Do I need peat moss or coconut coir?

Post  sanderson on 7/26/2013, 3:11 am

Yes, the 1/2 bag you put on the in-ground garden is still a 1/2 bag, wet or dry.  If it's collectable and relatively clean (no weed seeds or insects), you can dry it out and use it for Round Two.

[If it's contaminated, you probably don't want to add it to Mel's Mix, unless you can heat treat it to kill seeds and insects.]  Smile

Rooster, You explained it nicely.
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coconut coir

Post  has55 on 10/21/2013, 5:37 pm

Here's the reason I change to coconut coir and left peat moss. This company make a soil from coconut coir that seem very impressive. But there is a problem, they don't shipped this far. They found it was too cost prohibitive for the consumer, but the west coast can get it. This cause me too look at coconut coir to add to my beds, when I raise the bed up to 13" 2 months ago. It was a winner. the soil is much looser, but holds the water and releasing it in a timely manner, no water logging noted. I believe with shade cloth it will work well and for crops like melon they will be able to send the root deep into the soil easily. Now I will add the wood chips mulch this summer and probably on 4 beds this winter. It will be challenging since the plants are medium size at this time. I will send a update.
look at this video for the difference in peat moss versus coconut coir. Go to 4:54 in the video were they demonstrate the absorption process. I found it quiet informing. I hope this is helpful.

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